Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

Image of Caroline Cash (far right), Learning & Teaching Research Fellow, with staff who have gained their PGCHE
Penryn Campus
Direct line
01326 213730

The PGCHE has been designed in consultation with education professionals and the Higher Education Academy (HEA), to support your development as critically informed and reflective practitioners ready to shape the future of the sector.

Led by the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) (2011), the PGCHE aims to extend your professional identity: with a commitment to continuing professional development, you'll develop an evidence base to support your teaching and learning practice and the developing educational theories within the creative curriculum. You'll gain confidence and fluency in your ability to articulate educational decision-making within your practice, while critically questioning the orthodoxies shaping the Higher Education sector.


  • Learn skills, knowledge and reflective expertise to support your continuing professional development in teaching
  • Be supported by a collegial community of practitioners within the institution
  • Develop your informed professionalism to support an increasingly diverse student group in a rapidly shifting HE sector
  • Capitalise on the innovation and creativity of your subject area
  • HEA Fellow recognition (FHEA): pending successful completion of all three modules

How the course is taught

The PGCHE is a 45-week (part time) award, consisting of three modules. Teaching is comprised of:

  • Weekly lectures
  • Guest lectures/ seminars
  • Online E-seminars, forums and wiki's
  • Group working
  • Practice-based workshops
  • Self/ peer feedback and evaluation
  • A 5-day Summer School
  • Individual/ group tutorials

Your personal tutor will provide you with advice and support for your academic and personal development. You'll also be assigned a PGCHE Mentor/ Mentor group. The PGCHE Mentoring Scheme will provide you with support and guidance from colleagues who have taken the PGCHE in previous years.

Please note that as this course is part-time, we regret that it's not available to international (non-EU) applicants who would require a Tier 4 Student Visa.

Course outline

You'll learn about a range of theories and practices of planning teaching, learning and assessment for creative subjects in Higher Education. We'll introduce you to the areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values of the UKPSF through classroom and online activities, preparatory readings and reflective discussion. You'll be encouraged to demonstrate your understanding of pedagogy in your own teaching context, and incorporate perspectives from sector and subject scholarship.

You'll develop a sophisticated, personalised and reflective understanding of the UKPSF, as it relates to your individual teaching practice and developmental needs. With a critical awareness, you'll learn how key ethical and policy driven considerations can support the success of all students within an inclusive curriculum.

Learning to to explicitly apply a critically informed understanding of the UKPSF in relation to your current and future teaching practice, you'll also identify your own professional development needs. We place an emphasis on practical approaches, innovation and experimentation to explore the range of learning environments available to support inclusive teaching and learning in the creative curriculum.


The PGCHE is accredited by the Higher Education Academy and graduates of the course will be able to apply for Fellowship of the HEA, indicated by the post-nominal FHEA. This is a nationally recognised indication of professional status. Potential careers and further study opportunities include:

  • Doctoral study
  • Subject specialist tutor
  • Curriculum designer
  • Educational researcher
  • Senior fellowship of the Higher Education Academy