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Secure your future in digital education with an Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments

4 Min Read

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for online learning had been steadily growing. In 2019, the online education market was forecast to reach US$ 350 Billion by 20251 – and experts believe that this is likely to have increased significantly following the events of the past year, as more of us embrace the benefits of learning and collaborating in the online space.2

Investment in EdTech – the platforms and solutions that facilitate and enhance online education – is predicted to triple in the next decade. The first half of 2020 saw an incredible $4.5 billion investment in the field, and it is estimated that a further $87 billion will be invested in the next ten years.3

Online learning is also becoming more sophisticated, with the use of specialist virtual learning environments (VLEs) and the introduction of educational apps, artificial intelligence (AI), gamification4 and even virtual field trips and virtual labs being incorporated into the online classroom.5

Build your career in this fast-growth industry

As the demand for online learning grows, so too does the need for professionals across multiple sectors who can design and integrate effective, innovative and learner-focused learning programmes which incorporate the physical and digital space.

The Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments from the University of Birmingham is a new interdisciplinary programme that combines contemporary technologies with design, education and social sciences, arming graduates with a sought-after skill set and critical approach that will enable them to provide effective learning design in a variety of contexts.

Focusing on design, education, the social sciences, data science and digital development, this 12-month, part-time course will enable students to quickly meet the industry demand for experts who can design effective and engaging learning environments that encompass the latest innovations and engage with the latest research in the field.

Gain current, sought-after instructional design skills

Graduates will gain up-to-the-minute, demonstrable experience in designing and evaluating learning environments which meet the needs of a variety of stakeholders.

It is the ideal programme for education providers, private learning specialists, in-house training teams and CPD providers who want to increase their depth of knowledge and experience in this fast-growing field.

The programme offers a comprehensive curriculum that is designed to develop students’ theoretical, practical and critical thinking skills. Topics covered include design and design thinking, developing digital artefacts for learning, applied data science for learning environments, perspectives on learning, sociotechnical learning environments and communicating design stories.

The course provides hands-on experience, with students learning practical skills they can apply immediately in current or future roles. Students are given the opportunity to reflect upon their own design ethos and through the assessments of each module create their own digital portfolio of work that can be showcased to both current and future employers.

The programme has been designed to be flexible, to allow students to combine their study with their work or other commitments. Students can choose to study the full PGCert over 12 months, or take a modular approach to their learning via an Online Short Course in Design for Learning Environments, which enables students to quickly upskill in specific areas of digital learning design in just 8 weeks.

Why choose the University of Birmingham?

The University of Birmingham is a leading provider of distance and blended learning in the UK, having offered built-for-online postgraduate qualifications since 2015 – including the world’s first 100% online MBA to be accredited by AMBA.

Our wealth of experience in delivering engaging, interactive and results-focused online programmes, coupled with our prestigious status as a Russell Group, world top-100 and UK top-20 university, makes us a popular choice with ambitious professionals who are looking to advance their career through distance learning.

The Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments programme has been built specifically to address the current market need for professionals in this field. Delivered by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the programme draws upon not only the experience of our faculty but also our extensive experience in the development of our own range of distance learning degrees.

With the demand for e-learning set to continue, now is the perfect time to upskill in this fast expanding industry. For more information, please fill out our request for information form or call +44 (0)800 032 7101 to speak with a member of our Admissions team.


  1. RENUB RESEARCH (2019) Online Education Market & Global Forecast, by End User, Learning Mode (Self-Paced, Instructor Led), Technology, Country, Company (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 17.03.21]
  2. CB INSIGHTS (2020) 24 Industries & Technologies That Will Shape The Post-Virus World (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 17.03.21]
  3. HOLON IQ (2020) $4.5B Global EdTech Venture Capital for 1H 2020 (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 17.03.21]
  4. DEIGHTON, O (2021) eLearning App Trends Defining Educational App Development (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 17.03.21]
  5. PENNISI, E (2020) Courses bring field sites and labs to the small screen (Online) Available at: <> [Accessed 17.03.21]

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