Web Design and Development (Postgraduate Certificate)

This course focuses on a user-based approach to designing websites and implementation through standards-based, accessible code. It is also suitable for those wishing to develop a personal project. The course covers coding, user-centred planning and design, the optimisation and manipulation of images and the delivery of a final published project.

The programme offers practical workshops taught by commercial developers and users, encouraging you to work creatively within an online culture. By the time you start the final module, you will have acquired the skills needed to design and produce a professional website that is both usable and accessible, and that conforms to international standards and guidelines.

Sessions focus on learning the skills to evaluate, design, develop and maintain personal or business digital projects. You will gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the medium and will use internet tools to create web-based portfolios and projects.


  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck were ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • On successful completion of the programme, you can progress to the MA Digital Media Design. Find out more about studying at Birkbeck.
  • You will develop a thorough understanding of the practical and theoretical skills needed to plan and implement websites, and can focus on a project which is either work-based or personal.
  • Targeted at people working in the public and private sectors, training, education, human resources, publishing, marketing, start-up and those with a personal interest in digital.
  • Delivered by industry practitioners from academic and commercial backgrounds.
  • We offer a range of resources and student support to help you while you're studying with us.

Course structure

You take two compulsory modules.

To find out more, read our programme handbook and view examples of previous students’ final projects.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    You will be expected to be a graduate with IT skills and to have at least one year's experience in training, education, human resources, publishing, marketing or associated media development.

    Non-graduates with at least three years' experience and IT skills are also welcome to apply.

    Students should submit a detailed application with evidence of their level, demonstrated by existing work they have completed on the web, if requested.

    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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    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.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees


    Part-time home/EU students: £2725 pa
    Part-time international students: £4950 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment


    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.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures and seminars are practical, with the majority of the sessions taking place in computer labs, and will incorporate practical collaborative exercises, group work and presentations. Students and tutors make significant use of online discussion groups for joint problem-solving and collaboration in research.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.


    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 larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    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, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Coursework, evaluations and project work.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates have used the course to change direction into areas of growing demand in digital or to add value to their existing skills, taking on additional responsibilities at work. Organisations look for individuals who have evidence of digital skills, understand the context of web design and development, and have a record of personal and professional development. As such, the broad scope and context of the course and its focus on standards offer opportunities to break into both the digital industry and organisations that seek to take advantage of digital.

    Graduates can pursue a career in web development, design, project management, education and training or develop their own websites. Find out more about these professions.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

    In addition to our online application, you will need to complete and submit a supplementary application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, subject to availability of places. We recommend that you apply as early as possible.