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Governance (PGCert)

Course Description

Are you currently undertaking a role as an official that provides governance support? Are you looking to shape, develop and practice ‘good governance’ within your organisation? If so, studying a Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) in Governance will equip you with the skills needed to successfully rise to the challenge.

Good governance helps organisations to improve and deliver high quality services, through leadership, direction and control; whilst ensuring that the organisation is accountable to its stakeholders – both for spending money and achieving outcomes.

This course will be particularly of interest to members of public boards who are involved in the scrutiny and review aspects of organisations, whether their focus lies within health care, education or even housing services. It will also be of interest to middle and senior officers working in public and third sector organisations seeking to improve their governance skills.

The course has been developed by the Public Services team at the University of South Wales in collaboration with Cardiff Council, the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Academi Wales. It has carefully been designed to provide you with the systematic knowledge and skills that are highly sought from employers.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1402-postgraduate-certificate-in-governance

What you will study

The PgC in Governance comprises of three 20 credit modules which are compulsory for all students studying the course. Each module can be studied on a ‘stand alone’ basis under the University’s Associate Student (Governance) programme.

Modules of study include:
- Governance and Scrutiny – This module is concerned with governing structures and the activity of the board. It looks at the processes surrounding governance, issues such as accountability and regulation, and joint and shared governance arrangements.

-Political Awareness – The focus of this module is the concepts of political awareness, public and political leadership, and the significance of politics on a local and national level.

- Understanding and Challenging Performance – Helping you to understand and improve upon the performance of your organisation, this module will explore a range of performance criteria for reviewing and assessing performance.

Learning and teaching methods

The Postgraduate Certificate in Governance comprises of a combination of classroom-based teaching and work-based learning. You will be required to attend approximately 10 days of classroom sessions which will take place in the form of block delivery (involving a few days study at a time). For each module, there are three days of supported learning (with added time for course induction). There are no set delivery dates, but it is likely that there will be two start dates for this award per year. In addition to this, you will be expected to undertake self directed learning and reflection to include completing an individual and organisational analysis, guided reading and assignment work.

During your studies you will participate in interactive learning and teaching methods such as presentations, flip charts, individual and group work, reviews of data and role play. All of these methods will have a clear link to the workplace.

Throughout your studies you will be given the opportunity to attend guest lecturers from speakers who have previously included politicians and senior leaders from across the public sector.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

This course has been specifically designed to develop key governance knowledge and associated skills in those who are working in this role in a range of public service and third sector fields. If you are seeking to work in governance roles, this course is focused on the development of relevant skills to enable you access relevant positions.

This is a postgraduate course and on completion, you will easily be able to move on to a Postgraduate Diploma and then on to a Masters award.

Assessment methods

You will undertake a range of innovative assessments methods that have been specifically designed to be ‘workplace relevant’; focusing on building key scrutiny and governance knowledge, skills and competencies which are relevant to your current job role.

Through assessments you will be required to demonstrate a range of academic and subject-specific skills, particularly research, problem solving and critical thinking. You will be assessed through a variety of coursework and presentations that are related to the workplace.


This course is delivered in a block format. For each module, there are three days of supported learning (with added time for course induction). There are no set delivery dates, but it is likely that there will be two start dates for this award per year.

Visit the Governance (PGCert) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

To be accepted on the PG Cert award you will normally be expected to have an undergraduate degree or its equivalent in other qualifications and/or middle or senior management experience. If you have relevant prior qualifications, you may be able to obtain exemptions from certain modules.

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