PgCert Researcher Development

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Accredited by the Higher Education Academy to lead to professional recognition at Associate Fellow of the HEA (AFHEA) & Fellowship of the HEA (FHEA) categories
  • Application deadline: applications are accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis
  • Study mode and duration: Part-time; face-to-face and online learning with some independent study

Study with us

  • flexible, academic development degree

  • ideal for university research staff, academics or any member of staff looking to enhance their understanding and skills relating to academic and related careers
Back to course

Why this course?

This course is ideal for university research staff, academics or any member of staff looking to enhance their understanding and skills relating to academic and related careers. It normally takes one to two years' part-time study.

It's aimed at two principal audiences:

  • university academic professional staff interested in exploring options and opportunities that research roles can provide them to develop their careers, succeed in their current positions to benefit themselves and the university
  • any member of staff interested in investigating how research and related skills could further develop their understanding of the HE sector and their role within it

The course examines factors influencing academic careers in higher education (HE) and offers a range of intellectual and practical methods to inform, explore and develop research activities and career development. Throughout the course, you'll be encouraged to draw from your own area or discipline and explore the development of your career and research in these areas.

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

Male researcher with laptop

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
Go back

Course content

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

To obtain a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert), you'll complete three classes – the core class Building a Successful Research Career, one recommended class, plus one recommended OR optional class.

Recommended Researcher Development classes:

  • Supervising Postgraduate Research
  • Research Bidding and Design – Getting Started
  • Management & Leadership in Higher Education
  • Academic Writing

As optional classes, you'll be able take any module delivered through the Strathclyde Programme in Academic practice Researcher development and Knowledge exchange (SPARK) programme, including those from either the or pathways.

QS five stars logo 2019

We're a 5-star
QS-rated University

Learning & teaching

All classes are taught using experiential and reflective techniques to ensure learning outcomes are applicable, useful and based in authentic activity. Classes are highly flexible, allowing you to make choices based on your own personal interests.

Classes 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 virtual learning environment. A 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.

Back to course

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

An Honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

Back to course

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

University of Strathclyde applicants

Staff with contracts totalling 12 months or longer: free of charge
Staff employed for less than 12 months at Strathclyde: £600 per module

External applicants

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

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Back to course


All SPARK programme classes are designed and delivered to help students enhance their current and future practice, providing opportunities for both career and personal development.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
Back to course


Researcher Development

Qualification: PG Certificate
Start Date: Sep 2019
Mode of Delivery: part-time

Researcher Development

Qualification: PG Certificate
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

Back to course

Contact us


Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 4058


Graham Hills Building (Level 4), 40 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QE