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PGCE (Professional/Postgraduate Certificate in Education)

This is a two year part-time programme for people who teach or want to teach in the post-compulsory sector (further education, higher education, the health service, adult and community education, the prison service, the armed forces or private training providers). The programme incorporates the outcomes for Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) and the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).

It enables students to apply for Professional Formation (following graduation), leading to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status via the Institute for Learning (IfL). QTLS now has parity of esteem with QTS in schools.

TEF Silver
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that Activate Learning delivers high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

Programme details

Please note that as programmes are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from what is shown here.

Year 1 (Level 6)
• introduction to teaching in the lifelong learning sector (incorporates PTLLS outcomes)
• curriculum and assessment of and for learning
• theories and principles of planning and enabling learning
• digital literacy

Year 2 (Level 6/ or Level 7)
• continuing personal and professional development
• curriculum development for inclusive practice
• wider professional practice
• personal development record (PDR)

All modules in Year 2 with the exception of PDR are offered at Level 7.


You will have a minimum of two tutorials each year with your personal tutor, with additional academic support from module tutors.

Throughout the year, you are given opportunities to:
• participate in lectures, seminars and workshops which develop your knowledge and understanding of issues relating to the teaching of your subject
• work in groups to examine and discuss issues relating to the teaching of your subject
• plan and deliver short lessons to your peers (micro-teaching)
• observe and analyse teaching (both actual and on video)
• compile an individual portfolio of schemes of work, lesson plans, tutor reports and self-evaluation of observed sessions
• work with a wide range of practical resources, including appropriate computer hardware and software
• work with a number of expert teachers during teaching practice who will train and support you
• take responsibility for the planning, preparation, delivery and evaluation of your own lessons
• work in a variety of contexts with trainees representing a range of programmes and levels

To read more about resources, please see the 'How to apply' section.


You will be assessed throughout the programme in a number of different ways.
• observation of a minimum of four teaching practice sessions per year, three by college staff and one by your specialist subject mentor
• micro teach (Year 1 only)
• peer assessment
• presentations
• written submissions
• group work
• reflective professional journal
• personal development planning


If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but feel that you require additional support with your studies, you may be eligible to access some discrete sessions in one of the following areas:
• assistive software training
• IT up-skilling
• essay planning and structure
• proofreading and editing written work
• bibliographies and referencing
• time management and personal organisation
• revision and exam tips
• presentation techniques

N.B. Your eligibility for any of the above support will be reviewed with your course tutors and a member of the study support team on your campus.
Skills and assessment
This programme is an excellent development opportunity for a career in teaching or training in a wide range of post-compulsory institutions.


Whilst this is a generic course for teaching in the post-compulsory sector, there is a very strong element of subject specialism. This is achieved with a mentor from your curriculum area. This mentor will be an appropriately qualified and experienced professional with a real interest in assisting in the development of teachers or trainers in your subject. Mentors will be offered training in aspects of our PGCE and observation. All of your teaching practice will be with your own students or trainees in your regular workplace.
Entry requirements
Entrants to the programme must possess the following minimum qualifications:
• English: An NQF Level 2 qualification in English or communication, normally grade A*-C or 4 & above GCSE or O-level English Language, or otherwise be able to satisfy the University’s requirements with regard to English Language proficiency prior to beginning the programme.
• Candidates on the in-service programme must demonstrate grade A*-C or 4 & above GCSE maths or equivalent prior to beginning the programme.
• A university degree or a recognised professional or trade qualification at NQF Level 3 or above for admission to the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Post-compulsory Education).
• Opportunity to undertake a minimum of 50 hours teaching in each year of the programme

Students wishing to take the postgraduate route (Level 7) in year 2 will normally have a degree or equivalent qualification. The decision to take this route is made at the start of the second year in consultation with tutors.

All applicants are required to attend an interview and initial assessment before admission to the programme. Applicants must provide one written reference from someone who is able to comment on their teaching practice.

All applicants will be required to obtain enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance for working with children and young people and as teachers.

For English language requirements, please see 'How to apply'
Upon successful completion those with a Level 3 professional or vocational qualification will be awarded the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Post-Compulsory Education).

Anyone who would like to continue has the opportunity to progress to a BA (Hons) Degree in Educational Studies offered at Oxford Brookes University. Graduates have gone on to develop their teaching careers in a variety of ways, moving to more substantial roles or promotion to managerial positions. Many choose to continue studying to gain Level 5 Diplomas offered at the College in teaching Skills for Life subjects (literacy, numeracy, ESOL, ICT). Others undertake the Level 5 Diploma Mentoring in Education, often supporting colleagues on a range of teaching qualifications. Those who need to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status are given post qualification guidance and assistance to do so.

There are also opportunities to undertake the BA (Hons) in Educational Studies or the MA in Education offered part time at Oxford Brookes University. But best of all, graduates feel more confident in their professional abilities and enjoy their teaching.
How to apply

Applicants should apply directly to the college/Activate Learning. Click 'APPLY NOW' and fill in the online application form.

Following your application, you will be invited to attend a course presentation and initial assessment prior to a one-to-one interview.


You will have full access to the learning centres and IT resources on campus at the College. We are also able to offer a range of assistive resources to support students with additional needs. Each campus has a well stocked library and access to a wide range of e-learning materials, which are constantly updated and extended to meet course requirements. The College offers a wide range of other resources and facilities which will be available to you, further details of which can found in the Higher Education Student Handbook.

As well as being enrolled at the College, you will be enrolled with Oxford Brookes University and so will benefit from the same facilities and services as on-campus students. These include: use of Brookes’ libraries, Centre for Sport and Students’ Union, study support and mentoring and professional advice and information from Brookes’ Careers and Employment Centre.


Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:
• British Council IELTS: normally minimum Level 6 in all four elements (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Home/EU Fees for 2018 entry £3,060 per year

UCAS code :

Institution code :

Location :

Mode :

Kings Road, Reading Part-time

Year of entry

Duration :

2018 2 Years