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The Professional Special Purpose Certificate in Teaching, Learning & Assessment for Academic Practice is a level 9, non-major award. The 15 ECTS-credited ‘SpCert’ focuses on four interrelated facets of Academic Practice: teaching, learning, research and leadership.

SP Cert Welcome Video

Please click the image above to play our welcome video.

Timetable 2023-24

Michaelmas Term 2023

Delivery:In Person

Dates: Starts Tuesday 24th October 2023

14:00 – 16:30





Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Facilitator:Dr Caitríona Ní Shé

  • Tuesday October 24th - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday October 31st - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday November 7th - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday November 14th - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday 28th November - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday 5th December - 2 to 4.30 pm
  • Friday 8th December - Time for Teaching Philosophy Statement workshop to be confirmed.
We strongly recommend programme participants taking the SpCert on a for-credit basis to complete Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as their first module from the suite.

Delivery: Blended

Dates: Starts Thursday 5th October 2023

10:30 – 13:00



Assessment & Feedback in Higher Education

Facilitator: Dr Caitríona Ní Shé and Dr Ana Schalk

  • Thursday 5th October 2023 (In person)
  • Thursday 12th October 2023 (In person)
  • Thursday 2nd November 2023 (In person)
  • Thursday 16th November 2023 (Online)
  • Thursday 23rd November 2023 (In person)
  • Thursday 7th December 2023 (In person)

About the SpCert in Teaching, Learning & Assessment for Academic Practice

The SpCert in Teaching, Learning & Assessment for Academic Practice is for academics and/or academic-related professionals in Trinity. Cohorts typically include teaching academics, researchers with teaching responsibilities, part time or adjunct teaching staff, and other professionals with roles in supporting learning.

The SpCert is a research-informed professional qualification in academic practice, designed to be flexible and practice-based. Candidates are supported to engage in modules/areas most appropriate to their own interests in the areas of teaching, learning, and assessment. Programme participants develop and evidence their academic practice, knowledge and values and can engage with the programme at times that are appropriate to them.

The core values of the SpCert are grounded in supporting and fostering excellence in teaching across the disciplines, recognizing the impact on student learning of all those who teach and also taking into the account the enormous diversity of teaching contexts at Trinity. As the SpCert focuses on application of theory to practice and on reflection and evaluation, all candidates should hold responsibilities for teaching and/or supporting learning while participating in the course. The SpCert is awarded following the completion of three distinct 5 ECTS modules, one of which should normally be ‘Perspectives on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education’. The SpCert is a level 9/ M-level award on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications and aligns to Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework which recognises both accredited and non-accredited forms of professional development for academics and those engaged in supporting teaching and learning in the Irish higher education context. Upon completion of the certificate staff can undertake further modules to facilitate lifelong learning and help maintain high quality practice throughout their careers.

Applicants to this course would normally hold a minimum of an honours degree or equivalent in any discipline. The SpCert handbook is updated annually to reflect the details of the modules available within a particular academic year. Please view our handbook for more detailed information. The SpCert is not open to graduate teaching assistants, for whom a separate programme is available.

Please note these modules are open to and free of charge to Trinity staff members only. For any queries please contact


Participants who are awarded the Certificate may apply to the Postgraduate Diploma/M.Ed in Higher Education within the School of Education; such participants may secure an exemption from one of the four modules within the Diploma.

Informal enquiries about the partial exemption from Diploma modules should be made to Dr. John Walsh (M.Ed Co-ordinator) at

Congratulations to our SP Cert graduates for 2023.

We were delighted to celebrate with our SP Cert graduates this year at their graduation in College's Public Theatre on 14th July 2023.

From left to right: Dr Dr Yekaterina Chzhen (and her lovely little boy), Dr Jonny Johnston (SP Cert module lead), Dr Deirdre D'Arcy, Jade Concannon (SP Cert administrator), Dr Mairead Finn, Dr Joanne Kenney & Dr Joel McKeever. Non pictured are Dr Cathy Cunningham and Dr Fergus O'Dwyer.

Please see below the speech that was given on the day to celebrate our colleagues.

"Registrar, friends, esteemed colleagues, guests, it gives me enormous pleasure to be here to share and celebrate today with you.

My name is Jonny and in recent years I have had the unparalleled privilege of acting as the academic lead for the special purpose certificate in academic practice.

Our certificate programme – which we call the SpCert – is somewhat different to the other programmes we are celebrating at today’s graduation. Our participants and graduates join us in the Centre for Academic Practice from across the College community to progress and advance their commitment to teaching that supports and enhances learning. Colleagues come together to share expertise gathered in professional support roles in student services and academic affairs, from Trinity’s Library, and from across the Schools in the University from backgrounds as diverse as Psychology, Natural Sciences, English, Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and beyond.

SpCert graduates share core values grounded in collaboration, partnership, and a clear understanding of the key role of teaching in advancing Trinity’s educational mission. You make an exceptional contribution to and share an exceptional commitment to the College teaching and learning community – and we are delighted to be here today as our University formally recognizes your commitment and achievements. We are delighted to celebrate with you, and very much look forward to continuing to collaborate as you progress within Trinity and beyond. Congratulations! "

Dr Jonny Johnston, Centre for Academic Practice