Higher and Professional Education

Study options



Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
9 Months
Start date:
25 September 2023

HE Teaching

This award is for lecturers/trainers delivering higher or professional education and is accredited by Advance HE, and aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (subject to reaccreditation)

Work-based Professional Development

Participants will critically evaluate and develop their own approach to facilitating student learning

Outstanding Research Impact

Outstanding Research Impact 87% of our research impact is recognised as "very considerable" or "outstanding" (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

This award has been purposely designed for staff who work within a higher or professional education context in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented to student learning within this sector. The overall aim of the PgCHPE award is to provide a framework for the initial and continuing professional development of academic staff in higher and professional education.

The PGCHPE is designed to encourage participants to critically evaluate your own approach to teaching within your discipline area, supporting student learning and contributing to development across their Higher Education Provider (HEP) or Professional Training Organisation. The PgCHPE therefore aims to:

  • critically analyse research informed evidence to enhance their ability to plan, implement, evaluate and reflect on their professional practice;
  • support the development of academic professionals to facilitate teaching, learning, behaviour enhancement, assessment and use of feedback;
  • support academic professionals’ ability to contribute to curriculum development
  • develop their teaching and learning through working collaboratively with stakeholders;
  • engage in practitioner led research to improve professional practice in order to meet changing demands within the higher education environment and across their discipline.
  • engage in practitioner led research to improve professional practice in order to meet changing demands within the higher education environment and across their discipline.

Staffordshire University employees may be directed to complete the PgCHPE as part of an Academic Professional Apprenticeship.  You can read more on our Higher Degree Apprenticeships page.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: PgCert Higher and Professional Education

Course content

The first module, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher and Professional Education, provides opportunities for learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching, learning and assessment within the context of Higher and Professional Education.

The purpose of the final module, Action Research Project, is to ensure that learners focus on improvements to their teaching practice, relevant to their subject area and underpinned by learning theory. This develops confidence in own academic credibility as well as demonstrates high levels of professional ability employers and community stakeholders.

This programme context provides a forum for sharing good practice between disciplines and role, as well as offering an environment where peer support and the development of a community of practice are fostered.

Mentoring provided by your employer provides an opportunity for participants to link their learning to their own discipline and professional context.

Professional body accreditation

On successful completion of the PgCHPE, all staff who are employed in a lecturing role by Staffordshire (SU) are eligible for Advance HE fellowship. On successful completion of the programme, you will be automatically awarded fellowship, if you are working at the university and teaching at level 4 and above. Please note that fellowship fees are paid by the university for all SU staff. SU affiliate lecturers may apply for fellowship, but at present you will be required to pay for this. Professional trainers who are not teaching Higher Education (e.g. delivering short CPD/sub level 4) are not eligible to apply for Advance HE Fellowship.

All successful candidates are awarded the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), Learning Teaching and Assessing Award (subject to reapproval). There is no additional charge for this certificate.

Please note: the PgCHPE does not provide schools based Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Further Education based Qualified Teacher Lifelong Learning Status (QTLLS).

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by Advance HE for the purpose of professional recognition


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Action Research Project 40 credits
Teaching, Learning And Assessment In Higher Education 20 credits

Entry requirements

Staffordshire University employees may be directed to complete the PgCHPE as part of an Academic Professional Apprenticeship. You can read more on our Higher Degree Apprenticeships page.

An Honours Degree or equivalent professional qualification from an institution of Higher Education, or its equivalent from overseas.

An appointment as a full-time or fractional member of staff working in a teaching or supporting learning capacity at Staffordshire University or another institution in the higher or adult education sector.

Undertaking a job role which includes teaching and assessing learners at level 4 and above, with a minimum of ten hours teaching per month.

For international students, the expected IELTS average is 6.5.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.




We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


The overall aim of the PgCHPE award is to provide a framework for the initial and continuing professional development of academic staff in higher and professional education. You will be working within a university or other Higher Education Provider (HEP), typically with students studying at levels 4 to 8 in the Framework for HE Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ). 

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment


The modules will be delivered through a combination of lectures, collaborative learning activities, student led presentations, workshops, work-based tasks and self-assessments, online delivery, independent study and mentor supported learning.

Both modules will require you to attend a series of tutor led classes which are normally scheduled to be delivered on a weekly basis. The classes will include a variety of teaching and learning methods, including presentations by experienced practitioners, large and small group discussions, case studies and task-centred investigations. Classes have been specifically designed so as to synthesise the theoretical underpinning and/or current educational research with your own practice in order to encourage engagement in reflective practice. Such reflective practice will help to develop your learning about teaching in order to improve the quality of the student experience. Additionally, you will lead and participate in group activities which will develop your teamworking skills, enable sharing good practice and provide you with an opportunity to professionally network.

In this way the classes will be designed to build on your current practice in order to maximise personal development and shared learning among diverse subject areas and/or professional domains.


The PgCHPE consists of 2 modules assessed at level 7. The following is a summary of the type of assessments for both modules:

Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education

The module provides an overview of key knowledge, skills, values and behaviours required by the lecturer new to higher and professional education.  As such, it covers key principles of teaching, assessment, enhancing behaviour and promoting inclusion.  This includes consideration of the context of the HE sector and how learner and employer needs can be identified and met. For this module you will be assessed through a piece of reflective writing and a portfolio of teaching practice.

Action Research Project

This module develops your understanding of how to improve your professional practice by conducting a small-scale practitioner led inquiry, using an education action research approach to research. During the Action Research module, you will develop your ability to:

  • Create effective teaching resources
  • Respond to wider factors that influence learning programmes
  • Make evidence informed improvements to your practice
  • Engage in small scale practitioner led inquiry using an action research methodology
  • Use technology enhanced learning
  • Communicate through presentations and preparation for published findings (English, maths and ICT)

You will be assessed for this module through a presentation which you will deliver to your peers, and a final written report of your implemented education action research project. 

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


The course is delivered by experienced lecturers, all of whom have Advance HE Senior Fellow status. 

Dr Duncan Hindmarch

Course Director

My enthusiasm for learning led me to qualify, design and deliver to initial and subject specialist teacher training courses. I have an interest in developing virtual learning environments to support learning.

Duncan's profile

Dr Amanda Ross

Senior Lecturer

I am currently the Programme Leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education at Staffordshire University. I lead the Academic Professional Apprenticeship and supervise doctorate students within the Institute .

Amanda's profile


For the course starting on 25 September 2023 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for PgCert-Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Part-time £3,270 per course £3,270 per course

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you have previously completed an undergraduate degree with us, you may be entitled to an alumni discount off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus PgCert Part-time 25 September 2023 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021