Short course

Perspectives on Learning

Make your mark in online education. This 8-week, specialised Postgraduate Micro-credential short course will cover both classic and contemporary theories associated with learning, and how these theories influence the design of learning environments.

Start date
February 2024
Eight weeks
We charge a tuition fee. Fees for 2022 are £850.
Digital education

This course introduces several perspectives and theories on learning. It is a broad and introductory module which will give students the starting points to explore different theories which suit their interests and fields of practice.

Explore different perspectives on how we learn and how to help others learn, evaluating the behavioural, cognitive, social and networked perspectives on learning, and approaches for application in your own learning environment.

Once you have finished this 8-week course, you will be awarded an official University of Birmingham Postgraduate Micro-credential certificate (worth 10 academic credits) and a transcript. You will be able to use these academic credits to apply for advanced entry to the University of Birmingham’s full Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments qualification.

Why study Perspectives on Learning at Birmingham?

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Evaluate behavioural, cognitive and social perspectives on learning.
  • Examine and critically evaluate classic and contemporary learning theories for the learning environments.
  • Apply learning theories to real life scenarios to critique their strengths and weakness in practice.
  • Explore appropriate assessment strategies for different theoretical perspectives and environments.

Ready to apply? Request further information and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss the application process with you.

Find out more about this programme

Entry requirements

In order to be eligible for the Perspectives on Learning Postgraduate Micro-credential short course, you will need to possess (or be predicted to obtain) an upper second-class degree or equivalent from a UK university or recognised international institution.

You may also be eligible to apply with a lower second class degree plus 2 years’ work experience in design, computing or education, or no degree plus 5 or more years’ work experience in the above areas.

Standard English language requirements also apply. If English is not your first language, you must also have an up-to-date English language test certificate. We accept Academic IELTS certificates with a grade of 6.5 and no less than 6.0 in any band. Other forms of English language certificates are accepted. Please discuss this with a recruitment coordinator.


The cost to study this online course is £850*. This must be paid in full before enrolling.

The fee includes any online resources, including full access to the online learning platform, course materials and required digital reading materials. The fee does not include any personal expenses for new technical equipment or office supplies.

For more information and to speak to a Recruitment Coordinator, fill out our form.

If, after completing the course, you wish to transfer to the full Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments programme, please speak to your Student Services Co-ordinator. You will need to re-submit an application as you will need to re-submit an application.

* Prices are subject to change each academic year.

How to apply

Click on the ‘Apply now’ button and create an account. You will be directed to an application specifically designed for the Micro-credential in Perspectives on Learning. Submit your application and supporting documentation online. Your supporting documents include:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé: Demonstrate your academic and work experience in addition to any other skills that may support your application.
  • Academic qualifications: Submit your most recent degree certificate from your previous institution – if any – so that we can verify your education.
  • Evidence of language (if applicable): If English is not your first language, supply an up-to-date English language certificate which meets the entry criteria – as detailed in our standard entry requirements section.

If you would like any feedback or advice about your application, our recruitment team would be happy to help. You can fill out a request for information or call +44 (0)800 032 7101.

Terms and conditions – what you need to know

View a full transcript of the above video.

Our Design for Learning Environments Postgraduate Micro-credential short courses will allow you to focus on specific areas in order for you to develop your career in the way that you want to.

Each course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to design programmes of learning which will meet the needs of a wide range of learners and organisations in an expanding field.

We have taken an innovative interdisciplinary approach with our Design for Learning Environments courses, incorporating aspects of design, technology, education, the social sciences, data science and digital development to provide you with a rich diversity of perspectives.

You will work with academics, active practitioners and designers of learning environments from the fields of education, computer science, theoretical physics and engineering - each bringing their own unique disciplinary perspectives to instructional design.

Why choose a Postgraduate Micro-credential short course?

  • Expand your expertise at a top-100 University1
  • Boost your CV in just eight weeks
  • Develop the specialist skills you need for your career goals through an immersive online learning experience
  • Learn from an interdisciplinary teaching team including designers, researchers, educationalists and technologists
  • Gain an introduction to our Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments and get a taster for online learning
  • Earn a Postgraduate Micro-credential certificate worth 10 masters credits
  • Study around your existing commitments with 100% online learning

Learners will be fully registered University of Birmingham students and will be entitled to normal University services (including library and digital resources).

Your future starts here

Call +44 (0)800 032 7101 to speak with a Recruitment co-ordinator.


  1. QS (2019) World University Rankings. QS Top Universities [online] Available at: [Accessed 07.12.2020]

Meet your instructors

Adam Matthews

Adam Matthews, Lecturer in Technology and Learning Environments

Adam is a Lecturer in Technology and Learning Environments at the University of Birmingham. He teaches three modules of the PG Cert Design for Learning Environments programme; Design and Design Thinking, Perspectives on Learning and Sociotechnical Learning Environments.

Adam has worked in the field of learning and technology since 2006. As a learning and instructional designer, he has worked in a diverse range of sectors including travel, retail, sports coaching, policing, media communications, banking and higher education. This has included design and leadership roles.

Adam’s research interests include the intersection of society, technology and education. His academic background is in social science but he also has an interest in interdisciplinary collaborations with other academic disciplines and industry.

Adam studied part-time while working for his undergraduate degree with the Open University and is a keen advocate of part-time, flexible and lifelong learning.

Dr Jaimie Miller-Friedmann

Dr Jaimie Miller-Friedmann, Postdoctoral Researcher in Science Education

Jaimie is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Science Education at the University of Birmingham. She teaches on the Perspectives on Learning module for the PG Cert Design for Learning Environments, and is a lecturer for Teaching Physics in Schools. Her postdoctoral project is Centering Women of Colour in Science, which identifies physics and astronomy, mathematics and statistics, and computer science departments in UK universities that are most effective at recruiting, mentoring and graduating women of colour.

Jaimie has worked in the field of science education since 1998, first as a secondary school science teacher in New York City, and then as a science education researcher at Harvard University.

Jaimie’s research interests lie in the development of competing identities for scientists, including the construction of gender, race and intersectional identities. She is also interested in third wave feminism, postcolonial theory and educational sociology. Her work has been published in a wide variety of journals, from Cancer Research to the International Journal of Science Education.

Jaimie completed a Baccalaureate degree in Biology and English at Tufts University, a Master’s degree in Film and Critical Theory at New York University and a DPhil in Science Education at the University of Oxford.