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PGA Curriculum Development in Higher Education

Welcome to the Post-Graduate Award in Curriculum Development in Higher Education (PGA CDHE).

PGA CDHE is open to staff with teaching responsibilities, including postgraduate researchers with GTA or STP teaching contracts. It is a level 7 course worth 30 CATs, in the form of a Post-Graduate Award qualification. The course lasts six months, and is delivered wholly online. The compulsory elements of the course can all be completed asynchronously, but there are synchronous workshop sessions and catch-up meetings throughout the six months, which participants are strongly encouraged to attend. The course content and activities are released month-by-month, to help participants to pace the workload and build in time to reflect on what they have learned.


The course:

The course is designed to be adaptable to your needs. Because you will spend most of your time working on a design project (real or hypothetical), you can decide what kinds of pedagogy, learning theory and design know-how you want to employ. The course materials are intended to support you in this, whether you are starting with foundational concepts like constructive alignment and active learning, or want to refine and specialise your design work, and develop an individual perspective on design for education.

PGA CDHE is organised around the elements of a five-phase design process. In each of the first five months, you will learn about and practice a step in the design process. This will include creating a document or artifact, which you will share with your peers and programme leader as work-in-progress, receive formative feedback on, and later submit as part of the summative assessment. In the sixth and final month, you will write a reflective analysis of your design decisions, and prepare your portfolio for submission.



Enrolment for the 2022-23 cohort will open on 31st October and close on 21st November. A link to the enrolment form will be added to this page. The Welcome Meeting for the first cohort is on 23rd November.

Programme leader: Peter Fossey

Programme email:


A collection of wooden game pieces in different colours.

1: Information Gathering

Investigate the context your designs are intended for, who will interact with them, and how they will impact people. What are your aims and values? Whose support will you need, and who should you consult? Who should have a voice in the project?

Hedge maze at Hampton Court Garden, photographed from above

2: Problem Analysis

Think about the challenge or problem you are facing, and formulate a design question. Explore a pedagogical concept thoroughly, using it as a lens through which to investigate the problem and deepen your understanding.

Create an annotated concept map.

A lightbulb against a blackboard

3: Ideas Generation

Think freely and creatively about what's possible in the design space you have begun to mark out. Imagine what kind of teaching might be possible in the foreseeable future, in light of technological advances, and what learning experiences this might give rise to.

Create a storyboard.

A small flotilla of origami boats

4: Prototyping

Consolidate your learning from the first half of the course, and draft a set of three modules constituting a "vertical slice" of a degree programme. Think about learning over time, accessibility, and iterative and authentic assessment strategies.

Create three module proposals.

Photo of an observatory against a background of clouds

5: Development & Evaluation

Continue to work on your module drafts. Refine your ideas using design evaluation techniques. Revisit the question of what constitutes good design, and how your values are realised in your designs.

Create an evaluation document.

Winter trees reflected in a circular pool lined with mossy stones

6: Reflection

Reflect on your approach to design, your assumptions, concerns, techniques and aims. Write a reflective piece which draws out key themes of your work, and provides a rationale for critical decisions in your module plans.

Write a reflective rationale.