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 2 years Flexible September, January
Main location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is designed to prepare social workers to teach, support and assess social work students on practice placements.
  • It is aligned with the Post-Qualifying Standards for practice leaders and practice supervisors.
  • In successfully completing this course, you will demonstrate Stages 1 and 2 of the BASW Practice Educator Professional Standards.

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 providing a student placement (usually a 70-day placement).

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

From this PgCert, you may progress 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 or more years' 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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Applicants must be Social Work England registered social workers who are currently in permanent employment in the sector.
  • Applicants must have two years' post-registration experience as a social worker.
  • Applicants must be in a position to offer a social work placement in their workplace. They must 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 Student Route visa to reside in the UK you may not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University. Kingston University has carefully considered the Student Route visa and has decided not to offer Student Route visa part-time study. Student Route visa sponsorship is only available to students studying on a full-time course.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

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 (self-managed time)

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 and 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 learning and teaching activity. 

  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 104 hours 
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 136 hours 
  • Placement: 360 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules 

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods include coursework, essays, reports, self-assessment, practical assessment in the workplace and a portfolio. 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?

Every member of the teaching staff has substantial practice experience in social work. In addition, many are actively involved in social work research, presenting regularly at conferences and publishing in books and journals. In addition, our course teams draw on the wealth of experience provided by our professional contacts and service users and carers who feed into the design of our courses and provide teaching and supervision to enrich your learning.

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.

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.

2024/25 fees for this course

Fees for 2024/25

Practice Education Stage 1 30 £1,994 / Free*
Practice Education Stage 2 30 £1,994 / Free*

* We are offering Practice Education Stage 1 and Practice Education Stage 2 free to social workers who enrol on our PG Cert Practice Education pathway and are able to be allocated Kingston University social work students for both placements.

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

Recognised Partner Agencies: Achieving for Children, NSPCC, Welcare, Surrey County Council and the London Boroughs of Kingston, Richmond, Wandsworth, Sutton, Croydon, and Merton.


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% 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.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

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, Sutton Adult and Children's services, Richmond & Wandsworth Adult services, Wandsworth Children's services, NSPCC and Welcare, Surrey Children's services, South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust.

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

People with lived experience and carers contribute to assessment and quality assurance on our programme.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff 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
  • 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.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.

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