Professional development short courses

Our Continued Professional Development (CPD) short courses give you the opportunity to enhance your professional skills or gain a university qualification.

Introduction to Master's-Level Study

The Introduction to Master's-Level Study (Academic Threshold Concept) introduces introduces you to the concepts and skills required for successful study of the Master’s programmes delivered by Global and Lifelong Learning. This is an online short course, attendance is not required.

To access it you will be using the University of Kent's Virtual Learning Environment. This is a self-guided study resource comprising two parts plus a third part for those wishing to gain academic credit.

  • Part I: an introduction to the skills needed to research and write assignments at Masters' level.
  • Part II: an introduction to concepts of learning at Master's level.
  • Part III: assessment details (only required if seeking to gain academic credit).

From the course you develop skills in the following areas: the ability to communicate clearly in written formats in academic and professional workplace settings; manage complex information effectively and present this using a comprehensive range of learning resources; demonstrate a capacity for autonomous learning and the ability to access professional resources as appropriate.

By the end of the course you will be able to: understand and demonstrate the academic concepts required to advance professional practice in regard to scholarship; apply the conventions and techniques of academic writing to interpret knowledge and practice within a professional context; develop academic writing and critical reasoning capabilities.

  • On successful completion of Parts 1, 2 and 3 you are awarded 15 credits.
  • You can purchase Parts 1 & 2 at a total cost of £100 (this is a non-credit bearing option).
  • For those wishing to go on to gain academic credit, the cost for Part 3 is £550.

As this is an online short course, students can start it at any time but it must be completed within 9 calendar months.

Practice Educator Professional Standards


The purpose of this course is to provide a flexible route of progression for qualified social workers to meet the Practice Educator Professional Standards outlined by the Social Work Reform Board 2012 for those supervising and assessing social work students on placement. 

Completion of both stages will take up to 18 months in total and reflects the requirements outlined in the British Association of Social Workers Practice Educator Professional Standards refreshed document 2019.

Duration of course

The training course will be divided into two stages over a period of 18 months.  Trainees must pass Stage 1 in order to progress to Stage 2.

Teaching and Learning

This training course uses a model of experiential and reflective learning delivered by academics at the University of Kent.  Sessions will be delivered in a blended way. 

This is equivalent to a 30 credit module requiring 300 hours of independent study with 35 contact hours. Attendance at face to face taught sessions is required.

By the end of Stage 1, the trainee will need to demonstrate their ability to supervise, teach and assess learning in line with the PEPS domains A-D (see Learning Outcomes) in order to progress to the next stage.

In Stage 2, the trainee will be able to provide all the practice education teaching and assessment and make a final recommendation for a second learner. 

The trainee will need to demonstrate how they have met the Domain requirements A-D of the PEPS in order to successfully achieve Stage 2.

Learning outcomes

In order to successfully complete both stages one and two of the Practice Educator Professional Standards, trainees will need to be able to demonstrate capability within the Domains listed below (see Assessment).


Stage 1- Portfolio

Trainees will need to demonstrate Domains A-D as indicated below with their first learner:

  • Domain A: Organise opportunities for the demonstration of assessed capability in practice
  • Domain B: Enable learning and professional development in practice.
  • Domain C: Manage assessment of learners in practice
  • Domain D: Effective continuing performance as a practice educator

Stage 2 - Portfolio and Reflective Essay

Trainees need to provide evidence of being responsible for a second learner.  They also need to provide evidence of Domains A-D above, to include additional requirements to reflect the stage.

This will be achieved by providing evidence of documentation, reflective logs and the Critically Reflective essay.

A panel comprising of university staff, practitioners and service users and carers will verify the portfolios to ensure the learning outcomes have been achieved. Feedback will be provided by Panel members to the Trainee and Assessor. 

Entry requirements

Stage 1

  • Registered Social Worker
  • 2 years post - qualification experience (working at experienced social worker level)
  • Have an allocated assessor (PEPS Stage 2 or Practice Teaching Award) provided by the sponsoring agency.

Stage 2

  • Successful completion of Stage 1
  • Opportunity to work with a second learner
  • Have an allocated assessor (PEPS Stage 2 or Practice Teaching Award) provided by the sponsoring agency.


Before applying, we will need to verify your eligibility for this programme. Please use the button below to send us your details including name, phone number and email address. 

Last updated