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Cert Ed/PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training (QTLS)

Course Description

This course is suitable for applicants with subject experience from a wide variety of areas and industries. It leads to a teaching qualification in the post-compulsory education sector, which may also be used to teach in schools. Those holding a degree in the subject they wish to teach will take the PGCE or ProfGCE, and those with vocational qualifications and/or experience will take the Cert Ed.

The awards meet the national professional standards, determined by the Learning Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) and allow you to apply for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS) when you have completed your course. QTLS has been recognised as equivalent to QTS allowing holders to work in secondary schools.

We equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the demanding role of teacher / lecturer. The course is endorsed within the national framework for the sector and constitutes the University's equivalent of the Diploma in Education and Training.

These four awards are also offered with subject specialist pathways in Mathematics and Numeracy, and English and Literacy. You may be eligible for a training bursary if you study one of these specialist pathways.

What will I study?

The aims of the course are to prepare students to plan, implement and evaluate teaching and learning activities in the post-compulsory education sector and to help students to develop appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes. It equips students with an ability to reflect upon and learn from their professional practice and build students' confidence in their ability to perform their professional roles whilst creating a sound foundation for further professional and career development.

The teaching experience in partner colleges / centres is central to the course. You will be supported throughout the experience by a mentor who specialises in your subject area, giving you the confidence to take your industry experience into the classroom.

All students follow a course of study and research which covers an introduction to post-compulsory education; curriculum issues, particularly around inclusive practice; enterprise and quality; principles of learning and the characteristics of the post-14 learner; planning for learning and methods of teaching and assessment. Fully integrated into this course is a structured and supervised practical teaching component in one of our partner institutions.

The course consists of four modules:

1. Learning and Teaching: in Post-Compulsory Education and Training
2. Learning and Teaching: the Professional Tutor
3. Learning and Teaching: the Subject Specialist and Wider Context
4. Independent Study: Post-Compulsory Education and Training.

On the part-time pre-service programme, two modules are completed in Year One and two in Year Two.

What will I teach?

This course equips you with the skills required to teach, but not subject-specific knowledge. Schools and colleges have a wide curriculum and as long as we can find you an appropriate placement, we can accept you to train for any subject you have the relevant experience to teach.

However, two specialist study pathways are also available, with generous government bursaries to support your study:

1. English and Literacy
2. Mathematics and Numeracy.

You apply for the generic PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training course and can choose to specialise once you start the course if you have the appropriate subject background.

Teaching experience

We will only accept students if we believe we can provide a relevant placement opportunity, or if you have an appropriate agreed placement arranged prior to applying.

Full-time study

There are two full-time blocks of teaching practice - six weeks in the second half of the autumn term and ten weeks in the spring / summer terms. In addition, course students will spend one day a week in their host college early in the autumn term, and two days a week in January and February. During their time in the host college students are supported by a mentor - a member of staff from that college who is a specialist in the student's subject area.

Part-time study

Teaching practice is undertaken one day a week over the duration of the programme. During their time in the host college/centre students are supported by a mentor - a member of staff from that centre who is a specialist in the student's subject area. University sessions are held one day a week, in the morning, with directed private study activities being planned for the afternoon. This path is ideal for students who wish to work or have other commitments whilst on the course.


Students are assessed on both course work and their teaching practice. The focus of assignments is determined by students own practice and subject specialism.

Visit the Cert Ed/PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training (QTLS) page on the Nottingham Trent University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Rachael Bednall

2766.jpg I had previously worked as a NVQ assessor and wanted to move forward with my career. I really enjoy working with young adults and seeing them achieve in education. It was a high risk for me as I had to leave a well-paid job and live on student finance as I have a mortgage and two young children which added to the strain financially.

I always thought that university would be out of my reach and I was not capable of completing a university qualification. But the level of support and guidance NTU provides appealed to me and I could contact my course tutor at any time for help.

The course relates well with practice, it is informed and the tutors are especially knowledgeable. It has taught me about all the aspects of teaching, learning and FE. The knowledge and experience that I have gained will stay with me for a lifetime.

My placement whilst studying at NTU have now employed me on a permanent basis as a Early Years Lecturer. Being able to train with them and then become employed by them has enabled them to find the right person for the job.

NTU is a fantastic University and I have had one of the best years of my life. The students and staff are supportive, friendly and approachable. The unity and support that I have experienced is outstanding.

I will be coming back to NTU to gain any further qualifications. I would not want to go anywhere else.


Entry Requirements

Prof GCE/PGCE - a UK honours degree, at a minimum Third Class in the intended subject specialism. Relevant work experience will strengthen your application. Cert Ed - A-levels or equivalent, or substantial industrial/commercial experience in the intended subject specialism. Disclosure and Barring Service check. GCSE English and Mathematics at minimum grade C or equivalent. Basic knowledge of ICT is an advantage. Applicants will be interviewed as part of the selection process.

Course Fees

Please see our website for current course fees

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