University of Chester

Programme Specification
Education, Teaching and Learning PGCert
2015 - 2016

Postgraduate Certificate

Education, Teaching and Learning

Education, Teaching and Learning

University of Chester

University of Chester

Warrington, Chester: Riverside

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

1 Year

3 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Initial Teacher Education

QAA Descriptors for HE qualifications at level 7.

Education Studies benchmarking examples are used as the closest in subject matter to teacher education.

ITE Module Assessment Board

Monday 1st July 2013

  • To encourage the exploration of education through inter-disciplinary encounters which foster thinking and practice about learning and teaching.
  • To develop critical professional reflection through engagement with education practices in order to position professional knowledge and experience within a school context.
  • To provide an opportunity to expand educational thinking and practice through enquiry and scholarship.


The above aims are underpinned by the Faculty of Education and Children's Services principles of learning and teaching, which include:

  • To promote open-minded systematic enquiry and reflective practice;
  • To encourage students  to take responsibility for their own learning and teachers to take responsibility for facilitating that learning;
  • To enable the expansion of opportunity and the removal of unnecessary barriers to learning;
  • To facilitate the development of learning that will equip students  as life-long learners:
  • To ensure that all learning and teaching will be underpinned by a rationale for equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • To take account of relevant and current legislation concerning the development and well-being of children and young people .


Knowledge and Understanding

  • Critically engaged with theoretical frameworks and literature;
  • Harnessed insights into subject knowledge;
  • Critically reflected on the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry;
  • Applied critical considerations when undertaking research;
  • Made effective use of professional learning to assess impact on practice.
  • Demonstrated a high level of relevant subject knowledge, enabling them to teach their chosen age phases.
  • Demonstrated and employed good pedagogical knowledge and understanding of the varying needs of their pupils;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of:
    • the principles of either or a Primary /Early years OR Secondary education, learning and development, including those relating to anti-discriminatory practice and equality of opportunity;
    • the regulatory and legislative framework governing the organisation and delivery of secondary education;
    • curricular documentation, both statutory and advisory; in the management, organisation and delivery of secondary education
    • how to identify and draw upon academic sources to inform and enhance professional practice;
    • health and safety and child protection;

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • Made critical use of research evidence;
  • Formulated valid conclusions that link theory to practice;
  • Thought independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas;
  • Identified their own learning needs as part of their on-going professional development;
  • Reflected critically on their own professional experience and development in the light of relevant educational literature;
  • Engaged critically with relevant educational issues within education and children’s services, including Government policies and structures;
  • Analysed and responded to relevant issues in their age phase and subject specialist areas;
  • Identified and responded to the pastoral and learning needs of their pupils;
  • Communicated ideas, principles and theories, arguments and analysis effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using written, visual, verbal and digital media, with a sense of audience;
  • Demonstrated appropriate critical thinking skills e.g. identified and summarised main points in an argument, developed an argument drawing upon evidence and literature, analysed and synthesised research, theories and ideas, examining issues from a range of professional perspectives and produced evaluative responses;
  • Used a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information relating to their emerging roles as teachers, and to propose solutions to problems arising in work settings;
  • Worked independently and collaboratively - managing time, workload and the demands and responsibilities of being a professional

Practical Skills

  • Critically reflected upon aspects of professional practice in the light of key theoretical perspectives;
  • Demonstrated the experience, knowledge and skills that underpin effective pedagogical practice, both evidence based and reflective;
  • Communicated effectively with children, parents and other professionals;
  • Demonstrated a thorough understanding of difference and diversity, recognising individual needs as well as developing tolerance and understanding of others;
  • Demonstrated qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment, requiring the exercise of personal responsibilities e.g. to manage and organise time, resources, records and information to support decision making


Transferable Professional Skills
Demonstrated the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment, including:

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
  • The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
  • The skills of reflective practice;
  • Successfully working with a range of other professionals within the school setting;
  • Successfully working to tight deadlines under pressure;
  • Being a high quality role model

Key Skills

  • Written, performed or exhibited academic standards required at M level;
  • Engaged in meaningful debate and critical discussion;
  • Read critically;
  • Synthesised written and oral information;

Application of Number

  • Selected and used appropriate research methodology, methods and applications for data handling.

Information Literacy and Technology

  • Used the University’s VLE to access information;
  • Used electronic research skills;
  • Accessed databases for research and information;
  • Used the University’s e portfolio to maintain a professional learning journal, where appropriate.
  • Communicated ideas effectively in speech, writing and the use of ICT

Improving Own Learning and Performance

  • Critically reflected on professional practice;
  • Developed new pedagogical and leadership skills;
  • Used initiative and managed own learning;
  • Made independent use of supervision.
  • Improved their own performance through critical self-reflection, the implementation of evidence-based practice, and ongoing professional development activities;

Working with Others

  • Engaged in group presentations and disseminations;
  • Worked with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice.
  • Worked with team of peers and professional colleagues in school and educational workplace settings to contribute to their own and others' learning;

Problem Solving

  • Generated and applied new knowledge;
  • Analysed complex concepts;
  • Solved problems that have occurred whilst carrying out the role of a teacher- drawing upon their own knowledge and expertise and taking account of the views of fellow professionals, inspection evidence and the results of research based enquiry.


The programme curriculum is structured in such a way that coherence and progression between the three Academic Learning Modules. Each module is worth 20 credits, accumulating to 60 credits in order to acheive the Postgraduate Certificate.

The first of the three modules  is The Nature and Purpose of Learning and Teaching.  This module aims to develop and challenge the students understanding of learning and the range of concepts and theories which underpin it and  how to focus on strategies which promote pupil progress in order that all pupils achieve their learning potential. It also focuses on  the students understanding of the notion of the ‘Learning Journey’ and their understanding of the concept of ‘The reflective, reflexive practitioner’.

The second module in the suite is designed to reflect upon The Nature and Purpose of Assessment.  This module aims to develop and challenge the students understanding of assessment, its relationship to learning and the range of concepts, theories and research which underpin it and  how to plan for assessment strategies which promote pupil progress in order that all pupils achieve their learning potential. Students are required to  analyse assessment learning and progression, and critically reflect on these learning episodes, linking practice to theory.

The final module is themed around the Understanding the Curriculum and its Development. This module  aims to introduce and  develop a deeper understanding of the nature of the curriculum and the teacher/school’s role in developing it and facilitate a critical analysis of some of the philosophical, historical and socio-political influences upon the curriculum. Students will   develop critically analytical perspectives upon past, current and future National Curricula and  initiate an exploration of the theoretical knowledge and skills necessary to develop the curriculum. This module provide an insight into the role of the leader/co-ordinator in developing a whole school curriculum approach within the specialist subject.

These three equally weighted modules expect the student to make deeper reflections upon their own professional practice in relation to relevant thoeries and literature.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
PR7101 7 The Nature and Purpose of Learning and Teaching 20 N/A
PR7102 7 Understanding the Curriculum and its Development 20 N/A
PR7103 7 The Nature and Purpose of Assessment 20 N/A

Students who successfully gain 60 credits at level M will be awarded a PGCert

Applicants will normally be required to hold, or be expected to gain, a degree of at least 2:1, in a subject related to the discipline of the named qualification (or an acceptable equivalent). Each subject will set specific requirement in terms of the range of acceptable degree backgrounds.  Applicants will also need to be able to provide evidence of relevant experience in schools. All applicants are required by the national college for Teaching and Leadership to hold GCSE Grade c or above in Engish and mathemenatis (plus Science for primary applicants) - or acceptable equivalents. All applications will be carefully screened, and those deemed suitable will be invited for interview. Interviews will normally involve the University subject tutor and a mentor from a partnership school. Applicants are required to undergo a DRB check.  Applicants whose first language is not English will require IELTS level 6 or above (or an acceptable equivalent). All students must havepassed the QTS Tests prior to enrollment.

In designing this Programme, the team have taken into account the QAA Descriptors for HE qualifications at levels 4, 5 and 6, Education Studies benchmark statements (QAA 2007) along with the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards 2012 (DfE 2011), the ITT Criteria and the current Ofsted Framework for Inspection of ITT.

Learning and Teaching will take place through a variety of methods. Fifteen days of  learning will take place through lectures, seminars, blended learning,  workshops and tutorials. Further learning will take place  through the students observation of and practice in practical teaching  and these reflections form an important tool for their own learning.


Every student will be assigned to a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who contributes to the programme and has oversight of an individual students progress and  will provide guidance for successful completion of the modules and focus on effective strategies for the enhancement of each students academic profile. This academic/pastoral relationship lasts for the duration of the programme. students  who are assessed at the outset as requiring additional support for specific needs will be referred to the Academic Support Tutors, or at subsequent time during the course, if the learner and tutor feel this is appropriate.

The three academic modules will normally be assessed through written assignments or their equivalent. Assessment is undertaken in accordance with the University of Chester's regulations and requirements. In general terms students are assessed, at M level, on their ability to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding, in breadth and in depth, of the subject-matter studied;
  • discuss, interpret, and critically analyse a range of literature;
  • utilise effectively the transferable communication and rhetorical skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and arguing;
  • conduct independent and collaborative research, using relevant skills and methods (including technologies).

Students  will be informed about the assessment requirements of each element of their programme. The formal assessment requirements are described in each module descriptor and will be communicated through module handbooks. Students will be provided with assignment specific criteria that relate to the learning outcomes for that module in the module handbook as well as generic level assessment descriptors appropriate for M level.

Students enter the programme as postgraduates, and by the end of the course, they would be expected to exhibit:

  1. Confidence and competence in relating to the demands of the primary/early years, primary and secondary school context;
  2. Strong subject knowledge, enabling them understand  the full age and ability range of the age phase they identify as a focus.
  3. Flexibility, resilience  and adaptability in relating to professional demands;
  4. The knowledge and understanding required to initiate, research, and sustain projects centred on the effectiveness of their own and others’ practice, based on individual initiative and/or research;
  5. A proactive approach to their own continuing professional development.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

To this end, the programme will:

  • ensure that all students, staff (including those in partnership schools) are treated with respect;·
  • no students or professional colleague will be knowingly discriminated against;·
  • all participants in and contributors to the programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme

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