University of Chester

Programme Specification
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PGCert
2017 - 2018

Postgraduate Certificate

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester, Parkgate Road Campus. 

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

18-24 months

3 Years

Biannual - February - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Learning and Teaching Institute Learning and Teaching Institute

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 the HEA.

The postgraduate certificate award is accredited by the Higher Education Academy [HEA] 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 the HEA in line with Descriptor 1 of the UKPSF, and provides a credit bearing route to achieving Associate Fellowship of the HEA.

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 the Higher Education Academy 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 Higher Education Academy

Level 7                        All modules = 20 credits unless otherwise stated

Core modules

HE7101 - Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning

HE7202 - Assessment, Feedback and Support for 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.
For those students who commenced their studies prior to 2015/16, they can complete the programme by undertaking HE7101, HE7102 and HE7103.


 HE7101, HE7102, HE7202, HE7103, HE7203

Relevant Professional, Statutory or Regulatory body (PSRB)

 Higher Education Academy

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 the HEA. 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 HEA 'completers' list via an online database. This will be done by the programme administrator. Participants will then be contacted by the HEA with instructions on how to download their Fellowship certificate.

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 the HEA at Descriptor 1 and leads to Associate Fellowship of the HEA.

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

Demonstrates an understanding of the student learning experience through engagement with all areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values; the ability to engage in practices related to all areas of activity; the ability to incorporate research, scholarship and/or professional practice into those activities.

Learning and teaching methods include the following:

Face to face sessions -  seminars, tutorials and workshops

On-line learning - on-line activities, discussion boards and on-line learning materials.

Independent learning - tutor directed and self directed

Experiential learning - reflecting on practice, teaching observations, presentations and demonstrations

Small group learning and teaching - Action Learning Groups, group work, scenario generated learning

One formative assessment opportunity is offered in each module. This may take the form of a draft submission (HE7101) or online activities (HE7202 and HE7203).

Module Number

Assessment task


HE7101 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning

a) Presentation

b) Teaching observation

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) Project proposal

c) Professional conversation

d) 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.
  • 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 for standard two of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Recruitment to the programme is primarily from employees of the institution in which the programme is being delivered. It is  therefore subject to the diversity and equality policies for recruitment with regards to race, gender, disability and age of that institution.

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 from areas such as Student Support and Guidance, Learning Support Services and Learning and Information Services, provided that those staff are involved in teaching or support of learning at an appropriate level, as specified in section 26.  

This programme is only available to staff at the University of Chester and its Associate Colleges.

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