Postgraduate Certificate
in Teaching and Learning (

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (PGCertTL) builds on the Learning about Learning pathway
to provide detailed pedagogical study of learning and teaching, opportunities for reflective practice, practical support and scholarship.
It is designed for colleagues who undertake university teaching or who support teaching and learning as a substantive part of their work.

The PGCertTL Programme is delivered online and is open to Heriot-Watt University staff teaching across all our campuses. It blends live and asynchronous collaborative work, practical micro-teaching sessions and observed practice, be that on campus or online, to facilitate the development and enhancement of teaching practice and of our students’ learning experiences.

The PGCertTL replaced the previous PGCiLT programme in September 2020.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (PGCertTL) is delivered over 2 years and comprises four courses:

  • Course 1: ‘Learning about learning’ (semester 1, year 1)
  • Course 2: ‘Reframing feedback and assessment’ (semester 2, year 1)
  • Course 3: ‘Exploring learning spaces’ (semester 1, year 2)
  • Course 4: ‘Scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning’ (semester 2, year 2)

The PGCertTL is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework for Higher Education.

Successful completion of the programme leads to Fellowship of AdvanceHE.

Is the PGCertTL programme for me?

The PGCertTL programme is designed for staff who require detailed pedagogic knowledge of learning and teaching. It is intended for staff for whom teaching and learning is a substantive part of their work.

Teaching includes (but is not limited to) design and delivery of live sessions (e.g. seminars/webinars, tutorials, lectures, studio or lab sessions); design of learning resources and activities; assessment design, marking and feedback; provision of support for learning (e.g. demonstrating, tutoring, field trip support, tutorial and seminar support, library and skills support, learning technologist support); dissertation or project support and supervision; course and programme design, and course and programme leadership.

We expect that staff undertaking the PGCertTL programme might be in the following categories:

  1. Early career academics e.g. Assistant Professor, Teaching Fellow.
  2. Academic-related and/or support staff holding substantive teaching and learning responsibilities.
  3. Experienced academics relatively new to UK higher education.
  4. Staff with (sometimes significant) teaching-only responsibilities including, for example, within work-based settings.

These align with Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework to enable us to maintain accreditation of the pathway at Fellowship level.

Entry criteria:

For entry to the PGCertTL programme you must meet both the minimum previous experience and the minimum current teaching requirements.

  1. Minimum of FTE 120 hours of prior teaching experience in higher education in any HEI; with substantive personal teaching responsibilities working at Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF, for example designing and delivering teaching sessions, setting and marking assessment (formative and/or summative), providing feedback to students, course development etc. AND
  2. Minimum of 5 hours per week teaching responsibilities, commensurate with Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF, for the full duration of the programme (2 years). This requirement reflects that this is a practice-based course and must have responsibility for design and planning of learning activities or programmes of study; design and marking of assessments, feedback to students and course development etc.

If there is a semester when you will not be teaching, please speak to the PGCertTL team to discuss whether the programme is right for you at this time.

Register your interest and apply

To find out more and apply:

Further information about the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, and the application form for the 2023/24 pathway, are on the LTA Sharepoint site (access restricted to Heriot-Watt University staff).

Whilst you wait for the next presentation

If you are waiting for the next presentation of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (PGCertTL) we recommend:

  1. Reading ‘In At The Deep End’,
  2. Participating in the Talking Teaching Network, and
  3. Attending relevant LTA events.