Education - Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - For Third Level Teachers

University College Cork

Education - Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - For Third Level Teachers

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.

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.

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.

Subjects taught

The Postgraduate Diploma comprises two modules taken sequentially, typically in one academic year:

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

TL6006 Diversity in Student Learning (15 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. Please contact Claire Devaney, CIRTL for further information.

For more information on the course content for this programme please see the University Calendar - Diploma Teaching & Learning in Higher Education.

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

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 year.

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 Claire Devaney, CIRTL.

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 questions:

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.

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

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

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.

Application dates

How Do I 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.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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.

Assessment Info


Participants will prepare a portfolio of practice and reflection as a continuous assessment process over the course of the year. The portfolio will have six main entries, on topics that are prescribed in the first semester and self -selecting in the second one. Each assignment/entry will be supported using a rubric, which will provide guidance regarding criteria and suggestions to develop the response. The portfolio will be framed by an introduction guiding the reader and a reflective conclusion harnessing learning and pinpointing implications for future practice and research. These assignments are undertaken on a pass /fail basis, in keeping with the spirit of continuing professional development.


Postgraduate Certificate 30 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma 30 Credits


1 year part-time online.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2020

Post Course Info


More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Dip/PG Cert

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider