PGCert Performance Teaching

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Key information:

Art form:
Drama | Interdisciplinary | Music | Pedagogy | Production Arts
Level of study:
Mode of study:
Contact details:

About this programme

The Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert) in Performance Teaching is a Masters-level course designed to support professional musicians, actors, production artists and dancers who teach as part of their practice, either as their main employment or as part of a portfolio career. It offers a unique opportunity to develop creative and reflective practice in teaching in performing arts contexts. You will be encouraged to identify a personal pathway for your development, focusing on the pedagogy of performance and creative practice in performing arts contexts that are most relevant to your career aspirations.


I am getting so much inspiration from the course. It's boosted my confidence a lot and given me so much to think about.

– Gail Macleod, Module Leader, Barbican-Guildhall Creative Learning

Introduction to the PGCert Performance Teaching

Open Evening

Our online Open Evenings are a great way to find out more about the PGCert Performance Teaching, hear from Programme Leader Carlos Lopez Real and ask any questions you might have about the training.

Register for our Open Evenings in 2024:

  • 11 March 2024 - 8PM - 9.30PM

Book your place

PGCert student podcast

Read our full Q&As with Harp professor and PGCert student Keziah Thomas and graduate Richard Ward-Roden to find out more about their experiences.

Listen to Vanessa Lingham and Sue Dent, Guildhall staff and also students on the PGCert Performance teaching, discuss the programme and the pedagogy of performance in the podcast interview below.

Applicants and Ethos

Who is it for?

The programme attracts applicants who are interested in creative, innovative and evidence-based teaching. You could be at any stage of your career as long as you’re willing to take a fresh look at your practice. Equally, you might teach in a range of contexts, including schools, Higher Education, junior conservatoires, community and lifelong learning.

*Please note home students will not be eligible for a UK government postgraduate loan on this programme.


We take your existing experience and expertise as a starting point, enabling you to bring practice and theory together, through engaging with cutting-edge pedagogy. You will be part of a community of artist-educators, learning from each other and building practical skills. Transformational learning involves trust and rapport with your students, openness to change, supporting independence, resourcefulness and resilience. You will embrace diverse perspectives and different learning styles.

How you'll learn

The PGCert is part-time (over one or two years). Learning takes place online with approximately 13 days of online workshops combined with shorter webinars, plus study groups and support from a one-to-one tutor. We take a ‘flipped classroom’ approach – you prepare material ahead of the live sessions in order to maximise the interactive opportunities of those sessions; and we follow up the sessions with comprehensive online resources – video recordings of the sessions, a webinar library, all the required readings, and a selection of past student work.

The course is 60 credits, which equates to 600 nominal learning hours. In practice, given that the bulk of this is your own self-directed study time, there is a lot of variation from student to student, but this should give you a reasonable idea of the overall commitment involved.

Workshop Schedule

Download the workshop schedule for this course below.

PGCert Workshop Dates 2023-24.pdf

Meet the Team

Headshot of Carlos Lopez-Real

Carlos Lopez-Real - Programme Leader

Carlos is the Programme Leader for the PGCert Performance Teaching. He has taught at the Guildhall since 2005, having previously studied at postgraduate level at Guildhall and the Institute of Education. He is at the forefront of developing collaborative and transformative teaching and learning approaches, having also launched and led the multi-disciplinary BA Performance and Creative Enterprise (PACE) in 2015.

A hand holds a pen and uses an iPad placed on a table. Headphones, a plant and water bottle are visible on the table.

Wider team

You will be taught by a wide range of highly experienced tutors, encompassing Guildhall staff from across departments, Barbican associates and external specialists. Many of the tutors are Fellows or Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Below is a selection of some of the tutors associated with the programme.

Learning and Assessment

What you'll learn

The content is very holistic, and the workshop sessions touch on multiple aspects of teaching and learning. We cover areas such as:

  • Fundamental principles and values in education
  • Theories of learning and theories of motivation
  • Approaches to facilitation
  • Working with groups
  • Creativity and pedagogical improvisation
  • Partnership and collaborative working
  • Reflective practice
  • Inclusion and use of language
  • Curriculum and assessment issues
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Professionalism and codes of practice
  • Discipline-specific approaches

How you'll be assessed

You will be supported throughout the programme with ongoing formative feedback. The major summative assignments leading to the qualification cover a range of elements, including:

  • Individual presentation on your core values and principles in teaching
  • Practical group workshop and presentation
  • Written critical reflection relating to your own teaching practice and observations of other teachers
  • Case studies of your teaching practice, incorporating lesson planning, feedback on your own observed teaching practice and the evaluation of your own teaching through feedback from your students

Learning, Assessment and Pathways


Pathways, Career and Highlights


There are two pathways: PGCert and PGCert (HE). If you already have appropriate experience of teaching at HE level you may have the option of taking the PGCert (HE) pathway which will lead to additional professional recognition – Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In order to be eligible for the PGCert (HE) pathway, you need to be able to draw on at least 50-60 hours of authentic HE Learning & Teaching practice whilst doing the course.

Where can this lead?

Participants in the programme have been promoted in their existing working contexts as well as branching out into new teaching areas. Others have gone on to further study including PhDs and our coaching-mentoring programme.


  • A strong focus on critically reflective practice, framed by professional guidelines such as the Higher Education Academy Professional Standards Framework
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives – bringing together teachers from performing arts disciplines, for a rich exchange of ideas
  • Robust formative feedback on practical work
  • Teaching delivered by an experienced team of educators, performers and researchers
  • An educational philosophy that celebrates professionalism, international perspectives, creativity, and innovation

Application and Fees

Applying to Guildhall

All applications are made directly to the School. See our Apply to Guildhall page for more information on the application fee. Please note that we will assess all applications following the application deadline.

Application guidance

Applicants must apply through the Guildhall School website by the stated deadline. The application form requires some basic personal details, the submission of a personal statement, and a written assessment. Further application guidance can be found below.


Applicants must offer at least one reference from a line manager in their current or most recent role. 

Personal Statement

Please be sure to include the following in your personal statement:

  • Why you want to do the course, what you hope to get out of it, and how you see it fitting in with your overall CPD journey.
  • Some of the key questions about your teaching practice that you want to explore while on the course.
  • Something about your personal approach to teaching, how this connects with other people’s ideas, and how you might like to develop this.
Written Assessment

All applicants must complete a written assessment as part of their application. This should be uploaded as a pdf document in the 'supporting information' section of the online application form. The essay task can be found here:

PGCert Written Assessment - Complete.pdf


Application Process

Tuition Fees

See our Fees and Funding page for more information about tuition fees and the tuition fee schedule.

Tuition Fee Waiver - employment evidence

If you are an employee of Guildhall School (Senior or Junior School), Guildhall Young Artists (GYA), Centre for Young Musicians (CYM), or East London music hubs, you may be entitled to a full or partial tuition fee waiver. We require either a formal letter or employment contract from one of the above before we can confirm any fee waivers applicable to you. It would be very helpful if you could upload this evidence at the point of application, under the 'supporting information' section of the application form. 

Higher Education pathway - teaching hours evidence

Candidates who are offered a place on the Higher Education pathway - the PGCert (HE), which leads to Fellowship of the HEA - must provide evidence that they will be undertaking at least 50 hours of work based HE practice whilst enrolled on the programme. It does not have to be exclusively teaching - it can include coaching/mentoring, examining/assessing, moderating, and supporting/facilitating learning in other ways. This can be spread across several HE institutions but it must take place throughout the academic year, as you will draw on this experience in all sessions, submissions and assessments. Evidence may consist of employment contracts, statements from line managers or similar. Evidence should be submitted by email to your admissions co-ordinator by 15 July prior to enrolment. Should you be unable to provide the required documentation you will be placed on the standard PG Cert in Performance Teaching pathway.

Contact the Team

If you would like to discuss the PGCert, please contact the programme leader Carlos Lopez-Real directly.

For any other general questions or queries please contact Sophie Hills.