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Higher Education PGCert

Learn about the course below
September 2021
January 2022
1 years part-time
Part-time face-to-face
Distance learning
£53 per credit (UK) *
£53 per credit (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Agi Ryder

Studying the PGCert Higher Education provides an important grounding in teaching techniques, approaches and theories as well as supporting the continuing development of your teaching practice. The programme is fully accredited by the Advance HE (formerly HEA).

Why study PGCert Higher Education at Middlesex University?

The PGCert Higher Education is a vital developmental qualification for both new members of academic staff who are just embarking on a career in Higher Education, as well as those who may have been teaching for a while but have had no formal guidance in learning and teaching strategies.

It is mandatory for all new members of academic staff 0.5 FTE and above who join the University, and should be undertaken within the first two years of service. You will not need to undertake the programme if you have achieved a similar, recognised qualification at another institution.

Successful completion of the full programme confers Fellowship of the Advanced HE (formerly HEA) on members of staff.

Course highlights

  • The course is designed to enhance your existing teaching practice through your work, allowing you to reflect on day-to-day experiences
  • Following completion of the PGCert, students will receive 60 credits at Masters level and be eligible to go on to complete an MA in Higher Education
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module

Find out more

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What will you study on the PGCert Higher Education?

The programme comprises four modules, 15 credits each, that allow students to develop their practice at an appropriate level and pace.

The programme 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 programme is fully accredited by the Advanced HE (formerly HEA).

This programme is taught through two modes:

  1. Blended mode: face-to-face with study days throughout the year are complimented with some online learning activities
  2. Distance learning: delivered entirely online with dedicated tutor support.

The PGCert HE will have two starting dates in the next academic year: September 2021 and January 2022.

September 2021 start cohort

This cohort will undertake the programme entirely online (no attendance on campus is required) via a combination of carefully curated online content, asynchronous discussion boards on My Learning (Moodle). In addition, virtual live sessions will be held on Wednesdays conducted via Zoom.

You are expected to engage in learning together as a group and completing some independent study, as well as being supported individually by the tutors.


  • Application deadline: 29 July 2021
  • LED4011: 6 September 2021 to 6 December 2021
  • LED4012: 6 December 2021 4 March 2022
  • LED4010: 7 March 2022 to 30 May 2022
  • LED4013: 6 June 2022 to 5 September 2022

January 2022 start cohort

This cohort will study the programme in hybrid mode. There will be sessions taught at our Hendon campus with additional online activities to undertake.


  • Application deadline: 2 December 2021
  • LED4011: 3 January 2022 to 21 March 2022
  • LED4012: 21 March 2022 to 10 June 2022
  • LED4010: 13 June 2022 to 5 September 2022
  • LED4013: 3 October 2022 to 4 January 2023


  • Modules

    • Pedagogy in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on your development as a teacher. It offers a range of practical techniques and methods, underpinned by scholarship, which supports your work with students and allows you to grow in confidence. The core topics of the module will introduce the key learning theories and approaches, and identify the needs of a diverse group of learners. You will learn to structure and plan learning experiences, learning materials and effective teaching techniques to engage students. You will explore assessment strategies and the theories that underpin such approaches as well as effective feedback practices and theories. You will ensure that your curriculum design promotes learning.


      The module will be assessed by:

      • Maintenance of a reflective learning blog (formative)
      • Teaching observations (two formatives and one summative)
      • Reflective narrative accompanied by of evidence of practice (summative)
    • 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. The core topics of the module will explore the purpose and aims of higher education as well as the notion of education flourishing and what it is to be human. You will look at higher education policy and current developments, and focus on diversity in higher education and the marketisation of higher education.


      The module will be assessed by:

      • Maintenance of a reflective learning blog (formative)
      • Two written pieces of coursework (summative)
    • 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. The core topics of the module will explore strategies to engage students in a variety of contexts and disciplines as well as assessment strategies and the theories that underpin such approaches. You will learn effective feedback practices and theories, and curriculum design to promote inclusive learning. 


      The module will be assessed by:

      • Maintenance of a reflective learning blog (formative)
      • Teaching observations (one formative and one summative)
      • Reflective report (summative)
    • Psychology of Learning in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on promoting student engagement and learning through the study of various psychological theories and practical applications relevant to enhancing the experience of higher education. The core topics of the module will focus on psychological perspectives and research on thinking and learning. You will explore motivation and agentic engagement with feedback as well as positive psychology, emotional intelligence, resilience and development of self-identity
      and self-efficacy. You will understand organisational change management and evaluation approaches for implementing
      developments in higher education.


      The module will be assessed by:

      • Maintenance of a reflective learning blog (formative)
      • Presentation (summative)

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.


Please download the September 2021 and the January 2022 start timetable for details of the course dates and times.

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2021

If you’re a new student for January 2021, your teaching will start online due to national lockdown restrictions. We plan to start in person teaching on campus sometime after mid-February when the lockdown ends. When restrictions are lifted, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course fully online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Education MA

Start: September 2021, January 2022

Duration: 1,2 or 3 years part-time, dependant on previous experience and qualifications

Code: PGX30X

Higher Education MA

Start: October 2021

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time

Code: PGX32X

Leading Inclusive Education MA/PGDip/PGCert

Start: February 2020, June 2020, October 2021, January 2021

Duration: 2-3 years part-time, dependant on previous experience and qualifications

Code: MSc: PGX30G, PGDip: PGX30GD, PGCert: PGX30GC

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