Academic Quality and Partnerships

PGCertHE - Portfolio route (for experienced practitioners)

The PGCertHE Portfolio route is aimed at new permanent academic staff appointed at or above 0.4FTE who have the equivalent of three or more years’ higher education teaching experience but not in a substantive faculty role and who are required to take the PGCertHE. In addition, the PGCertHE has been specifically designed to be accessible to more experienced staff who would like to work towards a qualification in teaching and learning in higher education and recognition through the UKPSF, including library, careers, IT and research staff. However, if you feel you would benefit from the support of a community of learners, you may wish to consider our Taught route. The course team is happy to discuss the most appropriate pathway for you.

Enrolment on the Portfolio route requires participants to have either at least three years prior experience in higher education teaching, or already to have completed Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) or a comparative level higher education teaching qualification

The PGCertHE Portfolio route is an independent, outcomes-based course. Drawing on your HE teaching experience you will work towards a reflective written assessment. You will be supported by Action Learning sessions, giving an opportunity to meet with a community of your fellow PGCertHE students and to access guidance and support around the assessment. You will also have access to support from the course tutor, an assigned mentor, and a series of Pedagogy + sessions around current issues in HE Teaching and Learning. You will also be observed teaching and observe colleagues teaching, which forms part of your assessment for the course.

Participants are encouraged to keep a reflective learning journal throughout the course. You will be given guidance on using a learning journal, but the way in which you use this can be individual, and may also include use of online tools including the course Canvas site, or an alternative wiki or blog. The aim of this is to support your developmental process in reflecting on your own professional practice, including through writing, and in preparation for your written assessment.

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 a query about completing the form please email

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.