What is a PGCE?

The postgraduate certificate in education – or PGCE is a one- or two-year academic qualification you can achieve during your teacher training. At the end of successfully completing teacher training, you’ll also gain qualified teacher status (QTS), which is needed to teach as a qualified teacher in England.

What courses is the PGCE available on? 

The PGCE is included on all university-led postgraduate teacher training programmes  and most school-led routes, in England. Speak to your chosen training provider to find out what qualification, such as a PGCE, their course offers. 

Do I need a PGCE to qualify as a teacher in England?  

No – you only need QTS, which you achieve on successfully completing all university- and school-led training routes. The PGCE is an additional qualification you can gain alongside QTS. 

What are the benefits of gaining a PGCE?  

In addition to the increased confidence the academic training gives you, the PGCE is also an internationally recognised qualification. If you ever decide to teach in Scotland, Northern Ireland or other countries, it’s likely you’ll need an academic qualification such as a PGCE alongside QTS to register as a qualified teacher.

Many courses that include a PGCE also carry Master’s-level credits. Usually, the maximum credits obtained from a PGCE is 60 Master's-level credits. You should check with your chosen training provider about the amount of credits their course offers. 

How can I find and apply for PGCE courses? 

You can check if providers include a PGCE as part of their training when you search for courses on the UCAS Teacher Training site.  Remember, the PGCE is available on both university-led training and school-led courses – so you should find plenty of training courses that offer a PGCE. Additionally, to teach as a qualified teacher in England you don’t need a PGCE, but a PGCE may prove helpful if you want to teach abroad, or may want to complete a Master’s in the future.

Upcoming events

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Train to Teach Liverpool John Moores University

01 April 2017 10:00

This event in Liverpool will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.

Liverpool

Train to Teach Manchester Metropolitan University

08 April 2017 10:00

This event in Manchester will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.

Manchester

Train to Teach University of Brighton

09 May 2017 16:30

This event in Brighton will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.

Brighton

Application workshop Exeter

28 March 2017 17:30

Whether you’re just getting started on your application, or are close to submitting it, you will find lots of help and support at our application workshops.

Exeter