Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
One year part-time
Four days a term, October to June
This Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education is designed for all those teaching in higher education. Reflecting on your own experience of teaching, including critical incidents, we consider the factors that contribute to effective teaching strategies in the education of adults, including:
- understanding how students learn
- teaching and learning techniques and resources
- ways of establishing and maintaining effective learning environments
- developing an integrated approach to assessment.
You will develop holistic approaches to planning learning activities and events, including ways to integrate principles of social inclusion and widening participation into learning events.
Please note: this is a qualification for higher education-level teaching only and this course is therefore not eligible for Student Loan Company funding.
- Offers an exciting opportunity for you to engage in professional development around teaching in higher education.
- You will benefit from the input of the teams involved in the Centre for Transformative Practice in Learning and Teaching and the Centre for Social Change and Transformation in Higher Education on the programme.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- This course is recognised by Higher Education Academy.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Entry requirements for external candidates are normally a good first degree (2:1 or equivalent) and a minimum of two years' teaching experience on QAA accredited HE programmes. Acceptance on the programme also requires that candidates are teaching at least 40 hours at HE levels 4-6/7 in the academic year of study in a role commensurate with the UKPSF level 2.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 2650 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 4825 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Teaching takes place in day-long professional development events, which include seminars, discussion, expert guest speakers, student presentations and micro-teaching. This is supplemented by tutorials, peer mentoring, teaching observations and portfolio development.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
A portfolio of coursework for each module, plus assessed observations of your teaching practice.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go on to careers in teaching and training, youth work, education policy, or in community and voluntary sector organisations. Participants on the programme are already teaching or supporting learning in higher education, and most go on to develop academic careers in higher education.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
A limited number of places are available on this programme. External applicants will need to provide proof at interview that they will complete a minimum of 40 hours' teaching in a higher education setting while taking this course.
Interviews take place all year.
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