Coaching and Mentoring

Course contact

Linda Lafferty, Programme Leader
+44 (0)1292 886206


  • Off Campus

Start date(s)

  • September

Tuition Fees

Additional costs
Please note that for some programmes of study there may be additional costs involved which are not included in the tuition fee advertised. These could be, for example, for study materials, fields trips or equipment. Programme leaders will be able to provide detail of any additional costs.

The Postgraduate Certificate Coaching and Mentoring programme is offered online and suitable for a diverse range of participants from across various sector organisations (public, private and voluntary) who may have responsibility for training and development and/or supporting peers and colleagues as part of their own organisational development policies. 

In offering individuals a reflective and non-threatening environment through which to critique practice when viewed in light of national and international literature on coaching and mentoring and other models of professional development (so as to develop and promote ‘evidence’ informed professional practice), it also aims to promote cross-sector/inter-agency/inter-professional working and the development of core, transferable skills appropriate for post graduate study at SCQF Level 11 (Masters).

Additionally it provides an opportunity for sustained engagement with the subject; to embark on a learning journey in a supportive and non-threatening environment within which you will explore the body of theoretical knowledge required and issues of practical implementation and management of coaching and mentoring in workplace contexts.


The course comprises three modules – Critical Self-evaluation and Development; Situated Professional Learning; and Contextualising Coaching and Mentoring. It is likely to take approximately 18 months to complete. Further study may be possible through the School of Education’s CPL portfolio.

Learning, Teaching & Assessment

The Pg. Certificate Coaching and Mentoring has been carefully designed to develop and support the individual’s learning to ensure that they understand, practice and demonstrate the processes required to practise as an effective coach/mentor in all aspects of independent and collaborative work within their professional context; enabling the individual to make an enhanced contribution to organisational performance and success through extending the work of self and others i.e. to critically reflect upon their practice (and the practice of others), and to consider ways of enhancing it through the medium of coach/mentor/peer supporter.

The modules have been designed to develop the individual’s ‘breadth of vision’ through encouraging them to extend their existing knowledge and practice of these core subjects beyond their own immediate professional context and to engage with, develop and apply key dispositions and attributes throughout the programme as a means of preparing them for further post graduate level study (where applicable).

Through adopting a facilitative ‘teaching’ style and providing that the individual’s workplace context is consistent with the practical aspects of a module, participants will be able to locate ‘authentic’ tasks (and other coursework) within their immediate professional context and, in doing so, affect a positive and immediate impact on their professional practice.

Programme Content

‘Being’ or ‘becoming’ an effective coach and/or mentor only works if the individual has the opportunity to use the skills, apply the knowledge and develop/enhance appropriate attributes and dispositions. Therefore, the programme has been carefully designed to provide participants with an opportunity for sustained engagement with the subject; to embark on an incremental learning journey in a supportive and non-threatening environment within which they will explore the body of theoretical knowledge required and issues of practical implementation and management of coaching and mentoring in workplace contexts.

The programme comprises of three modules; each module is calibrated at Level 11 within the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework, is worth 20 SCOTCAT credit points and requires 200 ‘notional student effort hours’ as befitting a Masters level programme of study.

To achieve the Pg. Certificate award, individuals must successfully complete and pass all three modules in the order outlined below.

Critical Self-evaluation and Development
This module serves as the core foundation and induction module for the Pg. Certificate Coaching and Mentoring. Structured around a number of topics, each of which introduces a number of related and inter-related themes, the module provides participants with a critical introduction to the principles and methods of (personal and) professional development planning as a vehicle for enhancing impact on the (life-long) learning process in the context(s) of self and others e.g. learners, colleagues, and organisations. Participants will critically reflect on the development of their own professional values, beliefs and identity and undertake a process of self-appraisal and target-setting against relevant professional competence based standards (or equivalent) and the needs/expectations of their employer. All of which will form the basis of planning a personal route for professional development within the Pg. Certificate Coaching and Mentoring.

Situated Professional Learning
This module will initially require participants to engage with and critically evaluate current literature and theories of situated professional learning (e.g. Knowles, Lave and Wenger; instructional initiatives; collaborative and cooperative models, personal and professional models of learning) and, in doing so, identify and develop (and ultimately apply) relevant strategies which lead to effective and appropriate innovation/change in the professional development of peers/colleagues (and as these relate to current and future national initiatives, professional standards and requirements within the individual’s professional context). Participants will then explore a range of espoused theories/models associated with the full coaching and mentoring continuum e.g. GROW, OSCAR, AS, LEAP, traditional versus non-traditional and emergent models of mentoring, before identifying (and ultimately testing out) an appropriate model within their respective professional context.

Contextualising Coaching and Mentoring
This module is primarily focussed on the critical exploration of the process and practice of coaching and/or mentoring within an organisational context. In doing so, it provides opportunities for participants to customise their learning in relation to planned and structured engagement with a work related coaching/mentoring activity and to develop their practice in the light of reading and other agreed (and appropriate) activities. Participants will confirm the nature and scope of the coaching/mentoring activity to be undertaken (to include clearly defined outcomes and reference to professional relevance) and, having engaged with the relevant activity, participants will then review and conduct a systematic evaluation of the impact of any changes discerned during the coaching/mentoring activity; on both a personal and professional basis (demonstrating how their activity links to local and/or national priorities in their professional context).

The modules listed above are all assigned to a specific trimester and cannot be taken outside of the relevant trimester. This means that a participant will complete the Postgraduate Certificate in approximately 18 months.

Progression/Professional Recognition
Individuals who successfully pass all three modules will be eligible for the award of Pg. Certificate Coaching and Mentoring.

In the event an individual wishes to build on this initial award by continuing with a further programme of study towards a Pg. Diploma/M.Ed, then they may engage with the processes as set out via Regulation 6 of the UWS Regulatory Framework (Regulations for the Admission of Students: 6.7 Recognition of Prior Learning); completion of further modules could provide the individual with an opportunity to seek professional recognition/update (3-18 Scottish education sector only).

Delivery Methodology

The Pg. Certificate Coaching and Mentoring will be delivered, administered and supported entirely online using the UWS virtual learning environment (Moodle).

In addition to affording participants flexibility in terms of when, where and how they manage their respective learning experience(s), ‘learning to learn’ online will also help to promote the development of peer support networks in general terms as well as maximising the opportunity to work (develop and share knowledge) with peers from across differing professional contexts (and to consider the wider contribution this model may have towards fulfilling national and regional policy aspirations e.g. developing collaborative connections and strengthening research/knowledge bases). In this respect, the programme may also potentially afford participants a unique opportunity to meet and interact online with professionals from all over the world as part of their programme of study; providing integration and synthesis of a range of ‘first hand’ (as well as theoretical, literature based) international perspectives in the area(s) of situated professional learning, coaching and mentoring.

From within Moodle, participants will be required to remotely access set (and extension) readings and other course materials and to regularly engage in online, asynchronous communication with tutor(s) and their peer participants. This process will involve the use of e-mail and discussion forum areas and include a need to respond to and read contributions made by other participants (and/or the tutor); complete additional, relevant ‘self-directed’ reading; discuss topics relating to the module with colleagues and other relevant individuals within the participants' professional context, and any other activity that participants feel will help them achieve the learning outcomes associated with the programme in general and each module in particular.


Up-to-date information about fees can be found on the student finance webpages in the section entitled - Tuition Fees.

Payment plans are available to enrolled students. Pro-rata charges apply in the event of withdrawal from the programme following enrolment and, at the point of enrolment, participants must either pay for each module in full or make an initial deposit (with further regular payments to be made thereafter). Further information is available from the UWS Finance Department 
See also: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Section 6 of the University Regulatory Framework.

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification: Participants will typically have a teaching qualification or other relevant professional qualification e.g. training, development, HR and/or significant and on-going practical experience of/responsibility for training and development and/or supporting peers and colleagues as part of their own organisational development policies.

Other Required Qualifications/Experience: Applications from interested professionals without a teaching or other relevant professional qualification will be considered on the basis of a first degree in a relevant area e.g. training, development, HR and/or significant and on-going practical experience of/responsibility for training and development and/or supporting peers and colleagues as specified above.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide formal, official proof that they meet the English language requirements specified in Section 6.2 of the University Regulatory Framework. Additionally, evidence of English proficiency must be no more than three years old counting back from the anticipated start date of the programme. If the applicant has been working or studying in an English speaking country for a substantial period of time, this can be taken into consideration as long as a statement to this effect is included in his/her references. If the applicant has studied at degree level in an English speaking country for a period of one year or more, this can also be taken into consideration as long as the programme was taught and assessed entirely in English and was undertaken in the last three years counting back from the anticipated start date of the programme. Relevant transcripts must be provided as evidence of this and a relevant statement must be included in the references - Regulation 6.6.

All applicants will be required to supply two references in support of their application to join the programme. Therefore applicants will need to ensure, in good time, that their referees are willing and able to write a reference (letter of recommendation) on their behalf. Referees should be in a position to provide an informed view of the applicant’s academic ability and suitability for their chosen programme of study and any other information they consider as being relevant to the individual’s application.

At least one of the referees should hold a position of authority within the applicant’s employer organisation so as to enable them to confirm that the applicant’s workplace context is consistent with the practical aspects of the programme i.e. they can confirm the applicant is able (or is about) to engage in a coaching/mentoring role and that the applicant has the support and permission to reflect on/refer to their work related activity throughout the programme (n.b. programme requirements associated with work related activity will be subject to compliance with UWS Ethical Guidelines so as to ensure confidentiality, privacy and anonymity of all participants involved in such activity). In this respect applicants are advised to supply their prospective referees with an overview of the programme so that they can comment on the individual’s ability to meet with the general demands of, and the specific practical aspects associated with, the programme. Please contact the Programme Leader for further, specific details.

Application to join the programme
Applications are made online and, in general terms, the process requires each individual to complete a number of sections (and upload any supplementary documentation e.g. references, previous transcripts, etc.), which make up the full application.

Further information about making an online application for this programme is available here.

Further Information

A programme information booklet is available on request and/ or should you have any questions about any aspects of the programme then please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Leader Linda Lafferty, email:

Please make the subject line of your email quite clear with regard to your request to ensure that it is not filtered out or held for manual checking as part of University email protocols.

If you do not receive a reply from Linda within 48hrs (excluding weekends and holiday periods) then please contact our Admissions Office on 01292 886206 (or send an email to ) with your contact details (email address preferred) and enquiry.