Taught course

Higher Professional Education

Oxford Brookes University · Department of Applied Health and Professional Development

Entry requirements

You must: be a registered health or social care professional, with a registration acceptable to the relevant United Kingdom professional body; have an honours degree or a professional qualification equivalent to a first degree, or be able to produce evidence of the ability to study at your proposed level of entry if requested; have a minimum of two years' professional practice experience; be employed or have access to a health care setting that will enable achievement of the learning outcomes.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The Higher Professional Education course is open to applicants who are currently practising in a health or social care setting within the UK. The course starts in September or January and is designed for a wide range of health and social care professionals who are involved in education, training or facilitation for all or part of their role.

It offers participants the opportunity to understand the emerging nature of professional education in health and social care, its context and their role within it. It aims to build knowledge and skills, and challenges the attitudes of those currently involved in higher professional education in the context of health and social care.

The course will provide a framework for you to:

appraise critically your role and that of others within health and social care education;
develop a greater depth of understanding of the nature of professional education;
develop your knowledge, skills and experience as practitioners, curriculum developers and/or strategic planners.

Successful completion of the PGCert in Higher Professional Education (HPE) will enable you to apply to undertake either a PGDip or an MSc in HPE or a PGDip or MSc through the Student Designed Award that combines an educational focus with another topic.

Course content

The course's taught modules explore a wide range of educational issues, including the nature of professional education, local, national and international factors impacting on curriculum development, and facilitating inter-professional learning and quality enhancement in education.

The practice-based modules provide the opportunity to apply teaching and facilitation strategies in a range of learning environments. In these modules you will be encouraged to engage in educational activities at two institutions and you will receive support in doing this.

The final award depends upon the number of modules you take. A PGCert requires the successful completion of three modules and the PGDip requires the successful completion of six modules. The MSc requires the successful completion of nine modules, which must include Advanced Research Design and a Dissertation.

Nurses and midwives:

Students who wish to meet the NMC standards to support learning and assessment in practice (NMC 2008) for teacher status will need to pass the compulsory modules Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice and Creating Frameworks for Learning.

Occupational therapists and physiotherapists:

Students who wish to meet the APPLE and ACE standards for supporting students need to pass one of the following compulsory modules: Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice or Creating Frameworks for Learning.

All other health care professionals:

Students taking the PGCert will need to take the compulsory module Creating Frameworks for Learning and can either choose to take the double module, Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice, or choose two single modules from the list of acceptable modules, including:

Leadership in Health and Social Care;
Work-based Learning;
Independent Study;
Evidence-based Practice.


Creating Frameworks for Learning;
Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice ;

For the PGDip you may choose two other relevant modules from across the postgraduate health and social care course portfolio.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English you must demonstrate that your level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level - IELTS 6.5-7.0 overall, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

If you are a UK applicant, you may be eligible for funding or sponsorship to undertake the course through your local strategic health authority, your employer or another source. All applicants will be required to provide details of their funding arrangements prior to enrolment on the course.

Qualification and course duration


part time
12-36 months
full time
12 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
18 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment100
Dissertation (20000 words)

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 482666