Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development
Access, Digital and Distributed Learning
Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education
Awarded when a combination of postgraduate short courses worth 60 credits have been successfully completed.
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Ulster offers a range of postgraduate short courses which can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development. Each short course is worth credit points (normally 10, 15, 20 or 30 credit points). Details of credit points are available on the information about each short course.
The Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development is awarded when a combination of short courses worth 60 credit points in total have been successfully completed.
You can choose to complete one short course and then return to take a further course at a later stage (any credits will be retained for you). To maintain currency, it is recommended that combinations of short courses leading to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development are completed within a five year timeframe.
Short courses are also available in a range of different formats to help meet the flexibility required by those currently in employment such as block (three full consecutive days during one week), weekly (morning, afternoons or evenings), staggered (three or four days across a twelve week semester) or online (with no need to attend a University campus).
Payments for each short course can also be made over a number of months.
A full list of the short courses is available by going to http://www.ulster.ac.uk, clicking on 'Courses' and then 'Short Courses'. Courses are updated regularly with new subject areas.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
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Ulster offers a range of professional development short courses at postgraduate level to meet the needs of different sectors and different professional areas. A number of these short courses are also recognised by professional bodies or meet CPD requirements within particular sectors. Details of professional accreditation (where applicable) is provided on each short course listing.
Courses are also offered to help meet key professional skills needs across sectors in areas such as business, management, marketing and communication.
A 10% discount is available to eligible Ulster University alumni***. You will be asked at application to provide details of eligibility.
This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount, offer or scholarship.
See https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/postgraduate for details.
Attendance modes vary. Attendance requirements are specified on the short course listings. Short courses are available in a range of different formats to help meet the flexibility required by those currently in employment such as block (three full consecutive days during one week), weekly (morning, afternoons or evenings), staggered (three or four days across a twelve week semester) or online (with no need to attend a University campus).
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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At our Jordanstown Campus we have world class facilities that are open all year round to our students and members of the public.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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An undergraduate degree is required. Some short courses require a degree in a specific subject area. Please see individual short courses for details.
Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).
Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.
Please see details of the English language qualifications and certificates we can accept - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/177404/Other-english-language-tests-and-qualifications-2017.pdf
International applicants will also require a short-term study visa. Further information is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration
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Professional development opportunities in various areas including business, management, arts, humanities, social sciences, life and health sciences, computing, engineering and built environment. Some short courses have associated professional body accreditation and meet professional CPD requirements.
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Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
Fee waivers may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. More information is available from FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.