SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning 
90679  Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning 
Cape Peninsula University of Technology 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 05 - Education, Training and Development  Higher Education and Training 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The qualification is aimed at developing and strengthening the learners' knowledge in teaching and learning in Higher Education, and at enabling academics to undertake advanced reflection and development by means of a systematic survey of current thinking, practice and research methods in teaching and learning in Higher Education.

The qualification will enhance students' knowledge of and practice in university teaching by enabling them to:
  • Develop, plan, implement and evaluate a learning programme.
  • Articulate learning assumptions and theories informing the design of the programme.
  • Develop, plan, implement and evaluate an assessment strategy that is aligned with the aims and intended outcomes of the learning programme.
  • Use research to inform and enhance teaching and learning.
  • Undertake reflection and apply acquired knowledge to a related professional field of practice.
  • Acquire an understanding of chosen areas of specialism and apply this in their own context.

    There is an acknowledged and increased need for the professionalisation of the teaching role of academics in Higher Education in South Africa. The proposed Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education offers learners (university teachers) an opportunity to enhance their teaching practice by adopting a more scholarly approach towards curriculum development, teaching and learning and assessment.

    Enhanced teaching practice in these domains will contribute towards the improvement of the present throughput rates and graduate success in Higher Education. In addition, for academics who have qualified in their own disciplines, a postgraduate diploma in Higher Education offers an opportunity to make the transition into the discipline and discourse of education as a site of study and, if they would wish, to further their studies in this area, to articulate with Master's degrees in Higher Education (both general and specialised), regionally and nationally. Internationally and within South Africa, this is recognised practice. 

    It is assumed that learners accessing this qualification are able to critically read, analyse and reflect on study material and relevant literature at NQF level 8.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    Admission to this qualification may be obtained through the Recognition of Prior Learning. Candidates who do not qualify for admission in terms of the minimum admission criteria may be considered for admission through a process of RPL in keeping with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology RPL policy.

    Access to Qualification:
    Applicants will be admitted to this qualification on the basis of the following requirements:
  • A Bachelor's Degree or an equivalent qualification in Higher Education.
  • Currently teaching in Higher Education. 


    The qualification consists of compulsory and elective modules at NQF level 8 each worth 30 credits.

    Compulsory Modules:
  • Teaching and Learning.
  • Assessment in Higher Education.
  • Research for Enhancing Teaching and Learning.

    Elective Modules:

    Learners are to choose 1 of the following Elective Modules:
  • Work-integrated Learning.
  • ICTs for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
  • Curriculum Development.
  • Difference, Social Inclusion and Citizenship in Higher Education.
  • Service-Learning and Community Engagement in Higher Education.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
  • Academic Leadership and Management in Higher Education.
  • Post-graduate Supervision. 

    1. Demonstrate a comprehensive, systematic and integrated knowledge of teaching and learning in higher education and a depth of knowledge in related areas of specialisation.
    2. Demonstrate a coherent and critical understanding of the principles, scope, theories and epistemologies of teaching and learning in higher education.
    3. Critique current research and advanced scholarship in teaching and learning and make sound theoretical judgments based on evidence.
    4. Understand a range of research methodologies and methods/techniques and select these appropriately for research problem/s in teaching and learning.
    5. Identify, analyse and address complex problems in teaching and learning, using a range of routine and advanced skills, conceptual and/or evidence-based solutions and theory-driven arguments.
    6. Use efficient and effective information retrieval and processing skills in using appropriate ICTs for teaching and learning in higher education.
    7. Identify, analyse, synthesise and undertake independent evaluation of quantitative and/or qualitative data, and engage with and evaluate current research and scholarly or professional literature in teaching and learning in higher education.
    8. Present and communicate academic/professional ideas and texts effectively to a range of audiences, offering professional insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues appropriate to teaching and learning in higher education.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    The qualification develops all the Critical Cross Field Outcomes. 

    The following Assessment Criteria are applied in an integrated way to modules and specialised learning areas, where applicable, to determine competence in the Exit Level Outcomes:
  • Learning-centred teaching approaches are planned, designed and explained.
  • Learning-centred teaching strategies that address diversity are implemented.
  • Appropriate responses to learner and peer feedback are recognised and implemented.
  • Evidence of the use of reflective practice to develop the effectiveness as a Higher Education teacher is provided.
  • Existing assessment practice, outlining the principles of assessment and learning utilised, is described and critiqued.
  • Existing summative assessment practice is adapted in order to enhance the implementation of good principles of meaningful assessment.
  • Existing assessment practice is adapted so as to achieve a more desirable impact on learning.
  • Fellow academics are confidently advised on sound assessment practice.
  • Selected research approaches are understood and applied to enhance educational practice.
  • A practice-based research project within teaching and learning context is designed and reported.
  • Peers are engaged in conversation about educational research for change in teaching and learning context.
  • Current research is critiqued and theoretical judgments made based on evidence from advanced scholarship in teaching and learning in Higher Education.
  • How the Higher Education curriculum is affected by the South African context is understood.
  • Factors which impact on curriculum development and implementation at institutional/departmental level are described and analysed.
  • Epistemological assumptions of a particular discipline and how these impact on the curriculum are correctly understood.
  • How theories of learning inform the development and implementation of curriculum is understood.
  • A section of a student-centred curriculum which demonstrates alignment is constructed.
  • The effectiveness of a curriculum innovation is evaluated.
  • Available ITC applications are identified and analysed in relation to pedagogic problems, student's learning needs and identity.
  • Technology-enhanced learning intervention using technology suitable to the context is designed and developed.
  • A pilot of the technology-enhanced learning intervention is implemented and evaluated.
  • The process of analysing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating of the technology-enhanced learning intervention is reflected upon.
  • Systems for the evaluation of the computer-integrated instructional and cognitive tools are designed and developed.
  • A systematic understanding of the history and development of RPL policy and practice in South Africa is demonstrated.
  • The influence of education philosophies such as Constructivism, Behaviourism, Social realism and post- modernism on RPL is analysed.
  • Learning theories and knowledge concepts to analyse RPL models and practices in Higher Education from different perspectives are utilised.
  • The quality assurance criteria in the context of RPL are described and explained.
  • Operational purposes, features and staffing requirements of an effective RPL programme in higher education are described and explained.
  • Current approaches towards difference, inclusion and citizenship education are critiqued.
  • Research techniques to further understanding about difference, inclusion and citizenship in Higher Education and own teaching and learning context are applied.
  • Reflexivity in relation to own teaching and learning context is demonstrated.
  • Understanding about difference, inclusion and citizenship to own teaching and learning context is applied.
  • A range of theoretical, teaching and research approaches in relation to critical pedagogy; citizenship education; social justice in Higher Education are presented.
  • Institutional and national policy with specific reference to reflective practice and professional development in the context of Higher Education is developed, interpreted and applied.
  • Conceptual understandings of educational management, leadership, teaching and learning within Higher Education institutions are applied.
  • The nature and purpose of educational management, leadership and governance in the context of a changing South Africa are analysed.
  • The role of the academic leader with specific reference to the difference between leadership and management, change management, quality assurance is discussed.
  • An academic department with specific reference to performance management, capacity building, professional development, aspects of HR and financial planning is managed.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Formative assessment:
  • Learning and assessment are integrated. Continual formative assessment is required in order to provide learners with feedback on their progress in the achievement of the learning outcomes.
    Summative assessment:
  • A variety of assessment methods, including essays, research project, and development of a video or contributions to a wiki is utilised. Assessment will ensure engagement with both theory and practice. There will be more than one assessment opportunity per module.

    Learners should achieve a minimum of 50% for each module in order to graduate. 

    Postgraduate Diplomas (or Certificates, in some countries) are offered as an academic staff development qualification; some of these specialize in different areas (e.g., higher education policy studies, or higher education management), but most provide a teaching qualification for university academic staff.

    Some examples are:
  • Macquarie University, Sydney Australia: Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education and Teaching.
  • National University of Ireland (Nui Maynooth): Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education.

    The following two qualifications align well with this Postgraduate Diploma:
    The Oxford Learning Institute of the University of Oxford: Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Part-time).

    The qualification offers experienced academics an opportunity to take fresh perspectives on their teaching and their students' learning. The primary aim of the qualification is to enhance teaching, course design and the learning environment at Oxford by building a cadre of educational leaders able to provide educational advice and guidance within their departments or colleges.

    Upon the successful completion of the qualification, it is expected that learners will be able to:
  • Make explicit their own teaching goals and philosophy, comparing and contrasting those to the goals of the course on which they teach.
  • Put student learning and its improvement at the centre of discussions and decision-making about teaching.
  • Link general (generic) educational research with their discipline and subject matter.
  • Reflect on, articulate and critique their own teaching practices in relation to their goals, philosophy, student responses and the educational literature.
  • Analyse and identify possible solutions to student performance gaps, based on an understanding of the various factors involved in supporting the achievement of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Use evidence- and theory-based reasoning to design and critique teaching, courses, assessment and educational evaluation.
  • Analyse the weaknesses in the learning environment of their own departments, faculty or college and propose initiatives that would address one or more key weaknesses.
  • Appreciate how contextual factors influence both learning and teaching.

    The qualification consists of the following 8 compulsory modules:
  • Perspectives on the aims of higher education and your own teaching goals.
  • Student learning and development.
  • Feedback and assessment.
  • Diversity and inclusivity.
  • Teaching settings and strategies.
  • Discipline-specific teaching concerns.
  • Course design.
  • Leading educational change: evaluating and improving teaching in your context.

    The Asia University: Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education.

    Teaching is specially designed for the professional development of university and college teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills in higher education teaching and learning.

    This part-time qualification is fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.

    Qualifying learners will be able to:
  • Examine teaching and learning activities.
  • Use understanding of the nature of learning in assisting learners.
  • Use relevant assessment principles to implement effective assessment of learning.
  • Explore the use of e-Learning tools to complement learning.
  • Critically evaluate approaches in curriculum design.
  • Facilitate learning through academic and personal counselling.
  • Manage and supervise research activities effectively.

    The qualification comprises 8 compulsory modules, namely:
  • Nature of Student Learning.
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.
  • Counselling in Higher Education.
  • Course, Curriculum and Programme Design.
  • Instructional Methods and Strategies in Higher Education.
  • E-Learning in Higher Education.
  • Academic Leadership and Research Supervision.
  • Micro-Teaching.

    This qualification, similar to those offered by the institutions mentioned above and by other universities globally, aims to promote improvement of teaching and learning. It is further evident that the content and scope of the qualification relates to international standards and will prepare learners to acquire the intrinsic knowledge and skills to focus on applied specialisation within the Higher Education field. The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education therefore compares favourably with the international qualifications on offer. 

    Horizontally, this qualification articulates with similar qualifications such as:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, at NQF Level 8
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Management and Leadership, at NQF Level 8.

    Vertically, this qualification articulates with the following qualifications:
  • Master's Degrees: Higher Education (both general and specialised).
  • Master of Philosophy: Higher Education. 

  • All modules will be externally moderated
  • All assessors/examiners are university academic staff with PhD level qualifications in Higher Education studies and/or related disciplines. 

  • Assessment is administered by qualified lecturers.
  • Assessors must have a relevant qualification higher than that of the one they are assessing. For this qualification assessors must have a qualification at NQF Level 9 or above. 

  • NOTES 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Cape Peninsula University of Technology 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.