Logo close icon

PGCert Higher Education (Degree Apprenticeship)

Key details

Start date January 2021
18 - 24 months
Full-time degree apprenticeship via blended learning
See the entry requirements and fees tab
Course leader      
Dr Agi Ryder

Find out more

Get in touch for more information about apprenticeships at Middlesex University:

Email: business@mdx.ac.uk


The Middlesex University Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) is an evidence-based, nationally recognised and highly structured pathway to support and help develop academic professionals across the university sector in all aspects of academic practice. This will include roles that focus on teaching and/or research. Accredited by the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE), the programme is aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

The APA will offer a substantial development opportunity to staff across the University and will help continue to support and facilitate ongoing professional learning and best practice. The APA programme will also include the completion of the PGCert HE award. The programme may also be available to collaborative partner and external applicants.

From September 2019, all academic staff who are new to teaching (unless otherwise exempt – please refer to full guidelines) will be required to undertake our APA programme and complete the PGCert HE.

During the period of time as an APA, they are an employee earning a wage (at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage) usually working at least 30 hours per week (or 0.8 full time equivalent), but they are also a full student of Middlesex University with the same access and entitlements to services and support as they undertake their programme.

  • Qualifications

    The apprentice will have the opportunity to gain professional status and upon successful completion of their degree apprenticeship they will have gained:

    • PGCert HE
    • Apprenticeship Certificate demonstrating they have met the national Apprenticeship Standard for full occupational competence as an Academic Professional
    • Fellowship of the Higher Education Agency (now Advance HE)
  • Course highlights

    • The APA offers an important grounding in teaching techniques and practices as well as providing support mechanisms for the continuing development of teaching practice beyond the confines of the programme itself
    • The apprentice's professional development will take place as part of their integration to the workplace and with support from a mentor
    • The apprentice will experience a lively culture of formative and summative teaching observations; previous participants regard these as one of the most valuable parts of the programme.

Course content

The first 12 months of the APA consists of four 15 credit modules. In the final 6 to 12 months (depending on progress), the apprentice will be supported further in developing their professional practice as a teacher in preparation for the end point assessment which can take place after a minimum of 18 months on the APA.

What skills will the apprentice gain?

  • Critical analysis and synthesis of relevant theoretical concepts, paradigms and contemporary drivers within higher education practice
  • Critical self-appraisal of practice in relation to the context and learning environment of their subject to propose innovation
  • Use continuing critical reflection and evaluation of practice to guide and inform scholarly enquiry and development of new practice
  • Foster and support effective, inclusive student centred communities of learning and practice in a wide range of contexts
  • Propose, implement and evaluate sophisticated, innovative solutions for learning and support of learning within the context of their subject or discipline.
  • Modules

    • Pedagogy in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the apprentice and their development as a teacher. It offers a range of practical techniques and methods, underpinned by scholarship, which supports their work with students and allows them to grow in confidence.

    • Psychology of Learning in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the development of the apprentice's ability to promote student engagement and learning through the study of various psychological theories and practical applications relevant to enhancing the experience of higher education.

    • Pedagogy and Practice in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the key aspects of module and programme design, including the importance of classroom methodologies and assessment systems in promoting and supporting learning. Throughout this module, the apprentice will build on themes from the previous modules in order to develop particular important areas of their practice.

    • Philosophy and Policy of Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the study of higher education from different philosophical perspectives and explores key debates in national and international higher education policy.

  • Teaching

    This is a professional programme and the apprentice will be taught via a work-integrated blended learning approach which will comprise the following:

    • Work based learning will consist of on the job development and application of skills, knowledge and professional behaviours. The apprentice’s progress will be monitored through regular tutorials with tutors and supervised in the work place by the apprentice’s Coach
    • Module workshops will be taught by professional practitioners and specialist staff introducing new relevant academic and professional content
    • Specialist workshops will be delivered face-to face and/or online
    • Contextualised work based projects where skills, knowledge and behaviour can be applied in a professional working environment
    • Online learning includes structured individual and/or group online learning activities and tasks that involves facilitated tutor and peer group feedback to support learning development.
  • Assessment

    The apprentice will be required to submit a range of evidence of work-integrated learning for assessment that reflects aspects of practice as an Academic Professional. This could include essays, reflective narratives and reports, formative and summative teaching observations, presentations and portfolios.

    End-point Assessment

    All apprenticeships in England are required to include an End-point Assessment (EPA) to test that apprentices have demonstrated all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for full occupational competence as specified in the nationally approved Apprenticeship Standard. For the APA, the EPA will be carried out by an approved external assessor.

    The specific requirements for EPA for the Academic Professional Apprenticeship is detailed in the nationally approved End-point Assessment Plan and this can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Entry requirements


  • Applicants are required to be actively working with students in an education context, in either a teaching role or a support role involving substantial teaching responsibilities at the minimum equivalent of 0.5 FTE
  • Applicants will normally be expected to possess a UK honours or equivalent international degree qualification (normally classified 2:1 or above) in, or related to, the candidate’s area of higher education practice
  • Applicants, who are not graduates, that can demonstrate significant professional practice experience and expertise within a subject discipline or other appropriate qualifications, and who have been employed to work with students because of that expertise, may also be admitted to the programme.


Employers are able to use their apprenticeship levy funds to access the Academic Professional Apprenticeship. Non-levy paying employers will receive up to 90% funding towards the costs of apprenticeships.

The apprenticeship is also open to existing members of staff to support career development. In a case where the fees exceed the funding band, the employer will meet the additional cost. There is no cost to the apprentice.


This apprenticeship programme will prepare the apprentice to undertake the role of Academic Professional in a higher education or other education context.


Want to partner with us?

Get in touch to explore apprenticeship opportunities

Email us