Professional Practice

Professional Practice - PCert


The Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice is a work-related learning programme designed for participants from private, public and third sector settings such as health and social care; education; local government; and public services.



The programme offers you the opportunity to attain academic recognition for the skills, knowledge and experience that you have developed in the workplace whilst focusing on a specific area of practice relevant to your work and enhance career progression.

You will consider the challenges associated with your professional practice, with modules that have been designed to help you review and analyse the current debates relevant to the professional context in which you are working. In particular, you develop strategic skills, critical analysis and knowledge relating to inter-professional working and evidence-based practice.

The programme is delivered over four taught weekends plus independent study. This programme delivery is subject to student numbers.

The Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)

The Centre for Professional Practice is a trans-disciplinary academic department focused on flexible work-related learning within Higher Education. The Centre is founded on the belief that employers can benefit from the University of Kent’s academic and research excellence, quality teaching, design and development activities to create positive change and to forge new knowledge within their organisation.

We work with a wide range of external partners and employers to create distinct and original work-based and work-related developmental and educational solutions, which respond to the unique workforce challenges experienced by employees and organisations across the region and beyond.

The Centre’s programmes are designed to enhance career progression and foster intellectual and professional development and practice.

The University’s Medway Centre

The University of Kent is part of a unique partnership with the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University, known collectively as Universities at Medway. The three institutions share the specially developed Medway Campus.

This vibrant campus is less than an hour from London (St Pancras) by train, with innovative buildings and facilities. Close to the River Medway and partly-based at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham our campus houses award-winning buildings, and has an exciting social life with a strong sense of community.

National ratings

Kent is ranked 22nd in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 25th in The Complete University Guide 2018. 

Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*

*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here

Course structure

You take the following core modules over a series of extended taught weekends:

  • Learning and Development in Organisations (30 credits)
  • Inter-professional Working (15 credits)
  • Evidence-Based Practice (15 credits)

Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience. They are experienced in delivering work-related programmes and understand the constraints of balancing a career with the demands of higher education.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

Teaching and Assessment

As the prime objective is to enhance professional practice applied within the workplace you will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of conceptual and analytical skills.

All assessment tasks are designed to allow you to develop expertise in the application of professional practice within the context of your work and specialist subject area.

Assessments can be through:

  • Oral presentations
  • Written assignments
  • Work-based projects
  • Portfolio assessments

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • foster your intellectual and professional development and deepen your analytical and critical reasoning capabilities through practice-based learning.
  • develop competence in applying theoretical and practice skills to advance change and leadership in organisations.
  • equip you with the knowledge and understanding to enhance and extend your professional practice experience through work-based learning.
  • enable you to develop skills in higher level reflection in relation to work-based practice.
  • provide you with opportunities to gain interdisciplinary perspectives on professional practice through collaborative inter/multidisciplinary exchange.
  • develop your critical and analytical capabilities in relation to project management, data analysis and interpretation of data.
  • provide supervision for advanced practitioner-centred research that builds a culture of critical evaluation and enquiry in the practice environment.
  • equip you for your role in challenging, questioning and realigning strategies for work-based practice.
  • equip you to actively participate in shaping strategic organisational interests.
  • develop opportunity for self-directed learning and reflection.
  • enable you to participate in learning which seeks to capture reflection on experience gained in every day organisational practice.
  • enhance your programme of personal development.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • experiential learning, such as theory, concepts and how they apply to practice
  • reflection on learning, leadership styles and approaches gained through practice
  • principles of strategic-decision making in organisations
  • principles and practice involved in inter-professional working
  • reflective evaluation in relation to theoretical methodological frameworks
  • principles of theory testing in practice in relation to enhancing and developing practice
  • project management skills
  • professional knowledge in your special area of practice
  • your professional profile in relation to current practice that informs into personal career plans.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in the following:

  • presenting critical, analytical reasoning and experiential learning in organised, written and oral formats
  • the critical analysis of case studies
  • engaging in experiential learning that demonstrably enhances practice
  • the ability to develop a reflective professional portfolio.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • engaging with members of multidisciplinary teams
  • strategic operational planning for organisations
  • being able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of change management
  • being able to enagage with evidence-based practice
  • methodologies for evaluating analysing and appraising organisational practice.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • evaluation
  • report writing
  • reflection on experiential learning
  • effective use of skills related to experiential learning in a practice setting, to establish a future personal plan within the context of professional development
  • independent learning skills required for continuing professional development.


A postgraduate degree in professional practice is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work as head teachers, head of human resources, college and university administration managers. Most recent graduates have gone on to work for companies in the UK such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), Rochester Grammar School and the University of Kent.

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers will value.

Study support

Flexible programmes

The Centre recognises and understands the individual needs of working professionals, who participate as non-traditional part-time learners, and the balance required between study and the specific areas within which they operate. Our flexible programmes of study provide inclusive and coherent educational and work-related opportunities. The Professional Practice programme provides you with the opportunity to study either individual modules or to work towards a postgraduate certificate, diploma or Master’s degree. Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience.

Professional links

Our staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge working in public, private, health and third sectors, providing valuable contributions to the design, development and delivery of current professional practice programmes. With strong links to local and national employers, the Centre is able to ensure that its programmes are contemporary.

The Centre is also responsible for developing and accrediting postgraduate training courses delivered by NHS Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (Postgraduate Dental Deanery), Kent Community Health NHS Trust and the New Horizons Teaching School Alliance, with whom the University of Kent has close working relationships.

Continuing professional development (CPD) courses

We offer a number of CPD courses in evidence-based practice, research skills, collaborative and interprofessional working. You can obtain further information about these programmes from the Centre.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books, both nationally and internationally.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

Applicants are welcomed from a variety of private, public and third sector settings such as health and social care, education, local government and public services.

Applicants are normally required to have a minimum of two years’ professional experience and hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification.

If you do not hold the required entry qualification(s) but believe that you would be able to participate in this programme and have the potential to work at Master's level please contact us.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, Kent was ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity. We have world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of our research is deemed to be of international quality. With programmes of study that are informed by research, our students are able to develop skills and knowledge relevant to contemporary issues.

Current research areas include:

  • power dynamics
  • experiential learning
  • reflective practice
  • professionalisation
  • communities of practice.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Tania Hopper: Programme Director, Professional Practice

Power dynamics and power relationships within educational and organisational environments.

Debbie Reed: Head of Centre and Senior Lecturer

Dental communities of practice and teamworking; dental work force development and education; reflective practice; professionalisation.

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Dr Trevor Welland: Lecturer in Professional Practice

Occupational socialization; Higher Education; learning and work; social policy analysis and evaluation; research ethics; teaching and learning in HE; Cultural politics and social inequalities- gender/sexualities    

Dr Claire Parkin: Lecturer in Professional Practice (Health) Director of Health Programmes

Higher Education field: Evidence-Based Practice. Quantitative Methodology. Use of Technology in HE.

Bioengineering Field: Respiratory physiology, fluid dynamics, thoracic drainage. Clinical field: ITU, cardiothoracics, septic shock.

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Dr Mike Nicholls: Honorary Senior Lecturer

Design and development of new curricula and methods of delivery; negotiated, work-based and practice-based learning; ‘graduateness’ as a transferable skill; public understanding of the natural world; conservation education; public education in zoos; raptor biology.


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Professional Practice (General) - PCert at Tonbridge:
UK/EU Overseas
Part-time £2710 N/A

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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