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Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year higher education course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which provides training in order to allow graduates to become teachers within maintained schools.

In addition to gaining the PGCE qualification itself, those who have successfully completed the course in England or Wales are recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS) – the requirement to teach in state maintained schools in England and Wales. Those passing PGCEs in Northern Ireland are granted ‘eligibility to teach’ in Northern Ireland (equivalent to QTS). Though the QTS/eligibility to teach only applies in the Home Nation it was awarded in, applying for QTS/eligibility to teach in either of the other two Home Nations is a formality, and is nearly always awarded to PGCE holders. Furthermore, the PGCE is also widely recognised in Scotland and the rest of world, allowing holders to easily register as teachers there.

The PGCE was previously also offered in Scotland, but was renamed the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from 2005 to 2006 (the exact year depending on the university offering it). It is identical in content to the previous PGCE. Like the PGCE, the PGDE is widely recognised throughout the rest of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

Applications for admission to PGCE courses are handled by UCAS Teacher Training.

Further and higher education lecturers are not usually required to hold QTS/eligibility to teach. However, many lecturers attend training courses to gain qualifications such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Further Education (PGCFE), which is comparable to the regular PGCE. There is also the PGCHE, for university practitioners.

the programme aims to improve teaching by:

  • helping you to understand your own education system from an international perspective.
  • enabling you to become conversant with the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of a range of learning theories and to evaluate their usefulness in specific educational situations.
  • promoting a deeper understanding of a range of teaching strategies.
  • developing expertise in practitioner research.
  • making appropriate use of professional and research literature.