Practice Education PgCert

Why choose this course?

This course, for registered social workers, will enable you to gain Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) currently held by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). It is ideal if you would like to develop the next generation of social workers by teaching them during practice placements. It will enable you to progress through the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) levels and develop your leadership skills. The course is aligned with Chief Social Workers' Knowledge and skills statements for practice leaders and practice supervisors.

This course is a well-established programme with a strong professional reputation. It has been developed in partnership with agencies in south-west London and Surrey and users of social work services.

You can also progress to the Advanced Social Work MA, depending on your module choices.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 1–2 years Flexible November, January, May /June
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is designed to help social workers teach social work students on practice placements.
  • It is aligned with Chief Social Workers' knowledge and skills statements for practice leaders and practice supervisors.
  • You will be able to gain Stages 1 and 2 of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS), accredited by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). You will be able to progress through the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) levels and develop your leadership skills.

What you will study

Stage 1 of the course prepares you to work with a social work student on their first placement. You will learn to develop a curriculum, manage the placement, support learning and assess achievement. You will put this into practice through a 70-day placement.

In Stage 2 you will provide a 100-day final placement for a social work student. If you have significant experience in practice education, or have taken an Enabling Others' Learning (Social Work) course, you may be able join Stage 2 directly.

From this PgCert, you may progress to the Professional Education and Training MA or to the Advanced Social Work MA, depending on your module choices.

Core modules

Core modules

Practice Education Stage 1

30 credits

This module equips registered social workers to undertake the responsibilities of a Stage 1 Practice Educator (Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Students who complete this module successfully will be able to supervise, teach and assess social work degree students up to but not including the final assessment prior to qualification. At this stage they may contribute to the last placement but not take full responsibility for assessment or act as the practice educator on a day-to-day basis. Students undertaking this module are required to undertake a practicum which entails acting as a Stage 1 practice educator to a degree in social work student on a first placement (70 days).

This module is only available to registered social workers with two years or more post-registration practice experience. It is targeted at social worker/experienced social worker level.

Practice Education Stage 2

30 credits

This module equips registered social workers to undertake the responsibilities of a Stage 2 Practice Educator (Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Students who complete this module successfully will be able to supervise, teach and assess social work degree students up to and including the last placement and to work with ASYE candidates. In effect, these practice educators will have the authority and capability to recommend, on the basis of appropriate evidence, that the social work students are fit to practise at the point of qualification. The module includes practice assessment.

This module is only available to registered social workers with three years or more post-registration practice experience and who have completed Practice Educator Stage 1 or equivalent. It is targeted at experienced social worker level.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Applicants must be Social Work England registered social workers who are currently employed in the sector.
  • Applicants for the Stage 1 module must have two years' post-registration experience as a social worker.
  • Direct applicants for the Stage 2 module must have three years' post-registration experience as a social worker.
  • Applicants must be in a position to offer a social work placement in their workplace. They should have the consent of their employer to do this.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 7.0 overall with special conditions in all elements. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you may not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University. Kingston University has carefully considered the Tier 4 visa route and has decided not to offer Tier 4 part-time study. Tier 4 sponsorship is only available to students studying on a full-time course.

Teaching and assessment

For both modules trainees are assessed in practice by a Practice Assessor (a Stage 2 qualified Practice Educator) and are required to produce a portfolio of practice evidence including: a Practice Learning Agreement, Induction Programme, Midway and Final Report on the student, examples of a teaching activity, direct observations of the student by the trainee practice educator, direct observations of the trainee by the PA and feedback from the student, tutor and line manager.

There are slightly different requirements for the modules that will be explained to you by your course tutors and are described in some detail in the Module Handbooks. In addition both modules require trainees to produce critical analyses of their development as Practice Educators and Professional Development Plans.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity. 

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 104 hours 
  • Guided independent study: 136 hours 
  • Placement: 360 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules 

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, and dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows: 

  • 100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education. It is a unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London. This means you benefit from the experience and facilities of two complementary institutions. Kingston University has a long-established reputation for high-quality, vocationally relevant education. St George's, University of London combines teaching and research excellence in areas directly applicable to healthcare sciences.

The combination of academics, expert practitioners, service users, carers and alumni gives the Faculty a uniquely dynamic environment in which to further your studies and your career. We have strong links with the NHS, education and healthcare providers and social services, and we also offer classic postgraduate programmes alongside research and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of guest lectures.

Course fees and funding

Here you can find more details about fees for this course, as well as any funding opportunities available to you for this course. Please note that fees relate to the academic year in question and will increase in future years.

2020/21 fees for this course

The fee for the course is £2,900 for the 2020/21 academic year. 

If the trainee practice educator provides a placement to a Kingston University student, the module fee payable by the trainee's sponsoring agency will be reduced to £350, for registration and academic assessment fees.

If the sponsoring agency is unable to provide a practice assessor for each trainee, an additional fee will be applied for this assessment service.


Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies. 

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting a course at Kingston, you will be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to study for a postgraduate masters degree. 

International students

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

Discounts for Kingston University alumni

Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10 per cent discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.

Social Work Skills Lab

The skills lab is a purpose-built facility where social work students have the opportunity to learn and to practise key social work skills.

Social workers undertaking continuing professional development courses develop their assessment and intervention skills and other skills such as mentoring, teaching and providing reflective supervision.

What's available?

The skills lab is divided into several sections including:

  • a seminar/case conference room for a maximum of 20 people;
  • a simulated living-room and front door to assist in developing skills relating to home visits;
  • five interview rooms simulating work environments;
  • a control room with two-way mirror and viewing monitors; and
  • all rooms have fitted cameras and microphones so that activities can be recorded.

A flexible, creative space

The skills lab has been designed to be a multi-functional space which allows flexible use. The furniture is all portable and can be changed according to the simulated activities required.

The small rooms can be used for practising communication skills and simulating supervision sessions.

The large room can be used as a teaching or seminar room and can be set up as a simulated case conference room or duty desk.

Participants have the opportunity to engage in creative skills development activities and benefit from live supervision and feedback from the recorded material.

After you graduate

People who have taken this course have gone on to:

  • Specialise in practice education, working with many students and trainee practice educators over the years.
  • Teach in universities - nearly all the universities in London employ a staff member who have taken this programme.
  • Work in learning and development teams in a local authority.
  • Progress to management roles in their own and other organisations.
  • Write or contribute to text books, for example: Farrukh Akhtar (2013) Mastering Social Work Values. London, JKP and Anne Patmore (2012) Mastering Approaches to Diversity in Social Work. Mastering Social Work Skills.

What our students say

The interactive mode of learning is very positive, it allows for exchange of ideas, knowledge and skills. The programme brings together a rich diversity of experiences and skills, which improves and enhances the learning experience.

Student, Practice Education PgCert

Links with business and industry

We are involved in a unique teaching partnership with seven local authorities and two voluntary sector agencies, including Achieving for Children, Croydon Adult and Children's services, Kingston Adult services, Merton Adult and Children's services, Surrey Children's services, Sutton Adult and Children's services, Richmond & Wandsworth Adult services, Wandsworth Children's services, NSPCC and Welcare.

The course has strong long-standing links with other local employers in south-west London and Surrey including:

Practising social workers are involved in teaching, bringing theory to life with their front-line experiences.

Representatives of service users and carers contribute to assessment and quality assurance on our programme.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education are research active, often in partnership with NHS Trusts. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Social work research activity focuses around several key areas:

  • risk and child abuse;
  • children's rights;
  • learning processes and partnership approaches in professional education;
  • management of child protection systems;
  • safeguarding adults;
  • mental capacity; and
  • effectiveness of community-based responses to crime.

We conduct much of our social care research and consultancy either in partnership with or on behalf of the social service, voluntary sector and probation agencies.

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