Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations

Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations

Speakers: Cambridge Assessment and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education
Date: 30 Sep 2019 - 30 Jul 2020 Venue: Faculty of Education,
University of Cambridge
184 Hills Road Cambridge CB2 8PQ
Type: One year part-time course Fee: £2,900

The 'Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations' is a one-year, part-time course worth 60 credits at Master's level (Level 7). It is taught through a mix of online learning and Saturday Day Schools in Cambridge and led by experts from Cambridge Assessment and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education.

I’ve learnt a huge amount on assessment and now have an appreciation of complexities that I didn’t have before. It has impacted on my own use of assessment in the classroom."

The course helps professionals working for awarding organisations and government bodies develop their understanding of educational assessment and its evaluation. 

Teachers preparing for new roles as assessment leaders in their institutions, or as examiners, will find the course particularly useful.

The Postgraduate Certificate is a practice-based qualification and is designed to directly impact your work as you learn to apply various research methodologies to your professional context. At the end of the course you'll be awarded a University of Cambridge Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Studies (PCES) worth 60 credits at Master's Level (Level 7). 

Course overview

Unit 1: Principles of assessment

  • Purpose of assessment
  • Validity and quality of forms of assessment
  • Standard-setting, consistency and reliability

You will discuss the assessment cycle and the design of appropriate assessment tools.

During this unit, you'll begin your study of research methodologies; you'll prepare a first assignment of 4,000 words, to provide evidence of your learning. This assignment will be submitted in Lent term.

Unit 2: Validation of assessment

  • Evidence in public examinations, including external examining and awarding
  • Validation of assessment practices

This unit allows you to continue your study of research methodologies, working toward a second assignment of 4,000 words, reporting on a small scale research study of your choice, based in your professional context. This assignment will be submitted at the end of the course.

View course overview

How you'll learn

This is a part-time course with a mix of online learning and six Saturday Day Schools, held at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge. Included in the course are six tutor-led online Research Methods sessions.

You'll explore the assessment literature, adopting an analytic and critical approach, conferring with colleagues and experts at interactive and structured input sessions at the Saturday Day Schools. You will also have opportunities to share, reflect and try out your new understanding at work through course assignments.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provides the course materials and you'll work with your colleagues there throughout the course. The rich environment of the online forums is a key part of this programme.

Get a taste of online learning and try a free course sample.

Learning outcomes

As a course participant you will:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of assessment in an academic environment
  • Benefit from working on a small scale enquiry in an area of your professional interest
  • Build strong networks and relationships beyond your specialist sector
  • Gain formal recognition of your achievements with a University of Cambridge Postgraduate Certificate

As an employer you will:

  • Support your staff through accredited CPD, engaging with experts
  • Gain staff who have a deep, wide-ranging and evidence-based understanding of educational assessment

How to enrol

This course is part of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, Practitioner Professional Development Programme (PPD) and is worth 60 credits.

Visit the Faculty of Education website to read more about the course and to apply. The application deadline for 2019/2020 is 3 June 2019. If you have a question about the course content please get in touch with If you have any queries about how to make your application please contact

184 Hills Road Cambridge CB2 8PQ

Meet the Course Directors

PGCA Course Directors Ayesha and Simon, together with alumna Caroline talk about the PGCA and answer commonly asked questions in this new video

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“I've had a really enjoyable experience on this course - in so many ways. I've gained knowledge for professional benefit but also so much personal confidence.”

Through reflection and practice, my understanding of assessment has moved from theoretical to implicit, working knowledge.”

Feedback from PGCA alumni

PGCA: Why study assessment?

Deep Ghataura, teacher and alumnus of the PGCA course reflects on his learning from the programme in this blog and video.