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PGCEs and PGDEs are teaching qualifications. They stand for ‘postgraduate certificate in education’, and ‘postgraduate diploma in education’.


The course you take to get a PGCE is a mixture of learning education theory, and school placements where you will be put in a classroom to learn from experience.

Entry requirements for a PGCE course usually include an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. The course will usually take 1 year to complete full time, or 2 years part time.

Find a postgraduate teacher training course(opens in new window).

Types of PGCE courses

You can do a PGCE course at a university, or through a school-led teacher training programme.

You can do a PGCE in primary education, secondary education, or further/adult education.


A PGDE course is very similar to a PGCE, the difference being the amount of academic credits you are awarded at the end of your course.

Teaching qualifications you need

If you want to be a primary school teacher or secondary school teacher in a state school in England, you will need to get ‘qualified teacher status’ (QTS). You don’t need a PGCE or PGDE to become a teacher, but many courses offer it alongside QTS.

Find out more about QTS

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