Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PGCert - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Professional recognition

Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) for the purpose of professional recognition.

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Part-time PSX55002 60 credits and 30 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

UKPSF (Advance HE national Framework for learning and teaching)

Faculty and Department / School

Education PSG - Surrey Institute of Education

Programme Leader

GRAVETT Karen (Sy Inst Educ)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • develop an understanding of the interrelationship between learning and teaching in higher education:
  • develop an ability to respond appropriately to individual, identified challenges
  • adopt a questioning approach that can support the development of their own future practice as they evolve and develop

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of academic practice within Higher Education KCP PGCert
Justify the selection and implementation of appropriate learning and teaching strategies to different contexts CP PGCert
Develop participant understanding of the depth and breadth of literature on academic practice in relation to learning and teaching at generic and discipline level and the ability to critique this evidence KC PGCert
Enhance participant understanding and demonstrate the ability to analyse ethical issues and boundaries within learning and teaching PT PGCert
Analytically reflect upon the interrelationship of theory and practice, and how this is framed within policy developments KCT PGCert
Apply learning and teaching knowledge when planning their professional and personal development PT PGCert

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This programme is studied part-time over eighteen months.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Postgraduate Certificate - FHEQ Level 7

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics N
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

This programme is aligned to the University of Surrey¿s Five Pillars of Curriculum Design and design, namely (in alphabetical order), Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Resourcefulness & Resilience, and Sustainability. Specifically, these pillars are covered in this programme in the following ways:

Digital Capabilities: Digital is integrated in all that we do as teachers within contemporary HE. For example, Theme one includes the opportunity for participants to engage with designated CPD that develop skills using digital technologies. Theme two is explicitly relevant to this pillar being based around engagement with an online course, located within Surrey Learn. All participants enrol onto a Small Private Online Course (SPOC) for a four-week course with programme tutors acting to moderate discussions. The SPOC involves discussions and reflections on key themes (i.e. Learning in the 21st Century), which specifically considers digital technologies. Theme four is also explicitly relevant including the opportunity to hear and debate key issues relating to digital technologies for example via sessions on digital education in contemporary HE. Additionally, the portfolio includes the opportunity to reflect upon resources including online resources such as blogs and podcasts.

Employability: The programme is an Advance HE accredited programme, purposely designed to develop teachers to teach effectively within higher education. Discussions around what is a HE for are a regular feature. These include a consideration of the tensions between future discourses / ongoing becomings. The programme includes regular opportunities to reflect on our values and development as a teacher, including the iterative development of a teaching philosophy. It also includes multiple opportunities to learn through enquiry-based learning with real-world cases.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: the programme is interdisciplinary and includes mixed groups of participants who collaborate together, in cohorts that commonly represent a wealth of nationalities and backgrounds. The programme also includes discussions on wider issues affecting HE internationally, for example within themes 1 Professional development and theme 4 Context and policy. CPD opportunities specifically relate to teaching diverse cohorts e.g. Supporting linguistically diverse students.

Resourcefulness & Resilience: Issues such as resilience, well-being and self-care form a key part of the programme in its aim to develop effective teachers for contemporary universities. Discussions and debates are held within theme one Professional Development, theme two Different Voices, theme three Reflective Practice, theme four Context and Policy, and theme five Learning Design. These include exploring what is resilience and what resources teachers¿ can harness within their specific learning environments.

Sustainability: This is a core element that forms part of theme 5 Learning Design. Indeed, this theme offers a space to discuss all the 5 pillars and their impact. Additionally, we discuss sustainability in terms of sustainable teaching in HE ¿ the challenges and pressures upon teacher throughout the programme, via tutorials and large group sessions.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.