FAQs

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

    You will learn through guided exploration of the assessment literature, adopting an analytic and critical approach, conferring with colleagues and tutors and writing the set assignments. You will learn from the knowledge of experts in the field at interactive and structured input sessions at the Saturday Day Schools.

    You will learn from experience - your own and others' - by sharing, reflecting and trying out your new understanding at work and through the course assignments. The rich environment of the online forums is a key part of this course.
  2. What will I gain from it?
    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 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 motivated staff who have a deep, wide-ranging and evidence-based understanding of the field.
  3. How can I enrol?
    Cambridge Assessment staff must submit their applications internally by 30 April 2018.
    All other applications should be made direct to the Faculty of Education by 4 June 2018.
    Go to the Faculty of Education website for an application form and further information.
  4. What are the entry requirements for the course?
    The normal requirements for this course require students to be capable of working at Master’s degree level and demonstrate this by holding one or more of the following academic or other qualifications:
    • A good honours degree
    • A PGCE assessed at Master’s level
    • Recent (within three years) completion of professional qualifications at level six or above
    • Overseas qualifications equivalent to the above (For an assessment of overseas qualifications contact National Academic Recognition Centre for the United Kingdom) Non-English speaking overseas applicants may also require an IELTS qualification with a minimum score of 7 in each element.
    Since this course is aimed at practising professionals, professional experience and engagement are recognised as alternatives to recent academic qualifications as indicating the potential for working at Master’s level. If you have further questions, please contact ppd@educ.ac.uk directly.
  5. How many credits is the course worth?
    This is a Master’s level course, worth 60 credits at Level 7.
  6. What could be my pathway for progression after taking this course?
    This course can be used as part of a possible pathway to a full Master's degree. You would need to take another 30 credit course and then a 90 credit Master’s year to qualify for a University of Cambridge MEd.

    For further information, go to the Faculty of Education website.
  7. What is the course fee?
    The course fee for 2018-2019 is £2,800.

    In addition to the course fee, you will need to allow for expenses in travelling to Cambridge for the Day Schools.
  8. I don’t live near Cambridge. Can I follow the course?
    Yes – certainly. The course format is a blended programme of online work and six Saturday Day Schools, which will be held in Cambridge and which you will be expected to attend. There are two day schools each term, and dates will be made available before the start of the course. The first day school will be early in October.
  9. I know there used to be a Certificate in the Principles and Practice of Assessment (CPPA) course. Is this a replacement?
    No, this course does not replace the CPPA. It is a new course at Master’s level , worth 60 credits at Level 7. If you are interested in a course similar to the CPPA, let us know and we will keep you informed of any developments. Email thenetwork@cambridgeassessment.org.uk
  10. I attended the Certificate in the Principles and Practice of Assessment (CPPA) course. Will this course be suitable for me as a follow on?
    If you followed the CPPA over 4 or 5 years ago and would like to progress your knowledge and understanding of assessment, then you should certainly consider this course. This course takes a more theoretical and analytical approach and encourages you to reflect more deeply on the key concepts of assessment.
  11. How much time will studying on this course take?
    You will need to allow at least 4 hours per week to take part in the online activities, participate in the forums and carry out the tasks set by the tutors. You will also need to allow time for additional reading. There are also six Saturday Day Schools in Cambridge which you will be expected to attend, as well as six scheduled online sessions on educational research methodology.
  12. How is the course assessed?
    You will have two assessed assignments during the course, each of 4,000 words. The first assignment is due in the Lent term (in February) and must provide evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills you’ve gained through the course. There will be opportunities for you to draft and revise this assignment before final submission. The second assignment requires you to conduct and report on a small scale research study, the topic of which you will decide with your supervisor. This is due at the end of the course (July). The assignments are assessed at Master's level and you must pass both assignments to pass the course.
  13. How will this course benefit me?
    By following this course, you will develop an in-depth and wide-ranging understanding of assessment in an academic environment. You will be challenged to reflect analytically on your reading of academic research papers and theoretical discussions of key concepts. Your small-scale enquiry in an area of professional interest to you will inform your work and help to build your research methodology skills. You will also build strong networks and relationships with others across the world of assessment. Finally, you will gain formal recognition of your achievements with a University of Cambridge Postgraduate certificate, and the option of continuing to achieve a full MEd through further study.
  14. Do I have to be online at a fixed time every week in order to follow the course?
    No, you don’t. You do have to go online to the course every week, do the activities and the reading and participate in the online forums. However, what time you do this is up to you. There are six Research Methods sessions throughout the year as well. For these, you will need to be online for an hour, usually between 17:00 and 18:00 on six evenings during the year. The exact dates will be made available before the start of the course.
  15. I live outside the UK. Can I follow the course if I can’t attend the Day Schools?
    This course is a blended learning course, and the Day Schools are an integral part of your learning and development. The Day Schools offer a chance for tutors and participants to exchange ideas and experiences, as well as presentations from a range of experts which are not available online. They also provide an opportunity to explore ideas for the assignments (on which you will be assessed). For these reasons, you should only apply for the course if you expect to be able to attend the Day Schools.
  16. Can I transfer my Master's level credits from another university to this course?
    It’s not possible to transfer Master's level credits from other universities into a University of Cambridge Masters level programme.
  17. Can I use the Master's level credits from this course to help me gain a Masters level degree at another university?
    You should check with other universities about the transfer of credits into their institution. In theory this is possible but not all universities accept accredited prior learning and students are advised to check with their chosen university.
  18. Is there a time limit for gaining the additional credits to achieve the MEd?
    Both PPD and Master's courses need to be completed within a 4 year period from when you start your PPD studies. When planning your studies, you should also factor in academic start dates.
  19. I'd like to learn about statistical analysis. Is this covered on the course?
    Statistical analysis is considered in relation to reliability, but specific methodologies are not taught on the course.
  20. I'm a teacher interested in formative assessment. Will the course benefit me?
    This course is relevant to assessments leading to qualifications. These might be professional qualifications, vocational qualifications or academic qualifications, at any level. It does not explore the role of formative assessment for teaching and learning. If your primary interest is in formative assessment, this course would not be suitable for you.

Read more about the course and entry requirements on the Faculty of Education website.

Last modified: Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 4:13 PM