The Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice


Accredited by Advance HE

What is the PGCAP?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice is a Master’s level course designed to provide a theoretical and practical grounding in learning, teaching and assessment for those involved in teaching, facilitating learning and supporting students in higher education. Successful completion of the PGCAP provides eligibility for a Fellowship of Advance HE (formerly known as the Higher Education Academy) through the University’s internal accreditation route. 

Application Process

  1. Complete the Step 1 form in the 'Downloads' section on the top right of the webpage.
  2. Complete Step 2 of the application via the 'Apply' button at the bottom of the webpage.
  3. If your application is approved, the Admissions team will email you, to prompt you to start the registration process.


What does it cover?

The course has three parts:

Module Aims      

The aim(s) of the module is to provide the student with the foundation knowledge, skills and values for academic practice in Higher Education, grounded in effective personal critical reflective practice. To award the student with the AFHEA on successful completion of this module.


Module Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to:

1.    Apply relevant HE learning, teaching and feedback strategies, theories and scholarship to design and deliver effective teaching /or support of learning within your own discipline or role;

2.    Plan and deliver effective and efficient teaching and/or support of learning, showing critical awareness of the curriculum requirements and quality assurance processes, in order to support student success;

3.    Create engaging, collaborative and inclusive learning environments to promote participation and success in HE for all individual students;

4.    Develop and maintain a critically reflective practice based on self-reflection, stakeholder feedback and other evidence, to continuously enhance your teaching and/or support of learning.

Module Aims       

The aims of the module are to continue to develop the knowledge, skills and values in relation to teaching, learning and assessment activities, whilst continuing to develop a well-established critical reflective practice.  It also aims to introduce a range of enhancements to inclusive design in the facilitation of learning and support for learners. 


Learning Outcomes   

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  1. Articulate a philosophy of education which includes a commitment to respecting diversity and inclusive practice;
  2. Critically evaluate a range of learning and assessment related enhancements including technology enhanced learning;
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of your practice with respect to the needs of students in your discipline, the quality requirements and assurance processes of Canterbury Christ Church University, the Quality Assurance Agency and professional and statutory regulatory bodies;
  4. Apply detailed knowledge of the UK HE sector, disciplinary and institutional strategic priorities in order to enhance your practice;
  5. Apply critical reflective practice which supports ongoing professional development and pedagogical enquiry within the wider context of higher education.   

Module Aims

The aim of the module is for small scale pedagogical inquiry to be carried out to build on the first two modules of this PGCAP.  You will be able to enhance your knowledge, skills and values in relation to teaching, learning and assessment activities, whilst continuing to develop a well-established critical reflective practice.   


Learning Outcomes 

  1. Critically evaluate HE learning and teaching theories and research in order to identify and apply innovative strategies to enhance your teaching, support of learning and assessment and feedback practices; 
  2. Apply detailed knowledge of the UK HE sector, disciplinary and institutional strategic priorities in order to enhance your practice. Areas covered include, but are not limited to: technology enhanced learning, inclusive curricula, graduate employability, internationalisation, sustainability in HE, mental health and wellbeing in HE;
  3.  Carry out evidence-informed evaluation of an aspect of own continually developing professional practice utilising appropriate methodologies and making research-informed plans for future enhancements.

Professional accreditation

  • The course is accredited by Advance HE.
  • Successful completion provides eligibility to apply for Fellowship of Advance HE through the University’s internal accreditation course.
  • Participants successfully completing the Introduction to Facilitating Learning and Teaching module will be awarded the Associate Fellowship of Advance HE.

Support for participants

  • The course team and course mentors will provide personal tutor support to all participants.
  • Support will be provided by individual, group and online mentoring.
  • If you teach on a CCCU validated award you will also be supported by your Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, as part of the Academic Professional Development Framework.

What are the entry requirements?

  • All applicants should have a degree or equivalent to undertake the PGCAP.
  • You should also have sufficient teaching and facilitating/supporting learning opportunities in order to engage in the activities putting theory into practice.
  • The applicant must also have sufficient teaching and supporting learning opportunities at HE Foundation level, level 4 or above to engage with the critical reflective practice and observed teaching. This is flexible but would normally require the applicant to have a minimum of one teaching or learning facilitation/support opportunity per week.

Is the PGCAP for you? 

Typically participants will hold and have the following roles and experience:

  • in an academic-related and/or facilitation/support role holding substantive teaching and learning responsibilities
  • an experienced member of staff relatively new to higher education
  • a member of staff with (sometimes significant) teaching-only responsibilities including, for example, within work-based settings


The PGCAP total cost is £2,720, this will be waived for those contracted for 100 hours or more.

Exemptions from fees apply to staff teaching on or supporting CCCU validated awards particularly where undertaking the course is a contractual obligation.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for exemption from fees, please speak to your line manager.

Local arrangements with partner providers are also in force.


Please note applications for the March 2023 intake are now closed. 

Note: Before applying (which is Step 2 of the application), please complete Step 1 by downloading the 'PGCAP Application Step 1' form from the top right of this webpage. Please send the completed form to

Note: Please use the same forename and surname for Step 1 and 2 of the application process.

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice Start Date March 2023



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Last edited: 03/03/2023 16:52:00