University of Chester

Programme Specification
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PGDip
2016 - 2017

Postgraduate Diploma

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester campuses. Other campuses under specific contractual arrangements, with appropriate site authorisation.

Other off-site provision as approved by the University's quality assurance processes for partnership provision.

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

4 Years

5 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 intermediate award of PG Certificate is accredited by the HEA

The postgraduate certificate intermediate award is accredited by the Higher Education Academy [HEA] in line with Descriptor two (D2) 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 provides a credit bearing route to achieving D1 of the UKPSF.

Participants who have gained Senior Fellowship of the HEA (D3) can gain academic credit for their application via HE7105.

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 further enhance the ability of participants to use appropriate skills of design, teaching, assessment of learning, and supervision of research;
  • to further the development of reflective practice and experiential learning in teaching and learning facilitation;
  • 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 and/or maintain ‘good standing’ 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.
  • to provide learning opportunities for developing their skills and understanding in designing and conducting their own research into practice;
  • to enable participants to become (and to promote amongst their students) the notion of practical, autonomous, lifelong learning;
  • to enable participants to undertake critical evaluation of research into learning and teaching in higher education and provide them with the skills and knowledge to participate in such research.

Raised awareness of

  • Current and ongoing personal and professional needs. (All modules)
  • The changing nature of higher education. (All modules)
  • Widening range of applications which can be used to assist in planning, designing, delivering, assessing and evaluating higher education. (All modules)
  • Theories underpinning teaching and learning (HE7101)
  • Principles underpinning assessing and learner support (HE7202)
  • Principles of inclusive teaching and assessment (HE7101 and HE7202)
  • The principles underpinning technology enhanced learning and teaching. (HE7101) 
  • Enhanced knowledge of technology enhanced learning, teaching and assessment. (HE7107)
  • Advanced knowledge about a specific area(s) of learning, teaching and/or assessment in response to an identified development need. (HE7009, HE7105)
  • Enhanced knowledge of research supervision. (HE7106)

  • Application of theory into practice (all modules)
  • Synthesising of ideas (all modules)
  • Critical reflection in and on practice (all modules)
  • Abstracting pedagogic theory and practice in order to analyse and inform practice (all modules)
  • Researching and resolving issues (all modules)
  • Evidence-informed practice (all modules)

  • Technology enhanced learning, teaching and assessment. (HE7101, HE7107)
  • Pedagogic Research skills. (HE7203)
  • Broader educational research skills. (HE7104 or equivalent)
  • Information literacy. (All modules)
  • Teaching skills – defining learning outcomes, differentiating, setting of effective tasks, questioning effectively, explaining efficiently, giving constructive feedback (HE7101 and HE7202)
  • Working with and learning from other colleagues – multi-professional collaboration (all modules)
  • Critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice (All modules)
  • Evaluation techniques for learning and teaching (HE7202)
  • Research supervision and other support of learners (HE7202, HE7106)
  • Project management skills (HE7009)
  • Proven CPD skills to enhance practice in specific areas (HE7105)

  • Written communication (All modules)
  • Verbal communication to groups (HE7101)
  • One to one communication skills for supporting learners (HE7202)
  • Feeding back to students on assessed work (HE7202)

Participants studying this programme will be engaging with research and theory that is viewed as being at the forefront of professional teaching practice. This begins with the PG Certificate, which is accredited by the HEA as aligning with Descriptor two of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Participants continuing on the programme will be developing the knowledge and skills not only to develop their own practice and maintain good standing, but also to lead and develop others. They will be dealing with complex issues in a systematic and creative way, demonstrating originality in problem solving and change management in a rapidly changing and often unpredictable environment. This will provide a sound basis for participants developing towards descriptor three of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Participants will be able to access other modules from across the University if they can justify that the learning outcomes contribute to the overall programme aims of the PG Diploma Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Participants wishing to undertake modules from other programmes in the University should gain approval from the programme team prior to enrolling on such modules. The programme team will need to be satisfied that firstly, the module outcomes are appropriate for the programme aims, and secondly, that the content does not represent significant overlap with modules already or yet to be undertaken from this programme.

Participants who prepare a successful application for Senior Fellowship of the HEA (SFHEA), the UK Professional Standards D3 award, may submit that application for academic credit in module HE7105. The academic standard of the application must meet the pass criteria on the level 7 marking criteria in order to gain credits. This is made clear to participants as the HEA process itself is not set at a particular academic level.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
HE7004 7 Research Methods in Higher Education 20 N/A
HE7005 7 Technology Enhanced Learning Teaching and Assessment 20 N/A
HE7009 7 Negotiated Experiential Learning Module 20 Optional
HE7101 7 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning 20 Comp
HE7105 7 Developing Practice for Teaching and Supporting Learning 20 Optional
HE7106 7 Developing in Research Supervision 20 Optional
HE7107 7 Technology Enhanced Learning Teaching and Assessment [Online] 20 Optional
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 (or HE7001, HE7002 and HE7003 for those students who commenced their studies prior to 2013/14, or HE7101, HE7102 and HE7103 for those students who commenced their studies prior to 2015/16).

120 level 7 credits permit the participant to exit with a PGDiploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, providing that they have completed the core modules identified for this award: HE7101, HE7202, HE7203 (or HE7001, HE7002 and HE7003 for those students who commenced their studies prior to 2013/14, or HE7101, HE7102 and HE7103 for those students who commenced their studies prior to 2015/16).



HE7101, HE7102, HE7202, HE7103, HE7203, HE6001, HE7012

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 successfully 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 automatically by the programme leader/programme administrator

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, thus meeting standard institutional requirements for admission to postgraduate study.  Applicants will normally have achieved a 2:2 or above in their undergraduate programme.  Where other professional qualifications are held instead, these will be considered alongside the experience of candidates on an individual basis, in accordance with AP(E)L regulations. Participants who have a contractual obligation to undertake the programme will be eligible for admission regardless of academic background. It should be noted that this may require additional support prior to commencing the programme in order to enhance the participant's prospects of a positive outcome. Any such support programme would be negotiated between the applicant and the Programme Leader and in discussion with HRMS and the employing Department.   

Where candidates can offer equivalent study or experience from elsewhere to meet the requirements of part of the programme, this will be subjected to normal AP(E)L regulations. This will be negotiated on an individual basis with the Programme team.

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.

As the programme is delivered and assessed in English, the University's standard entry level of English proficiency is required.

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.

The core route through the PG Certificate leading to Fellowship of the HEA ensures that participants have evidenced the descriptor for Descriptor two 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. HE7107 is the only module delivered entirely online.

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

Each participant is assigned a mentor by their supporting department. This mentor supports their development in practice and undertakes an observation of teaching for HE7101.

A formative assessment opportunity is offered for each module, either in the form of a draft submission or class/online activity.

Module Number

Assessment task


HE7101 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning

a) Reflective record

b) Additional evidence for professional accreditation



HE7202 Supporting HE Students and Assessing their Learning

a) Critical evaluation of teaching and feedback undertaken including reflection on student assessment.

b) Reflective diary detailing one to one interactions with students over the course of this module and a critical reflection on how these have been used to deliver feedback to students.

c) Additional evidence for professional accreditation






HE7203 Influences on HE teaching

a) Essay

b) Project proposal

c) Additional evidence for professional accreditation



HE7009 Negotiated Experiential Learning Module

Individually negotiated assessment strategy


HE7105 Developing Practice for Teaching and Supporting Learning

A 5,000 word equivalent portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of the module and their own negotiated learning outcomes


A successful application for SFHEA, which also meets the assessment criteria for L7


HE7106 Developing in Research Supervision

A 5,000 word equivalent Portfolio of evidence demonstrating achievement of the module learning outcomes and making reference to the appropriate dimensions of the UKPSF


HE7107 Technology Enhanced Learning, Teaching and Assessment [Online] Production of an eLearning artefact

An evaluation report




Graduates from this programme will

  • show originality in the application of knowledge, and will understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research;
  • have the knowledge and skills to undertake pedagogic 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 able to lead departmental and influence institutional policy on learning and teaching issues;
  • be proactive, autonomous, lifelong learners who are resourceful and reflective;
  • have the underpinning knowledge and skills commensurate with the descriptor for standard three of the UK Professional Standards Framework, if they have followed the prescribed pathway.

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 increasingly recruits from areas such as Student Support and Guidance, Learning Support Services and Learning and Information Services. In this way, the University is seeking to meet the challenge of ensuring that staff development opportunities, access to the programme and support for attendance at face to face sessions demonstrate equal opportunities for all staff groups.

This programme is essentially for internal staff development within the University of Chester and its partner institutions.

The programme may be delivered 'off-campus' on approved sites.

Participants who commenced their programme before 2015/16 an also gain this award by completing outstanding modules from the previously validated PGCLTHE: HE7102 and HE7103, or if they commenced before 2013/14: HE7001, HE7002 and HE7003.


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