UCC Postgraduate courses

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

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

Course Outline

Our Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (for third-level teachers) is an online programme offered by the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at UCC. We provide teachers in higher education with an ideal opportunity to learn how to research their teaching and evaluate evidence of student learning. This pedagogical leadership draws on evidence-based practices and awareness of these approaches is an important step in a lecturer’s career trajectory, opening up opportunities for collaboration and development and promotion.

Postgraduate Diploma

The aim of this programme is to provide the staff of universities and other third-level institutions with the opportunity to develop a research approach to their teaching and student learning and to provide them with the pedagogical tools that will enable them to document and harness student learning for curriculum design. The programme is grounded in the principles of a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) approach that advocates evidence-based decision-making.

Staff taking this course do so to enhance and research their teaching. It is an important step in a lecturer’s career trajectory, opening up opportunities for collaboration, development, and promotion. 

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

  • TL6005 Disciplinary Approaches to Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (15 credits) - Semester 1
  • TL6018 Diversity in Student Learning (10 credits) - Semester 2

Students also choose one 5-credit module from the following electives to be taken in Semester 2:

  • TL6009 Digital Education for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (5 credits) - Semester 2 or
  • TL6010 Inclusive Academic Practice for Research Supervision (5 credits) - Semester 2

On successful completion of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Diploma, there is opportunity to progress to the MA Teaching & Learning in Higher Education. Contact cirtl@ucc.ie for further information.

See the University Calendar - Diploma Teaching & Learning in Higher Education for more information on course content.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This Diploma programme is delivered 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. 


  • Semester 1: TL6005 Disciplinary Approaches to Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (15 credits)

In Semester 1 you will prepare a written portfolio of professional teaching practice throughout a single academic year. The portfolio enacts learning and teaching design principles that emerge from participants’ own disciplinary and professional practices. Assignments are undertaken on a pass/fail basis, in keeping with the spirit of continuing professional development.

In addition, students peer-review their teaching through online sharing of videos of teaching practice and written assignments (approx. 3,000 words). Participants also write an essay exploring the concept of a 'signature pedagogy' (approx 2,000 words) and include an annotated bibliography (approx 1,500 words).

  • Semester 2: TL6018 Diversity in Student Learning (10 credits) with elective (5 credits) In Semester 2 you create a reflective course portfolio (approx 9,000 words) including your elective reflective assessment (approx. 2,000 words).
Who teaches this course?

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

Why Choose This Course

The programme is offered by the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). CIRTL works alongside the Office of the Vice-President for Learning & Teaching at UCC, to promote and support excellence in teaching and to increase the quality of education.

CIRTL engages itself in promoting excellence in teaching through its courses at UCC and its alliance with bodies such as the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education.

If you teach in higher education this is the ideal opportunity to develop your practice; we believe that this Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme has the potential to broaden your horizons and enhance your career opportunities.


The minimum academic entry requirement is a primary undergraduate degree (NFQ, Level 8) and the successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education. The programme is open to all staff who teach in the third level education sector who have an active teaching timetable. This 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 is required in order to fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme, i.e. a total 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 are not eligible to apply for this programme but are encouraged to apply for the postgraduate training modules in teaching and learning. Contact cirtl@ucc.ie.

English Language Requirements for Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

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.

Additional Requirements 

Please 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.
  • Describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • What is your current occupation/specialty?

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Vsit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is Free for UCC Staff on provision of staff number .

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact