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.

What courses is the PGCE available on? 

A postgraduate qualification, usually a PGCE, is part of 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.

Do all PGCE courses award QTS? 

No – you could complete a further education (FE) PGCE, which will not include QTS - this qualification is valuable if you would like to teach adult learners. Find out more on FE training. If you’re unsure on whether your course results in the award of QTS, you should speak to your training provider before you apply.

Does it have to be a PGCE?

No – some courses include a different qualification, such as a postgraduate diploma in education or a postgraduate certificate in teaching. Any postgraduate qualification offered by a university in England will be academically rigorous and likely to carry Master’s-level credits. Your training provider will advise on the nature and content of qualifications they offer.


Upcoming events

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Train to Teach Doncaster

17 April 2018 16:30

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


Train to Teach Derby

02 May 2018 16:30

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


Train to Teach University of Greenwich

24 May 2018 16:00

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


Application Workshop London South

24 March 2018 10:00

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.