Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education

The Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE) is a teaching qualification intended for those new or relatively new to university teaching. The course is taken part time and is designed to be combined with study at the doctoral level or with contractual responsibilities as a lecturer or teaching fellow. It is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the body that oversees and promotes teaching in UK higher education. There are two types of PGCertHE available to teachers at LSE, one for doctoral students and another for career track staff.

Postgraduate Certification in Higher Education for doctoral students

This is a tailored course that is based on each participant’s own teaching. The course work combines practical assignments with teaching observation. For each year of the course participants complete a portfolio of assignments around different aspects of teaching and learning. For instance, the task for the first module is compiling class plans, materials and a log for class teaching. Other projects involve making student profiles, investigating the effectiveness of your teaching through a range of methods or designing course proposals.

The intention of the PGCertHE is that all graduates leave the course as confident and thoughtful teachers in higher education. A key element of this is that participants develop a scholarly approach to teaching, learning and assessment. This enables graduates to adapt to different higher education environments and respond to novel teaching and learning challenges.

How long does the course last?

The full course is taken part time over two years. In the first year, participants work towards the Associate level. This is a qualification in its own right and equates to Associate Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA). During the first year, participants complete modules on

  • small group teaching
  • evaluating teaching
  • supporting student learning

The second year of the course leads to the Full level PGCertHE and this is recognised with Fellowship of the HEA (FHEA status). The second year modules are

  • assessment and feedback
  • lecturing
  • course design

How do I enrol?

It is possible to enrol in the PGCertHE in October of each year. Briefings for the programme are held at the beginning of that month and those wishing to participate complete an initial task. To qualify for the programme, a participant must be teaching a minimum of 20 contact hours at LSE during the academic year of enrolment. This tends to involve either teaching at least one class or seminar group for the full academic year, or teaching at least two groups on a half unit course.

During the course, participants build up another of the course requirements, which is 20 hours per year of attendance at teacher development sessions, run by LSE’s Teaching and Learning Centre and attended by an interdisciplinary group of programme participants. These sessions, and your reading of educational research, offer insight into and theoretical underpinning for teaching and learning approaches and practice.

How can I find out more?

Please contact Neil McLean -| - for more information.

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Career Track

This programme is a requirement for new career track staff at LSE who do not hold an equivalent teacher development qualification and have fewer than three years' experience of teaching in higher education. It needs to be completed prior to major review. A one year practice based programme, it requires participants to prepare a portfolio on their evolving teaching practice including

  • reflective pieces on different aspects of teaching and learning
  • a written assignment on small group teaching and student learning
  • a written assignment on course design
  • two teaching observations

Upon completion successful participants can apply for HEA accreditation at the Associate Fellow level. Participants also have the opportunity to attend regular lunchtime sessions which explore aspects of teaching and learning linked directly to the programme assignments.

How can I find out more?

Please contact Dr Claire Gordon -| - for further information.