PG Professional Practice in HE

Professional Practice in Higher Education


Postgraduate degree

    Key facts

    MA Professional Practice in Higher Education; PG Dip Professional Practice in Higher Education; PG Cert Professional Practice in Higher Education.
    Institute for Education
    Course length
    The programme can only be studied part-time. The PGCert may be completed over one to two years; the PgDip or MA over two to five years, depending on individual work commitments.

    Entry requirements

    You’ll usually have an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education institution, or an equivalent qualification from overseas. See "Entry requirements" for more information.

    A programme to help staff and research students address the key challenges of working in higher education.

    • Opportunities for accredited professional development designed to meet the needs of those working in higher education.
    • Study at your own pace. We offer flexible patterns of enrolment, course delivery and credit accumulation.
    • Practical learning activities and assessment tasks can be tailored to reflect the needs of your work environment.

    The Professional Practice in Higher Education (PPHE) programme will help you, as a staff member or research student, to meet the key challenges of working in the rapidly changing world of higher education.

    These challenges – of teaching, supporting student learning, employability, sustainability, new technologies, team management, enterprise, quality assurance and external accountability – range across the whole business of higher education, and can rarely be addressed in isolation. They raise many questions about how best to enhance teaching and research within particular contexts, and about how managers and administrators can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current practices, not least in terms of addressing students' needs and aspirations, enriching their learning experiences, and raising the enduring value of their learning outcomes.

    What you'll learn


    By sharing ideas, knowledge and expertise about our professional practices, we can deepen our understanding of the challenges we face, and realise opportunities to make improvements through innovations and the adoption of best practices.

    The PPHE programme will help you evidence your commitment to professional development, and enhance the quality of your work, as well as the development of higher education in your workplace.

    Course structure

    The programme is based on a credit system; you’ll select modules and patterns of study to suit your needs and interests. All modules are credit rated, and lead to the following qualifications:

    • MA degree: 180 credits; 120 acquired for the PG Dip plus 60 for a Research Project/Dissertation
    • Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits acquired from any combination of modules
    • Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits acquired from any combination of modules.

    Most modules (subject to availability) can be taken in any order and in any combination, though we would advise new teachers to include the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education module among their initial options.

    The Master's Project or Dissertation should be taken on completion of the PG Diploma. Tutorials will be available to help you plan your course of study.

    Modules may be selected to create various levels of part-time study. The minimum enrolment is for one 15-credit module per year. The maximum enrolment is for a full-time 180-credit MA. 

    You can choose to take modules that lead to particular awards within the programme: 

    Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Learning in Higher Education: 60 credits acquired from a set of three required modules. This qualification is designed primarily for participants who are in their early years of teaching in higher education, though it may also be taken by more experienced staff. Based upon the UK's Professional Standards Framework for Higher Education, the award qualifies teachers for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

    How will I be assessed?

    Assessment for all modules is by coursework, based upon the completion of assignments designed to promote understanding, enhancement and/or application of professional practices in higher education.

    Each module has its own assessment tasks, usually one or two per module. Forms of assessment include work-based activities, action plans, reports, reflective logs, portfolios, presentations, reviews, case studies, business plans, short essays, action-research documents, and (for the Master's degree) a dissertation/research project.

    How will I be taught?

    Most modules are delivered through three – four half-day sessions, including mini-lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations, supported where appropriate by online discussions and activities. Throughout the programme, you’ll be supported by individual and small-group tutorials.

    Sessions are designed to promote the sharing of ideas, expertise and experiences within a professional community of practice, so we will encourage participation and contributions from everyone. One module ("Teaching and Learning in Higher Education", for new teachers) includes some teaching observation sessions, and some modules provide opportunities for peer mentoring. Project and Dissertation modules will be largely delivered by individual supervision, and E-learning modules will be held in ICT training rooms.

    The teaching sessions for some modules will be delivered within a few weeks, some over a period of several months, and some throughout the academic year. Further information about the organisation, dates, times, and location of the teaching sessions for each module can be found in the Programme Calendar, available from cltd@bathspa.ac.uk.


    Network and share knowledge

    You’ll have opportunities to network, and share knowledge and experience within a community of practice, focused on understanding and enhancing higher education.

    Professional development lectures and seminars

    You’ll be invited to attend occasional professional development lectures and seminars organised by the Centre for Learning and Teaching Development each year.

    Career development

    The PPHE programme is designed to support the development of all academic and professional staff who teach, manage or support HE students, at a time when evidence of professional development is increasingly expected of all staff, not least for new appointments and promotions.

    A recognised certificate in teaching in higher education is becoming a requirement for all lecturing positions in the UK, and our certificate enables participants to become more effective and confident HE lecturers.

    The certificate is recognised by the Higher Education Academy: completion of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education module, leads automatically to Associate Fellowship, and completion of three modules (HE7001, 7002 and 7003) leads to Fellowship of the HEA. This means that the CPLHE qualification is recognised by other institutions as a teaching qualification for HE, and is equivalent to other HEA-accredited postgraduate certificates in HE.

    Facilities and resources

    Where the subject is taught

    The course is taught at Newton Park and Corsham Court campuses.


    Learning resources for the programme will be available through the University's library and information services.

    Modules have been designed to make the most of the wide range of scholarly material that is now freely available online, and participants will have access to the online resources and learning opportunities afforded by the University's Virtual Learning Environment (Minerva), which will provide links to key resources for each module.


    The programme is led by the Academic Staff Development Coordinator, and supported by tutors with a wide range of teaching, research, management, and leadership experience within and outside higher education.


    UK and EU students full time

    Course fees
    2018/19 entry £6,995
    2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
    2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

    UK and EU students part time

    Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

    2018/19 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 £3,500
    Year 2 Published Jan 2019

    2019/20 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2019
    Year 2 Published Jan 2020

    2020/21 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2020
    Year 2 Published Jan 2021

    International students full time

    Course fees
    2018/19 entry £12,900
    2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
    2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

    Please note: although full-time fees are shown, we are currently only accepting applications for part-time study.

    Interested in applying?

    Entry requirements

    You’ll usually possess an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education institution, or an equivalent qualification from overseas.

    Applicants who do not possess an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification, but who have at least two years of work experience relevant to the programme, are also welcome to apply and will be invited to attend an admissions interview.

    Applicants who have previously completed postgraduate-level courses or modules that can be recognised as appropriate to the study of Professional Practice in Higher Education, may be enrolled with advanced standing through our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

    Similarly, applicants who can evidence a substantial body of work-based experience relevant to the programme, as through a reflective portfolio, can apply for the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). APL and APEL credits can then be counted towards the numbers of the credits required for a PGCert or a PGDip within the PPHE programme.

    How do I apply?

    Application forms are available from the administrator for the Centre for Learning and Teaching Development: cltd@bathspa.ac.uk.

    Centre for Learning and Teaching Development
    Telephone: +44 (0)1225 875 773
    Email: cltd@bathspa.ac.uk

    Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk