Community Governance

Advanced knowledge

Community Governance offers a range of advanced qualifications which are all distance learning with residential study days. The qualification looks at the way in which people and organisations work together and independently, making decisions for the benefit of a local community.

Study for a qualification awarded by De Montfort University:

  • Certificate of Higher Education (Level 4)
  • Foundation Degree (Level 5)
  • Honours Degree (Level 6)
Community Governance

“I would like to thank the tutors on the Community Governance course for their patience, constructive criticism, support, encouragement and much more. You have been brilliant in allowing me to grow, reflect on my role as parish clerk, gain in confidence and succeed. This has been an entirely positive experience of higher education.” Belina Boyer, Clipstone Parish Council and Bleasby Parish Council

How do I study?

Community Governance is a distance learning programme – you study at home or at work.

  • We provide course materials and lots of pointers to help you study.
  • Networking is vital; you learn from other students and from experienced tutors. You will be required to attend three, 24-hour residential study days during your study year.*
  • Local tutorials can be arranged on request.
  • You also join our online space where you find resources and discussion forums.
  • We provide tutors and help you to find fellow students who enrich your experience of learning.
  • You complete your coursework – usually one or two projects per module. Each 15 point module involves an average of 150 hours of study over the year (or approximately 3 hours a week). This includes private study time, attendance at teaching events and time spent learning from what you do in the workplace.

What will I learn?

More information on the modules you will study at each Level can be found in the Community Governance Prospectus 2020

Who does what?

Academic Leader
Elisabeth Skinner MBE Teaching Fellow, Cert Ed, BA Hons, FSLCC joined the SLCC in 2012. After an early career in school teaching, she worked at the University of Gloucestershire from 1989 to 2012 as lecturer.

Assistant Course Leader
Dominic Stapleton BA Hons, FSLCC, Dom is a first class honours graduate of the University’s programme. Dom previously worked at Didcot Town Council and worked as a consultant up until 2018. Dom has completed the PGCAP and is a Fellow of the HEA.

Module Tutor
Johnathan Bourne BA Hons, FSLCC has been Town Clerk at Royal Wootton Bassett since 1987. In 2013 he completed three years as SLCC Chairman and again in 2016. He has completed the PGCAP and is a Fellow of the HEA.

Module Tutor
Linda Roberts BA Hons, FSLCC is the Town Clerk at Melksham Town Council. Linda has a first class honours in Local Policy and in 2015 was President of the SLCC. Linda has completed the PGCAP and is a Fellow of the HEA.

Module Leader
Pauline Whitehead BA(Hons) FSLCC has been the Clerk to North Horsham Parish Council since 2016. Prior to that she was at Cranleigh Parish Council for 13 years. Pauline achieved a first class honours degree in Community Engagement and Governance in 2012.

Personal Tutor
Sue Hobbs has a first class honours degree in the University of Gloucestershire’s programme for local council officers. She has worked for many years as town or parish clerks.

Personal Tutor
Penny Bryant BA (Hons) FSLCC has been the Parish Clerk for Somersham for 21 years and the CiLCA trainer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils for approximately 10 years. Penny achieved a degree in Community Engagement and Governance in 2011.

What will it cost?

The tuition fee for each qualification is £5880* normally paid in instalments over two years.
*The price may increase in 2021.

The fee covers:

  • Course materials
  • Teaching from highly experienced and qualified tutors
  • An online learning environment
  • Accommodation at three 24-hour residential schools
  • Tutorials by mutual agreement
  • Administration and record keeping
  • Student support services
  • A fee to the University
  • Many students have support from their councils and in some cases bursaries or extended payment plans are available. You will pay an initial deposit of £294 which will be deducted from your invoice. Invoices are sent out after the first Study Day when you have confirmed the modules you choose to study and payments are due by 31 March and 31 July.
  • In undertaking this course, you may incur further costs that are not included in the tuition fee. Please note that these fees apply to new students starting Level 4, 5 or 6 in 2020. Click here to view the additional costs.

What next?

Applications are now open for the 2020 course commencing 1st February 2020. To apply please complete the Community Governance 2020 Application form by December 15th 2019 or email [email protected] for more information. Note that we will take applications after December 15th but this may result in a delay to registration with DMU and access to resources.

Win a scholarship of £1,000 towards the Level 4 tuition fees!

To have a chance of winning the Blachere Illumination scholarship, you should be a new student applying to study for the Certificate of Higher Education (Level 4) starting in February 2020.

To apply email your name, your role, your council(s) and, in no more than 300 words, explain how you would benefit from the funding. Send your email to [email protected] by the 15th December 2019.

“Not ‘just another qualification’, it develops your ability as a professional clerk to advise your council, generating confidence to meet new challenges. The modules are structured to expand on legislative and procedural knowledge at Level 4, and to develop critical thinking, analytical, and leadership skills at Level 5. The tutors understand the life/work/study pressures, are always supportive and answer queries in a timely and detailed manner. If you/your council are concerned about the cost, consider it an investment that will repay way beyond monetary value!” Angie Hurren PSLCC, Broadclyst Parish Council

“I am so happy I signed up for the course it has helped build my confidence as a clerk. I was always aware of the various procedures to follow but it helped me have a greater understanding as to why. A great course for any clerk backed up with amazing support from the tutors.” Emma Sylvester, St Andrews Parish Council

Community Governance Awards at Practitioners' Conference 2019

Study Days

*The first and third study days are planned for the Marsh Farm Hotel, Coped Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 8ER. An alternative venue for the first and third Level 4 study days will be arranged in the North of England (probably Sheffield). The second study day will be held at DMU itself. The study days are February, April/May and September. The dates and times will be published here when they have been agreed.

Community Governance is generously sponsored by Blachere Illuminations

For expert advice call 01337 832910 or visit

Blachere Illuminations sponsor Community Governance