Postgraduate Certificate Teaching in Higher Education (PgCertHE)

Learn to teach in Higher Education and claim a professional recognition that will boost your academic career.

This course targets academics new to the role or academics who want to refresh their teaching skills in higher education. It aims to support and propel participants into their academic careers, with a clear understanding of institutional practices and approaches to learning and teaching in higher education.

The course embeds accredited Advance HE Fellowship pathways, underpinned by the Professional Standards Framework (PSF, 2023). This is why participants, upon successful completion of the course, will be able to claim professional recognition from Advance Higher Education acknowledging their teaching skills in higher education.

Course participants will gain an understanding of the wider context in which universities operate and will become able to adopt teaching approaches that engage the diverse student body of Higher Education institutions and provide them with engaging, diversified, and equal opportunities to learn.

Course participants will learn to plan and deliver teaching sessions, design and critique curriculum, and to conduct research on their own teaching with the aim of continuously improving their professional practice.

The course emphasizes reflective practices, collaboration, cross-disciplinary work, and equity. With the support of their tutors and their mentors, participants will engage in tasks and authentic learning activities that will help them develop as innovative teachers and module leaders, and reflective academics.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 12 Months January Newport City C
Part-time 10 Months October Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 12 Months January Newport City C

The course consists of three core modules, each of 20 credits at level 7.

Planning for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (core module, 20 credits at level 7)

The module encourages participants to critically reflect on learning theory and practice in higher education contexts. Participants will engage critically and will experiment with pedagogy and technology that enables student-centered learning across disciplines and diverse learning environments.

Participants exiting after successful completion of this module will be able to claim recognition as Associate Fellows of Advance Higher Education.

Curriculum Design – what we teach, why and how (core module, 20 credits at level 7)

The module allows participants to explore and apply curriculum design principles and contexts at local, national and global level to critically develop innovative and impactful practice. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own module curriculum and to defend it on a simulated validation panel.

Practitioner Inquiry (core module, 20 credits at level 7)

The module is a problem-based module. Participants will have the opportunity to carry out an independent Action Research project to evaluate the effectiveness of a pedagogical change they will have implemented in their own classes/tutorials.

After successful completion of the three modules, participants will be able to claim recognition as Fellows of Advance Higher Education.


This is a blended learning course, with a combination of online and face-to-face learning sessions, practice-situated learning, and online tutorials /professional dialogues. This approach responds to participants’ needs for a more flexible mode of learning and allows them to experience as ‘students’ the different learning environments in which they may be asked to teach as academics.

At the beginning of the course, there is a face-to-face three-hour induction session.

For each module, there is one online three-hour session per week for eight weeks. Two hours are facilitated by the module leader, the third hour is for the participants to engage with set tasks in groups.

Participants will be able to choose to attend the online session either on Mondays morning (9am-12pm) or on Thursdays afternoon (1pm-4pm).

For each module, there are also 2 sessions face to face, respectively, in week 5 and week 10. Participants will have the choice to attend either on Mondays morning (9am-12pm) or on Thursdays afternoon (1pm-4pm). During the face-to-face sessions, participants will engage with task-based activities.

Guest lecturers are invited to enhance participants’ engagement with experts in specific areas of learning and teaching. Participants will also engage regularly with their mentors, expert members of university staff supporting their development. 

Participants are expected to study autonomously an average of 7 hours per week. They will engage with readings, will write/record reflections on their experiences, prepare presentations of their experiences and reflections for group discussion. According to the modules they will undertake, they will also create lessons, curricula, or conduct research on their teaching. 

The course runs part-time over a period of 12 months, and is organised into three modules that run consecutively. Each module runs over a 12-weeks block.

There are two points of entry, October (Cohort 1) and January (Cohort 2).


The assessment on this course is all coursework based and is different for each module. Examples include presentations, annotated lesson plan and a report, and are all designed to develop skills needed as a lecturer in HE.


The course is accredited by Advance HE. Participants will be able to gain either Associate Fellow or Fellow status by evidencing the Professional Standards Framework through the course.


Most of the course is delivered online using Blackboard Collaborate. The on- campus sessions are held on a different USW campus for each module so that you can familiarise yourself with the attractive and varied learning spaces available within USW.

Library facilities are accessible on every campus.


Some sessions will be delivered by visiting lecturers.


Every participant has a personal tutor who acts as a pastoral support throughout their course during 1:1 tutorials. These sessions have been designed so that every participant can build close professional relationships with a specified member of the course team. The tutorial provides a regular space and opportunity for an individual to raise issues so that early intervention can be implemented, and barriers to learning overcome wherever possible.

Participants will also have an action-research project supervisor who will support them through the research process and assessment.

A mentor is assigned to each participant and plays a critical role in supporting and monitoring the participant’s classroom practice.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The course welcomes applications from both USW academic staff and also college-based HE staff within the USW partner college network.


For entry to the PgCertHE, successful applicants will need to hold a level 6 qualification in their teaching subject area. A minimum of 4 teaching hours/week across the duration of the course is required. 

Applicants would be new to HE learning and teaching; typically with less than 4 years of teaching experience in HE. 


Applications are welcomed from both fractional staff and also substantive Hourly Paid Lecturers that fulfil the above requirements.

A USW academic with a fractional contract of less than 0.4FTE is able to access the first module of the course, Planning for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.  This will enable them to apply for and claim AFHEA upon successful completion.


Additional Requirements

Applicants will need to have synchronous teaching with interactions with students across the duration of the modules.

Support to attend the course will also be required from the respective Head of Subject/Line Manager.



International Entry Requirements


We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details. 

It is noted that both USW and college-based HE applicants that qualify as an international applicant will undertake a Right to Study process during the application stage, which is standard across all USW programmes.  This is a separate process to the HE Right to Work process.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.


Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

All applications are reviewed by the course leader. If further information is required, applicants will be invited to an interview, held online.

The course supports your current teaching practice, providing a reflexive and collaborative environment to enable development of your teaching, learning, and assessment practice that will benefit all higher education students.

The course fosters engagement with experiential practices in learning and teaching, supported by the teaching team and an allocated mentor.

You will be working collaboratively with colleagues and peers who teach a range of subjects, enabling interdisciplinary networking opportunities across institutions.

What kind of student would this course suit?

The PgCertHE is designed for teaching practitioners delivering on higher education programmes across HE and FE institutions.

You will work creatively with peers across higher education disciplines and be afforded space and time to engage with cutting edge pedagogical approaches to learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum design that can be implemented into you own practice.