Skip to main content
Queen Mary Academy


Key facts:

  • Award: PGCert 
  • Course type: Taught  
  • Mode of study: Part time 
  • Modules: 4
  • Duration: 2 years 
  • Total Hours: 600 

Total credits: 60 (at Level 7, Masters) 

What is PGCAP?

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) is a 60-credit postgraduate programme that will induct you into the principles, best practices, and ways for developing and evaluating aspects of your academic practice. Completing this programme leads to a postgraduate qualification (Postgraduate Certificate) in education and recognition as HEA Fellow. 

You can complete this programme if you are a member of academic staff on probation, which requires you to obtain Advance HE Fellow status; or a member of academic or other staff (including professional services) whose role involves substantial teaching and/or supporting learning, for example convening modules or leading programmes.

PGCAP is designed to inspire you to think creatively about your practice in the context of your specialist role and subject area. The programme will encourage you to make connections between your own experience, the experience of others, and learning, teaching and wider academic practice theories that have been developed by researchers and practitioners. 

Who is PCGAP for?

The PGCAP is suitable for new academic staff who may have limited experience of teaching and supporting learning, or for whom the programme may be a condition of probation.  It is open, however, also to other Queen Mary staff who teach at the level of module convener and are engaged in curriculum design. To qualify for the programme you will be expected to teach at least at FHEQ level 4, and to have planned teaching of at least ten hours over each academic year you study PGCAP.  You should normally be a module convenor or have responsibility for significant elements of the curriculum.

"I’ve enjoyed being a learner again; reflecting on that and bringing it into thinking re: students. The seminars and meeting individuals from other disciplines has been fun and very enlightening and as a whole it’s definitely made a positive impact on my teaching."


We are now accepting applications for a January 2025 start, please see How to Apply.

Please note priority will be given to colleagues required to complete our courses as part of their probation or contract agreement with Queen Mary. Thereafter, applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis. We have a limited number of places and we may need to close application bookings sooner than the closing date. Submitting an application does not guarantee your place on the programme.’

(Please note the September 24 intake is now closed and fully booked).

Course aims and learning outcomes 

The overall aim of the programme is to help staff develop and enhance their practice as educators in HE. Colleagues who take the programme will be able to complete observations and practice teaching skills, and learn about a variety of educational methods and theories of learning. 

The programme aims to support Queen Mary's strategic priorities for its education provision in Strategy 2030 by equipping staff with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will make them confident, effective and inclusive practitioners in their role. The programme reflects on and accommodates the needs of the different disciplines, schools/institutes and professional services at Queen Mary, and our diverse student population. The programme aims to:

  • Support QMUL strategic priorities for its education provision in line with Strategy 2030
  • Equip new educators with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will make them confident and effective practitioners in their role
  • Enable probationary academic staff to demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills and attributes for effective practice, as identified in the UK Professional Standards Framework
  • Provide a means for established staff to enhance their practice through building on their knowledge, skills and attitudes for effective practice, as identified in the UK Professional Standards Framework

Intended learning outcomes

Participants who successfully complete the programme will be able to:

Academic content: 
  • Critically appraise theoretical foundations and current trends of teaching and learning in higher education 
  • Apply pedagogic theories and practices to teaching and learning in your discipline 
  • Analyse the wider context of UK higher education, including its regulatory and professional bodies, processes, development, funding, and strategic agendas 
  • Identify relevant Queen Mary structures, regulations and processes and evaluate the ways in which they relate to your teaching and learning role 
  • Explain the principles and methods of evaluating the outcomes of your teaching and / or supporting learning 
  • Evaluate and apply mechanisms for assessing and enhancing the quality of academic practice 
  • Apply principles, methodologies and approaches to conducting research and scholarship in the practice of teaching and/or supporting learning 
Disciplinary skills:
  • Design effective sessions, modules or programmes of study through selective use of methods, approaches and technologies for active learning that align with measurable learning outcomes 
  • Design and deliver effective teaching and learning in a range of modes (face to face, blended and online) that align with learning outcomes, learner level, and the subject 
  • Design and implement assessment and feedback strategies that measure and promote learning success 
  • Synthesise evidence from educational research and scholarship, subject research, peer dialogue and observation, evaluation and self-reflection, to continually develop and enhance your practice of teaching and / or supporting learning   
  • Develop an inclusive and student-centred approach to teaching and learning which reflects the diversity of students and meets established guidelines for accessibility and inclusivity 
  • Facilitate student learning effectively in order to maximise learners' equality of opportunity 
  • Engage critically and collaboratively with educational practice, literature and evidence 
  • Learn from discussions with colleagues, educational research and scholarship, and observations, including across different disciplines 
  • Evidence meeting the Dimensions of Practice in Descriptors 1 and 2 of the UKPSF 


    All assessment on the programme is authentic coursework which takes a variety of forms such as session plans, oral presentations on learning resources, written reflection on teaching observations and curriculum design reports. All assessments are aligned to Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.  Please see the Taught Programmes Handbook for the full criteria.


    ADP7116 / ADP7216 (DL): Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (15 credits)

    ADP7117 / ADP7217 (DL): Learning and Teaching in the Disciplines (15 credits)

    ADP7118 / ADP7218 (DL): Curriculum Design (15 credits)

    ADP7219 (DL): Action (Practitioner) Research (15 credits)

    Mode of study

    The programme is delivered in blended mode, to offer maximum flexibility to participants. There is the option to study in person or online, or via a combination of both. Please note availability of in person seminar group spaces may be limited. 

    Back to top