Reflect on your experience in the creative industries or complete an industry project to gain a postgraduate qualification in just 4 months. SAE’s fully remote PGCertHE in Professional Development course lets you collaborate with successful creatives across the globe to supercharge your creative career. Next start date: May 2024
Available at
Domestic Fees


SAE staff and alumni discount
SAE alumni and staff receive a 50% discount on fees.

International Fees


SAE staff and alumni discount
SAE alumni and staff receive a 50% discount on fees.

4 months full-time, 8 months part-time
Course Durations
4 months full-time, 8 months part-time
Start Date(s)
January and September 2024
Start Dates
  • January and September 2024

  • May

  • September

Entry Requirements
Domestic Entry Requirements
Masters entry requirements
The normal entry requirements for the programme are
Bachelor's Degree or equivalent: Normally, a Bachelor's degree with Honours 2:2 or higher in a related field,
Demonstrable evidence of substantial creative/professional media experience at a professional level (normally 3 years' work experience).
If English is not your first language, please refer to the International Entry Requirements below. You may be asked to attend an interview with the programme leader.
International Entry Requirements
International Entry Requirements
English language requirements A candidate whose first language is not English must present evidence of having passed an English language test. The minimum acceptable level is:
Academic IELTS (minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0)
Pearson Test of English (minimum 51 in all subscores)
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (minimum grade C)
Cambridge English: Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International (B2 First) – minimum grade C
TOEFL (IBT or IBT Home Edition online) 72 overall with the following component scores:
  • Listening – 17
  • Writing – 17
  • Speaking – 20
  • Reading – 18
LanguageCert ESOL examinations:
  • International ESOL C1 Expert – pass in all four components
  • International ESOL SELT B2 (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) – minimum 33 in all components
  • ESOL Integrated Skills in English II – pass in all components
• IELTS Indicator* (online) – minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0
*Accepted on exceptional basis for the applicants whose local test centres are affected by closures due to Covid-19


If you’re an early- to mid-career professional looking to enhance your CV with a creative industries postgraduate qualification, SAE’s 4-month full-time fully remote PGCertHE in Professional Development course can help you stand out from the crowd. 

Whatever your chosen creative industries field, you can enhance your professional development through one of 2 routes. Use your extensive industry experience to conduct a Review of Learning, analysing and reflecting on your career to date to create a professional CV, portfolio or report, or take the Negotiated Project(s) path to develop a new creative project tailored to your chosen area of interest, such as the launch of a new business, album, YouTube channel, game, musical, animation, website or more.

With online support from SAE Experts and your dedicated Learning Advisor, you’ll take part in self-directed learning, conduct research and maximise professional practice and work-based opportunities – all delivered in a flexible way that fits around your busy life.

Moving up the levels

Combining practical and theoretical learning, both pathways will see you enhance your technical skills and abilities in your selected field, as you use industry-standard software and technologies to boost your capabilities.

Across the course, you’ll be encouraged to regularly collaborate with your fellow creative students remotely to help bring each other’s projects to life. This dynamic style of study will see you learn to confidently interact across an online environment, actively engaging with your peers to build connections and get the most from your exciting new global creative network.

At the end of your studies with SAE, you’ll graduate with an impressive array of global industry connections, advanced theoretical and technical abilities in your area of specialisation, a professional project you can present to industry, and the academic skills to progress to an SAE masters course, should further postgraduate study be the next step in your creative industries career.

What you'll learn

At the end of your Professional Development PGCertHE you will:
  • Reflect on your extensive creative industries experience or launch a new creative project.
  • Gain postgraduate qualifications remotely in 4 months full time or 8 months part time.
  • Connect with an exciting network of international students and collaborate on a global scale.
  • Combine academic learning with hands-on immersive training for holistic education from day one.
  • Join forces online with your fellow SAE students, including filmmakers, designers, animators, songwriters and game developers.
  • Gain entrepreneurial skills to take into the next stage of your creative career.
  • Enhance your creative industries technical abilities and skills using industry-standard software, with subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and other industry tech included.
  • Attend SAE’s student-wide online conference.
  • Seamlessly progress to SAE’s MA/MSc Professional Practice masters course upon completion.


What your course structure will look like

The PGCertHE in Professional Development is a creative industries postgrad course studied over 4 months full time or 8 months part time. Choose one of 2 study routes – Review of Learning or Negotiated Project – and bring your project to life by exploring research methodologies, media theories and creative project management tools.
PGCertHE Module Options
The PGCertHE in Professional Development allows you to choose one of the below two options, based on what you want to achieve from the course.
If you’re a creative professional with considerable industry experience, the Review of Learning pathway lets you critically reflect on your work to date to gain a coveted creative industries postgraduate qualification. Across your Review of Learning, you’ll analyse your technical mastery, creative and professional processes, and problem solving methods to develop a deeply personal understanding of your chosen creative medium.

Through a series of online learning activities, you’ll develop the skills of critical reflection, analysis and synthesis required to successfully complete your project, with support from your Learning Advisor and SAE’s Experts every step of the way. As you collate evidence of your industry experience, you’ll present these in a format helpful when promoting your future career – typically a CV, portfolio or written report.

Coursework topics include:
• Reflection and models of reflection
• Expectations of postgraduate-level study
• Academic and professional language and terminology
• How to construct an argument
• Evidence compilation and annotation
• How to build a portfolio
• How to write a professional and/or academic CV
If you lack extensive experience in the creative industries but are keen to complete a professional creative project, the Negotiated Project(s) route lets you develop new skills in your chosen field. In consultation with your Learning Advisor and SAE’s Experts, you’ll develop a theme, scope and outputs for your project – which could be a creative media piece such as a website, animation, film, game or album, an investigation into topical creative media issues or a venture linked directly to your professional work.

As you demonstrate specialist knowledge and skills in your chosen area of study, you’ll critically evaluate your project through project design, realisation and delivery, while exploring its significance to your creative practice and the wider creative media community. You’ll document your work in logbooks and written reports, presenting your findings to your Learning Advisor and fellow students upon completion.

Coursework topics include:
• Reflection and models of reflection
• How to create an accreditation claim
• Expectations of postgraduate-level study
• Academic and professional language and terminology
• How to construct an argument
• Structured project documentation
• Self-directed learning
• Project-related research


Flexible Learning
Gain a creative industries postgraduate certificate in 4 months full time by studying remotely from wherever you are in the world, in a way that fits around your life.
Experience-based qualifications
Study while you work and complete the professional development course in 8 months part time, using your previous industry experience as a basis for your learning.
Accelerated Learning
Combine our 4-month PGCert with our 1-year masters for 2 creative industries postgraduate course qualifications in just 16 months.
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Great-value postgrad
Get ahead at SAE – one of the most affordable postgraduate education providers out there. And SAE undergraduates receive a 25% discount on all postgrad courses too.
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Career Outcomes

What Jobs will this course lead to?

  • Character Animator
  • Graphic Designer
  • FX Artist
  • Game Designer
  • Level Designer
  • Game Tester
  • Game Programmer
  • Music Producer
  • Artist Manager
  • Record Label Owner
  • Press and PR Agent
  • Sound Designer
  • Live Event Promoter
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Content Creator
  • Screenwriter
  • Cinematographer
  • Director


Apply for the PGCertHE in Professional Development and take your creative career to the next level.

Course FAQs

As an online programme it assumes a great degree of self-motivation since it is self-directed. However in terms of support and contact, students are assigned a Learning Advisor who guides them through their study path (what to study, subject specific advice related to their research focus, how to study, etc.).

Students interact with their learning advisor on a regular basis; formally 6 hrs of LA support per 60 credit module or combination of modules.

Course content is produced based on students needs and topical issues (e.g. a critique of a bibliography) rather than a weekly syllabus, given that the programme is research based.

All the above documentation and course content is available via Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment.

We also schedule a number of live webinars across all modules to cover some essential content and assessment requirements.

It is not expected that students will need access, given the programme is delivered online. However this is at the campuses’ discretion to offer additional facilities should they wish.

In addition, as most students on the course will be working in industry, they normally will have access to the resources required. Many resources are also freely available online.

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