Post Compulsory Education - Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

About the course

This Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Post Compulsory Education) is a two year, part time course that covers the required LSIS standards for teachers within the post compulsory sector. It is an ideal course for teachers within further, adult and community education who hold a degree and who are looking to achieve Qualified Teacher, Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

Post Compulsory Education - Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Tresham College of Further and Higher Education
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 2 Years
  • Attendance - | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

You will develop the professional and practical skills required of a teacher working in post compulsory education.  The post compulsory sector encompasses a wide range of organisations from general FE colleges to universities, prisons, businesses and the voluntary sector, providing a diverse choice of employment opportunities

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?


  • Assessment And Evaluation (PCE103-3) Compulsory
  • Curriculum Design And Development (PCE107-3) Compulsory
  • Planning And Preparing For Teaching And Learning (PCE101-3) Compulsory
  • Professional Practice And Development (PCE108-3) Compulsory
  • Professional Practice And Skills (PCE104-3) Compulsory
  • Researching Practice (PCE106-3) Compulsory
  • Teaching And Learning Process (PCE102-3) Compulsory
  • Theories And Practice Of Inclusive Learning And Teaching (PCE105-3) Compulsory

Discover the School of Teacher Education

How will I be assessed?

The course adopts a submission based approach, making effective use of a submission proposal process, which enables you to contextualise the outcomes and ensures their relevance to your own professional practice. There are regular teaching observations and individual target setting will be used to ensure that you are you are making progress towards achieving the required professional standards.

The assessment strategy is outcomes-based. You will negotiate with your tutor, in consultation with your mentor, the evidence you will submit to address the specified unit outcomes. You have the opportunity to use a submission proposal or learning contract to confirm at the planning stage how you intend to meet the requirements. Your proposal/learning contract will be systematically scrutinised with you during a one-to-one tutorial, mapping the proposed actions and intended outcomes to the course learning outcomes and unit threshold criteria, to ensure that you are supported to satisfy both academic and professional requirements through your assessment activity.

Marking is on a pass/fail basis only.

This approach has been adopted for the following reasons;

  • It ensures the relevance of submitted work to your learning needs, and encourages links between theory and practice.
  • It responds to the diversity of settings and subjects you teach, providing you with an assignment which is relevant to and meaningful for your practice and context.
  • It models the practice which we require of you as a teacher and assessor of learning.
  • The specification of academic level is achieved by structured reference to the course-specific outcomes and threshold assessment criteria.
  • The approach is student-centred and puts you in the driving seat. Again, it ensures the relevance of the course to your own teaching and develops your capacity to manage your on-going professional development.

The pass-fail marking is adopted as more appropriate for the negotiated, outcomes-based assessment regime. You will receive detailed feedback on your submissions both on the text itself and on the marksheet. The latter is in two parts; a feedback commentary on the work submitted, and a feedforward guide to how to make it even better for the next submission.

In some cases, particularly the Professional Practice Units, there are specific documentation requirements, such as the inclusion of teaching observation reports and excerpts from a professional reflective journal: these are set out in detail in the Handbook.

Timing of Assessments

There are submission deadlines for specific units in November, January, February, April and May, and a re-submission deadline in mid-August.

Work is then marked and moderated and samples sent to the external examiners, prior to the Exam Boards in June, and a re-sit Board in September.

Use will be made of formative assessment strategies throughout the course.  This is a principle which we would expect you to adopt in your own teaching. You will be supported to become familiar with self- and peer-assessment approaches and to make effective use of feedback on both academic and practice-based aspects of the course.  You will be encouraged to identify targets for your ongoing development using the Personal Development Planner to plan and monitor these with your tutor and mentor.

Entry requirements

For this course you must:

  • Be engaged in teaching in post-compulsory (i.e. Further, Higher or Adult) education for at least 50 hours per year.
  • Be qualified in the content of the material being taught (usually holding a first degree in that subject)
  • Be able to communicate clearly in spoken and written standard English, and demonstrate appropriate skills in numeracy (QCF level 2). The simplest way of showing this is a pass at Grade C or above in GCSE English and Mathematics, but other accredited evidence from a recognised awarding body is equally acceptable, providing that you can demonstrate their equivalence at interview.
  • You need to bring documentary evidence with you to your interview.

If documentary evidence is not available, you will be asked to undertake a skills test.

You might in any case find it useful to do such a test if you have been out of formal education (in a student role, of course) for some time. You may have to undertake a similar test for QTLS, and we would not want anyone to be too distracted by having to work too hard to meet the grade for that.

  • You must not have been previously excluded from teaching or working with young people.
  • If you are planning or applying to work with young people under 18 (under Eligibility Code 04) your employer will need to seek DBS clearance, although under some circumstances you may be liable for the fee.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

This course is primarily `in-service (although a pre-service route is available at certain locations), which means that all participants will already be employed in a teaching role within the post compulsory sector.  QTLS is now required of all new teachers in state-funded further education. It is available not only to new entrants to teaching, but also to established staff who do not hold a recognised teaching qualification, as a portal to promotion and advancement.

In 2011, the Secretary of State has implemented Recommendation 9 of the Wolf Report on vocational education, that QTLS should be accepted as equivalent to QTS as a qualification for teaching in the compulsory sector.

The Certificate in Education (PCE) is also accepted as the generic teaching qualification for non-graduate staff in other more specialised areas of post-compulsory education and training, including public services (including uniformed services and the military), business training, and adult education.

The course is framed by a commitment to help you to develop the characteristics of a University of Bedfordshire graduate teacher. You will be challenged to explore theories of teaching and learning and to examine the implications of such theories for your own development. In doing this you will refine, form and reform your own principles, perspectives and values in relation to professional teaching practice. On completion of the course you will have the appropriate attitude, knowledge, skills and understanding to meet the needs of the childrens and schools workforce agenda.

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding

    Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

  • UK /EU
  • Fees for the Academic Year 2018/19 are £3,125 per year for the 2-year part-time course. The fee for the full-time 1-year course is £6,250.  

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

    Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.


Bedfordshire is a small county with lots to offer.

However you enjoy spending your free time, you won’t have to look far in Bedfordshire to find somewhere to relax, socialise or explore the great outdoors. 

We are also conveniently located around 30 minutes by train from London, offering you the city experience with a homely feel.

Bedfordshire offers:

  • A range of pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • High street and independent shopping
  • Museums, galleries and theatres - and our own University Theatre
  • Entertainment centres
  • Stunning countryside
  • Professional sport and world-class facilities
  • Headquarters of a number of notable UK and international companies
  • Luton International Carnival and Bedford River Festival

Campuses in Buckinghamshire

We also have campuses in Aylesbury and Milton Keynes

How to Apply

Bedfordshire University

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