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PGCHE – Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education


What is a PGCHE?

PGCHE studentThe PGCHE – known in full as a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education – is a structured professional development program for newly appointed faculty members at universities. Seasoned university lecturers can also pursue this program to refresh their teaching techniques and approaches, so a PGCHE can also be defined as a British teaching qualification for university lecturers. It is designed to provide university lecturers and people in similar professions with the skills required to provide high-quality teaching and learning.

What skills does a PGCHE equip you with?

The following are some skills you can acquire by taking a PGCHE:

  • Adaptability – one of the primary skills you can gain from taking a PGCHE is adaptability. You will gain the ability to adapt to different classrooms, educational cultures and teaching or learning environments. This skill will come in handy when looking for different employment prospects, for instance, it can open up your global scale employment prospects.
  • Understanding – a PGCHE will give you the ability to understand the different educational cultures and practices in global teaching and education. These skills can be applied in any classroom.
  • Practicality – a PGCHE also provides students with a practical and theoretical grounding for teaching and learning in higher education.

Where can you study a PGCHE?

You can study a PGCHE in various universities in the UK, both as an online and on-campus course. It can also be studied full time or part time. UK universities offering a PGCHE include:


Why should you study a PGCHE?

There are many reasons why studying for a PGHCE is a good idea, here are some of the main ones:

  • A PGCHE can lay the groundwork for students to attain a Masters in Education or Masters in Teaching. This is because a PGCHE is equivalent to 60 credits, and these credits can count towards a full masters qualification after you have completed the course.
  • A PGCHE is recognised internationally. This means that it is not just a popular postgraduate teaching program in the UK, but a recognised program and qualification in other parts of the world.
  • You can study a PGCHE without leaving your work, as the course does not take up a lot of time to complete. For example, an online PGCHE course can be completed within nine months and by taking only a limited number of workshops. This means that you will face minimal to no long-term disruptions to your regular schedule of work and family life.
  • Taking a PGCHE course will help you understand the best teaching and education practices internationally. You can apply this knowledge in your classroom or lecture halls for the benefit of your students and yourself.


What qualifications do you need to do a PGCHE?

Not everyone is eligible to take a PGCHE course, the following conditions must be met in order to be eligible to take the course:

  • Firstly, you will need at least a 2:2 degree in the subject you wish to teach. In other cases, you can take the course if you have a joint honours degree. In this case, you must have dedicated 50% of your time at university on your PGCHE subject. Similar qualifications are required if your degree subject and area of experience is related to the area you wish to teach. For example, if you studied a maths-related degree like engineering, you qualify for a PGCHE in secondary maths. It is also worth noting that requirements may differ from one institution or university to the next, so make sure you read and understand the application guidelines provided before you apply.
  • Secondally, you will need a GCSE grade C/4 (or equivalent) in English and a GCSE grade C/4 (or equivalent) in maths.
  • Some institutions also require you to observe teaching in a classroom before applying for a PGCHE course. While this may not be a mandatory requirement in some institutions, it is still worth doing.

What modules are involved in studying a PGCHE?

A PGCHE course is a 60-credit qualification. It comprises of three modules, each worth 20 credits – here are some examples of the modules involved:

Module 1: Teaching and learning in Higher Education.

Module 2: Curriculum design and assessment in Higher Education.

Once you have completed these two modules, you will get the freedom to choose the third module from the two options below:

Module 3: Option a) Education Inquiry Project, or Option b) Developing Blended Learning Environments.

What is the difference between a PGCHE and a PGCE?

When researching PGCHEs, you will notice a lot of content on PGCEs popping up, this is because the two courses are often confused with each other. Some people assume that they have the same meaning, but in reality, the two have significant differences. Here are some differentiating elements between the PGCHE and PGCE:

  • A PGCHE stands for Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, it is a masters level teaching qualification specially designed for university teaching staff. On the other hand, a PGCE stands for Postgraduate Certificate in Education, it is a postgrad qualification that gives teaches a QTS (qualified teacher status).
  • Taking a PGCHE would satisfy university requirements and act as a pathway to getting a Masters in Education or Teaching. Therefore, if you are looking to advance your education, a PGCHE course could be a better option.
  • When it comes to employment opportunities, getting a PGCHE takes you in a different direction to a PGCE. A PGCE is a great choice for those who want to get into the teaching profession, whereas a PGCHE is for those who want to advance in their university lecturing and beyond.


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