Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PGCAP) – Online Course

Programme duration: approximately10 months(part-timeand online)
Upcoming starts: 2 Aug and 11 Oct 2022
Entry awards: PGCAP

Develop your academic practice in a global context and gain automatic professional recognition (FHEA). 

What is academic practice?

Academic practice is the term used to define any work that uncovers, researches and teaches information, knowledge and learning materials. Academic practitioners include researchers, higher education and university lecturers, professors, teachers, analysts and academic laboratory technicians – their contributions go toward providing students of all ages with a better standard of knowledge within their field.

Like every career path, becoming an academic practitioner requires a certain skills and abilities for the effective teaching of subject materials. The University of Liverpool’s Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PCGAP) is a qualification for those who wish to enhance their academic practice and develop their teaching career, providing students with invaluable teaching methods and techniques, informed by global pedagogical viewpoints.

A collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Advance HE, this online programme represents a practical and informed stepping-stone into the world of academia, education and beyond.

About the programme

The programme is a unique collaboration between the University of Liverpool, a prestigious UK Russell Group university and one of the original red brick universities, and Advance HE, the UK’s foremost agency for driving excellence and developing leadership in higher education.

Advance HE Logo

Designed specifically for higher education professionals to develop your teaching and learning academic practice. This is the first and only programme of its kind to be delivered solely online. Graduates will receive a professional postgraduate qualification and automatically attain international professional recognition as a Fellow of Higher Education (FHEA) awarded by Advance HE.

Active learning plays a fundamental part in the programme structure. You will have opportunities to demonstrate your understanding of educational concepts and barriers to learning, and your ability to apply pedagogical theory from varied global perspectives to the classroom.

You will be encouraged to utilise international educational frameworks to design lessons, set assignments and decide on learning outcomes that can be applied to your own context or to a global teaching space. Your online interaction with international peers will also provide you with opportunities to give and receive feedback relevant to academic practice, which will enable you to critically reflect on your current position.

By the end of your studies, you will be prepared to take your practice to the next level within the ever-changing higher education sector. You will also have developed global networks to support your continued career development beyond the programme.

Download a prospectus for more details on this programme including module information.

Programme structure

This programme consists of the following modules. Participants are required to complete 60 credits to achieve the full award. 

  • Contemporary Approaches to Learning and Teaching (15 credits) 
  • Alternative Approaches to Supporting Learning (15 credits) 
  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning (15 credits)
  • Extending your HE Career in a Global Context (15 credits)

Participants will be encouraged to contribute to learning, providing case studies and perspectives from their local contexts. This will create a strong global and active learning experience and a global network of contacts. 

For more information on the modules, including syllabus and learning outcomes, please download our programme booklet

Entry requirements

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you want to discuss your previous qualifications and experience before applying, please contact us now via LiveChat.

Applicants must have:

  • A degree equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or equivalent; and
  • Hold a teaching position in a higher education institution at Descriptor level 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

All applicants from outside the UK must provide evidence that they have an English language ability equivalent to an IELTS (academic) score of 6.5.

If you don’t have an IELTS or equivalent certificate, you can take our free online English test to assess your proficiency. You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Fees and funding

PGCAP: £5,100

This fee* is fully inclusive of all costs, including all teaching materials, core textbooks, assessments and resits.   

Scholarships and discounts

You may be able to benefit from the following scholarships and discounts:

  • Regional Scholarships of up to 15%. To find out the scholarship offered in your region, please make an enquiry now
  • 10% discount for University of Liverpool alumni
  • 5% discount for up-front full tuition fee payment 

Further support

We aim to make it as easy as possible for you to cover the costs of your studies. You could benefit from:

  • Simple monthly payment plan provided to spread the cost over the duration of study 
  • Students living in England may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to cover some of the programme cost. 

Please speak to our admissions team for more details of fees, scholarships, discounts and support.

*All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed.


Apply for this course by completing a simple online form.

In order to apply, you will need to provide copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (EU and international applications only)
  • Personal statement†
  • An up-to-date CV

† Applicants will be required to respond to a Fellowship Category Tool survey during their induction to the programme to confirm their eligibility for the programme. 

Acknowledgement of your application

The admissions team will acknowledge receipt of your application and will pass it to the Department Head and/or appropriate academic department(s) for consideration.

Students with disabilities

We welcome applications from students with disabilities and consider them on the same academic grounds as those of other students. If you have a disability, medical condition and/or support needs it is important that you inform the University so that you receive appropriate support.


We have regular start dates throughout the year with regular application deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to apply in good time, particularly if they have special needs.

Career prospects

The global emphasis of this programme will be particularly helpful for those with an interest in transnational education and in developing skills to work with international students and faculty.

Participants will be encouraged to contribute to learning, providing case studies and perspectives from their local contexts. This will create a strong global active learning experience and a global network of contacts for participants.

The award of both academic qualification (postgraduate certificate) and automatic professional recognition (FHEA) to successful participants offers an accelerated and significant career benefit for individuals seeking to develop their practice in higher education.

Alongside the subject-specific knowledge gained, you will also develop professional skills such as communication, digital literacy, teaching and research, which could improve your career prospects and open up access to more senior roles.

Virtual Open Week video

We recorded this short video ahead of our Virtual Open Week in which Dr Susan Bolt, Head of Academic Development, gives an introduction to the PGCAP – including who the programme is for, what you will learn as a student, and how taking this qualification can help to develop your skills and career.