PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership


The AUA Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership (PgCert) is a self-directed, independent, work-based learning programme for higher education professionals working within UK higher education administration.

The programme deepens and tests your knowledge and understanding of the HE sector whilst enhancing your skills as a reflective practitioner, incorporating the AUA values and CPD Framework of Professional Behaviours into your working life.

The programme will:

  • Engage you in a process of planned professional development, based on reflection and self-assessment of your skills and competencies in professional contexts
  • Develop your understanding and critical awareness of current issues in the sector, through independent learning and research
  • Enhance your professional practice through critical appraisal of, and reflection on, your knowledge, skills, behaviours and values
  • Develop reflective skills enabling you to apply your knowledge and understanding to evaluate and analyse your practice and experiences

Current structure (October 2017 intake)

The programme is distance learning and studied part time over 24-months*. You are supported by three mandatory study days and assigned a mentor who is a HE professional, an AUA member and works at a UK HE institution or within the sector.

*Please note, from April 2018 the programme structure will be a 12 month duration. This change was conditionally approved at a recent revalidation panel. This will only apply to students starting the programme from April 2018.  At this stage in the development further information is limited but if you have any queries please contact More detail will be provided on our webpages later in the year.

The programme comprises two compulsory modules at level 7 that make up the 60 credit PgCert award. You must successfully complete both in order to achieve the full award, but credits are awarded for any successful module completion.

Module one, year one: The UK HE Sector – Three knowledge assignments chosen, by you, from a range of topics:

3000 word knowledge assignment – formative
3000 word knowledge assignment – summative
3000 word knowledge assignment – summative

Module two, year two: Reflective practice in work-based learning.

4000 word reflective assignment supported by a portfolio of evidence

Cohorts and study dates

Cohorts and study dates

There are two intakes per academic year in October and April.

October 2017: Cohort PGC59 April 2018: Cohort PGC60 (one year programme)
Study day 1 – 18.10.2017 – Central London Study day 1 – tbc –  NTU, Nottingham
Study day 2 – 07.03.2018 – Central London Study day 2 – tbc – NTU, Nottingham
Study day 3 – 18.10.2018 – Central London Study day 3 – tbc – NTU, Nottingham

 We operate a waiting list system if we’re over-subscribed and recommend that you apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Applications for the October 2017 cohort are now closed.

Admissions to our April 2018 cohort will open in November 2017, this will be a 12 month structure.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements


  • A UK or Republic of Ireland undergraduate degree or equivalent and
  • At least 6 months’ experience of working in the HE sector, preferably at a higher education institution, in an administrative or managerial capacity and
  • hold a current position within the HE sector in an administrative or managerial capacity

If you do not hold a first degree you may be admitted to the programme if you have:

  • At least 12 months’ experience of working in the HE sector in an administrative or managerial capacity, and/or
  • Equivalent professional or other qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English must be competent in written and spoken English up to the following standard: IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in reading and writing) or TOEFL iBT 83 with at least: Reading 18, Listening 17, Speaking 20, Writing 17.

If applicants do not meet the language entry requirements, they will be directed to the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course provided by Nottingham Language Centre prior to the start of the programme. A range of language courses are available.

All applications are considered on an individual basis.  Your personal statement, supporting professional reference, qualifications and experience are all taken into account. If you are unsure of your suitability, please contact the Programme Manager.

The programme is based on the UK higher education sector and therefore only eligible for applicants who live and work in the UK or ROI.  Unfortunately it is not possible for anyone outside the UK or ROI to apply. It is a requirement to be a member of the AUA throughout your registration on the programme, applications are open to non-members.

Please note, the fee includes two years membership so membership will be automatically applied at the point of registration.


2017/18 fees are £2475. (Includes membership of the AUA for two years, existing members will have their membership extended by two years)


  • You will be invoiced for the full fee 30 days before the first study day
  • Fees can be paid in instalments, 50% of the fee must be paid one month before the first study day
  • Fee arrangements must be confirmed at the point of accepting your offer of a place. Please refer to the payment terms and conditions for more information
  • Invoices can be raised to you, your employer or a third party
  • If you would like your fees to be invoiced earlier than the 30 days or need any more information about payment options, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Further study

As a graduate of the programme you are eligible to complete further qualifications:

  • Stage one – the AUA PgCert (60 credits; two modules each of 30 credits)
  • Stage two – direct entry to the NTU PgDip (60 credits; two modules each of 30 credits)
  • Stage three – direct entry to the NTU MSc (a 20 credit research methods module and a 40 credit work related project/dissertation)

For further information and to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma visit NTU’s website or contact NTU’s Executive Education and Corporate Relations Team on +44 (0)115 848 8139, or via email:

How to apply

You will need:

  • A reference from someone that can comment on your suitability for the programme.
    This is likely to be your current line manager and should be submitted on letter headed paper at the point of applying.
  • A complete application form, which includes a 250 – 500 word personal statement on why you’re applying.

We recommend that you read the prospectus before you start your application so you understand what the programme entails and the expectations of a self-directed, independent learner.  We also bring your attention to our payment terms and conditions.

We consider and accept applications in the order that we receive them.  Applications will close when the cohort is full or at least six weeks before the first study day.  You will need confirmation of funding at the point of accepting your offer of a place on the programme. We are unable to consider applications until a full application has been received which includes a reference. If you have any queries regarding this process please contact the Programme Team.

Provided that all required documents are included the outcome of your application will normally be confirmed within 10 working days of receipt.  If your application is successful, we’ll send you an offer and payment schedule form.

As the programme is run collaboratively with Nottingham Trent University, you will be enrolled as a student with NTU and are able to obtain a student ID card.

The AUA is committed to providing equal opportunities for all members.   We are committed to providing equality of opportunity through the best possible level of support to disabled participants.  You can contact the Programme Manager to discuss any specific needs .  Full details available on our equality approach can found within our AUA Values and the AUA’s Equality Statement.


Submit your application

Find the application form here: application form – APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Once you have completed your application form please upload this below with a copy of your supporting reference. You will need to complete the name, email and institution fields before you are able to submit.

You will receive an automated email reply to confirm we have received your application.


  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.



For further information on the PgCert programme please contact us.

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2063 Email:

Professional development at the AUA