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What makes the PGCLTHE at Worcester special?

This part-time programme is specifically designed for those currently working in Higher Education. Our Postgraduate Certificate is an experiential, work-based learning programme that can be studied alongside your day job.

At Worcester, the course consists of three (in person face-to-face) modules that provide you with an opportunity to gain knowledge, understanding and capabilities in learning, teaching, assessment and academic practice.




Key features

  • The programme is supported through a series of interactive study sessions
  • We seek to develop practitioners with clear professional values, who understand teaching and learning in higher education and who are constantly seeking to improve their practice in a reflective, scholarly and theoretically informed way

Who's this course for?

This PGCLTHE is designed specifically for:

  • Higher Education lecturers, tutors and academics
  • Those supporting Higher Education in a Further Education setting
  • Anyone working in Higher Education, whose role includes significant responsibility for supporting student learning.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You will normally have the following:

  • A first or second-class Honours Degree
  • Current and ongoing experience of supporting the learning of HE students
  • Current experience, or anticipated experience during the period of the programme, of curriculum and assessment design at HE level

Prior experience is valued on the PGCLTHE. Those course members who have the equivalent of three years of full-time experience in a related educational setting can claim accreditation of prior learning against a module towards the certificate.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Any potential course participant may discuss informally their application with the Course Leader, Peter Gossman who can be contacted by email:

Course content

Course content

Aims and benefits

The programme aims to:

  • provide an opportunity for participants to engage in accredited initial and continuing professional development in teaching and support of learning in HE
  • enable participants to meet the requirements of the UKPSF (in either Associate or Fellow categories)
  • provide support with higher education learning, teaching or assessment issue participants may face
  • promote a student-centred approach to learning, teaching and assessment
  • challenge and develop participants' learning, teaching and assessment practice
  • increase understanding of the learning process so participants can make informed decisions about course design and choice of learning, teaching and assessment methods
  • foster transformational reflective practice
  • encourage participant engagement with systematic inquiry into professional practice
  • support participants' development as skilled teachers of their discipline
  • support participants' academic development as researchers and scholars
  • encourage engagement with wider policy, strategy and quality considerations as they relate to the participants context
  • enhance participants' intrapreneurship, professional development & career management


The PGCLTHE is accredited by Advance HE at Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA) for the first module LTHE4141, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)  for the complete course.

Completion of the full PGCLTHE meets Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teachers in HE and confers Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Completion of the first module of the programme, 'Supporting Student Learning', meets Descriptor 1 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teachers in HE and confers Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

Experienced lecturers and staff

Members of the course team are experienced tutors who engage in pedagogic research and have received recognition for their excellent HE teaching.

I have become aware of an exciting array of potential changes to my practice which can be explored... to further promote student engagement and empowerment

Learning and Teaching in HE student

Meet the module leaders


Dr Peter Gossman

Peter has worked in a range of FE and HE institutions in the UK and NZ in both Education and Academic Development roles, initially at Lincoln University just four songs south of Christchurch on the South Island.

He has worked on a large NZ project investigating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as well as publishing on a variety of subjects, particularly in relation to 'good' teaching and conceptions of teaching and he has published in a range of academic journals.

Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith

Sharon joined the School of Education at Worcester as a full time member of staff in 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Education. Sharon previously worked for the University in other capacities. She has worked closely with the University of Worcester for some years delivering Foundation Degrees and engaging in research within the University through funded seconded projects.

Prior to her role at the University of Worcester, the majority of her teaching has been within Further Education and she has also been involved in teaching a range of adult learners including those with learning difficulties and disabilities (and learners with Acquired Brain Injury). In addition, she has worked in schools with pupils with Special Educational Needs. Her expertise has been extensively in training teaching assistants and early years practitioners.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


The course assumes that learning is best when it is active, when it incorporates experience and when it can be shared and supported through collaboration. The workshops and discussions will be based around the experiential learning cycle.

This course is work-based and the course is structured to take participants through the process of auditing their practice against each modules outcomes and values, planning to address these via the formative assessments and participant's role in teaching/ other roles in supporting students' learning.

Critical reflection plays a key role throughout the course and participants are encouraged to become a reflective practitioner, where they will explore the scholarship of learning and teaching in HE; synthesise, explain, make sense of and ultimately develop meaning from, their teaching experiences.

The module encourages peer learning and the formative assessments and study sessions provide opportunities for peer feedback and discussion. The study sessions in particular will combine inputs from colleagues across the institution and various workshop activities.

Blackboard will be used to provide module information and an online forum for discussion.

Contact time

Typically a fifteen credit module of the course will be structured:


Activity type

Number of weeks and hours/days


Taught sessions (3 study days) e.g. 3 x 7 hours or 7/8 x 3/2.5hrs 21
Work based learning (peer observations) e.g. 1 x 3 hours 3
Support sessions x 5 e.g. 5 x 2 hours 10
Guided independent study (including group work) Formative tasks and Independent study approx. 116 hours 116
TOTAL   150


Independent self-study

Outlined above

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Dr Peter Gossman, Sharon Lesley Smith,  Dr Seán Bracken and Dr Karen Blackmore from the School of Education, alongside tutors from across the University.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and 100 per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the full list of education staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment is via the development of portfolios.


You will receive feedback on formative assessments and on formal summative assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

"My personal and professional development has been vast over the last 18 months. It was not until writing these reflective portfolios that I realised the scale of this development."

Learning and Teaching in HE student




This course will provide an opportunity for you to gain knowledge, understanding and capabilities in learning, teaching, assessment and academic practice, and will help you to develop clear professional values, understand learning and teaching in higher education and improve your practice in a reflective, scholarly and theoretically informed way.


Fees and funding

Other HE practitioners

Staff from other HE providers can also apply for the course and should consult with the Course Leader (Peter Gossman, or the Admissions team to discuss the fees structure.

How to apply

How to apply

Prior to clicking one of the links below please would applicants contact Peter Gossman (Course Leader) by email to confirm aspects of eligibility.

Before applying below please download and complete the work based learning contract and send it to

Along with this document please scan a copy of proof of identity (e.g. passport) and the certificate (or transcript) of your highest academic qualification and send to the above email address. In the covering email please state that you are applying for the PGCLTHE.

Applicants are welcome to discuss their application with the Course Leader, Peter Gossman, who can be contacted via email:

You can apply for the PGCLTHE at any time during the year.  The course has two intakes one in each semester.  Applications need to be submitted in advance of the first module's teaching start in late-Sept in semester one and Mid-Jan in semester two.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.