The Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice is an innovative and flexible professional development programme for those who teach in Higher Education. This fully online/blended programme aims to encourage and promote best practice in Higher Education teaching, learning and assessment that empowers staff and students to be responsive to the changing needs of the Higher Education landscape and broader society. It is designed for all those who teach in Higher Education, both new to the sector, those with more experience or in leadership roles, and those in professional services roles which include teaching and supporting student learning. It offers a highly flexible, experiential and contextualised learning experience which includes individualised learning pathways, grounded in academic practice.
Delivered flexibly (including online and blended offerings), this programme seeks to engage those who teach in Higher Education in an interactive and collaborative approach to enhancing academic practice which is grounded in evidence-based scholarly practice. Participants will be encouraged to identify enhancement themes that are relevant to their teaching and learning context and to engage in a self-directed professional learning journey.
The programme is based on the specific professional experiences and interests of individuals who teach in Higher Education. In consultation with a mentor from the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Centre (LEAD) and guided by scholarly literature, students will engage in professional learning activities which are designed to support academic practice and therefore strongly embed the programme in day-to-day working practices.
Characterised by high levels of peer engagement and critical dialogue, the programme aims to support a scholarly, reflective approach to enhancing academic practice through the development of professional practice portfolios. The programme seeks to offer students a flexible learning journey which showcases innovative practice in Higher Education teaching, learning and assessment, underpinned by the National Professional Development Framework for those who teach in Higher Education.
The programme will facilitate a continuous approach to professional development through the requirement to create (or update) a teaching and learning portfolio.
To ensure maximum flexibility, the programme offers either a September or a January start, subject to minimum numbers.
Student Profile & Perspective
The programme offers an accredited professional development pathway for those who teach in Higher Education, including:
Academic staff across disciplines
Students who teach others, including graduate teaching assistants and those who engage in peer assisted learning.
This programme is offered in an online and blended format, thus offering maximum flexibility to students. It is designed to be strongly embedded in practice and therefore complement existing practices and priorities.
Typically, the course is offered over two semesters and is one academic year in duration. Students take one module of 15 ECTS credits in each of the two semesters and the programme is assessed through the creation (or updating) of a teaching and learning portfolio. Students have the choice of beginning the programme in either the autumn or spring semesters, thus offering maximum flexibility to accommodate varying workloads and availability.
Enhancing Academic Practice 1: The first module aims to provide learners with a flexible, practice-based approach to enhancing academic practice in higher education. Through critical reflection, with reference to the National Professional Development Framework, learners will self-select an area of enhancement focus, grounded in current working contexts. In consultation with a mentor from the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Centre (LEAD) and guided by scholarly literature, students will engage in professional learning activities which allow them to create an informed action plan to enhance student learning, grounded in their own working context.
Enhancing Academic Practice 2: The second module builds on the previous module and aims to provide learners with the opportunity to apply contemporary pedagogical approaches to learning and teaching in practice. Learners will reflect on the capacity of such approaches to enhance student learning in an evidence-based manner. The module will provide learners with the time and space to engage in professional development in a critical, reflective manner while at the same time enhancing the student learning experience.
Given the self-directed nature of the modules, students will largely self-select activities of professional development integral to their professional role–in consultation with a mentor–and which are designed to support the creation of an informed action plan to enhance practice. PD activities used in the context of the module could be generic and/or subject-specific and/or role specific, examples of which include (but are not limited to):
Participating in and/or leading staff development sessions, e.g. seminars or workshops, face-to-face, blended or online;
Participating in internal or external formal PD activities including webinars, digital badges, open courses etc.;
Engaging in peer observation of teaching;
Self-directed developing through accessing and studying online resources, papers or books;
Attending and/or presenting at an event or conference;
Coaching and/or mentoring colleagues;
Student support sessions; and,
Participating in and/or leading exchange/sharing practice workshops.
The programme is intended to enhance the practice of all those who teach as part of their role in Higher Education, e.g. academic staff across disciplines, educational/learning technologists, educational/academic developers, research staff, library staff, support staff and students who teach others, including graduate teaching assistants and those who engage in peer assisted learning. In order to gain maximum benefit from the practice-based focus of the programme, applicants are required to be currently active in a teaching and learning context, which can be interpreted broadly at the discretion of the Programme Co-ordinator. Prospective applicants should contact the programme coordinator to discuss entry requirements.
The minimum academic entry requirement is an undergraduate degree at Level 8 (QQI).
English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants may also be required to undergo an interview through English.
Applications for September 2022 entry are now open. Closing date for receipt of completed applications: 31 May 2022.
For applicants who are internal staff members in MIC, please contact Gwen.Moore@mic.ul.ie for further information.
Download and complete the application form here.
You will be required to send your university transcripts (and applicants may be required to name one or more referees on request).
In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IELTS (or equivalent) is required.
Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex here, and return the completed application and transcripts by email to TaughtProgrammes@mic.ul.ie.
Typically, the course is offered over two semesters and is one academic year in duration.
€1,500 (payable in 2 instalments)
Contact Dundalk IT for the next course start date.