Entry requirements

There are three intakes a year, Students can join the programme in February, June or October.

To be eligible to apply for the Online PGCert Higher Education Policy into Practice, you will need to have obtained (or be predicted to obtain) an upper second-class degree or equivalent from a UK university or an equivalent qualification from a recognised institution.

If you do not meet the academic entry criteria, we will accept applications with a second-class degree or equivalent qualification from a UK university or recognised institution with evidence of at least 2 years of relevant work experience in policy development, university administration and/or leadership.

We also accept applications with no degree but 5+ years of work experience in the fields listed. We welcome applicants with an appetite for learning. Since this programme combines modules from multiple disciplines, expect to cover coding and maths, starting at secondary schooling level and above.

Months of entry

February, June, October

Course content

The future is ready.

The University of Birmingham's online PGCert Higher Education Policy into Practice programme is designed for individuals who are eager to bridge the gap between academic and professional standing to shape the future of global higher education systems and institutions. This interdisciplinary programme is delivered 100 percent online by experienced and energetic faculty, who are both academics and practitioners, providing expert and diverse content which draws on a range of perspectives.

· Leading UK provider of distance learning and blended learning

· 3rd most targeted university of top UK employers (High Fliers Research 2023)

· 14th UK University (The Complete University Guide 2024)

· World top-100 university (QS World University Rankings 2023)

Curriculum Overview

Influence change, policy, and practice

Practice-orientated and aimed at those interested in shaping the future, this course will encourage you:

· To reflect upon the purpose of higher education and possible futures

· Learn about the influence of policy and policy actors on practice

· Explore and envision how education can be made more equitable

· Understand the impact and opportunity of technologies on higher education institutions

· Adopt data science approaches to inform evaluation and decision making

· Use methods and approaches from design to bring about change

The 60-credit, inter-disciplinary programme curriculum emphasises topics such as equity, policy, and data science, and features a mix of academic literature and practice to envisage new higher education futures. In just 12 months, you will be prepared with the analytical thinking, problem solving and communication skills to influence change, policy and practice in a university setting.

· Design and Design Thinking

· Applied Data Science for Learning Environments

· Sociotechnical Learning Environments

· Higher Educations Futures

· Equity in Education

· Policy into Practice

Top Careers in Higher Education Policy

Help shape the future of global higher education institutions

Governance Manager

Policy and Project Associate

Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

Academic Services Manager

Join us on July 11th at 1pm to participate in the University of Birmingham's online Programme Overview: PGCert Higher Education Policy into Practice launch webinar, which will be guided by esteemed professionals in the field.


Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you will need to also supply an up-to-date English language certificate. We accept up to date Academic IELTS certificates with a score of 6.5, and no less than 6.0 in any band.

Fees and funding

UK students

The estimated total cost of this programme is £4,440. You can pay in full or in instalments of £740 on a module-by-module basis.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Online Admissions Team