For more information about Professional Practice in Higher Education at Bath Spa University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
2 - 5 years

Domestic course fees

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Professional Practice in Higher Education at Bath Spa University

A programme to help staff and research students address the key challenges of working in higher education.

  • Opportunities for accredited professional development designed to meet the needs of those working in higher education contexts.
  • Undertake professional development at your own pace. We offer flexible patterns of enrolment, course delivery and credit accumulation.
  • Learning activities and assessment tasks have a practical orientation and can be tailored to reflect the needs of your work environment.

The Professional Practice in Higher Education (PPHE) programme will help you, as a staff member or research student, to meet the key challenges of working in the rapidly changing world of higher education.

These challenges - of teaching, supporting student learning, employability, sustainability, new technologies, team management, enterprise, quality assurance and external accountability - range across the whole business of higher education, and can rarely be addressed in isolation. They raise many questions about how best to enhance teaching and research within particular contexts, and about how managers and administrators can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current practices, not least in terms of addressing students' needs and aspirations, enriching their learning experiences, and raising the enduring value of their learning outcomes.

What you'll learn


By sharing ideas, knowledge and expertise about our professional practices we can both deepen our understanding of the challenges we face and realise opportunities to make improvements through innovations and the adoption of best practices. The PPHE programme will help you evidence your commitment to professional development and to enhance the quality of your work, as well as the development of higher education in your workplace.


Course structure

The programme is based upon a credit system; you'll select modules and patterns of study to suit your needs and interests. All modules are credit rated and lead to the following qualifications:

  • MA degree: 180 credits; 120 acquired for the PG Dip plus 60 for a Research Project/Dissertation;
  • Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits acquired from any combination of modules;
  • Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits acquired from any combination of modules.

Most modules (subject to availability) can be taken in any order and in any combination, though we would advise new teachers to include the 'Teaching and Learning in Higher Education' module among their initial options. The Master's Project or Dissertation should be taken on completion of the PG Diploma. Tutorials will be available to help you plan your course of study.

Modules may be selected to create various levels of part-time study. The minimum enrolment is for one 15-credit module per year. The maximum enrolment is for a full-time 180-credit MA.


You can choose to take modules that lead to particular awards within the programme:


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Learning in Higher Education: 60 credits acquired from a set of three required modules. This qualification is designed primarily for participants who are in their early years of teaching in higher education, though it may also be taken by more experienced staff. Based upon the UK's Professional Standards Framework for Higher Education, the award qualifies teachers for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment for all modules is by coursework, based upon the completion of assignments designed to promote understanding, enhancement and/or application of professional practices in higher education.

Each module has its own assessment tasks, usually one or two per module. Forms of assessment include work-based activities, action plans, reports, reflective logs, portfolios, presentations, reviews, case studies, business plans, short essays, action-research documents, and (for the Master's degree) a dissertation/research project.

How will I be taught?

Most modules are delivered through three - four half-day sessions, including mini-lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations, supported where appropriate by online discussions and activities. Throughout the programme, you'll be supported by individual and small-group tutorials.

Sessions are designed to promote the sharing of ideas, expertise and experiences within a professional community of practice, so we will encourage participation and contributions from everyone. One module ('Teaching and Learning in Higher Education', for new teachers) includes some teaching observation sessions, and some modules provide opportunities for peer mentoring. Project and Dissertation modules will be largely delivered by individual supervision, and E-learning modules will be held in ICT training rooms.

The teaching sessions for some modules will be delivered within a few weeks, some over a period of several months, and some throughout the academic year. Further information about the organisation, dates, times and location of the teaching sessions for each module can be found in the Programme Calendar, available from


Network and share knowledge

You'll have opportunities to network and share knowledge and experience within a community of practice focussed on understanding and enhancing higher education.

Professional development lectures and seminars

You'll be invited to attend occasional professional development lectures and seminars organised by the Centre for Learning and Teaching Development each year.

Career development

The PPHE programme is designed to support the development of all academic and professional staff, teaching, managing or supporting HE students, at a time when evidence of professional development is increasingly expected of all staff, not least for new appointments and promotions.

A recognised certificate in teaching in higher education is becoming a requirement for all lecturing positions in the UK, and our certificate enables participants to become more effective and confident HE lecturers.  The certificate is recognised by the Higher Education Academy: completion of the 'Teaching and Learning in HE' module (HE7001) leads automatically to Associate Fellowship, and completion of 3 modules (HE7001, 7002 and 7003) leads to Fellowship of the HEA. This means that the CPLHE qualification is recognised by other institutions as a teaching qualification for HE and is equivalent to other HEA-accredited postgraduate certificates in HE.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The course is taught at Newton Park and Corsham Court campuses.



Learning resources for the programme will be available through the university's library and information services.

Modules have been designed to make the most of the wide range of scholarly material that is now freely available online, and participants will have access to the online resources and learning opportunities afforded by the university's virtual learning environment (Minerva) which will provide links to key resources for each module.


The programme will be led by Clare Power, Academic Staff Development Coordinator, supported by tutors with a wide range of teaching, research, management and leadership experience within and outside higher education. The module tutors are:

  • Dr Nicholas Sorensen, Associate Dean: Institute for Education
  • Dr Giles Martin, Programme Leader (Academic Professional Development)
  • Renee Marx, Reader and Learning Technologist, Institute for Education

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 - 5 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 6995International course fees find out
  • The awardPG CertHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study1 - 2 year
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardPG DipHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 - 5 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course


UK and EU students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £6,995 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 price by credit(cr) module:£585.00 - 15 cr, £1170.00 - 30 cr, £2340.00 - 60 cr Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £12,900 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Please note, although full time fees are shown, we are currently only accepting applications for part time study.

Entry requirements

You'll normally be required to possess an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education institution, or an equivalent qualification from overseas. Applicants who do not possess an undergraduate degree, or equivalent professional qualification, but who have at least two years of work experience relevant to the programme are also welcome to apply, and will be invited to attend an admissions interview.

Applicants who have previously completed postgraduate-level courses or modules that can be recognised as appropriate to the study of Professional Practice in Higher Education may be enrolled with advanced standing through our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Similarly, applicants who can evidence a substantial body of work-based experience relevant to the programme, as through a reflective portfolio, can apply for the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). APL and APEL credits can then be counted towards the numbers of the credits required for a PGCert or a PGDip within the PPHE programme.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.

    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.

    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.

    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.

    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.

    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

Ask a question

Ask Bath Spa University for more information by completing this form

Desired Start Year

Your question will be sent directly to Bath Spa University. Your question is subject to the StudyLink terms and conditions. On submitting this form you are consenting to us sharing the information you have supplied with Bath Spa University inline with the StudyLink privacy policy.

Location of Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University main campus is shown on the map below:

Explore Bath Spa University

Click the following videos and images to expand or play