The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – A Guide

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By: freemexy
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A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is one of the main routes to becoming a teacher in the UK. Offered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, most PGCEs give you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and make you eligible to teach in countries across the world.Internationally recognised teacher training programmes

There are many PGCEs available, each designed to prepare you for life as a different kind of teacher. We’ve put together a guide to some of the PGCEs on offer, and what you need to know before you apply.

If you’ve already decided that you want to apply for a PGCE, you can begin the search for your perfect course with us. Alternatively, you can read our guide to the different types of PGCE funding.

What is a PGCE?
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is an academic qualification that is designed to help graduates become teachers. PGCEs give you substantial teaching experience through school placements, along with a grounding in important educational theory.
What exactly is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education?

A Postgraduate Diploma in Education is a completely different qualification to the Scottish Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, even though both are referred to as a PGDE, somewhat confusingly!

The main difference between a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and a PGCE is the fact that the Postgraduate Diploma in Education gives you the opportunity to gain 120 CATS credits – twice as many as a PGCE. This means that if you want to convert your PGDE into a 180-credit Masters, you have fewer additional credits to complete than if you’d done a 60-credit PGCE.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Education is an ideal option if you plan on putting your credits towards a Masters qualification. Most PGDEs take one year of full-time study to complete – the same as a PGCE – but with the additional CATS credits you’ll be earning, you can expect to spend a bigger proportion of your time on academic rather than teaching work.
How much does a PGCE cost?

In 2017/18, most PGCEs have tuition fees of £9,250, but there are lots of funding options available in the form of bursaries, scholarships and loans, as well as paid salaries. We’ve covered the different funding routes you can take.

What are the entry requirements for a PGCE?
You’ll usually need at least a 2:2 degree in the subject you want to teach. In some cases, it may be possible to apply with a joint honours degree, provided 50% of your time at university was spent on your PGCE subject.

Similar requirements apply if your degree subject (and experience) is broadly related to the area you wish to teach in.

For example, if you’ve studied a maths-heavy degree like engineering, you will normally be eligible to begin a PGCE in Secondary Maths. Or, if you studied German at A-level but French for your degree, you should be eligible for a PGCE in Modern Languages. These requirements differ from university to university and course to course, however, so always make sure you read the application guidelines carefully.

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