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PG Certificate in Learning & Teaching in the Arts

As a participant on this programme you will join a vibrant and diverse community sharing in a journey of professional enquiry designed to enhance your practice as an arts educator.


As a participant on the PG Cert in Learning & Teaching in the Arts programme, you will join a vibrant and diverse community sharing in a journey of professional enquiry designed to enhance your practice as an arts educator. 

This part-time 60-credit programme provides a unique opportunity for arts educators to upgrade their teaching qualifications and obtain a PG Cert qualification that has been designed to develop teaching skills for the arts. It is delivered on a part-time basis through a blended learning model, which includes a mix of face-to-face sessions, online sessions, one-to-one tutorials and independent study (distance students can study the programme fully online, accessing the face-to-face sessions through a video conferencing platform). 

The programme is designed to allow arts education professionals to integrate their studies within their professional teaching contexts. The process of professional enquiry that underpins all modules requires students to engage in a critical analysis of their teaching and arts practice in order to identify and address their own developmental priorities at each stage. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
30 June 2024

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
30 June 2024

Institution Code:

Programme Code:

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

An introduction to PG Certificate in Learning & Teaching in the Arts

Watch a course overview to introduce the programme structure of the PG Certificate in Learning & Teaching in the Arts

Why Study the PG Certificate in Learning & Teaching in the Arts at RCS?

BEd student supports secondary learners. They read sheet music together. A violin sits on their table.

Specialist teaching

A unique programme designed specifically for arts educators, giving you the opportunity to gain a PG Cert qualification at masters level 

A range of dance, acting, music RCS students posing on set.

Like Nowhere Else

Access to unrivalled performing arts education provision, facilities and resources at a World Top 10 institution for the performing arts (QS World Rankings 2023)

BEd student points to sheet music in their classroom during placement.

Learn new skills

Opportunity to develop professional knowledge, networks and collaboration opportunities as part of a diverse learning community alongside personal supervision and mentoring by expert teachers in the arts 

Student testimonial

As a theatre practitioner in a more rural part of scotland, the course has been an absolute game-changer for me. I have gone from feeling stuck and isolated to feeling challenged and supported.”

Student testimonial

“It has opened my eyes up to so much more information than I ever could have expected such as websites, organisations, research and also it changed my mind in what I want out of education. It has allowed me to network with experts and meet other like-minded people. I am a far better educator for being on this course.”

Who is this course for?

Students on these programmes typically have an undergraduate arts qualification in one of the following discipline areas:

  • Dance (e.g. contemporary, ballet, highland, jazz) 
  • Drama (e.g. acting, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting) 
  • Musical Theatre
  • Contemporary Performance (e.g. devised theatre) 
  • Music (e.g. classical, jazz, traditional, contemporary, world, pop, rock, composition) 
  • Film (e.g. screenwriting, directing, cinematography) 
  • Production (e.g. set and costume design, scenic art, sound design, production management, costume making, stage management) 
  • Visual Art (e.g. painting, sculpture, design)

The programme is designed to appeal to individuals who have a role as an arts educator:

Within a formal context such as a: 

  • Further/Higher Education lecturer/tutorVisiting Guest Tutor in a school 
  • Instrumental Music Instructor 
  • Teacher in an International School 
  • Lecturer/tutor in an International Higher Education context 
  • GTCS registered primary/secondary teacher 
  • Early Years educator 

Or within an informal context, such as a: 

  • Community Arts Tutor
  • Participatory Arts Tutor
  • Private Tutor 
  • Dance Tutor/Teacher 
  • Tutor in a pre-HE organisation 
  • Freelance Teaching Artist 

Professional Recognition

Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

For lecturers/tutors working in a further or higher education context with learners at SCQF Level 7 or above (or equivalent), this programme leads to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

GTCS registered teachers who have a remit for an arts subject within their school teaching context can use this programme to build evidence of their commitment to their professional learning as an arts educator. We include the following within our definition of an arts ‘subject’: music, dance, drama and art and design.

For all participants, the programme can be used to develop knowledge and skills as an arts educator and to build an evidence-base to demonstrate commitment their professional learning in designing and delivering learning activities.

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered over a two year period, through a combination of online workshops, distance and independent learning, weekend seminars and work-based learning.

At its core, the programme is primarily concerned with helping arts education professionals engage in a process of active enquiry into their teaching practice.

The aim of the programme is to encourage you to investigate your teaching practice and develop the skills of critical reflection, academic writing, scholarship and practice-based research whilst engaged in a sustained process of development with the aim of enhancing your teaching practice. 

In year one, the focus will be on developing the knowledge and skills required to evidence the quality of your teaching practice. Over this year you will develop a working knowledge of the definitions, conventions and priorities expressed within arts education, helping you engage with policies, philosophies and practices that are most relevant to your specific context. The submissions will encourage you to use research and critical reflection to ensure that your teaching practices are underpinned by robust evidence both in relation to your subject area, and to credible learning theories. 

This is a 30-credit module designed to help you to build an evidence-base to support a critical evaluation of your teaching practices. Having articulated the philosophies, principles and values that underpin your current teaching practice, you will design, deliver and evaluate learning activities, demonstrating how your teaching is underpinned by appropriate and current policies and learning theories, and use feedback from peers and your learners to inform your ongoing development priorities. 

In year two, the focus shifts to the ways in which you can engage in a meaningful exploration of your teaching practice in order to challenge preconceptions and to take advantage of innovations in education. Over this year you will focus on proposing and testing hypothesis designed to advance your practice as an arts educator.

In this 30-credit module for all students, you will focus on the development of a practice-based research project that will help you explore new and innovating ways in which you might meet the identified needs of your learners. In this module you will explore the impact of your new innovative practices through the ethical use of research data and objective critical analysis, informing your ongoing development as an arts educator. 

The programme is delivered through a mix of scheduled sessions and one-to-one support. In each year of study, students will be required to attend 6 days of intensive study, either face-to-face at RCS or through accessing online (for distance learners). In academic year 23/24, the weekend sessions will be delivered on the following dates: 

  • 23rd and 24th September 2023 
  • 11th November 2023 
  • 10th and 11th February 2024 
  • 27th April 2024 

Online sessions run approximately every second Thursday throughout term time. These are delivered in the morning between 10am and 12pm, and are repeated between 6.30 and 8.30pm in the evening. All other tutorial support can be negotiated with personal supervisors, mentors and peers on the programme. 

International students can attend weekend sessions remotely for the duration of their studies.

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

Applicants for the programme normally have a good degree, or international equivalent in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme. It is recognised that some applicants may not have achieved a full degree in a relevant subject area and we will take account of relevant professional experience where it is deemed to be a suitable equivalency. 

Applicants seeking Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) must have a remit for teaching in a Further or Higher Education context with learners working at SCQF Level 7 and/or above (or equivalent).

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System score (IELTS) (if applicable) Level 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.5 in speaking and with a minimum score of 5.5 in all parts.

Appropriate prior learning

In some cases, applicants to the programme may already have achieved academic credit on another programme/module of study and are seeking to reduce the number of modules they will need to study on the Programme. Applications for APL will normally be decided prior to the applicant’s admission to the Conservatoire. 

The staff team will use the applicant’s previous transcript and module information to attempt to match the existing credit against modules in the programme. Staff must identify a match between the level, the learning outcomes and volume of credit associated with the unit/module passed by the applicant and the corresponding Conservatoire module. 

APL will not normally be awarded for students who are seeking HEA Fellowship status, however, module credit from another AdvanceHE accredited programme may be considered if the content is deemed a suitable match. 

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees (over and above fully funded places)


  • Home: £5,386
  • Overseas: £5,386


Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

This course can be studied fully online if you live further afield and don’t wish to relocate. For any students who would like to move to Glasgow to pursue hybrid learning on the programme, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live here, though much will depend on your lifestyle.

How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made online via UCAS Conservatoires. Once you submit your application, please complete our short questionnaire via Acceptd. Once we have received your application and response to the questionnaire, we can arrange an interview for you. 

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year. 

You will need the following codes to apply: 

  • Institution code: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – R58  
  • Programme code: PG Cert Learning & Teaching in the Arts— 110P

The closing date for all on-time PG Cert applications is 30 June 2024.  If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application will be reviewed by the interview panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications 

Application/Audition fees

There is a UCAS application fee of £27.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland additionally charges an audition assessment administration fee of £55 per course.  

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires, drama and ballet schools can be costly. The audition assessment administration fee charge allows us to offer a thorough and positive experience to all applicants and we encourage you to get in touch to ask the panel questions and find out more about the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to see if it is the best place for you.


We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.


It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

Interview process

The interview is designed to provide the programme team with an insight into your level of suitability for study on the programme. 

There will be a 30-minute discussion about your application with the Head of Programme and a member of the delivery team. This will be used to explore your educational background, experience, opportunities and aspirations and you will be invited to address the following questions: 

  1. What has led you to apply for this programme? 
  2. How do you see this programme contributing to your professional development? 
  3. What opportunities will you have to work with learners during the programme?


The decision to offer you a place on the programme will be based on both your application and the interview. This will be normally be communicated to within two to three weeks of your interview.

Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

A ballerina wearing a teal dress jumps over the Kelpies monuments in Scotland during a grey day.

World Top Ten

We were voted one of the world’s Top Ten destinations to study the performing arts (QS Rankings) in 2024, the eighth time we have been placed in the top ten since the ranking was established in 2016.