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Course content

The Postgraduate Certificate in the Practice of Education is a flexible part-time programme comprising 60 Masters-level credits: one research methods module plus another module chosen from a list of optional modules also offered on our MA in Education programme.

With the option of transferring to the MA in Education upon successful completion of both modules, this programme is ideal for those who wish to sample postgraduate study prior to committing to a full Masters degree programme.

Teaching has previously been delivered through intensive teaching weekends scheduled around (Durham) school half-term holidays making the programme suitable for those working full-time.

Course structure

Over the course of a year students study two 30 credit modules from the list below. In previous years these have included:

  • 21st Century Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning (30 credits)
  • Arts in Education (30 credits)
  • Curriculum Analysis (30 credits)
  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Purposeful Thought (30 credits)
  • Intercultural and International Education (30 credits)
  • Intercultural Communication (30 credits)
  • Policy Studies (30 credits)
  • Psychology of the Learner (30 credits)
  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion: Rhetoric or Reality? (30 credits)
  • Teaching and Learning in Science (30 credits).

The above are examples of modules we run at present. Modules are continually developed in line with needs of students and expertise in the department.

Course Learning and Teaching

In all of our postgraduate taught programmes we place an emphasis on empowering students to be autonomous, independent learners. The taught modules provide an introduction to module content which is then developed and extended through our use of online resources, key reading and independent study and research. We consider the development of independent learning and research skills to be one of the key elements of our postgraduate taught curriculum and one which helps our students cultivate initiative, originality and critical thinking.

On the Postgraduate Certificate in the Practice of Education programme you will take two option modules, a total of 60 credits depending on your individual interests. Modules are offered either mid-week or at weekends, which provides flexible study routes and a wide choice of options. Modules are delivered using a combination of lectures, seminars workshops and tutorials. The core modules are designed to provide you with a critical understanding of theories, research and issues relevant to your chosen programme of study. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.

Throughout the programme, you will meet regularly with an Academic Advisor, who provides academic support and guidance. In addition Programme Leads have regular office hours where they meet students to discuss any issues. Module staff are also happy to meet with you to discuss module specific issues as needed. 

In term time, the department also has an extensive programme of departmental and research group seminars which postgraduate students are encouraged to attend. 

Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the programme. On arrival, we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. 

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.


Visit the Practice of Education - PGCert page on the Durham University website for more details!

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