Applications for 2024-25 are now open.  Applications will close when places are full or on the following dates, whichever is sooner:31st July 2024 for September starts and 30th September 2024 for January starts.  However, please be aware that we may close applications early if we reach capacity.

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.


Applicant Information

In order to secure your place on PGCAP you must first complete an Expression of Interest form and then apply as a PGT student using the link at the end of the Expression of Interest form.  Applications are reviewed and, if appropriate, you will be notified of an offer of a place on the programme.

You must then complete registration annually when instructed to do so and enrol on courses.  EDUC5981 is the only course to be taken in the first semester of study.  Students commencing PGCAP in September will normally complete EDUC5983 AND EDUC5984 in the second semester and so should enrol on these courses at the time of registration in August.  Students commencing PGCAP in January will only enrol on EDUC5981 in their first semester of study and would normally enrol on other mandatory courses in semester 1 of the following academic session.  Please note that enrolment on courses is the student's responsibility.



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 or demonstrate that they have completed an equivalent qualification or hold equivalent professional recognition. 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.  Research fellows on ECDP should contact to discuss a starting point that best suits that role. Completion of PGCAP normally takes around 2 years of part time study so you should plan for this alongside your career progression.

ECDP, PGCAP: 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 a taught component of ECDP, sitting primarily in the learning and teaching strand of professional development. Successful completion of PGCAP (or an equivalent alternative) is typically associated with one of your expected ECDP objectives.

Are the sessions online or face-to-face?

Our programme is entirely online, so students study remotely.  

What is the programme structure?

PGCAP contains core and elective courses.  Our 'Phase 1' courses are all core (EDUC5981, EDUC5983 and EDUC5984) and our suite of nine 'Phase 2' courses are electives.  Normally you would complete the 40 credits of Phase 1 and then 20 credits from Phase 2 to gain your PGCAP.  Most people will take this route.

For those that want to progress further then a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can be awarded once an additional 60 credits have been achieved.  This must include the core 'Phase 3' course EDUC5991 plus 40 credits of elective courses from Phases 2 and 3.  A 60 credit Masers Project facilitates the award of Master of Education (MEd).  The diagram below shows this structure.

 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 from Phase 2. 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 You should 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. However, a reduction of your teaching workload by around 50% In year 1, and 25% in year 2 is the guideline.

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! We have designed a variety of formative and summative assessments to be practical and useful to your everyday practice. You will take part in teaching observations and reflections, write a portfolio of practice, complete course design documentation, develop assessment strategies, write proposals and conduct work-based projects.

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 will try and accommodate your  preferred starting point, but we cannot guarantee it as spaces are limited. 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 on the Accreditation of Prior Learning page‌. 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.

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

There is a requirement to have a teaching related workload of around 30 hours per semester whilst on the programme, at least 10 hours of which should be ‘contact’ with students, so you must meet this minimum requirement to start PGCAP. For most participants of ECDP the PGCAP is a required component and should be completed in the first 2 years of your ECDP, however this sometimes clashes with a lack of teaching commitments. For example, some research fellows on ECDP do very little teaching but yet should still aim to gain PGCAP. In this instance it is more appropriate to postpone engagement with PGCAP until 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 am not on ECDP - can I still complete PGCAP?

Due to very high demand we prioritise applications from staff who are contractually obliged to complete the PGCAP (either through ECDP or otherwise).

We may be able to accept applications for the PGDip Academic Practice and/or MEd Academic Practice.  If you are interested in this please contact us:

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 have a fractional contract teaching or supporting learning, you may still apply. However, we advise you 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.

 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, and anyone in a role with substantive teaching such as an R&T contract. 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

In the first instance, answers may be found in Knowledge Base via the Helpdesk. This is the quickest way to find an answer to most queries.

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