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Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Online)

Key details
Course duration
1 year
Subject to validation during this academic year

Course overview

Gain the expertise to support and enhance your work in digital and face-to-face teaching and learning contexts with our online Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE). This is an internationally recognised qualification designed in consultation with education professionals and external bodies to give you the skills to succeed in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

You’ll engage with peers and through academic scholarship to develop as a creative, competent and committed practitioner in higher education (HE). Through our ‘learning by doing’ approach you’ll push the limits of your practice, trying new initiatives and taking risks within a safe, supportive environment and building confidence in your ability to respond to the rapidly evolving university sector and its growing emphasis on the student experience.  

Why study this course at Falmouth?

  • Develop your ability to critically evaluate your practice in the light of pedagogical research, scholarship and wider developments in society and the HE sector  
  • Benefit from studying alongside HE professionals from different countries, disciplines and backgrounds and by interacting with new perspectives   
  • Gain the confidence, knowledge and pedagogical fluency to be able to effectively explain your approach to colleagues and students   
  • Learn how to prepare applications for recognition from various professional bodies, for example Fellowship recognition (FHEA) from Advance HE   

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Start dates: January / September

(Two intakes per year) 

Course details

Across two modules you will investigate current theories, concepts and practices within higher education, and explore and develop the ways you support student learning in a variety of different learning environments.  

You will cover areas of planning, teaching, learning and assessment that are current in HE, as you reflect on and develop areas of your own practice. You will engage with the design, implementation and evaluation of the use of technology to enhance learning as part of a blended or online learning approach. Through reflection and discussion, you will consider strategies for curriculum design for supporting flexible, inclusive learning in online and/or blended learning environments.   

By the time you finish the course, you will be confident in critically reflecting on your practice to inform your continuing professional development.   

Course structure 

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.  

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details for the PGCHE.

Module details

In this module you will investigate a range of current theories, concepts and practices of planning, teaching, learning and assessment, and be introduced to key areas of activity, knowledge and professional values recognised by professional bodies such as Advance HE.  

Through online and offline activities, learning-by-doing, preparatory readings and reflective discussion, you will share your understanding of pedagogy in your own teaching context, incorporating perspectives from sector and subject scholarship into your evaluation and development of your practice. 

(30 credits)

In this module you will further explore and develop the ways in which you can support student learning, especially via online and blended learning environments.   

Learning from your peers and sharing your practice and experience of supporting learning, you will discuss the relative advantages and challenges for learning offered by these different environments.  

Engaging with and applying pedagogical learning theory and scholarship to your practice, you will explore the design, implementation, evaluation and use of technology to enhance learning as part of a blended or online learning approach.   

(30 credits)


As part of our process of continuous improvement, we routinely review course content to ensure that all our students benefit from a high-quality and rewarding academic experience. As such, there may be some changes made to your course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on our website. Any students affected will be informed of any changes made directly.

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MA Education 2023

Differences between a PGCHE and a PGCE

There are some key differences between a PGCHE and a PGCE. To help you decide whether a PGCHE is the right option for you, read our guide to find out the key differences to a PGCE.   

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Is Online Study for Me?

The creative culture at our core is not confined to our Cornwall campuses; with our online degrees, ...

Is Online Study for Me?
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Online Learning Support

You'll have access to a range of support throughout your studies with us to help you thrive and deve...

Online Learning Support
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Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

See how you can support a student considering an online degree at Falmouth.  

Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

Resources and Support

  • Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Accessible online audio / visual content
  • A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
  • Access to our Employability Service
  • 24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
  • Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
  • Students' Union community
  • Invitation to attend alumni events

Although online students don't have access to on-campus facilities as part of the course, you can hire equipment and access facilities by paying a charge. Find out more about availability and prices here.

How will I learn & be assessed

How online study works

How will I study online? 

You'll learn through a blend of lectures, webinars, guest talks, tasks and discussion forums, which you'll access via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you'll find all key documentation, get course announcements and access extensive learning resources. 

You'll spend 20-25 hours a week working on your studies. 

Find out more about learning online

How will I be supported? 

You'll be supported academically by Online Tutors, who will also deliver weekly webinars and facilitate the online forums. If you need assistance with anything that isn't directly related to course material, a dedicated Student Advisor team will be on hand to help. You'll also have access to our Employability Service. 

Assessment methods

All assessments are taken and submitted online.   

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. 

Meet the team

Andy Peisley

Course Leader, PGCHE (Online)

Andy Peisley is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, with an PGCHE/MA in HE. He is Course Leader of Falmouth'...

Andy Peisley

Who is this course for?

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

You may be:  

  • Starting a teaching career within HE and looking for an award that is increasingly considered mandatory for applicants to jobs in the sector 
  • Moving into HE from another industry  
  • New to teaching at a university   
  • New to e-learning and wishing to gain the knowledge and skills required to teach through blended and online approaches  
  • An experienced teacher looking for the time, space and support to reflect upon and evaluate your practice  
  • Working in a support/subsidiary role that is increasingly student facing, with elements of teaching  
  • Teaching in an institution outside the UK, looking to gain an internationally recognised qualification. 


Graduates have worked in HE as academic teaching staff at all levels and in a range of roles to support student learning. Other opportunities include the development and delivery of innovative new forms of HE provision. 

How to apply

Speak to us about the course

If you'd like to talk to an Advisor about this course or your application, get in touch with us via the form below.

Ask us a question

Apply now

Ready to apply for postgraduate study? We have two start dates a year: January and September. Select the start date you'd like to apply for in the drop-downs below and then click the relevant apply button to begin.

All applications are considered on an individual basis. You 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.  

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 current or forthcoming 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.  

If your first language is not English, you'll need to take one of the following tests to verify your proficiency: 

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening 
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components 
  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts) 

We accept a number of additional English language qualifications as well. 

Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are also encouraged to apply. If you have prior learning or experience with this subject, you may even be able to apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You can learn more about this via our APL guide. 

For more information on course requirements, including advice regarding your eligibility, please get in touch via the form at the end of this page. 

This course has two intakes per year: January and September.

Academic start date* Application deadline
23 September 2024 2 September 2024
20 January 2025 8 January 2025

Please note:

*Virtual Welcome Week begins the week before the academic start date. During this time, our Student Advisor team will host Welcome Webinars and be in touch with practical information on how to study online.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

£3,394 (including £250 acceptance fee)

£3,394 (including £250 acceptance fee)

PGCHE courses are not eligible for Student Loans from Student Finance England, therefore our PGCHE students self-fund their PGCHE tuition fees. This is usually through personal savings, private loans or through contributions from their employer.

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

You’ll require a desktop/laptop. This machine should have a minimum operating system of Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.15, at least 8GB of RAM, and an i7 processor.  

We recommend a 15” screen, with a minimum of 256GB hard drive space. It will also need to be capable of running our virtual learning environment. 

Speak to an advisor

Do you have questions about the course or studying online with Falmouth? Fill in our simple online form and we'll get in touch to support your application journey.

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