Higher Education Postgraduate Certificate
View course-specific entry requirements
Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent), demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area, and be teaching at least 72 hours per year at UK higher education level 4 or above, including in further education, private college settings and internationally (international qualification levels taught will be checked against UK equivalents).
Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered.
If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.
The Postgraduate Certificate is a practice-based flexible learning course designed principally as continuing professional development for people with at least 72 hours of teaching per year at the University of Westminster. External applicants must have at least 72 hours per year teaching in a higher education setting and be able to secure a mentor to observe their teaching during the course.
The course is delivered substantially online supported by some face to face elements, with flexible ways of accessing and contributing to activities, although it is possible to complete the course wholly through distance learning.
As this is a part-time only course, it is not eligible for University of Westminster scholarships. It is also not suitable for those not currently teaching at least 72 hours per year in a higher education setting.
The aim of the course is to develop your practice as a teacher and then you can expand your practice to include educational research related to your discipline and interests through continuing to Higher Education MA.
The course develops your learning and teaching process set against the wider context of policy, research/knowledge and societal developments. It is designed to support those who wish to take a lead in the development of learning, teaching and assessment in their own context and to contribute to the wider field of research and developments in learning and teaching.
The Postgraduate Certificate Higher Education (Pg Cert HE) includes a recognised programme of professional development in learning and teaching for staff in Higher Education that is accredited by the Higher Education Academy for membership as a Fellow.
This stage takes as its starting point the disciplinary context within which you are working and the challenges posed by teaching in an increasingly complex and diverse sector. All modules provide opportunities for you to extend your own teaching practice informed by debate, key concepts, current developments, insights from your peers in similar or different disciplines and the research literature. In the first module of the course you will be expected to arrange for two observations of your teaching by experienced staff in your institution, and to observe others’ sessions. We will provide guidance for you and your observers as to how to get most out of these experiences. You are also encouraged to take a pro-active role in the development of learning and teaching practice within your own subject. Optional modules allow you to focus on your own specific interests in areas of learning and teaching practice.
You can exit with a Pg Cert HE having completed 60 credits or continue to the MA. You can also reapply to complete the MA/Professional Doctorate with your credits at a later date.
Below is a list of the modules you will be required to take. Some of the modules below are also available as standalone courses. Find out more about our education short courses.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Supporting Student learning
This module provides the opportunity for participants to reflect and develop their professional practice in teaching and/or supporting student learning in HE. It provides the opportunity to explore key concepts, challenges and the application of evidence informed practice in teaching and supporting learning.
Curriculum Development, Assessment and Feedback
This module examines the role that assessment plays within the overall learning process. It covers two main areas: firstly, assessment and quality assurance and secondly, the role of assessment and feedback in the learning process locating assessment and feedback as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.
Using Technology to Enhance Learning
This module will examine how technology can impact on the major teaching and learning activities on a taught course. Module delivery will draw on the experience of participants, either as a teacher or a learner, to determine and evaluate opportunities for the use of technology in face to face or blended environment.
Blended Learning: Engaging students and Transforming Curricula
The aim of this course is to enable participants to develop an informed personal view of the issues involved in preparing for the online aspects of blended learning, chiefly designing curricula, organising activities and managing online participants. The approach is practical, aimed at enabling the development of participant's own blended learning teaching practice.
Supervising Student Research
This module provides a framework within which participants may evaluate and develop their practise of research supervision – at any level of Higher Education but with a particular focus upon their current and/or future supervision of students researching at doctoral level.
Leadership in an Academic Context
The aim of this module is to encourage participants to demonstrate and develop their practice in leading the development of effective approaches to teaching and learning. You'll do this through critical reflection on theory, research, and practice relevant to academic leadership, through development of an e-portfolio of their personal experience and through participation in online mentoring activities as part of a collaborative learning community.
Continuing Professional Development (Negotiated Study)
This module is a vehicle for an individually negotiated project that builds on work that the participant is engaged with, but that is contextualised through Higher Level (M-level) intellectual skills and practice.
NB Not all options modules will necessarily be offered in any one year.
Each individual module can be taken as a stand-alone short course or accumulated towards an award. The module Supporting Learning can be taken for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Special Study in Supporting Learning. This award is particularly appropriate for staff for whom teaching is not their main role eg. Part-time lecturers, PhD students who support teaching, librarians etc. For further details please email email@example.com.
How to apply
Both external and internal applicants (including University of Westminster staff and PhD students) need to apply through UKPASS.
Before applying, please make sure you work through the following steps:
- prepare a short statement with your reasons for applying for the course (typically 250-500 words)
- have electronic copies of your Bachelor, Master’s and any other relevant Higher Education level diplomas, professional qualifications, transcripts and certificates
- consider how you intend to pay your fees, including a sponsorship letter if applicable
We'll also need two references, one academic and one related to your current work with students in Higher Education.
Please note that it's your responsibility to contact your referees and provide us with a reference letter.
Please provide us with full details of your experience of teaching at University level (applicants not teaching at University level will not be accepted) and of any qualifications you currently hold for teaching at this level.
University of Westminster staff
As a member of staff, you're applying to study a credit-bearing, postgraduate course, and to all intents and purposes you should consider yourself as a student, as there are various pieces of correspondence you'll need to look out for and respond to as you progress through application and enrollment.
After obtaining your line manager's approval, you'll need to fill out the form below to gain exemption from course fees.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.