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Pearson BTEC Level 4 Professional Diploma in Teaching

This international teaching qualification, which is exclusively offered at Gateway Graduate School (GGS) in Sri Lanka, enables the participants to develop a fairly broad theoretical and practical perspective of the teaching profession. The programme has eight units (modules) and each of them covers current topics relevant to teaching. The units range from general concepts of teaching (e.g. Teaching and Learning Principles) to technical aspects of teaching as suitable for the 21st century setting (e.g. Using ICT to Support Teaching). In addition, this qualification provides students a solid platform to progress in their teaching careers with an international outlook, both professionally and academically.

Duration of The Programme and Intakes

The duration will be one (1) year of part-time studies.
There will be three (3) intakes per year: February, July and October.

Units (Modules) Offered

The units (modules) offered in the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Advanced Teaching are as follows:
Module Title
Credit Weighting
1. Soft Skills for Teachers
10 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of ‘soft skills’, the personal attributes that will enable them to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people in the teaching and learning environment

Unit Introduction: This unit provides the learner with an understanding of the skills, knowledge and understanding of the soft skills required to support teaching. ‘Soft skills’ characterises a set of personal skills that can be helpful in the teaching and learning environment that help learning to develop an understanding of empathy and its applicability to the teaching environment.

The unit focuses on understanding the professional role of the teacher and the importance of ethical behaviour in promoting the well-being of the student and appropriate aspects of individual rights as well as delivering subject knowledge in the learning process. Learners will also be able to compare their own professional role with the roles of other professionals in the teaching organisation, with particular emphasis on the individual role when compared with the advantages of working as a member of a team. This will allow learners to identify the interpersonal relationships and responsibilities that impact on the performance of the professional teaching.

The unit explores issues that affect the way learners learn and issues that they may bring with them to learning. This provides an opportunity to examine different concepts of intelligence as well as other social or cultural factors that influence learning. Attention is given to more severe learning difficulties that need to be understood when considering approaches to planning teaching and learning and the importance of referral for more specific action in dealing with these.

The unit provides the opportunity for the learner to examine the communication skills required for effective teaching and learning, including the impact of potential barriers and body language. The range of the unit includes ways to use communication in managing learners and learning to diagnose ways their own communication skills could be improved.

This can be taken as a stand-alone unit or as part of the Professional Diploma in Teaching. The unit also provides the understanding knowledge required for the practical ‘Delivering Practical Teaching and Learning’.

2. Teaching and Learning Principles
6 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is to enable the learner to understand the key principles and practices of teaching and learning used in a practical teaching context.

Unit Introduction: All teachers need to understand the main principles of teaching and learning in order to make informed choices when planning teaching and learning sessions. Learners will develop an understanding of teaching and learning in a wider context whereby practice needs to be informed by professional standards and codes of practice. Learners will have the opportunity to investigate the responsibilities inherent in teaching and in particular the need to identify and meet the specific individual needs of their own learners. Learners must be aware of the more significant specific learning difficulties they may encounter in teaching in order to deal with these sensitively and to create a truly inclusive learning environment.

Learners will research different teaching and learning strategies, along with the pedagogy that informs them. It is important to recognise the need to engage and motivate learners in order for learning to take place.

The unit will highlight the need to use different methods, resources and approaches to support teaching and learning. Learners will explore ways to develop and adapt approaches for their own teaching so that resourcing and assessment form an important part of the inclusive teaching and learning process.

3. Delivering Practical Teaching and Learning
15 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this practical unit is for learners to be able to design and use session/lesson plans and schemes of learning that meet the needs of specific learners for agreed topics.

Unit Introduction: The underlying principle of this unit is to give learners the opportunity to develop appropriate classroom practice through selecting or adapting strategies that enable learning to take place.

Learners will deliver sessions using the planned teaching and learning approaches, selected resources and assessment strategies designed to meet the needs of their students. During these sessions, opportunities should be provided for the tutor observer to attend and provide supportive and developmental feedback relating to this practice. If appropriate, feedback could be requested from their own learners.

A critical aspect of teaching and learning is the need to reflect on own practice and understand the importance of bringing about change in the light of evaluation. This is integral to both personal and professional practice in achieving the standards required for a practising teacher, tutor or trainer.

AThe demonstration of the practical skills required for this unit should be ongoing throughout the course, so learners have the opportunity to gain practical experience and receive feedback from tutor observations.

Learners will also develop transferable skills that are beneficial for inclusive teaching and learning and these will provide a common thread throughout the qualification.

4. CDeveloping Assessment Practice
6 Credits

Unit Aim: This unit will enable learners to develop a variety of ways to measure individual student progress and achievement through different modes of assessment and to evaluate their own assessment practice.

Unit Introduction: Assessment is essential to effective teaching and learning but can also be used for other purposes such as demonstrating accountability and making comparisons against other institutions or the national achievement rates.

Assessment is an important part of the role of tutors and trainers and therefore they need to understand and use assessment effectively. This unit will enable learners to understand the principles, methods and types of assessment most suited to their purpose and specialist area. Learners will be required to design and conduct assessment in a consistent and robust manner. The approaches selected need to promote learner involvement in the assessment process, such as through self- and peer assessment, in order to provide evidence that is valid, reliable, sufficient, authentic and current in order to promote learning. Intrinsically linked is the requirement for teachers to give feedback from assessment to their own learners in order to support learning and this will also be developed within the unit. Learners will be required to record and track assessment following the appropriate procedures and to evaluate the different types of assessment used and suggest future improvements.

5. Developing Creative Approaches to Teaching and Learning
6 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ creative approaches to teaching in a positive learning environment. Learners will become more effective teachers through a teaching and learning framework that centres on creativity.

Unit Introduction: Learning is most effective when it is enjoyable. Enjoyment can be enhanced when tutors develop creative approaches to delivering lessons. Putting learners at the forefront of learning and allowing them to become involved in activities, rather than simply being passive recipients, can enhance progress and achievement. Traditionally, learning was focused on the teacher but recently the emphasis has shifted to the learner with the tutor adopting a more facilitative role. In addition, teaching requires a range of techniques dependent on subject speciality and context of learning. Vocational subjects, as different as avionics and fabric design, place specialist demands on the teacher to be an expert in their field. Creative delivery and input covers the process of teaching, the interaction and relationships between teacher and learner both in the classroom and beyond. An important aspect of this process includes the learning environment and the resources used.

Adopting creative approaches requires the teacher to work collaboratively with others sharing ideas and best practice, resulting in their learners having the skills to work with greater independence. Creating collaborative projects allows learners to teach each other. A good teacher displays precisely the same interpersonal skills as a good leader, but leads with imagination.

An important aspect of any lesson is evaluation and identifying areas for development in own practice. This unit requires learners to suggest future improvements and present findings clearly and objectively.

6. Developing Resources to Support Teaching and Learning
6 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop and implement effective teaching and learning resources within agreed budget constraints. This unit will assist learners in recognising the importance of developing resources that enhance effective practice in teaching and the learning opportunities for individual learners.

Unit Introduction: All those involved in teaching and training need to develop resources in support of their role. In recent times the growth of the internet has increased the availability of both free and chargeable resources. It is important that teachers recognise and evaluate the value of using ICT and how its use will meet the needs of many learners.

For this unit learners will identify those resources already available in their own organisations, and investigate new and unfamiliar resources available from external sources. Learners will also consider the potential for using computer-based resources as well as deciding which resources can be developed to meet the needs of their own learners. Additionally, the use of purposeful resources will be identified as part of this unit. Teachers will be encouraged to collaborate with others by developing and sharing their resources with colleagues. As with all units, it is important to review the individual’s own approaches, strengths and weaknesses in order to adapt and improve their own practice, so learners will be required to produce a resource development plan and justify the need for each resource outlined.

7. Using ICT to Support Teaching and Learning
6 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is to enable learners to recognise and develop their use of ICT to support teaching and learning. It includes understanding the purpose of clear planning and justification for the implementation of ICT. It also involves evaluating their own practice in relation to the effective use of ICT.

Unit Introduction: All those involved in teaching and training need to develop resources in support of their role. In recent times the growth of the internet has increased the availability of both free and chargeable resources. It is good practice for teachers to collaborate and share the resources they develop with colleagues as well as embed them into lessons enabling their own learners to develop their ICT skills.

For this unit learners will need to identify those resources already available in their own organisations as well as investigate new and unfamiliar resources available from external sources. Learners will then be required to decide which resources they need to develop for themselves and how these will meet the needs of their own learners. Learners will need to produce a development plan showing clear steps for development of the required resources to support their lessons. Learners will need to justify the use for each resource outlined in their plan, develop each resource, within an agreed budget, and test the effectiveness of each resource before it is fully implemented into their teaching.

8. Promoting Independent Learning
6 Credits

Unit Aim: The aim of this unit is for teachers to be able to promote independent learning to their learners so that it becomes an inherent part of their development and lifelong learning ethos.

Unit Introduction: AIndependent learning is part of an ongoing, lifelong process of education that promotes the continuing development of an individual’s capabilities. It can be encouraged in an environment that is flexible and responsive to learner needs.

Assisting learners to develop independent learning skills will help equip them for the future, whether advancing to higher education or in the world of work. Independent learning does not merely involve students working alone; it is about the important role teachers play in enabling and supporting independent learning and the shift of responsibility for the learning process from the teacher to the student.

This unit considers the principles and benefits of independent learning while recognising that there are barriers to overcome whether these are based in the tutor’s own institution or with the learner. Teachers need to identify opportunities to plan and implement learning activities using independent learning. They need to develop the necessary skills in their learners so that they can gain best value from this approach. They need to assess the learning that has taken place and evaluate how effective this has been so that they can continue to improve the learner experience.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Advanced Level qualification (Local/UK)
  • OR
  • NCC Level 3 International Foundation Diploma in Higher Education Studies offered by Gateway Graduate School

Academic Progression Opportunities

Upon the successful completion of the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Professional Diploma in Teaching students can progress onto the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Advanced Teaching offered by GGS.

Together with the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Advanced Teaching and a minimum of one year’s teaching experience, students will become eligible for the MA in Education programme delivered in Sri Lanka at GGS by the University of Nottingham.

Career Opportunities

Upon the successful completion of the programme participants can progress in their teaching careers and/or educational administrative careers or gain entry into the teaching professional within the non-government sector in Sri Lanka.


Pearson Edexcel, which awards Pearson BTEC Level 4 Professional Diploma in Teaching, is the largest British awarding body. It has widespread international presence. As such, it is recognised in many parts of the world, particularly within the education sector as an institution which awards outcomes-based professional qualifications of the highest quality.

Most importantly, successful students will be able to progress onto the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Advanced Teaching qualification, which is recognised by the University of Nottingham as an entry qualification for its prestigious MA in Education programme. The University of Nottingham is ranked 25th in the world and 4th in the UK for the subjects of Education and Training by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the premier ranking system for international higher education institutions.