January 2023

Continuing Professional Development in Further Education (Professional/Postgraduate Certificate)

Postgraduate, January 2023

group work

This exciting new course will allow FE staff to access a robust, relevant education programme which will support them for developing their practice within the teaching profession.  It is a course designed to meet the needs of groups of staff within an FE setting although individuals may also engage with the course and work alongside a cohort.  Its key aim is to develop purposeful and effective FE professionals and

  • improve teaching skills
  • create a peer network where teaching practice can be shared
  • reflect on professional practice
  • recognise the demands and responsibilities of being a FE professional

The modules offer an opportunity for professionals at different levels.   Those with a degree are able to secure L7 postgraduate credits and those without a degree, yet with significant FE experience, are able to attain L6 professional credits.   The course explores the nature of being a professional in the FE sector in a changing and dynamic landscape and the impact of policy and reform of professional practice.  It also encourages staff to reflect upon the various factors that impact upon the content and pedagogy of specific subject areas within the Further Education curriculum and their own professional practice.  There will also be an opportunity to engage with relevant research and develop strategies for independent study.

There are two introductory sessions (delivered either on site, at Newman or remotely) in semester 1 run in advance of the course commencing.  The two taught modules are then delivered in semesters 2 and 3 through a blended approach; online remotely and on site or based at Newman, usually delivered over 8 afternoon/twilight sessions during the year. Study is part time and it is expected that students will complete within the year of study.  Additional resources will be provided to allow participants to access material alongside the taught sessions.  The professional and postgraduate sessions are taught in parallel.

The assessment tasks for both the professional and postgraduate certificate are similar with different levels of analysis and criticality required accordingly.

Module 1 (PFE 601/701): Navigating Change in Further Education and Skills Sector is assessed through two components:

  • Component 1: 2000-word essay focussing on what is FE, being a FE professional, policy direction and the impact of local and national policy reform on practice. (50%)
  • Component 2: Presentation (PowerPoint, or similar) with supporting speaker notes and commentary (2000-word equivalent) on a specific aspect of policy and impact upon practice. (50%)

Module 2 (PFE602/702): Improvement Project and Planning in the Further Education & Skills Sector is an analysis of professional practice and comprises three components:

  • Component 1: 1500-word literature review essay (38%)
  • Component 2:  1500-word reflective journal that reflects upon an area for improvement (37%) supported by
  • Component 3: 1000-word equivalent video recording (with notes) that narrates and shares the key themes surrounding the area for improvement (25%)

The course has been co-created with expert colleagues in FE settings.  While groups of staff within a College or similar setting are encouraged to work in a cohort, individuals may also engage with the course and work alongside a cohort.  Sessions will be delivered by FE specialists and/or academics who are experienced practitioners in higher, further and other phases of education. They are published researchers and nationally and internationally recognised within the fields of education.

A minimum of 60 credits are required to complete the certificate and these are then transferable towards additional awards.

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Entry Requirements

There are two levels of award, depending on qualifications prior to the course commencing:

Level 6: Professional Certificate:  This is a professional award – gaining 60 credits at L6 and entry requirements are aligned Level 5 qualifications and/or significant work experience in FE Teaching.  For those without the relevant qualifications, relevant work experience of teaching in Further Education confirmed through Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL). A portfolio of practice in an FE setting will be assessed to demonstrate this and that the candidate can study at level 6.

Level 7: Postgraduate Certificate: This is a postgraduate award – gaining 60 credits at L7 and entry requirements are an undergraduate degree in an aligned subject area

Course Fees

Course fee for this part-time course is £2,000 (charged  £1,000 per 30 credit module).


General Academic Regulations: Terms and Conditions for students attending our courses


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  1. This module develops an understanding of how the Further Education & Skills sector works and the policy context that shapes it. The module also focuses on how to use information to create strong curriculum intent that leads to meaningful destinations for learners and effective practice.  Alongside this, the module also builds a theoretical understanding of evidence-based teaching strategies for effective learning.  Together, these elements form the foundation on which new teachers can build strong Curriculum Intent and build strategies for Curriculum Implementation. It asks what it means to be a professional in the sector and how policy and reform affects professional practice?
  2. This module asks learners to engage in a literature review and review their own teaching practice to identify an improvement project that will improve Curriculum Intent and Implementation. Learners will design a research project, form conclusions, and make recommendations. This work will feed into their future development as a dual professional in the Further Education & Skills sector. Teaching and learning will be a blended approach of both online and face to face sessions (on site at College or at Newman University), with tutorials where required. The elements will vary depending on each tutor/cohort and will be discussed with students beforehand.