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    Cardiff School of Social Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    09 July 2018

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) offers access to teaching in further, adult and nursing education, and vocational training in industry, commerce and other professions.


The Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) full-time programme lasts one academic year and runs over two semesters – autumn and spring. The Programme starts September and ends in June.

The programme is organised into three distinct operational parts.

  • Part one: University based learning interspersed with workplace orientation - induction and initial teacher training in preparation for teaching practice.
  • Part two: College placement classroom based teaching practice.
  • Part three: Presentation and debrief of professional practice and your learning

Part one: University based learning interspersed with workplace orientation - induction and initial teacher training in preparation for teaching practice.  

From September to December you will predominantly be based at the University and undergo an intensive period of learning the theory surrounding teaching and learning and applying it to a variety of individual, pair and group tasks.

The modules explore a range of key themes and draw on expertise from the fields of psychology, sociology, policy and well-tested theories of how learners learn and how effective learning can be promoted. Literacy, numeracy and digital literacy workshops are also integrated throughout the first semester to ensure you are competent in these key skill areas.

A challenging and stimulating programme of study has been developed to engage you in the learning experience by interrogating the theory surrounding teaching, learning and pedagogy in anticipation of application of the theory to their professional practice. The first semester also integrates a period of exposure to the Further Education sector to locate your learning and make sense of the relevance of the theoretical perspectives covered as part of the programme of study, and their application to the learning context.

During the first semester, you will be taught how to teach generically and not ‘through’ your subject disciplines. This is good preparation for the practicum element as it reflects the true demands of the profession and teaching in the lifelong learning sector. The subject specific support will be provided during the professional practice element by a Mentor who is a qualified teacher and a subject expert.

Part two: College placement classroom based teaching practice. 

From January to May you will undertake a placement at one of our partner colleges, Universities or Training Providers. Supervised teaching practice takes place under the guidance of a subject-specific mentor at a college or other placement venue.

You are required to generate 120 contact hours of recorded teaching practice, be assessed formally, engage in reflective practice and conduct research. This element gives you the opportunity to engage in research and enquiry which will develop professional practice.

A recall period is also arranged for you to return to Cardiff University. This is mandatory and provides staff and students with an opportunity to ‘touch’ base, review progress so far and plan for the future.

Part three: Presentation and debrief of professional practice and your learning 

The final phase of the programme is the presentation of a paper/area of research at the PCET conference.

Attendance is fulltime and mandatory with respect to the course schedule and teaching placement requirements.

Distinctive features

This programme provides the opportunity to:

  • Interrogate the literature surrounding teaching and learning and establish the theory-practice connection.
  • Explore the ways in which policy imperatives, awarding body requirements, quality regimes, institutional and individual factors shape provision and practice.
  • Examine the complexities of the psychological and sociological foundations of teaching and learning and apply to professional practice.
  • Critically analyse the impact of traditional ideologies on the development of teaching/training practice and the political drivers affecting classroom practice and provision
  • Systematically examine the need for planning and demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the techniques involved in the design, development, delivery, assessment and evaluation of learning.
  • Critically evaluate the effects of policy imperatives on teaching and learning.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be exposed to a diverse and exciting range of teaching and learning approaches in order to maximise learning potential, engage you in the learning experience and promoting a conducive learning setting. 

Lectures, seminars, workshops, practical application of the theory and practical ‘micro teach’ sessions, debates, simulation and role play are some of the approaches used.

You will also undertake independent study, self-directed learning and engage in research and enquiry in order to develop research literacy and capacity and promote evidence informed practice. Reflection forms a key part of initial teacher training.

You will be required to complete a range of tasks for presentation in classes. These will not contribute to your overall grade but will allow you to assess your progress and strengthen aspects of your work in preparation for future developments and the summative assessments.

How will I be supported?

During the course you will be supervised and guided by a Personal Tutor and a Visiting Tutor.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will provide pastoral support throughout the programme of study. You will also be assigned a Visiting Tutor who will visit you at your workplace to provide support, help and guidance, as well as assess your classroom practice.

Career prospects

This one year programme is specifically designed for those wanting to teach in post-compulsory contexts and to accommodate the learning and development requirements of teachers, lecturers, vocational trainers in industry, commerce or other professions such as higher, further, adult, community and nurse education, school sixth forms and for those delivering the 14-19 curriculum within a school or other setting. 

This programme addresses a range of teaching subjects and vocational areas and is suitable for those wishing to teach in the post-compulsory or the lifelong learning sector.

Visit the Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) - PGCE page on the Cardiff University website for more details!





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