Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP)
What is PCAP?
The Postgraduate Certificate in Academic
Practice is a Masters level professional development programme for
new academic staff. It is studied part-time, normally over one
year. It is recognised by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) as a
route to Fellowship of the HEA and so on successful completion of
the programme participants can apply for HEA Fellowship.
This type of programme is now commonly offered
across the sector and in making this Postgraduate Certificate
available to its staff, York St John University seeks to support
the development and dissemination of good academic practice.
Although this programme has been written, and will be led by
practitioners from different areas of the University, it is located
within the Continuing Professional Development section of the
Faculty of Education and Theology.
PCAP is designed to:
- provide a qualification in learning and
teaching in higher education, with a view to admission to
Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
- encourage and develop scholarship relating to
teaching, learning and assessment at YSJ
- support reflection upon and critical
engagement with underlying theories, values and assumptions in
- enable staff to collect evidence of their
work in teaching, learning and assessment, forming the basis of
well-targeted, effective and co-ordinated continuing professional
- provide a forum for sharing the best practice
at YSJ and across the programmes in overseas settings.
The programme runs at York St John University
and also at overseas locations, currently in Bahrain and Kenya. The
programme consists of two 30 credit modules:
MTS490 Reflective Practice
This module aims to promote professional
development through reflective practice.
The two PCAP modules run concurrently and it
is intended that participants apply what they learn on this module
to the work that they are carrying out in the other module which
focuses on teaching, learning and assessment. The concept of a
community of learners and professional dialogue underpins the
formative assessment strategy and participants will develop as
critically reflective practitioners. They will enquire into their
own practice in order to improve student learning.
This module is designed to encourage critical
reflection upon theories of learning and pedagogies relevant to
higher education. It aims to develop and deepen the
understanding of the interdependency of educational theory and
practice. It is also designed to enable participants to
identify opportunities to incorporate their own research, scholarly
activity or professional activities in learning and teaching.
It is based around using the skills of enquiry and evidence-based
practice to enable participants to put theories into practice and
to theorise their own practice. The module enables participants to
demonstrate their abilities to meet the requirements of the HEA by
reflecting on all 6 areas in the portfolio and the HE Professional
MTS500 Approaches to Learning, Teaching and Assessment in
This module focuses on improving quality in
the practice of teaching, learning and assessment in higher
education. It aims to promote critical discussion and exploration
of theories and approaches to adult learning and to engage in
critical evaluation of a range of teaching, learning, assessment
and feedback strategies in relation to the needs of learners in the
area in which the participants work. It locates teaching within its
broader context in terms of key policy imperatives. The module runs
concurrently with the other module and offers a framework in which
to reflect on practice and understand the relationship between
theory and practice.
The two modules run concurrently and the PCAP
programme at York St John University is normally on Wednesday
afternoons, with the first session beginning in October
and the programme continues until May.
How do I find out more?
Further information can be obtained in the
first instance from Catherine Barber, Senior Administrative
Assistant for the PCAP Programme. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or