PgCert Research & Knowledge Exchange

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • 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 knowledge exchange professionals wishing to develop and enhance their professional understanding and practice, particularly in relation to innovation and impact in their current position, and to explore ways in which they might develop their careers in future
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Why this course?

The course examines factors influencing academic careers in higher education (HE) in research and knowledge exchange, and offers a range of intellectual and practical methods to inform, explore and develop research and knowledge exchange activities and career development.

You'll be encouraged to draw from your own area or discipline and to explore the development of research and knowledge exchange in these areas throughout the course. All classes are delivered in our in-house teaching facilities and use a diverse number of technologies to enhance learning.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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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 – both core classes and one recommended class.

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).

Understand 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.

Research Bidding & Design: Getting Started

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.

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.

Supervising Postgraduate Research (through Strathclyde Supervisor Development Programme only)

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.

Management & 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.

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.


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

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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University of Strathclyde applicants

Staff with contracts totalling 12 months or longer: free of charge

Staff employed for less than 12 months at Strathclyde: £811 per 20 credit 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. .

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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