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. Successful completion of this L7 programme will mean that you are a qualified teacher for the Further Education and Skills sector. The PGCE 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. The over-riding aim of the Programme is to support the professional development of trainee teachers to enable them to plan, implement and evaluate teaching, learning and assessment effectively and efficiently within the Further Education and Skills Sector.

Course modules

Year 1

Preparation for Education and Training

This module is designed as an initial ‘toolkit’ for trainees wishing to commence a teaching career within the Further Education & Skills and Higher Education Sectors. All teaching strategies will aim to develop a confidence in trainees to undertake the role of teaching and develop informed reflection that will help to shape their own actions. Personal research and collection of data around teaching and learning is introduced through the observation of practitioners away from the classroom setting and production of observation reports. The keeping of a professional journal to capture critical learning moments and learning while on the module is an important part of the module process. Trainees’ prior knowledge and experience of teaching will be assessed in order to provide differentiated activities to promote learning for all.

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

Trainees will be prepared for basic classroom management and delivery of learning through developing skills in a broad range of learning, teaching and assessment strategies. This module will also deal with the application of resources used by trainees in preparing and facilitating learning with their groups. Trainees will examine all aspects of the learning and teaching cycle in relation to their own practice. They will also focus on the importance of functional skills for their learners and be introduced to the appropriate embedding of support for these within their subject area.

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:

  • An honours degree or equivalent (sufficient credits at appropriate levels 4,5,6)
  • 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.
  • Five GCSEs at Grade C and 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.
  • The ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 7.5 or equivalent).
  • 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

Colleges have a limited number of placements available within the college itself, and applicants will be selected for these at an interview. The college will do what they can to assist with finding other placements but this cannot be guaranteed. If you find your own suitable placement, this will be checked by your college.

Please note that applicants wanting to teach English and applicants wanting to teach maths without a degree/’A’ Level in maths will have to complete an additional entry assessment to demonstrate their content knowledge and skills. This may impact on the acquisition of a suitable teaching practice placement and therefore additional time must be factored for this.

Applicants also need to demonstrate at interview and through references that they have the potential to become a good teacher. If you have non-standard qualifications please contact the college course leader to enquire about equivalences.

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. 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.

Assessment:

The teaching, learning and assessment strategies used on the programme are varied and dependent upon active participation and interaction within groups. There are no examinations, so assessment is continuous and is based upon the completion of appropriate assignments, the observation of your teaching and the general gathering together of evidence to demonstrate that the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training – England (ETF 2014) have been achieved. This evidence must be collated in your Teaching Practice Portfolio which contains the various proformas required for logging your evidence of experience and learning and for reflecting on the achievement.

There are three integrated aspects of assessment on the programme:

· Teaching practice – assessed through teaching observations and the development of a teaching practice portfolio

· Coursework assignments – assessed by the course tutors. No assignments are graded: all are assessed on a pass or refer basis. Details are shown in the table below.

· Professionalism – assessed through your participation in classroom activities, performance in teaching and general attitude and approach to your role as a trainee teacher.

You are also graded on your progress in teaching, using the Ofsted grades 1-4. Your overall performance in teaching is assessed halfway through your course and at the end. However, these grades are not recorded on your award certificate. During stage 2 of your course, you will be also graded for different aspects of your teaching at each observation, also using the 1-4 system. This is to help you and your tutor identify where your strengths and areas for development are.

In addition to meeting the module learning outcomes, trainee teachers are required to meet the attendance requirements of the programme and all of the Professional Standards (ETF) and part 2 of the Department for Education Teachers’ Standards. Professionalism is assessed throughout the programme.

What work experience can I get?

An essential component of the part time PGCE is a teaching placement where you are preparing and teaching lessons to learners aged 16+. You need 150 hours of teaching for the PGCE. In cases where the quality, quantity or breadth of the teaching is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the programme, you may need to carry out some additional teaching. You may be able to complete part of your placement with 14-16 year olds. You will need to attend your placement for several hours a week. This will include experience of the other aspects of a teacher’s role as well as actual teaching.

Progression

Once you are qualified as a teacher you can apply for QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) status, through the Society for Education and Training. (See section 1 above).

There are opportunities at UCLan to continue your studies in the subject of Education, within the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Certificate in Education holders can ‘top up’ to a BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Studies. The Cert Ed gives you credits that count for half of the degree programme.

PGCE holders can progress to a Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice in Education and then to a Master’s in Education. The PGCE gives you credits for half of the Post Graduate Diploma.

Careers

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

As a trainee teacher, you are preparing for a professional role and need to behave as a professional throughout your course. All course applicants are expected to sign a ‘Trainee Conduct and Professionalism Agreement’ at the start of the programme (See Appendix 3 of the application form). In addition, you are expected to adhere to the Department for Education Teachers’ Standards (part 2 personal and professional conduct) and may be subject to the University’s Fitness to Practise process if there are concerns regarding your professionalism or behaviour.

Special requirements

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

Additional Costs that are mandatory for this course:

DBS requirements: Your placement will require you to have an up to date DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate. The current cost of this is £44 for an enhanced check. If you are already employed as a teacher this will already have been done by your employer.

Travel to and from your placement and observations of peers and other teachers is at your own cost.

Teaching materials: If you are a pre-service trainee (on a voluntary placement) you may be allocated a photocopying allowance at your placement setting, but many trainees find that they need to supplement this themselves.

Additional costs that are optional for this course:

Through the Looking Glass: The Partnership produces a professional academic publication of trainees’ Action Research reports annually. This is a valuable opportunity for trainees to have their work published and copies cost approx. £8. It is also a useful learning resource for you, when you carry out your own research.

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.