Online Microcredential in Teaching

Mentoring and Coaching in Professional Learning

Learn how to lead professional learning through effective mentoring and coaching, with The Open University.

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Gain critical mentoring and coaching skills to help others achieve their goals

A successful mentor or coach can play a critical role in helping someone to achieve their professional goals.

The benefits of mentoring and coaching are well documented and are known to include developing leadership skills, increased knowledge transfer and stronger internal networks, as well as job satisfaction and motivation.

If you work in a learning, training, or professional development role, this microcredential will equip you with the practical skills and knowledge you need to provide crucial support to colleagues and peers.

Created by The Open University, you’ll benefit from the expertise of world-class academics who are known for their inspiring and engaging teaching, as well as their research that looks to influence practices, policies and debates – both nationally and internationally.

Discover how mentoring and coaching supports professional learning

This course explores the role of a leader in professional learning and development, encouraging you to think about leadership as a practice rather than a position of hierarchy.

You’ll reflect on the theory, research, and application of mentoring and coaching, including the differences between them, and relate this to your own work in supporting the learning of others.

You’ll also analyse and reflect on how you can become an ethical mentor or coach to others and consider your own professional development too.

Develop skills you can use straight away

Throughout the 12-week course, you’ll be supported to build your practical skills and approaches to coaching and mentoring in a structured and reflective way, including the opportunity to apply your learning to a case study in your own workplace or setting.

You’ll be encouraged to engage in discussions and provide critical friendship through constructive feedback to other learners, working together to find creative solutions to problems and challenges posed in the course materials or that you face in your working life.

From the very start, you’ll be able to apply your newly gained knowledge to make positive changes in your personal conduct and professional practice. Your learning will be relevant to a variety of contexts and settings which will help you in your current role and throughout your career.

Learn from experts at The Open University

The Open University is a leader in distance learning, with over 50 years of experience in delivering education remotely. You’ll learn from academic experts who have carefully designed a variety of engaging content and learning materials that will enable you to critically explore and develop your skills to become a more confident and effective coach or mentor who can support others to meet their professional goals.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded by subject matter experts.

What skills will you learn?

  • Understand and develop mentoring and coaching skills
  • Support and lead professional learning
  • Critically evaluate coaching and mentoring practices and theory
  • Apply and evaluate inclusive and ethical coaching and mentoring practices
  • Work within a community of practice
  • Evaluate your personal strengths and areas for development
  • Construct and present a reasoned argument for your ideas

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Reflect on the key concepts and skills in leading professional learning and relate to the practice within your context
  • Evaluate and critique your role and practice in leading and supporting professional learning through mentoring or coaching
  • Reflect critically on the main theories, models and approaches to mentoring and coaching as they apply within your own practice
  • Apply, reflect, and refine ethical approaches to mentoring or coaching sessions, in planning and practice, considering equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Engage with professional communities of practice, including online, to develop working relationships that critically analyse and evaluate research and practice
  • Evaluate and critique your own strengths and weaknesses to pro-actively engage in positive self-development

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To study this postgraduate microcredential you will ideally have:

  • A Bachelors degree, or an equivalent level qualification
  • Experience either as a coach/mentor or as a coachee/mentee to enable you to reflect and build on past experience would be beneficial. However, case studies will be presented and can be used as a basis for reflections.

If you do not have a degree or equivalent level qualification you may find the postgraduate level assessment challenging.

The course material does not assume that you are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will increase your ability to become an effective leader of professional learning, whether you work in the public, private or third sector, with a particular focus on:

  • Education in a range of settings from early years to postgraduate
  • Emergency services, and health and social care
  • Small and medium sized business environments

The course content and case studies will be relevant to learners within different professional contexts across the globe.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any announcements relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 14 Oct 2024

    Mentoring and Coaching in Professional Learning

    Learn how to lead professional learning through effective mentoring and coaching, with The Open University.

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.

What you will receive

15 UK Credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at postgraduate level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 11 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Dr Amanda O'Shea is a Lecturer in Microcredentials at the Open University and is a former teacher of mathematics and science. Her special interests are in educational assessment and mathematical talk.

Mrs Christine Bower is a Lecturer at The Open University. She is a former primary school teacher and is particularly interested in equitable and inclusive education for all children and young people.

Alison is an educational researcher who studies professional and digital learning. As an educator, she facilitates student voice, student mentoring and is recognised as an expert in research ethics

Dr Clare Lee is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University and has taught on many of the masters level courses and the PGCE. She has a special interest in assessment and learning maths more effectively

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.

The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.