PgCert Knowledge Exchange

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Application deadline: accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis
  • Study mode and duration: part-time blended learning (combination of face-to-face and online learning with some independent study)

Study with us

  • a flexible, academic development degree
  • ideal for university knowledge exchange professionals, academics and researchers looking to enhance their academic and professional understanding of knowledge exchange

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

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Why this course?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Knowledge Exchange (PGCKE) is a flexible, academic development degree, which normally takes one to two years' part-time study.

It's aimed at two principal audiences:

  • knowledge exchange professionals whose primary function is knowledge exchange and wishing to develop their professional understanding and practice
  • university academics and researchers interested in exploring options and opportunities that knowledge exchange can provide them to expand their impact and generate knowledge exchange ventures that benefit themselves, their role, and the university

The course looks at the issues facing knowledge exchange in higher education and offers a range of intellectual and practical methods to inform, explore, and structure knowledge exchange ventures.

You'll be encouraged to draw from your own area or discipline and to explore the development of knowledge exchange in these areas throughout the course. Ultimately, should you so choose, you'll complete a dissertation researching a specific knowledge exchange venture in your chosen area.

All classes are delivered in our in-house teaching facilities and use a diverse number of technologies to enhance learning.

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Course content

Registration:  applicants can register to attend classes upon acceptance into the programme.

To obtain a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) you must complete three classes – the core class, one recommended class any other class from the recommended or optional list.

Understanding and Exploring Knowledge Exchange

This class provides the core learning experience for the Knowledge Exchange pathway of the SPARK programme and is also mandatory in the Academic Practice path. The class is an elective learning opportunity for participants on both the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and Researcher Development pathways.

The aim of this class is to understand the development of knowledge exchange and how this understood (including how this is influenced by disciplinary conceptions, the innovation ecosystem, and external influencers) as well as to explore the value of, and drivers for, excellence in knowledge exchange practice.

Enterprise, Commercialisation and Intellectual Property

This class represents a core element of the knowledge exchange experience and is a core experience demanded of professionals engaged within the area.

Building a Successful Research Career

Building a Successful Research Career is run by OSDU (the Organisational & Staff Development Unit). It is designed for existing and aspiring research staff, particularly those in the early part of their career. This module provides an opportunity for research staff to fulfil these aspirations. It provides a structured but flexible framework for researchers Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Teaching Learning and Assessment within the Disciplines

This class provides an opportunity for participants to consider disciplinary perspectives on the main theories of how students learn, and by reflecting on this to consider what this might mean for their teaching practice. Participants will have an opportunity to practice and experience a number of teaching styles and methods, including google hangout, blended learning, peer observations etc. Finally, participants will be supported in considering how to design effective methods of assessment through taking an ‘Assessment for Learning’ perspective.

Research Bidding and Design

This class provides a unique opportunity for staff with no, or little, experience of research bidding and design to develop an understanding of the funding landscape, design initial questions and develop a small funding proposal appropriate to their career stage.

Management and Leadership in Higher Education

This module combines theoretical perspectives and practical activities to explore the concepts and practices behind effective management and leadership in the Higher Education context.

Academic Writing

This module combines theoretical perspectives on academic writing with practical activities that should increase the participants' own writing output. There is a strong emphasis on contextualising writing in participants' academic disciplines, while recognising current trends towards interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary requirements for writing. Participants will be encouraged to choose a focus for this module: either their own academic writing or their use of writing activities in teaching at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Course (re)Design

This module involves the evaluation of current course designs and the creation and development of new course designs which promote improved teaching, learning and assessment. The module will provide participants with the skills and knowledge required to engage in course (re)design, exploring the pedagogical theories behind, and practical construction of, enhanced student learning experiences.

Supervising Postgraduate Research (Online)

This module aims to provide participants with the necessary information and reflective activities to allow them to continue to develop appropriate attitudes and aptitudes for effective research supervision in HE. 

Teaching and Learning Online (TALON Part 2)

TALON part 2 includes a summative assessment to evaluate the online course activities that you develop in TALON Part 1. The aim of the module is to allow participants to experience being an online student while at the same time exploring the implications and opportunities of teaching and learning online. 

Learning & Teaching

All modules involve a face-to-face element comprising roughly 16 hours, in addition to blended learning elements and individual study. Online elements are conducted through Myplace, the University's online learning environment.

Classes are flexible, allowing you to make choices based on your personal interests. The fully online version of the course is in development.

Guest lectures

Individual classes make use of a selection of guest lecturers who can provide the best training on specialist topics.


Assessment types differ from class-to-class and align constructively with teaching and learning aims. Essays, presentations, individual projects, and other methods are commonly used.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

SPARK classes and programmes are designed for University of Strathclyde staff and external academics.

You’ll need an Honours degree or an equivalent qualification. 

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Fees & funding


University of Strathcyde applicants

Staff with contracts totalling 12 months or longer: free of charge
Staff employed for less than 12 months at Strathclyde: £756 per module

External applicants

Bespoke training can be designed for external clients on request, for an additional fee. Please contact

Interested in SPARK?

Come along to one of our academic development information sessions which run throughout the year.

Register for information session
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All SPARK classes are designed and delivered to help you enhance your current and future practice, providing opportunities for both career and personal development.

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