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PgCert Academic Practice

PG Cert in Art Design and Communication

Learn more about the PgCert Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication at UAL

The Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication (PgCert) is a key qualification for those who teach or support learning in arts higher education. It's aimed at a wide range of graduate staff with academic or academic-related roles and is open to both UAL and external applicants.

The course takes a comprehensive view of academic practice by offering opportunities for you to develop as a researcher and an academic leader as well as a higher education teacher.

The course also encourages you to explore your academic practice through a disciplinary lens, which means you will be given options to learn through practice-based as well as written and verbal means.

Please note: the Academic Practice programme is undergoing reapproval in 2020/21. From January 2022 the course structure and content of this PgCert Academic Practice will change from that outlined below. Check back in the summer term 2021 to find all the updated details and information.

What are the benefits of the PgCert Academic Practice?

  • Develop as a teacher in higher education.
  • Learn in a specialist arts university context.
  • Benefit from flexible and blended modes of learning.
  • Engage critically with policy, practice, research and scholarship linked to aspects of academic practice that matter to you.
  • Learn alongside like-minded professionals.
  • Progress onto the MA Academic Practice, building on the units you’ve already completed on the PgCert.
  • Attain professional recognition with AdvanceHE as either Associate Fellow or Fellow on completion of the PgCert.  Requirements for each Fellowship category will be outlined when you begin the course. Meantime, find out more about Fellowship.

What does the course involve?

The course has been designed for flexible study by practising professionals.  You will study on a part-time basis over 12 or 15 months depending on the units that you choose.

You will learn through a blend of working with peers and working individually. You will also combine face-to-face interaction with online and work-based learning activity.

You will be encouraged to focus on developing one of 3 areas of academic practice - education, academic leadership or researcher development - depending on your job role, stage of career and career trajectory.

All participants take 2 mandatory units and 1 elective unit, each worth 20 credits.

Mandatory units: Teaching and Learning and Self-initiated Project.

Elective units:

Take a look at our full list of course units and review your possible routes through the course using the Study Pathways Diagram (PDF 279KB).

How much work is involved?

Each 20 credits equals 200 notional learning hours. This includes between 15 and 30 hours of taught time per unit alongside independent, collaborative or work-based study.

We suggest you complete the PgCert (60 credits) within 1 or 2 years but you can negotiate to take longer in special circumstances.

Download the timetable below to help you plan your diary.

Am I eligible?

To apply for a place on the PgCert Academic Practice you must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Current employment in a higher education role with at least 35 hours teaching and teaching-related activity per annum within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • UK Honours Degree or equivalent.
  • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 on each element or equivalent (if you have not completed your secondary or higher education in the medium of English language).

It may be possible to receive credits for previous courses (Admissions with Academic Credit, or AAC) or for experiential learning (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning, or APEL).

Find out more about AAC or APEL.


Our courses usually run January-December. Please download the timetable for the year in which your course begins.

PgCert AP Timetable 2020 (revised) (PDF 125KB)

PgCert AP Timetable 2021 (PDF 202KB)