The Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in HE (PGCAPHE) is a course designed to provide an opportunity for academic practitioners working in the Higher Education (HE) context to engage in initial and continuing professional development in teaching and supporting learning in HE. Successful completion of the course also leads to professional recognition with the Higher Education Academy.

The course explores issues that HE practitioners are likely to encounter in their academic practice including (but not limited to) HE learning, teaching and assessment practices, academic leadership, quality assurance and curriculum development with a view to enhance the learning and teaching experience for both the diverse community of students and staff here at CU and internationally.  A range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches are employed and modelled by the course team as a way to introduce an authentic learning and teaching experience.

The course is accredited by the Higher Education Academy, this means, Associate Fellowship/ Fellowship (professional recognition) can be awarded on successful completion, along with the PGCAPHE qualification.

Who is the course for?

The course is for academic staff with substantial teaching, learning and assessment responsibilities in a higher education context.  To join the course you are required to have a current and ongoing teaching responsibility at HE level. 

Academic staff with several years of teaching experience (e.g. 3 years or more full time within HE) maybe able to claim credit (APEL) for part of the course.

How long will the course take? 

The course is available only through a part-time mode of study and can be completed within 18 months or spread across two academic years.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants need to hold a first degree, or equivalent, and being able to undertake postgraduate study alongside their academic/teaching job role.
  • Applicants need to be have a substantial role in supporting students in teaching, learning and assessment as the learning experience involves exploring and applying the learning in their own practice.  
  • Applicants that have successfully completed the Introduction to Teaching and Learning in HE (M01ODL) maybe able to join the course. Evidence of substantial involvement in supporting students in teaching, learning and assessment is required, to be considered for credit (APEL) for part of the full PgCAPHE.

When is the next intake?

The course has gone through periodic review and HEA accreditation in October 2017.

The new version of the course has began in May 2018.

The Feb/March 2019 intake is now full.

The next intake will be September 2019.  


What is the course structure?

The course consists of three x 20 credits modules, each delivered over 13-15 weeks. 

The three modules are:

M07ODL* - Developing and Enhancing Teaching Practice in HE

M08ODL* - Developing and Enhancing Assessment and Feedback in HE

M09ODL* - Designing Curriculum in a HE Context

The course structure is illustrated in the diagram below. 

The course has a blended delivery, combining online study blocks through the FutureLearn platform with some face to face collaborative learning sets, seminars and support sessions.  

*The module descriptors are available via the Module Information Directory:

How do I apply?

If you are interested in the course, please complete an application form along with a support letter from your line manager using the template provided and return it to  

If you meet the entry requirements for the PGCAPHE, your name will be put onto our list of for the next intake. 

However, if your role is supporting learning and teaching, e.g. PGRs, assistant lecturers or support or professional staff, you maybe be directed to the M01ODL module – Introduction to Teaching in HE, instead of the full PGCAPHE.  

If you have any other questions about the course, please email