Postgraduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching
Course outline and context
The PG Cert is the first stage of a three-stage approach to the study of teaching and learning in the University setting. It is a practice-centred flexible course that develops participants as reflective practitioners and builds on the introductory workshops and participants’ previous experience. The second stage is the Postgraduate Diploma. This is also practice-based, but allows and encourages participants to expand their knowledge of teaching beyond their actual experience by critical engagement with wider educational theory. The last stage, a full MEd programme provides training and support in education research methodology and allows participants to investigate and inform their practice with valid educational enquiry. The PG Cert as outlined below is flexible, responsive and innovative both in its presentation and in its approach to participants.
PG Cert ULT
The PG Cert ULT is free and open to staff who teach and support the learning of Imperial students. Please note that the application process is competitive and a place is not guaranteed as we can only offer around 40 places each year. The decision of the PG Cert Committee is final. Given the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to accept late applications. Applications will be considered using the following criteria:
- Engagement with pre-requisite workshops
- Teaching volume and range
- The value that doing the PG Cert ULT would have for you and the Imperial students you teach
After completing phase 1, students attend an induction session and prepare an initial statement of teaching philosophy. Then students attend the core module How Students Learn which gives them theoretical background on which they can build further knowledge from optional modules in Phase 3. In Phase 3 students choose 3 modules from a list to total 15 ECTS. The topics offered will vary from year to year, and not all topics will be offered every year. Most topics consist of two face to face sessions and are followed by an individual assignment supported by directed reading. Assignments are submitted for formative feedback before being collated and submitted with a second statement of teaching philosophy for final summative assessment. Outside of the modules students will also have to complete teaching and peer observations.
The programme is outlined below:
There are three main entry routes into the PG Cert. These are:
- Completion of the Supporting Learning and Teaching Pathway (SLTP)
- Completion of 2 days’ worth (e.g., 2 full day or 1 full day and 2 half day or 4 half day) of any of the following workshops:
Introduction to Teaching for Learning (in-person; full day)
Introduction to Personal Tutoring (in-person; 2 half days)
Introduction to Supervising PhD students (in-person; full day)
Introduction to Assessment for active learning (online; half day)
Introduction to Making teaching more inclusive (in-person; full day)
A Practical Guide to Giving effective feedback (in-person, online, depending on the dates; half day)
Inclusive Learning for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties/Differences (SPLDs) (online; half day)
- For colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine, completion of 2 days’ worth of any workshops from the Faculty of Medicine workshop stream (or if relevant, a mixture of those and other workshops from the portfolio listed in route 2 above).
Students will attend one mandatory module (How Students Learn) as well as - typically - three other modules of their choice.
Who can take the PG Cert?
The PG Cert is open to Imperial College staff who have responsibilities for teaching and/or supporting the learning of Imperial College students. The cohort is typically made up of teaching fellows, lecturers, educational technologists/developers, library staff and clinicians with appropriate Imperial teaching responsibilities.
A PG Cert student would be expected to be involved in one or more of the following educational activities including, but not limited to, teaching small groups, lecturing, supervising research students, designing and supporting digitally-enhanced learning, module organisation and personal tutoring. This will enable them to meet the assessment and observation requirements, as well as to fully benefit from and contribute to the programme.
Those with a light teaching load, undertaking one-off lectures or a small number of tutorials are unlikely to have enough teaching to fulfil the practice aspect of the PG Cert and are therefore unlikely to be accepted onto the course. In this case, choosing from our range of stand-alone workshops or investigating the Imperial STAR Framework may be a good alternative pathway.
If you are interested in the PG Cert, but unsure if your teaching fulfils the requirements, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a preliminary discussion.
I am a student, can I apply for the PG Cert?
College regulations mean that it is not possible to be registered simultaneously for two programmes of study, whether at Imperial or at another university. If you are already a student, then you will need to complete your studies before applying to the PG Cert, regardless of whether your course of study is part-time or if you are a member of staff.
Is the PG Cert accredited by the HEA?
Yes, the PG Cert is a recognised part of the Imperial STAR Framework, which incorporates HEA Fellowship at D1, D2 and D3.
How long does the PG Cert take to complete?
The normal timescale for completion of the PG Cert is one year.
When can I apply for the PG Cert?
Applications to the PG Cert University Learning and Teaching programme are via the College online application system. Please follow the step by step guidance in order to submit your application.
Entry to the programme is competitive and due to the high volume of applicants we will be unable to accept applications after the closing date.
How much does the PG Cert cost?
The programme is normally free of charge to Imperial staff.
Is the PG Cert compulsory?
I am taking the Faculty of Natural Sciences Learning and Teaching Development Programme (LTDP), how does this relate to the PG Cert?
The PG Cert and the LTDP are separate programmes, though with some elements in common. Application to the PG Cert is independent of your participation in any other programme. Questions about the LTDP should be directed to the FoNS LTDP Coordinator
Imperial College works closely with employers and industry, including Industrial Advisory Panels to design Master’s courses which provide graduates with technical knowledge, expertise and transferable skills and to encourage students to take internships and placements. All Master’s courses are designed with employer needs in mind with some Master’s courses accredited by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies. Most Master’s courses offer an opportunity to carry out research projects in industry.