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Course Content

Course content

This is an in-service part-time programme, delivered by distance learning via the University of Dundee's Virtual Learning Environment. It is offered in partnership with participating colleges, educational institutions and professional training organisations. In the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, it is worth 60 credits at Level 11 (Masters) at postgraduate level or Level 9 at undergraduate level. The TQFE programme is underpinned by the Scottish Government's (2012) Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges which define the lecturer's role and contribution to their educational setting.

The programme is normally completed within one academic year, starting in September and finishing in May.

Why study for the Teaching Qualification Further Education at Dundee?

At University of Dundee, the TQFE programme is delivered almost entirely online, allowing you to fit your studies around your professional and personal commitments. Our virtual learning environment is open 24/7 and you are encouraged to complete the well-structured programme at your own pace. As well as our highly accessible and attractive virtual learning environment, you will benefit from a range of social media and online conferencing tools.

The TQFE team is comprised of a group of academics, some of whom are also employed in the college sector. The programme materials are kept fully up to date; our virtual learning environment gives us the agility to respond quickly to new developments in the field. Members of the team are engaged in research into a wide range of topics including educational uses of social media tools; adult learners and motivation; the design of online learning environments.

Our communications and tutoring system, TQFE-Tutor, won the prestigious University of Dundee's Honorary Graduates' Award for Innovative Teaching in 2011. The system incorporates a blog, email and a Twitter account, all badged 'TQFE-Tutor'.
Visit the TQFE-Tutor blog: http://blog.dundee.ac.uk/tqfe/
The TQFE-Tutor system allows the team to guarantee that programme participants receive a timely response to any enquiries/assignment submissions.

Professional recognition:
Participants who successfully complete TQFE are eligible to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Those whose teaching is primarily in the Higher Education field may apply for registration with the Higher Education Academy; they will be required to submit a 3000 word (approx) Account of Professional Practice - for which they will find their TQFE studies very helpful.

"...I feel that I am a better teacher for TQFE study; I have a better appreciation of why some students are less receptive, with a wider range of skills to successfully amend this."
Previous programme participant

Who should study this course?

The programme is designed for academic staff working in colleges and other educational institutions, who may be fairly new to teaching or who want to develop their existing teaching skills further. Programme participants are often sponsored by their employers. The Scottish Government recommends that all college lecturers should complete TQFE within three years of appointment.

"I have learnt a lot about my learners and myself and looking back, I am changing my teaching methods and materials based upon different learning theories and styles."
Previous programme participant

How you will be taught

This programme is an in-service provision offered in partnership with participating colleges and organisations. It is flexible and grounded in professional practice.

For those undertaking the full programme, there are two 30 credit modules to complete - one per semester. Credit (up to 50% of the programme) may be awarded for other teaching qualifications, upon application to the Programme Director.

Each 30 credit module requires 300 hours of notional participant effort which includes directed study via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), work-based activities, face-to-face contact at optional workshops, tutor support via TQFE-Tutor, private study and assessment.

The main features of the programme are:
- Distance, on-line learning
- Two highly recommended module workshops
- Support via blog, email, VLE, online tutorials and telephone
- University tutor team and College mentor
- Observation of teaching practice
- Written formative activities and summative assignment

What you will study

The programme provides a comprehensive teaching qualification for College lecturers, educators and trainers. Professional competences are integrated with academic rigour and coursework is underpinned by theory and critical reflection upon practice.

There are two modules in the programme - The Effective Lecturer and The Successful Learner – and these correspond to the range of knowledge and skills required for a teaching career in the tertiary education sector.

Learning materials, workshops and literature are provided to facilitate critical thinking and generate ideas, leading to critical reflection and change in lecturers' practice.

You might like to sign up for TQFE-Tutor tweets, at: @TQFE_Tutor

How you will be assessed

Participants on the Standard Entry route through the programme are given the opportunity to receive formative feedback on each of the two summative written assignments required. In addition to the assignments, participants are required to pass two practical teaching observations, at least one of which will be undertaken by a member of the tutor team (the other observation may be undertaken by an Associate Staff member within their institution).


The TQFE programme is widely recognised as a high quality teaching qualification in the post-compulsory education sector. For those wishing to build on their qualification, progression to other programmes in Education, Social Work and Community Education is straightforward.

If participants wish to undertake further qualifications, progression to BA Professional Development (UG), MEd (PG) or Doctoral study (PG Masters) is straightforward.

As this is an in-service qualification, TQFE participants are normally employed as lecturers, trainers or instructors when they join the programme (they are required to undertake a minimum of 120 hours of teaching in the course of their studies). Some employers award contribution related salary points for employees who gain the TQFE certificate.

"I'm delighted to have gained my TQFE as not only have I improved my classroom practice, but I've now been given a pay rise and am actively seeking promotion."
Previous programme participant

Visit the Teaching Qualification (Further Education) page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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