Teaching and Learning
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PGCHE: Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education

The Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) is a professional qualification for new lecturers/university teachers at the University of Nottingham. The PGCHE focuses on the teaching role of the academic in Higher Education, with reference to the diverse ways in which students learn. The PGCHE provides a practical and theoretical grounding in learning and teaching in Higher Education and emphasises the links between conceptual frameworks and your professional practice. The PGCHE aims to encourage participants to develop a scholarly, reflective enquiry base to inform their teaching and its development.

PGCHE participants can choose preferred topics and modes of study and will be encouraged to relate their study to their own teaching practice and their students' learning. A number of experienced academics from around the university are involved in supporting and assessing participants during the PGCHE course.

University Requirement

As part of its commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards in teaching and learning, the University of Nottingham expects all newly appointed lecturers to complete a required number of credits of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) Course. In most cases new lecturers are required to complete 30 credits of the PGCHE but this depends on the level and nature of the post. Those who already have a relevant postgraduate qualification or hold nationally recognised status for HE teaching may be exempt.  If you are unsure whether you are required to do the PGCHE, please contact your HR adviser.


Due to the large number of new academics that are required to do the PGCHE, access to the course is limited to academic and teaching staff who are required to do the course (or staff in similar roles). However, Professional Development run two other programmes aimed at those who teach as part of another role, research staff and postgraduate research students. For further information see ‘Further reading'.

Course Structure

The PGCHE course is a 60 credit qualification and is made up of 15-credit modules.

Individual Pathway

A structured module with taught sessions on a variety of learning and teaching topics which participants choose from. Assessment involves carrying out a teaching development and submitting a written report.

Teaching Dialogue

Focuses on developing participants’ teaching through discussions with colleagues about their teaching beliefs and practices, formal teaching appraisals and action planning. A teaching log of these activities is submitted for assessment.

Group or Individual Project

Participants work in self-selected groups (Learning Sets) or alone on a project concerning learning and teaching. The outcomes from the project are presented at the Conference for assessment


For those that opt to do the full PGCHE, the final 15 credit module completed must be the Portfolio module.


The PGCHE course is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Those participants who complete 30 credits of the PGCHE may apply for automatic recognition as an Associate Fellow of the HEA. Those participants who complete the full PGCHE may apply for automatic recognition as a Fellow of the HEA.

Reflection as part of teaching development

"Reflection, what does reflection look like?"
"What reflection is like in some respects is …"


Course participants

PGCHE contacts

Further reading




Professional Development

Kings' Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66664
fax: +44 (0) 115 84 66784
email: pd@nottingham.ac.uk