PgCert Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education

Postgraduate, Part-time

Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education PgCert

This course is for internal Edinburgh Napier staff only.


Prior to applying on this page, please complete and have this form (Academics) signed off by your Line Manager and Dean for early career academics. 

Please complete and have this form (PGR & Prof Services) signed off by your Line Manager and Head of Department prior to applying online.

The PgCert Teaching & Supporting Learning in Higher Education (TSL in HE) is a dynamic, innovative programme designed to enable your applied, professional learning. It provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and professional practice with your peers at this stage of your career in Higher Education.

Focusing on learning and teaching, assessment for learning, and scholarship, the programme has an applied focus to facilitate your development throughout the programme in becoming a skilled, reflective practitioner in HE with an extensive knowledge base and professional network. 

A fundamental aspect of this programme is cross-institutional collaboration where you learn in active engagement and co-construction with peers on the programme from across the university. Embedded within the learning and assessment on the programme's modules are significant opportunities for your active engagement with peers as you critically engage with, evaluate and reflect upon your practice.

Our aim is that on completing the programme you have:

• a substantial self-awareness as a developing, reflective practitioner and educator

• a robust pedagogically-underpinned knowledge and understanding of supporting student learning, teaching, and assessment

• enhanced confidence within your practice in engaging with, evaluating and applying fundamental theoretical concepts and scholarship of learning and teaching to the benefit of students

• an appreciation of, and commitment to, collaborative practice-related discussion, enquiry and enhancement with colleagues, students, and cross-sector partners

Please note that the fees are waived for internal staff.

This PgCert programme is intended for early career academics new to Edinburgh Napier University who have less that 3 years experience teaching in Higher Education. Early career academics require a minimum of 6 hours of teaching per week to enrol on and undertake the programme due to its applied nature.

Module one – Introduction to Teaching & Supporting Learning – is also open to colleagues in Professional Services who support learning, and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) who teach, and whom we would also welcome applications from.

Students having a discussion in the social areas of Edinburgh Napier Merchiston campus

Mode of Study:



18 months

Course details

As a blended programme, the PgCert TSL in HE is designed to provide you as an Edinburgh Napier colleague who teaches and/or supports learning with the opportunity to develop your knowledge while exploring and enhancing your professional practice in engagement with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Focusing on learning, teaching, assessment for learning and scholarship, the programme has an applied focus to facilitate your development as a skilled, critically reflective HE practitioner with an extensive knowledge base and professional network.

The PgCert TSL in HE is a 60-credit programme, accredited by Advance HE that comprises three 20-credit modules providing you with flexibility in completing the programme. Linked to your practice, the PgCert TSL in HE is rooted in collaboration and the co-construction of learning with peers and the programme team and adopts an authentic approach to assessments across the programme.

Early career academics who undertake and successfully complete the Programme are recognised as HEA Fellows (FHEA), providing colleagues with professional recognition of your practice, as well as gaining the academic award of PgCert TSL in HE.

For colleagues in Professional Services who support learning and PGRs who teach, successful completion of module one provides recognition of your practice as an HEA Associate Fellow (AFHEA). 


Introduction to Teaching & Supporting Learning in Higher Education (EDU11123) – Module One

This module is aimed at both academic and professional services staff and provides an introduction to learning, teaching and supporting learning in Higher Education (HE). Focusing on core aspects of learning, teaching and support for learning – in alignment with the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) – the module will a) introduce you to key principles, theories and seminal literature relating to learning and teaching in HE; b) introduce you to working collaboratively within a cross-institutional community of peers; c) facilitate critical reflection, evaluation and development of your own practice; d) develop your understanding of and engagement with principles of inclusion and their implications for your practice, and e) engage you in critically evaluating a variety of modalities of and environments for learning, considering the implications for your own practice.

Developing as a Critical Educator (EDU11124) – Module Two

In this module you will continue the in-depth development of your knowledge and practice as an educator through critically exploring the module topics. In alignment with the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), this module will enable you to explore in depth the key principles, theories, and concepts relating to learning and teaching in HE. Topics covered include a) learning design, b) curriculum design and development, c) quality assurance and quality enhancement, d) assessment for learning and principles of feedback. This module supports the further development of your pedagogical knowledge and reflective practice through critical engagement with these principles and concepts in relation to your own teaching context.

Being a Critically Reflective Educator (EDU11122) – Module Three

This module extends further your development as a skilled, reflective practitioner in teaching and/or supporting learning in higher education, in alignment with the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). It supports your ongoing practice and development as a pedagogical scholar and education communicator. The module explores what it means to engage with and contribute to pedagogical scholarship and introduces you to the breadth of methodologies available to you as a practice-based educational researcher. You will also explore and critically engage with a range of key topics, including (but not limited to), a) the broader, global contexts in which higher education operates including internationalisation of HE, b) equality, diversity and inclusion, c) widening participation, d) ethical teaching, e) student wellbeing and belonging, f) scholarship of teaching and learning, g) the key debates, initiatives and policies influencing learning and teaching, and h) the value of peer observation of teaching practice. Additionally, you will be introduced to other topics as introduced by your peers through their scholarship work.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    The UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) is central to the programme and has been used to shape the focus of each of the three modules that you will study over the 18 months of the course if you are completing the programme. Module one runs over a single trimester beginning in September each year.

    Your learning will be supported by several means, including workshops (face to face and online) and a vibrant virtual learning space, populated to maximise meaningful engagement and facilitate a cross-disciplinary active learning experience that will enrich your knowledge and understanding.

  • note and pen Assessments We recognise that students are central to the process of learning and assessment and acknowledge the importance of experiential learning and the social construction of knowledge. Due to this, we have designed formative and summative assessments where learning can be applied to your practice - providing opportunities for you to collaborate with peers and engage in authentic assessments relevant to your practice in teaching and supporting learning in HE.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is current work experience in a teaching and/or supporting learning role in higher education with a minimum of 6 hours per week face to face contact with students. Experience must include design, delivery and assessment of undergraduate or postgraduate learning experiences. 

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test.  The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 6.5 with no individual component score of less than 6.0.  For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Please note that the fees are waived for internal staff.

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.