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Practitioner Professional Development: CPD & PPD

Discussion group

Practitioner Professional Development (PPD)

The Faculty's PPD programme can be used as part of a progression route to the Cambridge part-time Masters (MEd) or as a qualification in its own right. The programme offers flexible opportunities to gain highly regarded qualifications through both part-time and online modes of study which enable students to update and upgrade their skills, advance their careers and support development of practice in various work settings.

Taught courses

There are various courses available in the PPD programme, some taught face-to-face and others via online taught sessions.

The following is a list of courses on offer in academic year 2024/25:

Please note that as a PPD student you will be a member of the Faculty of Education with access to all Faculty services such as library membership and IT support. Successful completion of our PPD programme entitles students to a University of Cambridge award. You will not, though, have College membership during your PPD studies, nor therefore do you pay a college fee. Because of this, use of some central university facilities (such as sports clubs) may be restricted. However, you will be able to access the services of the University's Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre.

If you continue to our Masters programme, you will at that point be admitted to the central university, through the college system, as a full member of the university. You will also then be required to pay a college fee.

About our awards

There are four levels of awards within the Faculty of Education PPD programme, each carrying Masters level credits.

Award Level


Postgraduate Award in Educational Studies (PAES) 30
Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Studies (PCES) 60
Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies (PACES) 90
Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies (PDES) - Counselling Diploma only 120

Each 30 credits requires written work of 4000 words or equivalent which address the level 7 (Masters) criteria for PPD. Awards may be gained by accumulating credits from shorter pieces of work/short courses or by single longer pieces of work/longer courses. 

Credits must be accumulated within a single course. For example, to achieve a 90-credit PACES award students could complete three 30-credit Transforming Practice modules, but not two Transforming Practice modules and the 30-credit Introduction to Counselling course. 

On completing 90 credits, students will be offered the opportunity to apply to the second year of the MEd (please note there is no automatic right to continue and some routes may be unavailable). If they are unsuccessful in their application, they may still collect their PPD award.

Who joins the programme?

The programme offers academic study that is practice-focused and professionally-relevant. Many of our students are professionals contributing to the development of children and young people in various settings.

International applicants

If you are an international applicant wanting to study part-time, it may be possible for the University to sponsor you for a visa for certain PPD courses. Please find further information on Visa applications.

Support for research methods and project design

Some PPD students are offered the opportunity to additionally complete our online research methods modules to support their studies. Completion of these five modules is compulsory for anyone wishing to apply to the second year of the MEd.