Key Facts

Course Title: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Course type: MA
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Rachel Rettinger
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Education


Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PG Cert)

Keele’s Teaching and Learning Programme (TLHEP) is a nationally accredited one-year, Masters level part-time programme that provides new teachers in higher education with skills, knowledge and a framework for continued critical engagement with the business of teaching in higher education. 

The programme is consistently commended for its systems, procedures and processes by external examiners, by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).  The programme offers flexible provision with personal support, including the possibility of taking more than one year to complete.

MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Keele University’s award of MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education involves the completion of three 60-credit modules, each of which is also a stand-alone programme carrying its own award:

1) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TLHEP),
2) Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLwT),
3) Action Research (AR)

Together, these provide a part-time programme that meets the continuing professional development needs of teachers in higher education across disciplines.  Drawing on the principles of reflective practice, each module focuses on a different aspect of the business of teaching in higher education:

-    the nature of learning and teaching (TLHEP)
-    the use of information and communication technology in teaching (TLwT)
-    conducting research into ones own and institutional practice (AR)


Aims of the Course

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PG Cert)

Programme rationale and learning outcomes

The programme assumes that there is value in a range of kinds of learning and teaching.  Teaching is viewed as an aspect of academic work that, just like research, demands both practical competencies and a theoretically informed and critical approach.  Such an approach should comprise:

  • Knowledge about how students learn
  • Collegiality and collaboration
  • An understanding of contexts
  • Competence in a range of pedagogic skills and techniques
  • A reflexive and experimental approach
  • Exploration of personal and professional values
  • Theoretical rationales grounded in awareness of the scholarship of learning and teaching

Candidates are encouraged to develop critical rationales for practice.  That is, while teaching techniques are introduced and explored through the course, the main emphasis is on how we make professional judgments

Thus the intended learning outcomes are:

  1. Design and plan student learning activities and/or programmes of study, including the appropriate use of learning technology, to achieve the intended learning outcomes
  2. Teach (i.e. support student learning) by using methods evaluated to be appropriate to the subject and the level of the academic programme, based on a critical evaluation of current understandings of how students learn, both generally and in the subject
  3. Assess student work, and give feedback on it, to promote learning, consistent with institutional requirements and guidelines
  4. Develop an effective and supportive learning environment, including individual guidance, in a way that respects them equally as individual, autonomous learners while recognizing and promoting the value of their diversity
  5. Integrate with their teaching their scholarship, research and/or professional activities, and the implications of the ethical, quality assurance and quality enhancement contexts
  6. Evaluate reflectively the effectiveness of their own practice, and continue their own professional development while contributing to a learning community of teachers

(60 Credits towards MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education)

Entry Requirements

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PG Cert)

For each of the component modules/course, you need to be teaching in a higher education institution or equivalent (as a new lecturer, PhD student or part-time teaching staff), have at least a first degree, and for the TLHEP have a teaching mentor from your institution who can provide support and discussion as you proceed through the programme.

Course Content

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PG Cert)


The course aims and learning outcomes are achieved through scholarly discussion about teaching, identifying issues and problems, drawing on a range of knowledge, skills and tools with which these can be addressed.  Regular meetings and input sessions provide a forum for exchanging experiences and receiving support, and access to theoretically grounded ideas that come to underpin individuals’ critical rationales for teaching. 

Session themes include lecturing, making discussions work, using technology, session planning, understanding student learning, assessment, marking and giving feedback, preventing plagiarism, evaluating your teaching, catering for diversity, internationalisation, designing modules and programmes, problem-based learning, and teaching in the natural sciences and in laboratories. 

There is also a programme of practical teaching observation and support.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PG Cert)

Exit points and awards

Candidates who complete the whole programme successfully will be awarded a Keele University PG Certificate in TLHE, which gains 60 credits towards the MA LTHE and entitles you to apply for HEA Fellowship.

There is also an Associate exit point, which carries 30 level M credits and entitles you to apply for HEA Associate Fellowship.  Candidates who successfully complete the Associate module can on certain conditions proceed subsequently to complete the Postgraduate Certificate. 

You are assessed by the submission of a portfolio at the end of the course in July.  This portfolio includes a critical commentary, evidence, observation records, action plans, and a mentor’s report. 

Postgraduate Certificate candidates need to achieve all 6 intended learning outcomes and to demonstrate these in their portfolio, for which the commentary should be 8-10,000 words long.

For the Associate module you will need to achieve 3 of the 6 intended learning outcomes, demonstrated in your portfolio for which the commentary should be 4-5,000 words long.

Additional Costs

Additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans, photocopying, printing, and potential overdue library fines.
No other additional costs for this postgraduate programme are anticipated.