University of Chester

Programme Specification
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PGCert
2021 - 2022

Postgraduate Certificate

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester, Exton Park Campus. 

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

18-24 months

3 Years

Biannual - March - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Centre for Academic Innovation and Development Centre for Academic Innovation and Development

No specific subject benchmarks exist to cover this award, so the generic level 7 descriptors have been used to ensure appropriate learning outcomes.

As mentioned in section 19, the programme is accredited by Advance HE.

The postgraduate certificate award is accredited by Advance HE in line with Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (UKPSF). Completion of the PG Certificate entitles successful candidates to become Fellows of the HEA. 

Module HE7101 is accredited by Advance HE in line with Descriptor 1 of the UKPSF, and provides a credit bearing route to achieving Associate Fellowship.

Learning and Teaching Institute Module Assessment Board

Monday 1st April 2013

The purpose of the programme is to support and accredit professional development of staff in respect of teaching and learning. To this end the aims are: 

  • to provide opportunities to participants to analyse and explore the role and function of teaching and learning in higher education;

  • to provide a knowledge base, including theories of learning, teaching, supervision and assessment, for making critical judgements of performance within the HE setting;

  • to enhance the ability of participants to use appropriate skills of design, teaching, assessment of learning;

  • to further the development of reflective practice and experiential learning in teaching and support of learning;

  • to provide a context in which participants can review their own professional needs, and plan and undertake relevant and appropriate activities to meet these identified needs;

  • to enable participants to support and contribute to the growth of the higher education learning community;

  • to embed a culture of inclusive practice in learning, teaching and assessment.

  • to increase the flexibility of programme delivery, improve access and emphasise the increasing significance and potential of technology enhanced learning, teaching and assessment;

  • to enable participants to gain recognition from Advance HE through alignment of the learning outcomes to Descriptors 1 and 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education

  • to develop a scholarship of practice for learning and teaching in higher education and an awareness of current research in the area and its application to practice.

  • to facilitate application of key skills to the practice context of teaching, learning and assessment 

The development of participant's knowledge and understanding is scaffolded by the UK PSF, as indicated here in brackets:

HE7101 (AFHEA)

  • The principles underpinning sound design and planning of learning activities and/or programmes of study (A1)
  • Theories and methods for teaching and supporting learning (A2)
  • Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme (K2)
  • Ways of including individual learners and diverse learning communities (V1)

HE7202 & HE7203 (FHEA)

  • Theories and methods for assesing and giving feedback to learners (A3)
  • Principles underpinning effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance (A4)
  • Approaches to understanding how students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s) (K3)
  • Effective use and value of appropriate learning technologies (K4)
  • Principles underpinning equality of opportunity for learners (V2)
  • Strategies for incorporating research, scholarship and evaluation of professional practice into teaching (A5)
  • Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching (K5)
  • The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching (K6)
  • Making effective use of evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development (V3)
  • The wider context in which higher education operates and the implications for professional practice (V4)

All modules encourage the development of the following skills

  • Application of theory to practice
  • Synthesising of ideas
  • Critical reflection in and on practice
  • Research and professional inquiry for evidence-informed practice 

HE7101 (AFHEA)

  • Design and delivery of effective teaching/learner support sessions (HE7101)

HE7202 & HE7203 (FHEA)

  • Use of technology to support learning (HE7202)
  • Giving effective feedback to students (HE7202)
  • Good practice in pedagogic research/teaching and learning enhancement (HE7203)

All modules

  • Critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice
  • Working with and learning from other colleagues
  • Appropriate resources for developing teaching practice in Higher Education
  • Methods for evaluating teaching, learning and assessment practices

HE7101 (AFHEA)

  • Communication with students in the teaching environment 

HE7202 & HE7203 (FHEA)

  • Giving effective feedback to students (HE7202)

All modules

  • Written communication 
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Verbal communication within groups 

Participants studying this programme will be engaging with research and theory that is viewed as being at the forefront of professional teaching practice.  The PG Certificate comprises the following modules: HE7101, HE7202 and HE7203. The normal length of study for the PG Certificate is 18-24 months; the maximum length of study is 3 years.

Core Pathway leading to Fellowship of the HEA

Level 7                        All modules = 20 credits unless otherwise stated

Core modules

HE7101 - Designing and delivering for effective learning

HE7202 - Supporting HE students and assessing their learning

HE7203 - Influences on teaching in higher education




Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
HE7101 7 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning 20 Comp
HE7202 7 Supporting HE Students and Assessing their Learning 20 Comp
HE7203 7 Influences on teaching in Higher Education 20 Comp

60 level 7 credits permit the participant to exit with a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, providing that they have completed the core modules identified for this award: HE7101, HE7202 and HE7203.


 HE7101, HE7202, HE7203

Relevant Professional, Statutory or Regulatory body (PSRB)

 Advance HE

Regulation/ requirement from which derogation sought

Internal compensation of component assessment marks (HEA)

Rationale for derogation

The modules stated above are accredited for a professional award, and title, by Advance HE. The learning outcomes for the modules have been mapped to the relevant descriptors of the UK Professional Standards Framework. All outcomes must be achieved in order to meet the requirements of Descriptor 1 or 2 and recognition as Associate or Fellow of the HEA.


The learning outcomes of all three core modules of this programme have been mapped to the UKPSF. As all outcomes are assessed, successful completion of all assignments will satisfy the professional body requirements.

Upon completion of the programme, confirmed by the Awards Assessment Board, all graduands will be added to the Advance HE 'completers' list via an online database. This will be done by the programme administrator. Participants will then be contacted by Advance HE with instructions on how to download their Fellowship certificate. For those not working at a subscribing institution at the time of completion, a fee will be payable directly to Advance HE for the award of Fellowship.

Prospective participants are expected to be experienced professionals in their disciplines/area of work, with responsibilities for the facilitation of learning in higher education. (This might include the induction of students into 'information literacy', the use of the University's VLE, demonstrations, support teaching, mainstream teaching, etc.)

This will normally mean that applicants are graduates, though participants who have a contractual obligation to undertake the programme will be eligible for admission regardless of academic background. Participants must however be engaged in HE teaching for a minimum of 0.2 FTE for the duration of the PG Cert.

Study of single module(s) will be available for participants wishing to export credit elsewhere or who wish to undertake the module as part of their continuing professional development, provided that they have sufficient HE teaching experience to engage with the content.

As mentioned in section 10, there are no specific subject benchmarks for this award but the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education has been used as a foundation for the design of the programme's aims, outcomes and content.

HE7101 has been accredited by Advance HE at Descriptor 1 and leads to Associate Fellowship.

The core route through the PG Certificate leading to Fellowship of the HEA ensures that participants have evidenced the requirements for Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework:

"Demonstrates a broad understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as key contributions to high quality student learning. Individuals should be able to provide evidence of:

  1. Successful engagement across all five Areas of Activity

  2. Appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects of Core Knowledge

  3. A commitment to all the Professional Values

  4. Successful engagement in appropriate teaching practices related to the Areas of Activity

  5. Successful incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within the above activities, as part of an integrated approach to academic practice

  6. Successful engagement in continuing professional development in relation to teaching, learning, assessment and, where appropriate, related professional practices."

Learning and teaching methods will combine some or all of the following:

Face to face sessions 

Asynchronous online learning, where students work through required material in their own time


Synchronous online activities, where the group comes together online for discussion

Self-directed independent study

Experiential learning, including teaching observations and reflection on practice

Small group learning and teaching, e.g. case studies, scenarios, problem solving activities

One formative assessment opportunity is offered in each module. This may take the form of a draft submission or online and peer assessment activities.

Module Number

Assessment task


HE7101 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning

a) Presentation

b) Teaching observations

c) Reflective essay




HE7202 Supporting HE Students and Assessing their Learning

a) Presentation

b) Example of feedback

c) Reflective essay

d) Evaluation report





HE7203 Influences on Teaching in Higher Education

a) Essay

b) Proposal presentation

c)Log of professional activity




All graduands of this programme will meet the required standard for recording a 'teaching qualification' in the HESA returns. This will be viewed favourably by employers in HE. They will also:

  • Show originality in the application of knowledge, and will understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research;
  • Be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and will show originality in tackling and solving problems;
  • Have the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative, in complex and often unpredictable professional environments;
  • Be able to defend a pedagogic position by reference to leading edge theory and practice, both generically and discipline specific;
  • Be proactive, autonomous, lifelong learners who are resourceful and reflective;
  • Have the underpinning knowledge and skills commensurate with the Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Recruitment to the programme is from employees of the institution in which the programme is being delivered. It is therefore subject to the institution's recruitment policies with regards to all protected characteristics.

As the HE sector recognises the value to the student experience of developing not only academic staff but also those who are engaged in supporting student learning, this programme may recruit professional services staff, provided that they are involved in teaching or support of learning at an appropriate level, as specified in section 26.  

1) This programme is only available to staff at the University of Chester and its partner institutions. 

2) Requirement to introduce a hybrid delivery model of learning, teaching and assessment 

The University of Chester is taking steps to mitigate the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst ensuring an excellent academic experience for our students. During the 2021-22 academic year, it is anticipated that the University will deliver programmes of study in a mode of blended online and face-to-face sessions. This statement describes how this will be implemented and should be read in conjunction with section 28 of this document and section 11 of the module descriptors associated with this programme. 

The hybrid model has been designed to safeguard the interests of students whilst upholding the University’s academic standards. This ensures that students can engage in high quality learning and teaching to support them to achieve the learning outcomes for this programme, irrespective of the prevailing conditions. 

a) Learning and teaching methods: The mix of live, asynchronous, online and face-to-face activities will vary by module, according to the content. Teaching observations may be conducted face-to-face where it is safe and practical to do so: where this is not possible, remote observations will be offered instead.

b) Engaging students as partners: Adopting a hybrid model of delivery will result in a different type of learning experience for many students. In order to ensure that ensure that all students are able to benefit from this, the University is seeking to engage students early and often to ensure that we continue to serve their needs appropriately. The programme team will consider the experiences of previous students and seek to incorporate their feedback to improve students’ online learning experiences. Students will have opportunities offer feedback on their experience, either directly or through their cohort representatives, throughout the programme. 

c) Assessment: Assessments are designed so that they can be completed remotely in the event that access to the participant's usual site is restricted. 

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