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University of Gloucestershire

Academic Practice PgCert

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Study type
Part Time
Course length
18 Months
Park, Cheltenham

What is Academic Practice PgCert?

This course has been designed to support your development as a lecturer new to teaching across the Higher Education spectrum. It provides an opportunity to reflect critically upon your emerging role as part of your institution, to deconstruct challenges to effective learning and teaching and to draw on theory as well as feedback from others – including your students. The design of the course ensures that it is both challenging and enjoyable in equal measures and relevant to your developing professional needs and interests.

The PGCAP comprises two modules that are taken sequentially:

  • PD7016: Academic Practice: learning and teaching in higher education
  • PD7017: Academic Practice: learning environments in higher education

There are two entry points across the year (September and January). Each module is delivered over a three-day teaching block and will include five workshops led by experienced lecturers across a range of disciplines throughout the University.  Assessment is 100 per cent coursework.

Once registered for the PGCAP you would normally complete this within one year of starting.  Throughout the year the PGCAP aims:

  1. To develop your understanding of key aspects of academic practice in higher education, including the principles and processes of learning and teaching, and the various external and institutional factors impacting upon your academic practice.
  2. To provide opportunities for you to undertake research and scholarship in academic practice with a view to developing research-informed academic practice.
  3. To develop your ability to undertake curriculum design and development, teaching, learning support, assessment and evaluation in higher education in order to enhance the learning experiences of your students.
  4. To enable you to reflect critically upon your academic practice and to plan your continuing professional development.

To enable this, you will explore the latest teaching practices in higher education and how these are applicable in your own context. This will actively support you to develop your own philosophical positioning, to establish your own style that is honed by the demands of your discipline and to develop a better understanding of the learning needs of your students influenced by differing learning environments.

Study style

Members of the PGCAP Course Team (each of whom are recognised by Advance HE as HEA Fellows, HEA Senior Fellows and/or University or National Teaching Fellows) come from a range of disciplines across the University but all share a commitment to supporting student learning.  We think good teaching can really make a difference whether you are working with individuals or with very large groups.  We also believe that successful learning results from what we enable and empower learners to do rather than purely depending upon how well we ‘perform’.

We don’t believe that there is only one way of doing things and so we aim to share a range of research into student learning through a number of different teaching strategies, modelling effective practice.  This is designed to help you explore different methods enabling you to build your own repertoire of teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

We believe that professional practice improves as a result of on-going personal reflection.  Overall, we want you to develop as an individual teacher and reflective practitioner, and to feel confident that you are able to select the most appropriate ways for you to support learning for any given subject, group of students and physical (or virtual) context.

The PGCAP has been designed to enable participants to meet the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKSPF) for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (2011), and be eligible for HEA Fellowship. The UKPSF Descriptors, embedded within the grading criteria judgement of Fellowship are integrated within the PGCAP assessment process. Successful completion of both modules leads to HEA Fellow status (for those only studying PD7016, successful completion leads to HEA Associate Fellow status).

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Entry requirements

    • An honours degree or equivalent professional qualification.

    • Experience in a role that has responsibility for teaching and/or student learning in Higher Education.

    • If you are offered a place on the programme you will be required to complete a suitability declaration.

    • English Language or Literature and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

Course modules


Fees and costs

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For students employed by institutions other than the University of Gloucestershire, an additional fee, levied by Advance HE, will be charged for the award of Fellowship. The fee is dependent upon your institution's affiliation with Advance HE. Please email admissions for further detail.
Start date Location Course code Fee (UK)
Total fee
Fee (international)
Total fee
Jan 2025 Park, Cheltenham £2,690 £5,700
Jan 2026 Park, Cheltenham TBC TBC

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