Academic Practice Postgraduate Certificate

This online academic practice programme has been designed for students from both teaching and non-teaching backgrounds in higher education (HE) to provide an opportunity to enhance their academic practice, academic leadership and ability to support learning and teaching in a global context.

There are three study awards for the programme: the Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PGCAP), the Postgraduate Diploma Academic Practice (PGDAP) and the full Master of Arts Academic Practice (MA AP).

Depending on a student's background, the online PGCAP award offers two pathways.

Standard Pathway

If you do not hold a teaching position in a higher education institution you can take the route of gaining a PGCAP that will provide you with the theory and practice of teaching and supporting learning in higher education in a global context.

FHEA Pathway

If you do hold a teaching position that enables you to demonstrate Descriptor Level 2 of the Professional Standards Framework (PSF 2023), you can obtain a PGCAP and through our partnership with Advance HE, gain recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), the UK’s agency for driving excellence in higher education.


The Postgraduate Diploma Academic Practice builds on learning from both pathways of the PGCAP to further develop academic leadership, scholarship, and pedagogic research in preparation for progression to the MA AP which gives participants the opportunity to complete a supervised academic practice project. Throughout the programme you will acquire a comprehensive understanding of academic teaching concepts, such as utilising international educational frameworks to design lessons and assignments as well as applying learning outcomes to your own context. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge by articulating pedagogical theories in the classroom. The extensively diverse cohort of international peers will provide you with a global outlook on higher education practices and allow you to interchange experiences across a variety of educational contexts.

Why study this subject? 

This programme is for those who are interested in transactional education and in developing a toolkit to work with international students and faculty. Beyond the curriculum-specific knowledge, you will also become more proficient in communication, digital literacy, teaching and research, ultimately opening doors to many new professional opportunities.

Programme structure

Students are required to complete 60 credits to achieve the PGCAP (both pathways), 120 credits to achieve the PGDAP and 180 credits to complete the MA AP.  


  • Foundational Approaches to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (15 credits) - PGCAP (Standard Pathway)
  • Contemporary Approaches to Teaching in a Global HE Context (15 credits) - PGCAP (Standard and FHEA Pathway)
  • Designing Learning and Assessment in a Global HE Context (15 credits) - PGCAP (Standard and FHEA Pathway)
  • Enhancing Academic Practice in a Global HE Context (15 credits) - PGCAP (FHEA Pathway; Optional for the Standard Pathway)
  • Developing Your Career in a Global HE Context (15 credits) - PGCAP (FHEA Pathway; Optional for the Standard Pathway)

PGDAP and MA AP Awards

  • Developing Academic Leadership (15 credits) – PGDAP and MA AP
  • Developing Scholarship (15 credits) – PGDAP and MA AP   
  • Evidencing Academic Leadership (15 credits) – PGDAP and MA AP  
  • Pedagogic Research Design (15 credits) – PGDAP and MA AP
  • Academic Practice Project (60 credits) – MA AP

Teaching methods and style 

This programme is designed to be studied online and part-time. Teaching is delivered through our state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which provides students with access to all resources required for interactive study online. On this platform, you will be encouraged to work collaboratively with classmates and actively read around your topic through our comprehensive library of eBooks and journals.  

Programme modules, apart from the academic practice project, are delivered over an eight-week period with one module studied at a time. The student’s learning journey is facilitated by the use of written materials, lecturecasts (video presentations), interactive individual activities, case studies, and discussion boards.

Methods of assessment 

Assessment is exclusively through online assignments rather than examinations. You will be assessed through a range of activities, including written assignments, presentations, discussion forum participation and journal entries. 

Career destinations 

Upon completion of the programme, you will gain initial training qualifications that are transferable to other HE institutions. You will have the opportunity to dive into learning, providing case studies and perspectives from their local contexts while creating a strong global active learning experience and a global network of contacts for all students. The expertise you will acquire by studying this online programme is directly applicable to a workplace. The second FHEA pathway offers the postgraduate certificate and automatic professional recognition (FHEA) to successful graduates, which can fast-track your career in higher education.

Love what you've read so far? 

Download a prospectus or visit our website for more information on this programme. Alternatively, you can contact one of our admission advisers to get your questions answered. 

One of the best ways to see if the programme is right for you is to join one of our regular virtual events where you will be introduced to our range of online programmes, our online learning facilities, and Q&A’s with staff to help you make the best decision about the future of your education.   

Postgraduate Certificate, MA, Postgraduate Diploma Award
October Start
Part-time, Online Study Mode
30 months Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you want to discuss your previous qualifications and experience before applying, please contact us now via LiveChat. 

For both PGCAP pathways, applicants must have: 

  • A degree equivalent to an lower-second class UK bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

For pathway two leading to Fellowship (FHEA), applicants must also:

  • Hold a teaching position in a higher education institution with sufficient depth and breadth of practice with learners that enables them to demonstrate all Dimensions of the Professional Standards Framework (PSF 2023).

If you are unsure about which pathway is best suited to you, please contact our admissions team to discuss the options open to you.

All applicants must provide evidence that they have an English language ability equivalent to an IELTS (academic) score of 6.5 (with all parts of the score being above a minimum of 6).

If you don’t have an IELTS or equivalent certificate, you can take our free online English test to assess your proficiency. You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

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