Jump to: Overview | Why Aberdeen? | What You'll Study | How You'll Study | Assessment | Entry Requirements

An online short course designed to grow your skills in planning and delivering PSHE with young people in your educational or other supportive role.  

Learn from experienced academics in our School of Education, at the forefront of research and highly experienced in teaching these professional skills.  

A flexible route to develop your career in teaching or related role, working at your own pace, at any location, and fitting your learning around work and personal commitments.


Personal and social development linked to health and wellbeing is increasingly recognised as central to an effective education in which the potential of the whole individual is developed.

For an education system committed to helping all young people attain their potential and prepare for their future life this requires a planned approach.

We’ve designed this short course to grow your professional skills in identifying and meeting the developing PSHE needs of young people through effective planning. It provides a taster and route to progression through our online Pastoral Care Guidance and Pupil Support programme at PgCert, PgDip or full Masters level, and available fully online.

This highly topical introduction is geared to extending your skills and knowledge into new areas of guidance, care and support relevant to your work with young people, likely to be in an educational setting. Progression through the programme offers a strong career advantage and promotion route through the school functions of Guidance and Support.

The course covers planning, development and delivery of inter-disciplinary programmes of PSHE including assessment, evaluation and improvement planning, learner-centred approaches, and the importance of a supportive climate.

Aberdeen’s School of Education has a national reputation for expertise in teaching the professional skills required to implement effective PSE/PHSE programmes in secondary schools. You’ll learn from highly-qualified, experienced staff who bring a wide range of expertise in learning and teaching, and are recognised leaders in their specialist fields.

While aimed primarily at teaching staff, this is an invaluable opportunity for other professionals in a caring role with young people, perhaps working in social work, health promotion, or in community development.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of reputation, breadth of expertise, long experience, teaching and research strength, makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class learning in education.

We combine over 500 years of rich academic heritage with 21st century innovation and dynamism to create and deliver world class programmes, all underpinned by our inclusive and welcoming learning environment.

Aberdeen’s School of Education is recognised as a national and international centre of excellence for creative and innovative thinking and practice, with a long and distinguished record in evolving theory and practice in learning in a culturally stimulating, hi-tech, creative environment.

You’ll learn from highly-qualified, experienced staff who bring a wide range of expertise in learning and teaching, and are recognised for research in their specialist fields and the strong partnerships developed with schools and communities, education authorities and other professionals.

You will benefit from a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning that will enhance your critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills, combining this with all the advantages of learning in an international online community to suit your location, employment and personal commitments.

All our programmes are closely guided by national policies and priorities, by topical issues and challenges, and by the pioneering use of technology in learning.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or as an introduction to continuing your professional development with a PgCert, PgDip, and progress to a full online Masters programme in Pastoral Care Guidance and Pupil Support.

What you'll study

You’ll review the key literature, theories and processes, including the field of personal and social development, health and wellbeing.

You’ll consider the concept of the health-promoting school, and examine current models of health (both physical and mental) and their influence on the learner and society – including the development of emotional intelligence, self-concept, equal opportunities, and issues around racial equality.

The course covers different patterns of lifestyles within the school and community and the influence of issues such as ethos, diet, and drugs on the individual, recognising the different perspectives at local and national level.

And you’ll explore strategies for the delivery of sensitive issues and decision-making in the context of health and wellbeing.

How you'll study

This online, distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an international online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

You’ll learn as part of a ‘study buddy’ group, discussing tasks together, and sharing ideas and good practice. You’ll be expected to log on to the VLE site every 1-2 days and to contribute in total around 150 hours of work over 15 weeks, including studying online resources, taking part in online sessions with your course tutor, and contributing to discussion boards with your classmates.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you are not alone in your study. Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the convenience of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


Formative assessment is an important component of your programme, evaluating your learning at the end of each specific unit by comparing it against a standard. You will have two formative assessments during your course, which may involve tutor, peer or self-assessment. Each is worth 25% of your final mark.

Your final, summative assignment will take the form of an 8,000-word submission which is worth 50% of your final grade, and for which you will receive lots of support and feedback.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:2 or above from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this qualification may be admitted at the discretion of the Programme Director subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of experience, appropriate to the field of study.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.