Awards and Assessment

The overarching requirements for achieving awards are set out below.

Award Elements Credits
CAPS 1 Module 30 Credits
PGCert: Education 2 Modules 60 Credits
PGDip: Education 4 Modules 120 Credits
MA: Education Research in Education Module (10 credits) plus a Dissertation of 15,000 – 20,000 words or equivalent (50 credits) 180 Credits

It is possible to achieve 60 credits for one module provided it is assessed by two different assessment modes – see below. We expect you to be able to complete two different assessment modes in one school year.


A particularly distinctive feature of our programme is the way in which we assess your work.  Rather than asking you to complete conventional ‘essays’ we ask you to choose the way in which you will present your work from a specific list of what we call ‘Assessment Modes’.  This process is designed to assess your knowledge but it is also designed to give you scope to explore your subject from a specific perspective, to develop specific research and study skills, and to prepare you for undertaking an MA: Education dissertation. This assessment process is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and leaves you free to choose the areas of study you want to focus on and the order in which you wish to study them. The links between your areas of study are provided by the ‘Assessment Modes’.  There are five Assessment Modes and you are required to select two from the following for the PGCert: Education and four to complete your PGDip: Education:

  1. Critical Review of a Body of Knowledge
  2. Developing Practice through a Project
  3. Understanding the Use of Data
  4. Critical Reflection on Practice
  5. Making an Argument

Patchwork Texts

Assessment is generally through a 4000-5000 word essay based on one of these assessment modes. We realise that most teachers are very busy and might find the thought of a 4000-word essay rather daunting, so we intend to make use of what is known as “patchwork texts”.

A patchwork text is a form of assessment that consists of a number of small sections of work, or ‘patches’, which are later ‘stitched’ together in a reflexive commentary. Each of the patches is complete in and of itself; however they also each form a small part of an overarching whole. A ‘patchwork text’ assignment is therefore one that is assembled gradually throughout the course of a module. The patches are designed to be as varied as possible and are likely to address different module objectives.

If you are working within a group, during the module each of the patches is shared within the group, and with the facilitating member of staff. This is in order to receive formative feedback and evaluation. You are encouraged to reflect on this feedback and may then revise and edit your patches if you so wish. At the end of the module, you embed the patches within a reflexive commentary, weaving these together into an overarching whole.