TC503      2.0 Units
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Career Track

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Claire Gordon


New career track members of faculty with fewer than three years' teaching experience in higher education and who do not hold an equivalent teacher development qualification have been required since 2009 to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education before passing Interim Review. Faculty members with teaching responsibilities who have completed their PhD and have at least two to three years' teaching experience may also take this programme.


Participants will be career track academics at LSE - generally assistant professors, assistant professorial lecturers and fellows. They should have teaching responsibilities in the year that they will be taking the PGCertHE.

Course content

This practice-based programme is tailored for academics teaching at LSE. It is designed to develop participants' confidence in leading lectures, classes and seminars and in assessing student work. The programme also enables participants to reflect on their teaching and to explore diverse ways of gathering feedback on their practice from peers and students. The programme culminates in a course design project.

The programme comprises 3 modules:

  •     teaching in our disciplines
  •     evaluating teaching
  •     course design

The programme is assessed by a portfolio of coursework including

  • a set of short written tasks on disciplinary teaching and student learning;
  • a short project on evaluating teaching;
  • the design of a new course;
  • two teaching observations;
  • a reflective learning log.

Participants are strongly encouraged to draw on their previous teaching experience both during discussions and in their assignments and to consider how this informs their practice at LSE.

Successful participants will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education - and are eligible for fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).


6 hours of workshops in the MT. 7 hours and 30 minutes of workshops in the LT. 6 hours of workshops in the ST.

Teaching for this course will take the form of interactive workshops. Moodle will also be used as a learning environment.

Additionally, participants have the opportunity to attend regular workshops offered as part of LSE's Academic Development Programme which explore different aspects of teaching and learning linked to assignments.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the MT, 1 piece of coursework in the LT, 1 piece of coursework in the ST and 1 presentation in the LT or ST.

There are formative feedback points for each of the summative assignments.

Additionally, there are formative reflections at both the start and finish of the programme. These formative reflections, combined with the coversheets on the summative essays, make up the learning log element of the course and contribute to the final portfolio submission. Finally, participants present their course design work and receive formative feedback from both members of the PGCertHE teaching team and peers.

Throughout, the formative pieces are designed to encourage a reflexive approach to academic practice.

Indicative reading

Berk, R. (2005) Survey of 12 strategies to measure teaching effectiveness. International journal of teaching and learning in higher education. 17 (1) 48-62.

Biggs, J (1996) Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher education  32 (3) 347-364.

Biggs, J.  & Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for quality learning at university. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill Open University Press.

Carlisle, O. & Jordan, A. (2005) It works in practice but will it work in theory? The theoretical underpinnings of pedagogy in Emerging issues in the practice of university learning and teaching.  Dublin: AISHE.

Case, J. (2008) Alienation and engagement: development of an alternative theoretical framework for understanding student learning. Higher education 55 (3)  321–332.

Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2006) Strengthening the teaching‐research linkage in undergraduate courses and programs. New directions for teaching and learning, (107) 43-53.

Hounsell, D. & Anderson, C. (2005) Ways of thinking and practising in biology and history: disciplinary aspects of teaching and learning environments. Higher education colloquium. Edinburgh.

Meyer, J. & Land, R. (2003) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. Occasional report 4: ETL project. Edinburgh.


Essay (34%, 2300 words) in January.
Project (33%, 2000 words) in the LT.
Essay (33%, 2000 words) in the ST.

This course is assessed entirely by coursework - formative and summative. There are no exams.

All assignments are marked on a Complete/Not Yet Complete basis and all assessment are viewed as developmental opportunities. Participants are offered detailed feedback on all work and, where appropriate, they have the option of developing assignments further based of feedback from the teaching team and peers (Course design module).

The assignments include both essay-style written texts and reflective pieces.

Key facts

Department: Teaching and Learning Centre

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Value: 2.0 Units

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills