European Social Fund


Awarded By: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
Duration: 2 years, part-time (evenings 4:30pm to 9:00pm)
Last Updated: 24-11-23

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education provides a pathway into teaching for graduates already holding a relevant undergraduate degree.

Preparing you to achieve the professional standards needed to successfully teach in a range of post-14 Education and Training contexts, you will explore a wide range of appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies that you will both critically analyse and apply in your own
teaching practice.

Developing the skills and knowledge needed to confidently teach in a continually changing sector, you will establish a strong and systematic theoretical framework in education, research and pedagogy through the study of six key modules.

You are also required to undertake at least 150 hours of teaching practice, with the completion of eight successful teaching practice observations, totalling eight hours.


To achieve the full PGCE you will need to study and achieve a range of level 5, 6 and 7 modules, namely:

Module Title 


Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Further Education and Skills Sector 

20 credits/ Level 5

Developing subject specialist practice   

20 credits/ Level 5

Designing and developing an inclusive curriculum  

20 credits/ Level 5

Advancing subject specialist practice  

20 credits/ Level 6

Research Informed Practice (PGCE)  

20 credits/ Level 7

Policy & Professionalism (PGCE)  

20 credits/ Level 7

You are also required to undertake 150 hours of recorded teaching practice and must complete eight successful teaching practice observations totalling eight hours.


A variety of teaching methods will be employed throughout your time on the degree to maximise your learning, with significant learning taking place through your teaching placement via the observation of experienced teachers and peers. You will also learn from your own practical teaching experience and observations, small and large group discussions activities and tutor led sessions.

You will experience predominantly inductive evidence-based teaching approaches, experiential and enquiry based learning, reflective practice strategies and action research.

In addition, as a student at Preston College, you will have access to our virtual learning environment, Canvas, providing access to learning resources and additional materials, which can be accessed 24/7.


Assessment methods vary from module to module but typically include written assessments, presentations, teaching activity, portfolio work and teaching observations. The most appropriate assessment methods will be selected based upon individual module content.


While this qualification is not a school teaching qualification there may be employment opportunities in some schools, particularly for teachers of vocational subjects.

On achieving this qualification, trainee teachers will be able to begin the process of achieving Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS). Please see the following website for further information on QTLS: Gaining QTLS

You can also explore potential careers via Career Coach, a tool which provides current local data on wages and employment prospects.


Now recruiting for September 2024

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities, and in particular those that are currently under-represented in our Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses. We specifically encourage applications from ethnic minority groups at this time.

Mode of study: 2 years, part-time

Tuition fees: Year 1 (2023/24): £3,500 Year 2 (2024/25): £3,500

Location: Preston College, Fulwood Campus (except placement)

Minimum numbers required for this course to run: 12 people

Additional costs: The provision of your own laptop/computer and stationery is essential for this course.

Additional requirements: You will be required to be teaching in an educational or training environment, in order to complete 150 hours of required placement activity. This could be paid, or through a voluntary placement, which you are required to source.

Industry experience in the subject you intend to teach is also required (circa 3 years), if your chosen subject is different to your degree subject, as is an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which costs £38. The fee for the Update Service is £13 per year. More details will be shared at interview.

Course subject to change: Please note that Initial Teacher Education is being reapproved in response to the National changes to teacher education qualifications for the Further Education and Skills Sector.  

As such, the course structure and content may be changed in order to comply with the National requirements and to allow the University and Partner Colleges to deliver a better quality of educational experience to students. 

Any changes as a result of the reapproval will be immediately included and highlighted in the course documentation and all students holding current offers will be provided with a comprehensive list of those changes.  


Preston College operates a flexible admissions policy, welcoming applicants with a wide range of qualifications and/or experience, with each application assessed on its own merit. We also recognise prior learning/attainment (RPL) and experience, meaning it may be possible to map some of your existing qualifications against the modules for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education qualification.

If this applies to you, we will discuss this with you at the interview stage.

For those interested in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, who have recently been in education, we would expect an applicant to have Level 2 qualifications in English and Maths, plus:

Degree: An honours degree or equivalent
Level 3: A minimum of a Level 3 qualification in your chosen subject specialism
GCSE: Five GCSEs at Grade 4 (previously grade C) and above, or equivalent, including English. Applicants without a Level 2 qualification in Maths should study this alongside this programme
Other qualifications: The ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 7.5 or equivalent)
Other requirements:

A teaching or training contract or a voluntary placement for a minimum of 75 hours of teaching per academic year

An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is also required for this course.

International students:

You may need to apply for a Tier 4 visa in order to enter and study in the UK. However, please note that Preston College does not hold a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence to support student visa applications.


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