Academic Quality and Partnerships

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE)

As a member of staff at Sussex, find out if you should take the PGCertHE qualification.

Who should take the PGCertHE

This 60-credit, level 7 course taken part-time over one year is required if you are:

  • a lecturer or teaching fellow at Sussex, and
  • on a permanent contract at or above 0.4FTE, and
  • have less than three years’ consecutive HE teaching experience in a substantive faculty role.

By successfully completing the course, including its assessments, you'll gain skills, a recognised professional qualification and Fellowship (FHEA).

Who can also register for the course

Participation is optional for teaching fellows and lecturers with more than three years' higher education teaching experience. You can also register if you work in another role (e.g research fellow, Library or careers) on a permanent contract at or above 0.4FTE and would like to support your professional development by developing your teaching skills and gaining a recognised professional qualification.

Staff without formally assigned teaching responsibilities must be able to gain some practical experience of HE teaching – either independently or through team teaching sessions with a more experienced colleague – in order to be able to complete the PGCertHE and FHEA accreditation.

About the course

The course is designed to take into account the need for staff to manage course participation alongside their other responsibilities, and includes provision for acknowledgement of prior relevant learning.

Workshop participation is agreed through an individual learning plan with an assigned departmental mentor.

The PGCert HE comprises the following core modules:

  • Fundamentals of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (15 credits) – This module aims to develop the core skills, methodologies and confidence essential for good teaching at University level.
  • Enhancing Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (45 credits) – This module is delivered through a series of core and optional workshops and explores elements of delivering HE teaching, paying attention to the demands of staff with a level of responsibility for design and monitoring of academic delivery, and focusses throughout on understanding how students learn.

The course starts in September each year.


September: PGCert Course Induction and course commences
September to October: Module 1 'Fundamentals' for PGCert participants
Rolling throughout the year: Fundamentals for other participants
January-May: Module 2 Teaching (including workshops and Action Learning sessions)
September, February and June: Module 1 and 2 Assessment and Resubmission deadlines

If you have 3 or more years teaching experience and do not have to take the course as part of your probation, then you may want to consider our portfolio route option.


Maximum PGCertHE registration period is 2 years from commencement of course.

How to register

To register for the PGCertHE, please complete the online PGCertHE Registration form. Once you have completed the registration form we will contact your Head of Department to confirm agreement of your participation on the course and to ask them to assign you a mentor with suitable expertise. If you have an queries about completing the form please email them to

You may apply for exemption from Fundamentals, in any of the following circumstances:

  • Having three or more years’ experience teaching in higher education in any role – including as an Associate Tutor or Graduate Teaching Assistant.
  • Already being an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA);
  • Having already completed a similar course to Fundamentals elsewhere.

If you wish to apply for exemption from the first module, complete the RP(E)L form [DOCX 18.54KB] and return to us with your registration form along with any supporting evidence and documentation, including a copy of your CV.

The course team is responsible for the final decision on module exemption and will require the relevant documentation (as above) to consider the application.