Cohort meeting

Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development

A flexible, bespoke, work-based route to a Postgraduate Certificate.

About the Programme

This course enables you to choose optional modules in line with your professional development needs in subjects such as leadership and management, change management and personal effectiveness. You can start with one module and return later to build it into a qualification, or enrol for the qualification at the outset. The ‘step-on, step-off’ nature means you can pace your study to suit your own work/life balance.

Woman teaching lesson

Key Facts

Programme Content

To achieve a Postgraduate Certificate, you will complete the following module plus optional modules to a total of 60 credits. 

Assessment Methods

The assessment methods vary, and may include coursework, project proposals, reports, reflective commentary, and oral presentation.

  • Personal Learning and Development

    This module is mandatory and integral to your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. It initiates your programme by facilitating activities to raise self-awareness about your strengths, development needs and the skills and knowledge you need to for your personal and professional development. This enables you to negotiate a programme of study that best fits your personal and professional development needs, with the support of a learning mentor who will support you during the length of your programme of study.

    Further to designing and negotiating your programme, this module will shadow your learning journey through to completion. The module’s main purpose is to facilitate your ‘learning about learning’ and develop this critical lifelong and work-based skill. This should bring confidence to critically evaluate and challenge ideas, have a voice to make a case and communicate complex ideas to different audiences.

    Duration, attendance and delivery

    You will normally start this module at the beginning of your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. The module course usually lasts 12 months as it runs alongside your taught courses in the Postgraduate Certificate. There is a face-to-face workshop at the start of the module and then the module learning consists of online self-study, online group mentoring, personal mentoring, reflection activities, and completion of a learning portfolio.


    You will be assessed at the end of the module through submission of a learning portfolio that represents the progress of your learning from the beginning to the end of this module. You will be assessed against the module learning outcomes, including evidence of learning with and from others on the modules that comprise your programme.

    Entry requirements

    You will need to be in work (paid or unpaid) in a role which enables you to meet the requirements of the Postgraduate Certificate.

    Start dates

    • January

    • April

    • September

    N.B. CETAD reserve the right to cancel or move the course to a later date if the number of students registered for the advertised course is not sufficient.

You can progress to a Postgraduate Diploma and/or MA/MSc in Professional Practice from the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development. Alternatively, you may be able to make a claim for credit for prior learning by completing Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning.

At this stage of your programme there is increased emphasis on bespoke learning related to the delivery of your work-based projects and you choose from a range of optional modules in line with your specific needs. You will need modules to the value of 120 credits for the Postgraduate Diploma as 180 credits for a Masters degree.

Diploma and Masters modules include:

  • Work-based enquiry methods for investigating work-based change projects
  • Work-based change projects, varying in size and scope

Core Modules:

  • Negotiating your Professional Development


  • Optional modules
  • 20 credit project (Diploma) and 60 credit project (Masters)
Business people

"I really enjoy seeing our Postgraduate Certificate students grow in confidence and learning maturity as they progress their studies; I see the content of the PLD module and associated learning mentor support as pivotal to this" Paulette Swindell, Scheme Director.

Entry & Apply

Entry Requirements

You will need to be in work (paid or unpaid) in a role which enables you to meet the requirements of the Postgraduate Certificate.


For fees information, please visit our Course Fees page.

Start Dates

We are recruiting now for start dates in February, April, June, September and November. To discover more about the programme, please make an enquiry.



Linked icons