Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) Overview

Award Title: Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)
Awarding Body: Falmouth University
Level: 7
Mode of Study: online, part-time
Duration: 30 weeks


This PGCHE responds to the growing focus of Higher Education on developing excellence in teaching and learning, especially teaching and learning that is not solely concerned with traditional face-to-face delivery but instead combines this with the digital advantages of e-learning.

It will develop your practice in line with the rise in blended learning and equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and reflective expertise to support you within your role in both digital and face-to-face teaching and learning contexts. For those solely teaching face-to-face it will both help you develop your current face-to-face teaching and introduce you to blended learning and the widely acknowledged benefits, so that you consider incorporating this into your own practice.

You will engage with your peers and scholarship to ensure you develop as a creative, confident, competent and committed teaching and learning practitioner that is able to learn from both your own work and examples of best practice. 

Delivered online, you will benefit from our ‘learning by doing’ approach and discover through your own learning experience, what it’s like to learn and teach, both face-to-face and online.

Hear from one of our graduates about his experience on the course:

On this course you will have the opportunity to:

  • Push the limits of your practice by being allowed to try ideas and new initiatives, and take risks within a safe, supportive environment
  • Become more confident in your practice and your ability to respond to the rapidly shifting HE sector and its growing emphasis on the student experience
  • Benefit from studying online, where your peers may be from different countries, disciplines and backgrounds, allowing you to interact with new perspectives, and ideas of teaching and learning practice
  • Develop your skills as a reflective practitioner, and your ability to innovate, and enrich your current practice in supporting student learning, by critically evaluating it in the light of pedagogical research, scholarship and policy 
  • Enhance your inclusive and flexible approach to teaching/supporting student learning
  • Gain the confidence, knowledge and pedagogical fluency to be able to articulate why you are choosing to do what you’re doing to support student learning and to help ensure that your colleagues, students and managers respect and accept your approach
  • Develop your knowledge and skills in using online and blended learning delivery to support and enhance student learning
  • Develop your own supportive learning community and potential international professional networks of teaching and learning practitioners,
  • Gain the knowledge to be able to prepare applications for professional recognition from various professional bodies across different countries. Eg. a portfolio for Fellowship recognition  (FHEA) from the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in the UK
  • Gain an internationally recognised qualification for teaching and learning in Higher Education
  • Enhance and maintain your confident, continuing professional development (CPD) in an informed and critically reflective teaching practice within a fast changing sector

The PGCHE has been designed in consultation with education professionals and external bodies for professional teaching and learning practice, such as the Higher Education Academy (HEA), to support critically informed and reflective practitioners able to shape the future of the sector.

Hear from Course Leader Andy Peisley about how the course can help you take the next steps in your teaching career:


Who is this course for?

As the sector places more and more emphasis on the student experience, effective teaching and learning practice is taking centre stage, creating a need for both academics and support staff that are confident and qualified in the teaching they deliver.

This flexible route allows you to gain an internationally recognised award through study that can be undertaken whenever and wherever you are.

You may:

  • Be beginning a teaching career within Higher Education and wish to gain an award that is increasingly considered mandatory for applicants to jobs in the sector
  • Be moving into Higher Education from industry
  • Be relatively new to teaching at a university 
  • Be inexperienced in e-learning and wishing to gain the knowledge and skills required to teach through blended and online approaches
  • Be an experienced teacher looking for the time, space and support to reflect upon and evaluate your practice
  • Be working in a support/subsidiary role whose work is increasingly student facing with elements of teaching
  • Be teaching in a institution outside the UK, looking to gain an internationally recognised qualification

Course content

You will need to complete two 30-credit modules (60 credits in total). Both modules are compulsory and must be passed to complete the award.

Core Modules Credits
Supporting Student Learning 30
Developing Flexible Learning Environments 30


You will be assessed through written coursework and practical activities, such as

  • Work-based assignments that are grounded in your current teaching and learning practice where you apply pedagogical scholarship and best practice to develop it 
  • Written assessments where you design and critically evaluate your curriculum
  • Practical assessments where you plan, deliver, and evaluate learning activities with your learners, in both face to face and online/blended learning contexts

How you study

Study is entirely online through our online learning platform. Within Canvas, you can access everything you need to study on the course in one place, enabling you to:

  • Access all course materials
  • Participate in individual and group learning activities and class discussions
  • Communicate with and receive feedback and guidance from your E-Learning Tutors
  • Upload and share examples of your developing practice
  • See information about your progress through the course
  • Receive assignments, submit assessments, get grades and feedback on your work
  • Network with other students
  • Access university support services

Taught by industry experts

You will be taught by academics who are experts in their field and have access to leading industry professionals.

Learn more about our PGCHE tutors.

Learning activites

The PGCHE is a 30-week (part time) award, consisting of two modules. Learning is comprised of:

  • Online presentations to introduce key concepts
  • Guided online E-seminars, forums, discussions and activities to facilitate interaction and dialogue
  • Self/ peer and tutor feedback and evaluation on teaching and learning practice
  • Independent study and ongoing engagement with pedagogical theory and research to develop your practice
  • Practical assignments, for example a micro-teaching session and the development and use of an online learning resource
  • Keeping a reflective journal on your ongoing development in teaching and learning
  • Experimenting and evaluating the use of e-learning tools
  • Individual/ group tutorials
  • Group working


As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus:

  • Your own student ID card
  • Access to online software tutorials at
  • 24/7 online access to library resources
  • Students’ Union community
  • Access to our Student Support Services offering academic and personal support
  • In addition you will have access to our Student Advisers who are available to signpost you to relevant sources of support and advice

Entry requirements

All applications are considered on an individual basis. Students would normally be expected to hold an honours degree. Applicants with qualifications other than a first degree, and those without formal qualifications or accreditation but with substantial, relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.

For applicants whose first language is not English, proof of proficiency is generally required (minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening or TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) with a minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components).

As part of the application process you will be asked to submit a description of your prior experience, motivations for studying the course and how you believe it will develop your career aspirations.

Within your application you will be expected to demonstrate sufficient previous and current practice in supporting student learning in Higher Education (HE). As a guideline, we expect applicants to be actively engaged in supporting student learning in HE for a minimum of 50 hours over the course’s duration, and be able to evidence this. 

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 or view our handy guide:


Fees and payment

Total fees for the PGCHE course are £3,050. This includes an acceptance fee of £250 that is required to secure your place. The acceptance fee must be received within 2 weeks of the date on the offer letter.

You can pay one payment in full and up-front, or in two instalments; the first is due at the start of the course and the final payment, one week before the second module begins. 

Visit our fees and payment page for more information.

How to apply

  • Submit an online application form for the PGCHE.
  • Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS/TOEFL certificate if English is not your first language and we have requested proof of proficiency. 

Please contact us for advice.
Call +44 (0)1223 447713

Start dates and application deadlines

Intake Application deadline Welcome week Course start date
January 2021 11 January 16 January 25 January

News and Events

View our latest news and upcoming events here.