Skip to main content Skip to navigation

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.



PGA CDHE will be running for the first time in April 2022, and again in the autumn. If you would like to enrol on the course for April or autumn, or just want to keep in touch, please complete the expression of interest form (link)Link opens in a new window

Please note that registration for the April '22 cohort has now closed. If you have filled in the form, the programme leader will contact you shortly. Thank you for your interest.

Programme leader: Peter Fossey



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. Who do you need to consult, ask for support, bring on board or communicate your ideas to?

Create a stakeholder engagement plan.

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 not too distant future, in light of technological advances, and what learning experinces 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 'stack' of three modules which a student would take sequentially. 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 by discussing what would count as evidence of effective design, how you would gather it, act on it, refine your designs, and respond to stakeholder comments.

Create an evaluation plan.

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.