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  • Study Type

    Part time available

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  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 Year; Part-time: 2 Years

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  • Last Updated

    05 March 2019

Are you interested in teaching or training young people and adults? This teacher training course is for graduates who want to teach a wide range of learners aged 16+ in further education colleges, sixth form colleges, training organisations, prisons, public services or voluntary and adult community organisations. 

The (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) level 7 award is a nationally and internationally recognised qualification for teaching and training in the post-16 sector. It provides eligibility for QTLS in England, and registration with EWC in Wales.

Students on the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) come from many different backgrounds – you could be a new graduate, a trainer or looking for a career change.

You will be welcomed into a collaborative environment where we work with you to develop the professional values, knowledge and skills you’ll need to work and thrive in a diverse and dynamic PcET sector.

What you will study

The (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) course comprises 120 credits undertaken at Level 6 (60 credits) and Level 7 (60 credits).

This teacher training course aims to develop professional values and key practical skills for teaching at this level with a strong pedagogical underpinning. The structure of the course corresponds to the learning and teaching cycle and includes identifying needs, planning for learning, managing learning, assessment and evaluation of learning.

Students on the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) and its sister course, the (PgCE) Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PcET) study alongside each other in fully integrated groups. The same module titles are taught across both programmes but these are assessed at different levels in terms of academic writing and scholarship

  • Preparing to Teach (Level 6 – 10 credits)
  • Learning and Applying Pedagogy (Level 6 – 10 credits)
  • Planning and Assessing Learning (Level 6 – 20 credits)
  • Independent Study (Level 7 – 20 credits)
  • Enhancing learning, teaching and assessment (Level 7 – 20 credits)
  • Professional Practice 1 (L6 – 20 credits) and Professional Practice 2 (L7 – 20 credits)

The modules allow students to address the practical application of a range of teaching skills including planning, delivering, assessing and evaluating. The work produced for this module constitutes a portfolio of evidence that allows trainees to demonstrate that they have undertaken an appropriate range of activities whilst on placement. The Professional Practice modules also provide opportunities to share good practice in relation to students’ developing roles and responsibilities as professionals working alone and as a member of a team, in the Post-compulsory Education and Training (PcET) sector, for example through seminars and peer presentations of critical incidents.


The full-time teacher training course is delivered over one academic year. Students are required to attend University sessions currently 9.30am-3.30pm every Wednesday and Thursday. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are designated as study and teaching practice times.

Teaching practice timetables are negotiated with the placement provider and generally start after successful completion of the Preparing to Teach module. Students should expect to be increasingly involved in their teaching placements as the academic year progresses.

Part-time students are required to attend University once a week. In the first year taught sessions are currently held on Wednesdays 9:30am-3:30pm and in the second year on Thursdays 9:30am-3:30pm.

Wednesday modules 

  • Preparing to Teach  
  • Planning and Assessing Learning  
  • Learning and Applying Pedagogy 
  • Professional Practice 1      

Thursday modules 

  • Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Assessment 
  • Independent Study (Action Research) 
  • Professional Practice 2

A variety of learning and teaching methods will be used. These include experiential learning, reflective learning, skills practice, lectures, group work and group discussions, workshops, case studies, student presentations, technology enhanced learning activities and visiting speakers/expert practitioners

Students are also allocated a tutor for regular tutorial sessions to discuss issues that run across the course.


Wherever possible, assessments are realistic and reflect the range of activities undertaken by teachers in the post-compulsory education and training sector. There is a strong emphasis on developing professional practice underpinned by pedagogic research and an awareness of ongoing developments within PcET and students’ own subject areas.

Assessments include peer teaching, reports and essays, individual and group presentations, seminars, resource design, small scale research projects and practical teaching observations. There are no formal written exams. Your professional practice will be assessed by a series of observations, and a professional development portfolio.

Students must pass all of the practical and theoretical aspects of the course.


At the heart of this teacher training course is the placement. By the end of the course, students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of teaching practice and 40 hours of observations/departmental duties.

For full time students, we offer a supported placement in an appropriate PcET environment including colleges, training organisations and adult education environments. All full time students are provided with a mentor at their placement.

Part time students source their own placement and mentor (50 hours teaching practice plus 20 hours observation in year 1; 50 hours teaching practice plus 20 hours observation/departmental duties in year two). Students are formally observed six times during placement as part of their Professional Practice modules.


The main purpose of the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) programme is to prepare you for employment in the post-compulsory education and training sector.

The employment chances of our graduates are good. For many, their teaching practice placement is an invaluable source of experience, information, and sometimes employment on the successful completion of their PGCE.

On successful achievement of this teacher training course, you will be a fully qualified teacher within the PcET sector and eligible to:

  • register in Wales with the Education Workforce Council (formerly General Teaching Council for Wales, GTCW),
  • apply for QTLS status once you are ‘in-service’, through the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in England (NB not compulsory in England and not available in Wales).

You may also be able to progress to the MA Education, for which postgraduate students may gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for level 7 credits achieved.

Visit the PGCE in Post compulsory Education and Training (PcET) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!





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