University of Chester

Programme Specification
Professional Mentoring PGCert
2014 - 2015

Postgraduate Certificate

Professional Mentoring

Professional Mentoring

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester

In Schools

Continuing Professional Development


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

3 Years

Variable - January - April - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes


Univeristy of Chester

APP Postgraduate Awards Assessment Board

Tuesday 1st April 2008

To secure professional learning consistent with a Masters level philosophy, the programme aims to:                                               

  • promote scholarship.
  • cultivate original thinking.
  • facilitate critical reflection.
  • stimulate research and enquiry.
  • influence impact and change.

Knowledge and Understanding
· Critically engage with theoretical frameworks and literature
· Harness insights into subject knowledge
· Critically review the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry
· Apply critical considerations when undertaking research
· Make effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice
Thinking or Cognitive Skills
· Make critical use of research evidence
· Formulate valid conclusions that link theory to practice
· Think independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas
Practical Skills
· Refine the kinaesthetic skills required of, for example, music, drama, D&T and art
· Write to academic standards required at M level
· Engage in meaningful debate and critical discussion
· Read critically
· Synthesise written and oral information
· Maintain a learning journal
Application of Number
· Select and use appropriate research methodology, methods and applications for data handling
Information Literacy and Technology
· Use the university’s VLE to access information
· Use electronic research skills
· Access data bases for research and information
· Use the University’s e portfolio to maintain a professional learning journal
Improving own learning and performance
· Critically reflect on professional practice
· Develop new pedagogical and leadership skills
· Use initiative and manage own learning
· Make independent use of supervision
Working with others
· Engage in group presentations and disseminations
· Work with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice
Problem solving
· Generate and apply new knowledge
· Analyse complex concepts
Transferable Professional Skills
· curriculum innovation
· leadership and management
· research
· decision making

The qualifications offered are in line with QAA (2001) The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and are compliant with the Integrated Qualifications Framework for the Schools Workforce.The programme is at Level 7 of the FHEQ and the IQF and can lead to a Postgraduate Diploma (Education) or a  Master of Arts (Education) degree. The Postgraduate Certificate is comprised of three modules 20 Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points and 10 European Credit Transfer (ECT) points. Participants may exit with credit for single modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD7024 7 An introduction to mentoring trainees on Post-Graduate Teaching Programmes 20 Optional
CD7025 7 Developing trainee-mentor subject knowledge through effective dialogue 20 Optional
CD7026 7 Co-ordinating training programmes on Post-Graduate teaching courses 20 Optional

The PG Cert is at 60 CATs points
In order to gain a named award, Postgraduate Certificate Professional Mentoring students must successfully complete two thirds of the required credit of the award, in the subject. In this case this must achievement of at least two of the three mentoring modules, CD7024, CD 7025, CD 7026.

The programme is open to both graduates who hold a good degree and non-graduates with professional experience.  Non-graduates may be admitted to the award-bearing aspects of the programme by virtue of a professional qualification and a compulsory interview with the Programme Leader. Only applicants for specific named pathways must hold Qualified Teacher Status. 

The Programme operates within the parameters set by the Department for Education (DfE) supporting teachers to deliver national requirements. There are no QAA benchmark statements for postgraduate study in Education.Qualifications at Masters level are awarded to students who have demonstrated:          

 I. a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;      

II. a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;       

III.  originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their discipline;        

IV. conceptual understanding that enables the student:

  • to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline 
  • to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate to propose new hypotheses. 

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

a) deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non specialist audiences;

b) demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;

c) continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;And will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • the exercise of initiative and responsibility;
  • decision –making in complex and unpredictable situations; and 
  • the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Chester CPD works within the framework of the University’s Teaching and Learning Strategy which defines four strategic aims:

  • to develop successful learners;
  • to design inclusive curricula;
  • to promote excellence in teaching practice;
  • to build institutional capacity for change.

The programme also reflects the Learning and Teaching Strategy for the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services which commits to pedagogical principles that:

  • promote professional engagement and reflective practice;
  • encourage independent and autonomous learning; and
  • support continuing professional development. and to principles of teaching that:
  • value students’ professional experience and prior learning;
  • support diversity and personalised learning;    
  • encourage dynamic and participative learning; 
  • promote collaborative learning;
  • encourage Internet and Web-based approaches; and
  • support reflective and Practitioner enquiry.

The main methods of teaching are:  

  • Lectures
  • Tutor led seminars 
  • Group sessions 
  • Individual tutorials 
  • Independent study
  • Formative progress feedback is available during the modules.

CPD adheres to the Assessment Policy of the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services. The programme adheres to the University’s policy for the assessment of students with disabilities or special circumstances.

General principles

  • Work is returned to students by post within four weeks of submission.
  • Extensions or deferrals can be granted if students produce documentary evidence of mitigating circumstances in support of their request.
  • Appeals against assessment decisions can logged in accordance with the University’s academic appeals regulations.


All modules have a handbook or module agreement.

All handbooks are available to students in hard copy and are posted into a dedicated module space on Sharepoint  (The University’s VLE).The module handbook includes information on:

  • module aims and learning outcomes
  • outline content        
  • assessment method (outlined below) which includes weighting
  • dates and procedures for submission of work
  • recommended reading session by session         
  • M level assessment criteria         
  • information about plagiarism        
  • policy on late submission
  • regulations relating to extensions and deferments         
  • regulations on appeals against assessment decisions


All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100% using the University’s M level grading criteria linked to the QAA requirements for M level. Feedback to students is typed using a standard pro-forma. Feedback is given against the module learning outcomes and the M level criteria. Areas for improvement and development are presented as targets. Feedback on the work is intended to identify strengths and points of development. All students complete an assignment front cover sheet on which they describe how they have addressed previously identified targets.

Each module requires students to attend at least one tutorial during the course of the module. The module tutor acts as the Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). The Co-ordinator for CPD can also act as PAT if students choose. Written work is not pre-marked. Written annotations on a students’ finished work are made in pencil. Grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors are underlined and marked in the margin.  For dissertations, students can receive feedback on plans or on a first draft, but tutor feedback will not be provided for the ‘Implications’ or ‘Conclusion’ chapters. 

A distinction grade is awarded for work marked at 70% + and a fail is awarded for work marked at below 40%.  Work between 20% and 39% can be resubmitted. Students may submit work anonymously using their student number, notwithstanding that anonymity is not always achievable as students are known to tutors and some assessment modes involve face to face assessments. Every effort is made to ensure that marking is objective.

All work is first marked by the module tutor. 25% of work is second marked unless the number of submitted assignments is fewer than 6, in which case, all work is second marked. Where there is disparity between the first and second marker, a third marker adjudicates.  All dissertations are double marked by the supervisor and then by another marker.  A third marker marks anonymously and blind without the previous markers’ feedback comments. All work which attracts a distinction or fail grade is second marked. A representative sample of work is sent to an external examiner and includes all fails and distinctions.There are seven assessment methods.

 Assessment tasks are selected from these seven by the lecturer to best assess the learning outcomes for the module. Where practicable, this will be in negotiation with the participants. Where this is a School based module the assessment task will be decided at the project module planning stage.  All assessments are linked to the University’s M level assessment and marking criteria (See Table 9, p 16)

All programme modules will use one of the following seven assessment methods (A to G):

Assessment method A Assessment task: An essay.Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:   100% of the marks will be awarded for the essay.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, resubmission will be of the whole assignment. 

Assessment method B Assessment task:A research reportTotal words: 4000-5500 (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:  100% of the marks will be awarded for the report.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, resubmission will be of the whole assignment. 

Assessment method C Assessment taskPart 1   An annotated portfolio - 3000 words (notional).Part 2   A critical commentary - 2000 words (+-10%).5000 words (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:  100% of the marks will be awarded together for the two parts.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, both parts 1 and 2 will be resubmitted. 

Assessment method D Assessment tasksPart 1   Sketchbook - 3000 words (notional).Part 2   Dialogical assessment - 2000 words (notional)5000 words (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:  50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted. 

Assessment method E Assessment tasksPart 1   Presentation plus viva – 3000 words (notional).Part 2   Annotated portfolio – 2000 words (notional.)5000 words (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:  50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted. 

Assessment method F Assessment tasksPart 1   An exhibition – 3000 words (notional).Part 2   Annotated portfolio – 2000 words (notional).5000 words (20 CAT points)Module learning outcomes to be addressed:  50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted. 

Assessment method G Assessment tasksPart 1   Performance – 3000 words (notional).Part 2   Video – 2000 words (notional).5000 words (20 CAT points)50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.  

Students who engage in Chester’s CPD masters programme will become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They will have expert knowledge of the political arena of education. They will have read widely and engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding.  They will have become confident researchers, finding solutions to challenges in their professional setting and practice. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed and they will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change and to lead others, should they choose.

Based on previous trends, graduates from the CPD programme might expect to take one or more of the following routes:

  1. Remain in teaching.
  2. Gain promotion within teaching.
  3. Move to an LA's advisory service.
  4. Move to work in Higher Education - either part or full time.
  5. Move to work in situations other than teaching – for example, social work, research, childcare, bookshops, libraries, publishing, theatre.

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.

This Postgraduate Certificate is for teachers in all phases of education who wish to specialise in mentoring in schools. This Postgraduate Certificate can be a stand alone award within the MA Education Programme

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