Individual professional development

PGCert online

The PGCert (online) is designed for staff at all BCU partner institutions in the UK and abroad.

This course has been specifically designed for early-career academics, and other colleagues in roles with significant learning, teaching, and assessment responsibilities.

The course aims to empower participants to explore, at local level, a range of theories, concepts, issues and practices in relation to the design and delivery of inclusive and engaging learning experiences for their students.

The course consists of a year-long module awarding 60 credits at level 7, facilitated through a range of online teaching and learning resources and activities, written and video materials, online discussions and forums and Skype tutorials - designed to create a collaborative and active online learning experience and community.

On completion of the course participants will be awarded with a PG Cert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and will also receive Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) to which the course is aligned. (Note: An additional fee is payable to the HEA for staff at non-HEA accredited institutions)

Course Structure and Entry Requirements


As a level 7 PGCert programme of 60 credits there is a nominal expectation that the full programme requires 600 hours commitment over a one year period.

PGCert (online) – Will always run from January to December each year


The assessment consists of the following three components:

  1. Professional Practice Observation
  2. Professional Video Presentation
  3. Written Submission

There is no cost to the faculty or the partner institution staff for EDS staff time

Generally, there will be no cost to individuals, institutions or faculties for the SEDA course or the PGCert (online) course (PGCert usually £2400 per person)

However, should successful candidates wish to receive their Fellowship of the HEA accreditation, a fee of £200 per candidate (which is 50% of the usual cost) is payable directly to the HEA (unless they are an accredited Institution) – payable by school, faculty, partner institution or individual

Note: Faculties will be responsible for the costs of Link Tutor visits for the observation of practice in addition to the costs for the SEDA introductory course delivery and training where EDS staff are involved (see below).

Which Staff?

The PGCert (online) is open to all International staff working on BCU courses abroad – irrespective of whether FT, PT or VT. If the faculty/school wants them to undertake it they can.

SEDA Course

International staff must have completed the ‘face-to-face’ SEDA Introduction course before they can undertake the PGCert (online)

Link Tutor Workshop

A day’s training/workshop will be available for Link Tutors (run by EDS) Discuss and recap SEDA and PGCert Course and associated content. Explanation of PGCert materials and structure of online course (How it will work)

Link Tutors - SEDA

Link Tutors will be trained to deliver the SEDA Course with a member of EDS – within the International Institution.

Note: the faculty/school will need to cover the cost for the member of EDS accompanying the Link Tutor to deliver the SEDA Course and provide Link Tutor training.

Link Tutors Role

The faculty link tutor will have a role in ensuring that all candidates are fully engaged with the programme and supported by their institution. In essence they will take on a personal tutoring role. The link tutor also has a specific role in ensuring that peer observations are happening and it is expected that the link tutor will, as part of any annual QA visits, observe the teaching of a sample of candidates on the programme. This is essential if successful candidates are to receive HEA Fellowship.

SEDA course

SEDA Introduction Course

Approx. 2/3 Days (depending upon need) with assignment (mandatory) – Certificate - SEDA Award in Teaching and Learning

  • SEDA Assignment will be marked by EDS (with Link Tutor) – when EDS deliver the SEDA Course and training with Link Tutor
  • SEDA Assignment will be marked by Link Tutor - when Link Tutor delivers the course in subsequent years without a member of EDS – but EDS will moderate a sample of these

Note: New Link Tutors must undertake the training with an EDS member of staff and if a new International provider is brought on board EDS must again be involved in the training – to meet the SEDA requirements.

SEDA Course Overview

(delivered over approximately 2/3 days – depending upon staff needs):

  • Programme content, requirements and outcomes
  • Exploring ‘good teaching’ and sharing your experience of teaching and learning
  • Discussing identity and values (and intro to Learning and Teaching philosophy)
  • Active learning
  • Techniques for learning and teaching
  • Defining the curriculum
  • Aims, outcomes and objectives
  • Introducing constructive alignment
  • Getting to grips with university documentation
  • Assessment, marking and feedback
  • Peer observation and review
  • Assessment Support

The assessment consists of a portfolio of the following items:

  • A discussion of what learning and teaching means to the candidate and how this defines them as a teacher in HE (500 words)
  • A report and analysis of some techniques used in a teaching session (700 words)
  • An evaluation of themselves as a teacher (using peer observation/student feedback as an evidence base) (700 words)
  • A CPD review and action plan for future developments (500 words)

Note: Assignment usually to be completed and submitted 3 weeks after final session.

PGCert (online)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a commitment to your own development as an HE professional with specific regard to learning, teaching and assessment.
  2. Illustrate how your own personal context for learning & teaching in HE is influenced by local and national (or international) quality frameworks.
  3. Critique key principles, learning theories, pedagogical approaches and scholarly literature and examine the influence these can and should have on your practice.
  4. Design, plan and carry out small scale action research to evaluate and enhance your own practice in Learning & teaching in HE.
  5. Reflect upon and plan for your own continuing professional development in line with the UKPSF.

The PGcert (online) will be delivered by EDS staff and online via the VLE – Moodle and Xerte - (with some face-to-face support from faculty link tutors – particularly during Part 2) using a mixture of:

  • Written and video materials
  • Online articles and journals (all accessible through the VLE or the Web)
  • Online quizzes
  • Oline discussions forums
  • Online wikis
  • Online tutorials.

The course is undertaken as a cohort of learners engaged in collaborative learning rather than a traditional individual distance model. Cohorts will be made up of colleagues from across a range of partner institutions fostering a sense of community and embracing the diversity of provision.


Will be a ‘chunked’ approach of bite-sized online lectures, activities, tasks and forums – where certain aspects of the course need to be completed before access is granted to the next part.

Indicative Content

The course is broken up into 3 Units (roughly 1 Unit per term)

Unit 1 (Approx. Jan to April)
  • Theoretical exploration of teaching, learning, pedagogy, behaviour management, assessment and feedback
  • Academic writing and referencing
Unit 2 (Approx. May to July)
  • Experiencing and reflecting on academic practice in local context (including design and delivery of learning activities, assessment and feedback; exploring student diversity and institution/faculty/school regulations and practices)
  • Exploring ideas, solutions and implementations for enhancement and innovation of practice
  • Sharing experiences and ideas with the wider community
  • Giving and receiving peer feedback
  • Student Engagement
  • Link Tutor to undertake a ‘Monitoring Visit’ during this Unit

Note: As the PGCert develops faculties/schools may want to provide the students (staff) with greater direction in terms of specific activities and tasks in relation to their discipline/subject area – which will be organised and monitored

Unit 3 (Approx. Sept to Dec)
  • Action Research and Innovation of Practice

Areas covered will generally include (but are not restricted to):

  • Theories of Learning (with a focus on Constructivism/Social Constructivism)
  • Teaching and learning approaches
  • Humanist/Student-Centred Approaches to pedagogy
  • Flipped and Blended approaches to learning and teaching.
  • Innovative uses of learning technologies to promote engagement and inclusivity
  • Learning Outcomes, Constructive Alignment and Curriculum Design
  • Assessment and Feedback • Inclusive Teaching practices
  • Understanding the diverse range of cultural and educational capital our students bring to their BCU learning journeys
  • Empowering students and facilitating growth of Self-Efficacy through Curriculum Design
  • How to access, engage with and responsively utilise local level data analytics systems at BCU.
  • Analysis of mechanisms and principles for Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement both at local level and in relation to the ‘big picture’ in the rapidly changing HE sector
  • Peer Observation
  • Ethics of Researching own practice
  • Action research for CPD

The assessment consists of the following three components (each component will assess all LOs):

  1. Professional Practice Observation (33.3%) - Observation of a classroom-based session demonstrating the design and delivery of teaching, learning opportunities and assessment within the subject discipline of the apprentice – to be completed by a Link Tutor or senior colleague. A formal record of the observation will be submitted – a format will be provided)
  2. Professional Video Presentation (33.3%) - focusing upon the student’s ability to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills relating to effective teaching and learning practice. (Students will answer a set of provided questions within their presentation).
  3. Written Submission (33.3%) - comprising a 3000 words (+/- 10%) reflective journal and a 4500 words (+/- 10% or equivalent) set of 10 pieces of evidence demonstrating the knowledge, understanding and skills required by their role in teaching, learning and assessment

Note: All marking/assessment of PGCert assignments will be carried out by EDS staff under standard postgraduate university regulations. Successful candidates will receive a PGCert HE and (once fees are paid) FHEA status.

Entry Requirements

A first degree (BA, BSc, etc.) or equivalent practice experience

In employment in a learning and teaching capacity in an international partner institution, with responsibility for:

  • Regular contact with BCU registered HE students
  • Responsibility for assessment
  • Responsibility for curriculum design and/or delivery in HE

Standard University entry requirements (i.e. English language competencies)

Having attended and successfully completed the following SEDA accredited courses:

  • Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education


For all enquiries about the course, please contact Ethan Connor.