Postgraduate Taught

PgCert Collaborative Working: Education and Therapy

NB This course has undergone revalidation since the printing of our PG Prospectus 2020. The content below has been updated to reflect any changes following the revalidation.

If you’re an education or allied health professional working with children and young people, this part-time postgraduate course can help you improve your practice, diversify your career prospects and support your continuing professional development. You can study fully or partly online to fit your learning around your current role.

Research shows that when therapists, teachers and external agencies collaborate effectively the inclusion of pupils with additional needs is enhanced. On this evidence-based interdisciplinary course you will develop advanced research, planning and collaborative skills that will help you make a real difference to the lives of more children with additional needs.

You will find case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.

Why QMU?

  • This PgCert will help you become a reflective, evidence-based practitioner, enhancing your abilities to make a real difference to the lives of pupils with additional needs.
  • Your course tutors will be highly experienced practitioners and research-active academics.
  • Our very active research in this field feeds directly into this course, helping to inform the teaching and keep you up to date.
  • This course is flexible to fit in with your current career. You can complete it fully online or choose a blend of online and classroom attendance.


Course overview

Just how important is collaborative working for professionals supporting children with additional needs and disabilities? You have probably experienced a situation where something has got ‘lost in translation’ between services or teams. Different professional systems create different perspectives, philosophies and vocabularies. Information takes on different meanings depending on who is conveying it to whom, and in relation to which criteria. For example, a special educational needs teacher could describe a child as ‘doing well’, but what would a parent understand by this?

This course teaches an innovative, evidence-based approach to collaborative working that will help you improve outcomes in such situations, and in many other areas of education and therapy.

You will develop the ability to find and appraise policy and research. You will engage with contemporary inclusive learning issues, related legislative frameworks and policy, and relate these to your own practice context.

What are the barriers to good collaboration? You will learn to critique evidence-based approaches and strategies to facilitate collaboration and inclusion for children with additional support needs.

You’ll examine conflict in the workplace. Is it inevitable? Is it healthy? How can it lead to better outcomes?

You’ll have the opportunity to identify and advance practice in an area of innovative collaborative working within your specific field. You will focus on an individual incident and examine what policy and research have to say about it before delivering your findings.

In the context of this course, ‘pupils’ are defined as children or young people who are attending school (this can be within early years, primary or secondary school, in mainstream or special school settings). These pupils have additional support needs, which are currently, or could be in the future, supported by the direct or indirect assistance of education and therapy staff working collaboratively. Additional support needs or special educational needs could include challenges in the areas of:

  • speech, language and communication
  • learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia)
  • emotional/ social/ mental health issues
  • physical disability
  • complex needsCritical evaluation of collaborative practice issues in relation to inclusive learning is central to the course. You will also have the opportunity to identify and advance practice in collaborative working and inclusive learning in schools though development of a proposal for a work-based project.
  • You will design a change management project proposal on a subject related to collaboration and inclusive learning. You will explore the benefits of using different change management techniques. Does everyone agree that change is needed? How can you use the evidence to bring different professionals on board a change project?


To obtain the PgCert, you will complete three 20 credit modules. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.


Exit awards

PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, group exercises, projects and online discussion. A fully online (distance) option is also available. Methods of formative assessment include evaluation of critical incidents, case studies, work based projects, self appraisal and/or reflective reports, and online discussions and postings. Summative assessments comprise written assignments submitted at the end of each module. Small class sizes ensure that individuals receive excellent support and benefit from sharing their experiences with like-minded professionals.

Teaching hours and attendance

Class contact at QMU or online learning options are available. If you choose to study with class contact, course content will be delivered through two Saturdays and one Wednesday evening per module with additional online activities. For online (distance) learners there is no class contact and modules are accessed using QMU’s virtual learning environment comprising self-directed study and online activities. Online (distance) learners and classroom learners will collaborate together using the same virtual learning environment.


Links with industry/ professional bodies

The course was developed by the CIRCLE Collaboration research team at QMU, the City of Edinburgh Children and Families Department and NHS Lothian.



  • Supporting Evidence Informed Inclusive Learning (20 credits)
  • Effective Collaborative working (20 credits)
  • Working Together in Practice (20 credits)

The modules/ details listed here are correct at time of posting (November 2019).

Single modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Cathleen Hunter for more information.


This course is particularly beneficial to teaching staff as part of their Professional Update. The course supports Allied Health Professional career development in line with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards, professional body standards and the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework. This programme meets the needs of staff who want to enhance their knowledge, understanding and practice, and to develop their understanding of contemporary theories at a masters level, meeting requirements for career progression. This course aims to recruit those who wish to develop expertise and skills in their personal practice and/or those who are working in, or wish to progress towards, positions of expertise with responsibility for leading innovation in collaborative working with partner agencies.


Entry requirements

Relevant professional or practical experience is essential. Successful completion of a relevant degree or an equivalent qualification will normally be required. It is possible for candidates with alternative qualifications and appropriate relevant professional experience to be considered.

International: Where your degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Application deadline

November. Late entries will be considered.

More information

Admissions or Cathleen Hunter on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU with additional online learning/ Fully online
18 months part-time
Start Date
January 2020
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
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