The Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning at Rhodes University invites applications for a two-year, part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education for Academic Developers (2023 – 2024)

Purpose of the the qualification

The aim of this Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, registered on the NQF at honours level (HEQSF level 8), is to enhance the knowledge and competencies of staff in teaching and learning units/centres whose role it is to contribute to the transformation of higher education in a range of ways, including student development and professional development for academic staff as educators in higher education institutions.

Shifts in higher education around massification, globalisation and the discourse of ‘high skills’ have brought a changed workplace for academics and academic developers in which they have to negotiate new expectations and identities. These international changes have particular nuances in the South African context where historical disadvantage, social justice, transformation and calls for decolonisation need to be addressed. This course aims to contribute towards academic developers’ ability to respond to these challenges and to meet the teaching and learning needs of the students and academics in their contexts.

Due to the current low pass rate of the increasingly diverse South African higher education student body it has become crucial to ensure greater success for more students. To achieve this, effective academic development initiatives, including student development and professional development for academic staff, is a priority for the sector.

The purpose of this PGDip (HE) is to advance academic developers’ knowledge of higher education as a field of study and to enable them to conceptualise, design and implement formal and informal academic development initiatives (with a particular focus on academic staff development) appropriate to their specific contexts.

Admission requirements

  1. Applicants need to be currently employed in academic development or teaching and learning centres or hold positions in which they have responsibility for the strategic development of teaching and learning in a faculty or across an institution.
  2. Applicants should preferably hold at least a master’s degree (in any discipline).
  3. Applicants should be computer literate and have reliable access to the Internet to ensure access to the on-line Learning Management System used to support teaching and learning in the course.
  4. Part of the admission process is an online (ZOOM) interview with prospective candidates.

Time commitment

Participants are required to attend at least six one-week block contact sessions at Rhodes University over the two years.


Tuition fees will be approximately R20 767,00 per year. Additional costs will include initial application fees (approximately R100,00) and cost of materials is approximately R600 per year. A non-refundable fee of R800,00 is payable on acceptance of an academic place at Rhodes University and is later credited to your student account. These are the current fees. They may be increased by up to 10% next year.

Closing date for applications: 15 October 2022