Teaching in Colleges Today (SCQF level 8) CPD Award

Course code X362

What is special about this course?

This CPD Teaching in Colleges Today (SCQF level 8) has been designed to help you quickly develop the knowledge and skills needed to be a capable and effective college lecturer or teaching staff member. This award is ideal for recently in-post college lecturers and staff, specifically those involved in learning, teaching and assessing students, who have minimal teaching experience or qualifications. It will also suit final-year degree and postgraduate students with mentoring experience, who may wish to move into a career in FE.

This unit provides a progression pathway for recently appointed college lecturers. You will broaden and deepen your understanding of the vital skills that all educators need, to successfully plan and deliver high quality learning, teaching and assessment to students. The unit allows you to develop these skills as soon as possible after beginning employment in a college, complementing any in-house new staff induction and orientation processes which are location-specific. 

At level 8, you will be expected to demonstrate a more thorough understanding of a range of learning needs, their impact on learning, and ways to mitigate any adverse effects that they may cause. In comparison to Teaching in Colleges Today (SCQF level 7), you will also be expected to be able to critically analyse and evaluate your professional decisions and current practice, identifying personal strengths and areas for improvement. This will enable you to identify personal development priority actions and targets.

Special features

  • Enhances professional practice
  • Progression to PDA Teaching Practice in Scotland's Colleges (SCQF level 9) CPD award

Entry requirements

  • You should be employed as a college lecturer, or as college staff involved in teaching and assessing college students, but without a recognised teaching qualification
  • You must be nominated by your line manager and/or staff learning and development departments to undertake this award
  • Eligible applicants who have studied up to and including SCQF level 7 will be suited to this level 8 course
  • Eligible applicants who have studied up to and including SCQF level 6 should apply to Teaching in Colleges Today (SCQF level 7) CPD Award
  • Final year degree or postgraduate students looking to move into a career in Further Education will not be able to complete the summative assessments and gain a CDN certificate, but you may still be accepted onto the course in order to work through the online learning materials, developing skills and understanding of these important topics. In these instances, you will receive a certificate of success from your chosen campus

CPD Award

You will study the following subjects:

  • Introduction to teaching in colleges today
  • Learner requirements and learner needs
  • Lesson planning and preparation for learning
  • Learning and teaching activities and resources
  • Learning environments and digital technologies
  • Assessment planning and assessment for learning
  • The power of feedback
  • Assessment methods and assessment of learning
  • Evaluating your practice
  • Professional development
  • College context
  • Sector influences and initiatives

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), College Development Network platform and classroom practice observations with support from your mentor

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): 70 hours (roughly 14 weeks @ approximately 5 hours per week)

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North Highland
  • Outer Hebrides
  • West Highland

Start date

  • September
  • January
  • Other start dates may be available
  • For information on variable start dates please contact the campus where you wish to study


The good news is that depending on your personal circumstances there are a wide range of bursaries, grants and allowances available to fund your college studies.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress to CPD Award Teaching Practice in Scotland's Colleges (SCQF level 9).

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Teaching in Colleges Today (SCQF level 8) CPD Award

Please note that UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will be changing their names to become UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.