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UCC Postgraduate courses

Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (for third-level teachers) (Online)

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Cert
NFQ LevelLevel 9
EU FeesFree for UCC Staff on the provision of Staff number.
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31 July 2024
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

The aim of this Postgraduate Certificate programme is to provide staff in higher and further education with the opportunity to develop and professionalise their teaching practice to enhance learning, while gaining an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification in Teaching and Learning. Our programme allows you to be part of an international and interdisciplinary community of practice, and attend live sessions led by the Centre for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). The highly experienced teaching team of CIRTL will facilitate you to engage with quality materials on this fully online programme. 

Students who have completed the PG Certificate and wish to further their professional development can progress to the PG Diploma and subsequently the MA Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, also coordinated by CIRTL.

Postgraduate Certificate

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education showcases best practices in online teaching and acquaints participants with relevant theories and frameworks for designing curricula and assessments. The practical component of the programme enables participants to apply their learning in their own teaching context and share reflections with peers.

The 30-credit Postgraduate Certificate comprises three modules in total. Two core modules to the value of 25 credits are taken sequentially, typically in one academic year:

  • TL6017 Theories of Teaching, Learning and Assessment (10 credits) - Semester 1
  • TL6004 Practice Approaches to Teaching, Learning and Assessment (15 credits) - Semester 2

Students also choose one 5-credit module from the following electives to be taken in Semester 1:

  • TL6009 Digital Education for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (5 credits) - Semester 1 or
  • TL6010 Inclusive Academic Practice for Research Supervision (5 credits) - Semester 1
  • TL6011: Making Thinking Visible: Visual Critiques and Methods for Teaching and Learning (5 credits) – Semester 1

On successful completion of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Certificate, there is an opportunity to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma. Contact for further information.

Postgraduate Diploma

The Postgraduate Diploma is a part-time, fully online course and runs for two semesters over the academic year. Participants complete 2 x 15-credit modules.

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, participants may progress to the MA Teaching & Learning in Higher Education.

Course Practicalities

The programme is fully online. Students will get access to the programme through Canvas, UCC’s Learning Management System. There will also be opportunities during the programme to engage with peers in webinars as part of a community of practice approach to learning enhancement. 


Participants will prepare a portfolio of professional teaching practice over the course of the academic year. The portfolio consists of six entries that emerge from participants’ own practice. Assignments are undertaken on a pass /fail basis, in keeping with the spirit of continuing professional development.

Who teaches this course?

Dr Owen Jump, Dr Sarah Thelen, Dr Katy Dineen and Teaching Fellows drawn from the four colleges of the University and related centres.

Why Choose This Course

This programme provides staff who teach in higher education with an ideal opportunity to develop their practice by researching their teaching to enhance learning. Such continuing professional development has the potential to enhance career opportunities.


Applicants must have a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) and be teaching in the third level education sector and have an active teaching timetable. An active teaching timetable could include, supervision, placement work, lab-based work, in the field or in an online context. A minimum of 12 hours of teaching in both semesters 1 and 2, is required in order to fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme, i.e., a minimum of 24 teaching hours over the academic year.   

In exceptional circumstances, and subject to review by the programme team, applicants with a primary ordinary degree (NFQ, Level 7) may also be considered subject to meeting the teaching requirements.

PhD students who are not in a position to meet the minimum teaching hours required to successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate are not eligible to apply for the programme but are encouraged to apply for the Postgraduate Training Modules in teaching and learning. PhD students should also consider, along with their supervisors, the significant workload of this 30-credit programme and whether the 5-credit Postgraduate Training Modules are more appropriate given time demands.  

PhD students should contact in the first instance to discuss. 

English Language Requirements 

For applicants from non-native English speaking backgrounds, proof of English language certification is not required if currently employed in the third level education sector where the main language of instruction is English. Applicants who fall into this category are required to show proof of employment, e.g. a letter from your director of Human Resources, which is evidence of working in a third-level educational setting where the main language of instruction is English.

Take a look at the CTLHE Important Notes on the Application Process for more detailed information. 

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/Non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

Irish/EU fee: €1,800 for 30 Credits to complete the Postgraduate Certificate (€900 per 15-credit module).

How To Apply

Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us. 

Note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • What is your current occupation/specialty?

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact