Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) is a 60-credit Master’s level programme for staff who teach and support learning at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the programme is to provide a comprehensive preparation for the teaching, learning and assessment aspects of your role and to relate this to wider responsibilities associated with professional practice.

What’s in the programme?

The PGCHE programme consists of an induction workshop, followed by two modules, studied over an 18 month period.  

Introduction to Teaching and Supporting Learning (ITSL) and Developing and Enhancing you Professional Practice (DEYPP) which is 60 credits.

There are two PGCHE programmes of study - PGCHE (Campus) and PGCHE (Distance Learning).

  • The Campus Programme will be delivered in blended online and in-person mode at the Edgbaston campus.
  • The Distance Learning Programme will be delivered online with the majority of the activity being asynchronous, as well as some live, synchronous activities

In 2022-23 there will be two campus-based cohorts (Autumn and Summer) and one Distance Learning cohort (Winter). For a precise timetable please email us.

As the PGCHE is a requirement for staff on the Academic Development Programme, such staff are guaranteed a place on the programme and are given priority in admissions.  As a result, places on the programme are in high demand, and applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Eligibility and entry requirements

All staff who teach and/or support learning at the University of Birmingham, regardless of role, are welcome to apply for a place on the PGCHE. Minimum requirements are:

  • A minimum contract duration which covers the period of enrolment on the programme.
  • Considerable workload in various dimensions of teaching and/or supporting learning (such as design, delivery and assessment). This must run concurrently with the PGCHE.
  • Work load and variety which is correspondent with Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework

Programme Philosophy and Aims

The programme is built on principles of participation, collegiality, scholarship and commitment to career-long effective and innovative practice.

The programme welcomes participants into a community of practice that will support and guide them through their academic career, and to which they will have an opportunity to contribute from the very beginning of the programme through their engagement with the programme, and beyond. The programme is designed to relate directly to participants’ own current practice, it is also designed with the future in mind.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • encourage a critically reflective, evidence-based approach to the practice of teaching and supporting learning with reference to established practice and current thinking;
  • provide an enabling environment in which to assist the continuing professional development of participants engaged in teaching, supporting student learning and wider academic practice;
  • promote dialogue within and between the disciplines across the institution about effective practice and the enhancement of the learning environment;
  • promote the development of learning communities by working in collaboration with peers and experienced colleagues to develop competence and confidence in individual academic roles;
  • promote commitment to equality of opportunity and respecting diverse learning communities
  • promote engagement with University of Birmingham communities and opportunities to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of teaching and supporting practices within and beyond your practice context.

The programme is closely aligned to the dimensions of practice contained within the UK Professional Standards Framework and throughout the programme you will be given opportunities to reflect on the ways in which you are working within this framework.

Programme Learning Outcomes

On completion of this programme you should be able to:

  • critically discuss and apply key concepts and theories which inform effective practice in learning and teaching in higher education, generically and in your context;
  • Select appropriate approaches for different contexts and different learners, appreciating the role of quality assurance and quality enhancement;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of your practice in relation to teaching and the support of learning;
  • Demonstrate that you meet the requirements of Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF.

Contact Us

We hope that the information provided here and in the handbooks will help you to make the most out of your participation in the PGCHE. However, if you do need further help please get in touch.

  • If your query relates to the operational aspects of the programme, please contact Louise Staffell, the Programmes, Administration and Engagement Manager. 
  • For other queries contact the relevant course leads:


    Marios Hadjianastasis
    Campus-based PGCHE lead


    Danielle Hinton
    Distance Learning PGCHE Lead


    Jamie Morris
    ITSL lead


Professional Services