Post Graduate Certificate in Education

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.

This qualification (the full award) is open to all in-service, pre-service and pre-employment teachers, trainers and tutors in the Lifelong Learning Sector. The certificate is designed for those who are employed in a full teaching role; having responsibility for learners throughout the learning process and engaging in teaching on a range of academic levels within their subject specialism. Full award trainees would be expected to use resources they have designed and evaluated; deliver learning across a range of levels, subjects and learner types; and contribute to a range of programmes of varying lengths.

Course modules

Year 1

Preparation for Education and Training

The aim of the module is to cover the requirements for the Introductory Award in Education and Training as defined by LSIS. A second aim is to introduce the trainee teacher to the teaching, learning and assessment cycle and build the beginnings of reflective practice.

Curriculum Design and Assessment

This module aims to develop a holistic approach to planning, teaching, learning and assessment, building on prior knowledge of learning and teaching domains, lesson planning techniques and the development of intuitive practices with regard to learning strategies, group dynamics and student motivation. The study of external and internal influences on curriculum development and design aims to support trainee teachers in creating schemes of work, session plans and resources that provide high quality learning experiences. The module also aims to develop the trainees’ skills in the design and use of assessment as a means for checking, promoting and deepening learning, while stretching learners to meet their full potential.

Teaching Learning and Assessment

The aim of this module is to provide a link between educational theory and practical application into teaching through reflective observation of practice. The module also aims to develop confidence and skills in the trainee to meet the changing demands of teaching, learning and assessment and manage the behaviour of learners appropriately. A further aim is to help trainees explore the relationship between their choice of practice strategies and the external and internal influences on their classroom.

Year 2

Action Research: Deconstructing Practice

The aim of this module is to enable trainees to undertake a two-stage research activity: The first stage is the submission of a research proposal which will have as its focus an issue around a small-scale piece of action research embedded in an area of personal practice. After trainees have received tutor feedback on the assessed research proposal the second stage is the implementation of the research and collection of data with a concluding research report.

Contemporary Issues in Education and Training

The aim of this module will be to address contemporary issues in education and training and the content will be expected to change and develop in response to current concerns. However, there will remain a constant core of themes central to the national debate and these will include the identification of significant aspects of government legislation, policy and control; management strategies and styles; funding and performance indicators; quality assurance and inspection; unemployed youth and vocationalism; innovations in curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment; access to education.

Developing Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The aim of the module is to continue to develop the link between educational theory and its practical application in teaching placements, in order to enable trainees to develop towards their full potential as successful teachers. There is a focus on the continued development of differentiation for meeting the needs of all learners and on inclusive practice, which will provide trainees with the skills to successfully promote learning for a range of learners with a variety of needs and backgrounds. The module also aims to enable trainees to broaden their view of the sector, by working with and observing their peers in other teaching settings and by reflecting on and evaluating practice in terms of its ability to facilitate inclusive learning for all students.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

Admission to the PGCE award within the nationally endorsed LSIS schemes will be open to both new applicants to teaching and in-service teachers, trainers and tutors in adult, community, work-based and further education and the wider Further Education and Skills Sector, who, at the time of starting the scheme meet the following entry requirements:

1. An honours degree or equivalent (sufficient credits at appropriate levels 4,5,6).

2. A Level 3 (QCF) qualification in their teaching subject specialism. Under exceptional circumstances some entrants may hold a relevant vocational qualification of at least the level above that of their learners.

3. Five GCSEs at Grade C and above (from 2017/18 this will be Grade 4 or above), or equivalent, to include English. Applicants who do not have English as a GCSE will be required to successfully achieve the University’s diagnostic test prior to entry to the programme.

4. The ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 7.5 or equivalent).

5. A teaching or training contract for a minimum of 75 hours of teaching per academic year for the part time programme, or 150 hours of teaching placement for the full time award. In some circumstances, a voluntary teaching placement may also be possible for part time trainees.

Teaching Hours

The scheme is extremely dependent upon trainee teachers being able to put into practice in their own classrooms the values, knowledge and professional skills they gain through their studies. It is a requirement of the programme that applicants should be employed or in a placement as teachers, trainers or tutors for a minimum of 150 hours during the programme. Whilst this is a benchmark, in cases where the quality, quantity or breadth of the teaching is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the programme, it may be necessary to arrange for trainees to carry out some additional teaching. Teaching practice must be carried out predominantly with groups of learners, although some individual teaching can be undertaken. Effective teaching practice experience should ideally include:

  • different teaching practice locations/settings/contexts
  • teaching across more than one level
  • teaching a variety of learners
  • experience of non-teaching roles

In order to qualify for Fellowship of the HE Academy, the trainee teacher must be in-service and teaching in Higher Education.

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and teaching practice. This course makes the most of the extensive College facilities on site allowing trainees to practice in an environment that is realistic for them. Trainees will also be expected to practice within their own declared teaching establishment. Trainees will be expected to undertake independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and teaching practice will form an important part of the course. Students will also have access to specialist IT hardware and software within a dedicated HE building with multiple IT suites. This course makes the most of the new Higher Education accommodation, College library and Virtual Learning Environment.

Although you are undertaking the programme at a franchised centre, you are enrolled as a student at the University of Central Lancashire and have the same entitlements as a student attending the University's Preston Campus including access to the Library and Learning Resources Service, Student Services, Student Loans and membership of the Student Union, etc.


The assessment strategies are varied but have significant focus on developing knowledge and skills that will be useful in the classroom or workshop, in addition to 'academic' essays and reports.

Assessment of the qualification includes:

- Observations of teaching and training.

- Portfolio of teaching practice.

- Written assignments/ reports.

- Presentations.

- Academic posters (with poster conference).

- Collaborative Peer Project.

During the programme each trainee will be observed eight times. These observations will be shared between tutors and work-based mentors. This approach offers the trainee feedback not only on generic aspects of teaching but also the teaching of their subject specialism.

What work experience can I get?

Learning will be facilitated through a series of small and large group discussions and activities and tutor-led sessions, using focused reading material, hand-outs and materials from the trainees’ own practice. Trainee teachers will experience both didactic and inductive teaching approaches, experiential and enquiry based learning, reflective practice strategies and action research. They will be taught by teacher educators, guest specialists and their peers over the course of the programme.



Post Graduate Certificate Students will have 40 credits at Masters Level and can progress onto the MA Educational Research and the MEd as well as the Post Graduate CPD Framework.


In the UK alone there are around 220,000 job opportunities in the Lifelong Learning Sector in FE colleges, adult and community education, work-based learning, the National Health Service and the Prison Service – catering for around 4 million students. This course teaches you to plan, implement and evaluate teaching and learning within this ever growing post-compulsory education sector.

Professional accreditations

In addition to meeting the module learning outcomes, trainee teachers are also bound by a professional code of practice created by the Institute for Learning (IfL) and must adhere to these to be successful on the programmes.

Special requirements

Trainees must have a current full DBS disclosure prior to commencing the course.

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course include:

· Printed poster for Contemporary Issues module £10

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

· Through the Looking Glass (Action Research) Published articles £7

· The second year module TS4304 requires the professional printing of an academic poster: This generally costs between £10 and £15.

· Books and Journals: A reading list will be issued by Module Tutors who will advise on books to buy. However, there is no mandatory requirement to purchase books.

· Stationery and USB drives will be required and are readily available in the College shop.

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.