Due to high demand places for PGCAP in 2023-24 are now full.  Applications for 2024-25 will open in Spring 2024.

*Any applications that have already been received will still be considered as normal.

The PGCert in Academic Practice (PGCAP) is designed to support the professional development of staff involved in teaching and supporting learning in Higher Education at various points in their career but with a focus towards staff on the Early Career Development Programme (ECDP). The Programme strives to provide a variety of practical advice and support to enhance the competence, confidence and professional development of teachers in higher education as well as provide an opportunity to engage in scholarly practice, theory and research and scholarship related to higher education.

Teaching on PGCAP is entirely online, through a combination of 'Online Live' classes and 'Online Anytime' activities which gives you flexibility and ensures a high degree of accessibility to enable you to complete your studies around your normal workload.






Frequently Asked Questions

I have just joined the University, what should I do?

PGCAP forms part of the Early Career Development Programme (ECDP). Most new academic staff at grades 7 and 8 are enrolled on the ECDP and, as a result, are required to complete PGCAP. R&T and LTS staff who are on ECDP should normally apply for a place on PGCAP within a few months of joining the University whereas research fellows on ECDP should probably contact to discuss a starting point that best suits that role. Completion of PGCAP normally takes around 2 years of part time study.

ECDP, PGCAP or TSC: what is the difference?

The Early Career Development Programme (ECDP) is a wide ranging programme providing learning and development opportunities for new academic staff at Glasgow. It is designed to support your development with a view to meeting the criteria for promotion to grade 9 within a defined timescale. PGCAP is part of ECDP, sitting primarily in the learning and teaching strand of professional development. Completion of PGCAP is typically associated with one of your expected ECDP objectives.

The Teaching and Supervision Courses (TSC) were previously part of ECDP until very recently. You may still see ‘TSC’ mentioned alongside PGCAP in some outdated literature but as of September 2018 ‘TSC’ is no longer offered nor associated with ECDP. If you have recently joined the University and a colleague suggests you should complete ‘TSC’ it is likely that they mean ‘PGCAP’.

How has Covid19 affected PGCAP?

Covid19, the lockdown, and social and physical distancing have all impacted PGCAP but perhaps not as much as you might think. Our Programme is designed as a blended model where face to face teaching exists, but students can study remotely if they prefer or if circumstances demand it. Since March 2020 we moved all our PGCAP and MEd AP teaching online to facilitate remote teaching and learning but, given this was already within our blended model, then not much has had to change (except no face to face classes for now). We have modified our assessment requirements so that they meet social and physical distancing guidelines and from September 2020 onwards we will be including more content designed to support your own remote teaching pedagogies.

The most significant change is that all our teaching will be ‘remote’, meaning we have no face to face classes (although there may be scope to have some small tutorials on campus under certain circumstances). We will schedule classes as either 'Online Live' or 'Online Anytime' to reflect your engagement. Online Live classes will involve live delivery from a lecturer on our courses and 'Online Anytime' will involve you engaging in some pre-recorded materials or activities, often within a defined time period. 

What is the programme structure?

The PGCAP is integrated with our MEd Academic Practice, meaning that whilst most people will complete PGCAP it is entirely possible to continue to gain credits and work towards a PG Diploma and an MEd. PGCAP contains core and elective courses. Our 'Phase 1' courses are all core (1a, 1b and 1c) and our 'Phase 2' courses are electives (2a - 2i). Normally you would complete the 40 credits of Phase 1 and then 20 credits from Phase 2 to gain your PGCAP.

For those that want to progress further then a PGDip can be awarded once an additional 60 credits have been achieved. This must include the core 'Phase 3' course 3b plus 40 credits of elective courses from Phases 2 and 3. A 60 credit Masters Project facilitates the award of MEd. The diagram below shows this structure.


PGCAP and MEd AP Programme Structure (2023-24)


How much time does the programme take?

The PGCAP is a 60 credit SCQF Level 11 programme and represents 600 notional hours of learning. The total contact time for PGCAP is around 60 hours, typically spread over 2 years. The remaining 540 hours of notional learning are associated with practice-based learning, development and reflection as well as self-directed learning and assessment tasks. This may sound like a considerable workload but much of your time on PGCAP is actually related to your everyday academic practice - work you would be doing regardless of your engagement on PGCAP. The key issue is that the programme requires you to reflect critically on your practice and apply new concepts to your practice so that you can, where relevant, explore ways to enhance it.

Normally you would complete the Phase 1 courses (40 credits) spread across 2 or 3 semesters. You would then take 1 or 2 semesters to complete the remaining 20 credits. In total, your PGCAP should take between 3 and 5 semesters to complete.

Should I be given time to complete the programme?

In short, yes. Any workload adjustments that enable you to undertake PGCAP should be agreed locally with your School, line manager or mentor. Typically speaking, a slightly larger workload adjustment is recommended in your first year on PGCAP when compared to your second year on PGCAP.  You shouild use the notional learning hours in the course specifications as a guideline for how much time to negotiate for programme completion. For clarity, the PGCAP team and ADD do not negotiate workload adjustments.

Will the taught sessions be relevant to my context specifically or are they general?

We have recently redeveloped our entire programme to provide more specific support. Whilst some of our course will have more of a ‘general’ feel to them, several courses have been developed (particularly in our second year) to provide more specific learning, teaching and assessment development ideas relevant to individuals. This is particularly apparent through the assessments on the programme which are specifically related to your practice.

How is the programme assessed?

Firstly, as this is a postgraduate programme, there are assessments! There are a variety of formative and summative assessments that have been designed to be practical and useful to your everyday practice. You will take part in teaching observations and reflections, write a reflective account of practice that may end up contributing to a promotion application, you will complete course design documentation, develop assessment strategies, write proposals and conduct work-based projects that may also contribute towards your evidence for certain promotion criteria.

Although your assessments are not linked to promotion, we have designed assessments with both your everyday practice and the academic promotion criteria in mind – all within a framework of supporting enhanced learning, teaching and assessment practice.

When can I start the programme?

Ideally you should start the programme within a few months of starting your new role at the University. We offer two starting points throughout the year: September and January. We are happy to try and accommodate you in relation to your preferred starting point, but spaces are limited and so we cannot always guarantee your preferred starting date. The programme typically takes 2 years to complete and so this should be considered when setting your PDR and ECDP objectives.

Is there any process for recognising my previous learning, teaching and assessment experience?

In short – yes! More information can be found on this complex issue here‌. There are three main ways in which your previous experience can be recognised and potentially contribute towards your completion of PGCAP, or our related degree programme MEd Academic Practice.

  1. You may have completed a PGCAP (or equivalent) elsewhere or you may already have UKPSF D2 recognition e.g. you are a Fellow of Advance HE (formerly HEA). In this case you may be exempt from the requirement to complete PGCAP provided you have your certificates (and relevant programme information).
  2. You may have completed part of PGCAP (or equivalent) elsewhere. In this case we may be able to facilitate a credit transfer (formally called Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning, or APCL). This may result in you having to complete part of PGCAP, as opposed to the whole programme.
  3. You may have substantial experience in teaching and supporting learning at university level to a level approaching the grade 9 promotion criteria. Although ADD do not assess you against promotions criteria, it may be that your experience can be recognised through ‘Accreditation or Prior Experiential Learning’ (APEL). This could involve writing an experiential claim against certain courses on PGCAP for the associated credits or may involve gaining professional recognition. In any case, a process for recognising substantial experience exists.

I am on a research contract and do very little any teaching. Should I do PGCAP?

For clarity, there is a requirement to teach for around 30 hours per year whilst on the programme. For most participants of ECDP the PGCAP is a required component and should be completed in the first 2 years of your ECDP. However, for some research fellows on ECDP it is more appropriate to postpone the requirement to complete PGCAP to a point in your career when your teaching responsibilities have grown. For example, if you are an RCUK or LKAS Fellow then it may be better to postpone your PGCAP until the third or fourth year of your fellowship. In any instance, discussions between your mentor, line manager and, if necessary, the Head of Subject: Academic and Digital Development are encouraged.

I want to take some courses, but not all of them. Can I?

Any member of staff can take any courses on our taught programmes as long as we have space and you meet any entry requirements. You can take standalone courses for credit and we have negotiated a lengthy ‘duration of studies’ agreement with Senate to enable you to build up credits that can contribute towards PGCert, PGDip and MEd awards over 4, 6 and 8 years, respectively. Even participants on ECDP can take extra credits, and many colleagues continue their studies to complete a PG Diploma and MEd with us.

Our programme is very flexible and we are happy to listen to any requests!

I am not on ECDP - can I still complete PGCAP?

Yes – absolutely! We recently redesigned our entire programme to enable this! We are pleased to accept more junior colleagues (e.g. some postdocs) and more senior colleagues (e.g. senior lecturers and professors) as well as MPA and technical staff on to the PGCAP. The only requirement is that you teach in higher education and have the potential to meet Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF through your role. We may have to ask you some questions when you apply to advise you properly but we absolutely encourage your application! Moreover, if you are not contractually required to complete PGCAP then you can take any number of courses for credit as ‘CPD’ – you don’t necessarily have to commit to completing all 60 credits of the programme. We will even be offering the opportunity to ‘audit’ courses (i.e. sit in, but don’t do the assessment) in the very near future.

Is the PGCAP available to students at the University?

No.  GTAs and other students involved in teaching or supporting learning at the University may be eligible to apply for our DAT HE programme.

I am on a fractional contract, can I still apply for PGCAP?

Places on PGCAP are prioritised for colleagues on ECDP so if your fractional contract also involves ECDP then yes, you can still apply. If you are not on ECDP but are a fractional member of staff at the University, in a role teaching or supporting learning, then you may still apply but you may wish to secure the support of your line manager in applying. PGCAP will draw on your time and so it is important that your PGCAP time is factored in to your commitments to the University.

If you are a member of staff at another HEI in a fractional role then the same advice applies.

NB those on GTA contracts are not eligible to apply. DAT HE exists in that instance.

PGCAP has a fee waiver for some University Staff, am I eligible for zero fee?

PGCAP is free for anyone on the University's ECDP programme, as well as anyone on a substantive R&T contract or a similar role with substantive teaching. PGCAP is not generally free for Associate staff (such as Associate Tutors) nor is it generally free for NHS staff involved in teaching. 

I still have questions

Any further enquiries can be directed to and we will reply as soon as we can.