PgCert Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education

If you’re currently employed in teaching and learning in higher or professional education this Advance HE/HEA approved distance-learning programme offers you the opportunity to develop high-quality skills in teaching, professional practice, scholarship and research. We’ll also support you to develop a critical approach to supporting student learning.

Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education

Key information



Mode of Study:

Part-time Distance Learning


32 weeks


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

This online course is designed for those seeking professional recognition as Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)/Advance HE. Underpinned by the relevant professional standards, it’s designed to help you attain professional recognition for your work, meet your organisational goals and enhance your professional profile.

This programme consists of two modules. The first, Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education, is designed to help you learn how to plan for effective and inclusive teaching and learning environments. You’ll have the opportunity to study the theories, principles and application of teaching and learning strategies, as well as explore action learning, enquiry and work-based learning, and technology-enabled and reflective learning.

The second module, Professional Academic Practice in Action, gives you the opportunity to explore the nature of action research and its application to programme planning, design and evaluation in professional practice. This module also covers professional ethics, the policy context, and broader issues that impact professional academic practice within the higher education sector.

  • The course is designed to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the local and national context and trends across the sector.
  • By committing to ongoing critical reflection, evaluation and action, you could develop high-level scholarship and research-informed practice.
  • Professional recognition (AFHEA or FHEA) is achieved through completion of the programme.
  • Our supportive learning environments promote learning, equality of opportunity, and responsiveness to student diversity.
Key Features
  • You’ll have the chance to evaluate current developments, up-to-date research in teaching and learning, and your own professional practice.
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support is offered by our team of highly experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated experts.
  • Our academic team is actively involved in educational research, helping you to explore issues from a robust research-informed knowledge base.
  • Our well stocked library offers a comprehensive selection of relevant texts and access to an extensive online database of multimedia sources including eJournals, podcasts, vodcasts and eBooks.
Professional recognition

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education is informed by the UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF) for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education.

The programme has been approved by Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy - HEA) for those seeking Fellowship of the HEA. Associate Fellow is awarded after completion of module EDM7040 or 7042 and Fellow after completing the full programme.

If you're not employed at an Advance HE subscribing institution, additional fees may apply that you will need to pay directly to Advance HE.

  • Normally, you’ll have at least an upper second class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent).
  • You must be currently teaching (at least 6 hours per week or equivalent) as you are required to critically reflect on your experience and relate theory to practice.
  • You must produce a reference or letter of support from your organisational line manager.
  • You must have an identified mentor in teaching practice.
  • As this is an online course, you’ll need access to a computer with appropriate software. You’ll also need basic IT skills. In particular, you’ll need to be able to access and use the University of Bolton’s virtual learning environment, Moodle. Please contact the programme leader for details if you are uncertain that you’ll be able to meet these requirements.
  • We'll also consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • You'll be required to attend an interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

This postgraduate course is ideal if you already have experience and current employment in teaching and learning in higher or professional education. It aims to help you develop high-quality teaching skills underpinned by relevant professional practice, scholarship and research skills. It can help you develop a critical, reflective and scholarly approach to teaching and supporting student learning.

Skills gained on this course can enhance your professional practice in a wide range of areas, including developing learning plans, creative and innovative methods for teaching, approaches to learner assessment and support, designing and managing programmes of learning and accountability in assessment. Additionally, it aims to develop your e-learning and communication skills.

What can I do with this qualification?

This course is designed to enhance your career potential by developing your skills as an academic staff member in higher education institutions. Therefore, it could improve your promotion prospects within higher education or improve access to a higher education career.

The skills and knowledge on offer would benefit anyone aiming for a career in education. Obtaining this qualification will assist entry to further study at the master’s or doctoral level; for instance, when applying to the University of Bolton’s MA Teaching and Learning or doctorate programmes.

Alternative career options

Postgraduate certificate holders can also use the qualification to enter a range of other careers. Relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required for some of these roles. Some of these careers include:

  • Higher education
  • Education officer
  • Mentoring
  • Family liaison
  • Educational psychology
  • Education administration
  • Student services advice
  • Student liaison
  • Educational writing and journalism
  • Examinations
  • Counselling
  • Careers guidance
  • Training
  • Quality Standards

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £2,340 for the academic year 2022/23.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £2,340 for the academic year 2022/23.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Two core modules will be taught, each worth 30 credits at HE7 (master’s level). Throughout the course, we aim to deliver stimulating, challenging and engaging programmes of study that help you broaden and deepen your knowledge.

By building on your current knowledge and experience with informed research, this course is designed to help you develop the skills needed to study at master’s level. You’ll be exposed to a mix of subject knowledge, theoretical perspectives and professional best practices, using a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies to enhance your overall experience.

To help keep you engaged, we’ll use a range of teaching and learning methods, such as lectures, presentations, seminars, workshops, group work, action learning, and group and individual tutorials. This course also features the use of technology and multimedia: resources are made available through our virtual learning environments (VLEs), and much of the course communication will also be conducted via VLEs.

You’ll also be encouraged to build strong relationships with your peers, sharing ideas and discussing relevant ideas for practice and development. Personal study time is also a significant element in this programme.

Assessment will also be varied, and you can expect to complete coursework such as critical reflections, presentations, portfolios and a written project.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher and Professional Education
  • Professional Academic Practice in Action
  • Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher and Professional Education - Online Version
  • Professional Academic Practice in Action - Online Version
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 80%, Practical exams 20%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 88%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 12%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Lisa Adjei
Programme Leader and Admissions Tutor

+44 (0)1204 903309

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education M 14+

Mode of study
2 Years

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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