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Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Further Education and Skills Sector)

This course is for those wishing to pursue a career teaching young people and adults

Awarding Body

This course is approved and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The course is delivered by Lakes College.

Course Information

An enormous number of teaching opportunities exist across the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector, in organisations including further education colleges, sixth forms, alternative provision (PRU), adult and community learning, the National Health Service, the prison service, the police force and in private sector training organisations.

UCLan programmes are designed for those wishing to pursue a teaching career in these organisations.

While this is not a school teaching qualification there are now many employment opportunities in schools for post-16 teachers, particularly for teachers of vocational subjects. This course is not suitable for those wishing to teach in primary schools.

The aim of the programme is to enable you to develop into an outstanding teacher. You will learn how to plan, implement, assess and evaluate teaching and undertake a full teaching role.

All course work is related to your teaching situation in the FE and Skills sector, enabling you to develop your skills and experience to enhance your professional practice and career progression.

Assessment will be ongoing via observation of teaching sessions in addition to the production of planning documents, assignments, presentations and a teaching practice portfolio.

Teaching practice is supported by the programme tutors and by a subject specialist mentor, who will observe you teaching and work closely with you to develop your practice and skills.

You will be required to complete a teaching practice portfolio which includes assignments, evidence of reflective practice and learning and records of your practice as a trainee teacher, including lesson observations.

Assessment is through a range of assignments, demonstration of reflective practice and 10 successful lesson observations.

You will study part-time over two years, and attend one three-hour evening session per week.

Your learning will take place at Lakes College, CA14 4JN. Not sure where to find us? Click here!

Read the course specification here

Modules you will study

You will study:

Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Further Education and Skills Sector. The aim of the module is to provide trainee teachers with the necessary foundational skills for teaching, learning, and assessing in the Further Education and Skills (FES) Sector. While this module forms part of the Certificate in Education and PGCE, it can be awarded as a standalone module; the Preparatory Certificate in Education and Training.

Developing Subject Specialist Practice. The aim of the module is to develop trainee teachers’ professional skills and behaviours as reflective subject-specialist practitioners in the Further Education and Skills (FES) Sector: To develop trainees’ confidence and independence in meeting the changing demands of teaching, learning and assessment and explore and develop an evidence-based approach to the teaching of their subject.

Designing and Developing an Inclusive Curriculum. The aim of the module is to develop trainees’ knowledge and skills for curriculum planning, review, and development, so they can develop a holistic, inclusive, and evidence-based approach to their curriculum decisions and practice. While this module forms part of the Certificate in Education and PGCE, the three first-year modules form the Intermediate Certificate in Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

You will study:

Advancing Subject Specialist Practice. The aim of the module is to advance the link between educational theory and its practical application to the development of subject specialist knowledge, pedagogic content knowledge and pedagogy. It will enable trainee teachers to evidence the Occupational Standard and develop their full potential as a teacher.

Research Informed Practice (PGCE). The aim of this module is to develop trainee teachers’ critical insight and proficiency in research-informed practice, using both the literature base and their own empirical research of their subject specialist teaching.

Policy and Professionalism in the Further Education and Skills Sector (PGCE). The aim of this module is to develop trainee teachers’ critical insight in the role policy plays in shaping education practice. They will consider policy processes, enshrinement in law, implications for institutional policy and how these impact and translate to the professional practice of teachers in the Further Education and Skills (FES) Sector.

Additional information

Admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education will be open to both new applicants to teaching (pre-service) and in-service teachers in the FES Sector who, at the point of entry, meet the following national entry requirements:

• UK honours degree (normally 2:2 or above) or equivalent related to your specialist area (if undertaking the PGCE)

• A minimum of a Level 3 qualification in all the specialist subjects¹ they will be/wish to teach

• GCSE English at grade C/4 or above (or OfQual approved equivalent²)

• GCSE maths at grade C/4 or above (or OfQual approved equivalent²)

• Where English is not the applicant’s first language: The ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 7.5 with no element lower than 7.0 (or equivalent)³

• A teaching contract or a voluntary placement across two institutions, that includes:

• A minimum of 150 hours of teaching practice (including 20 hours online synchronous teaching)

• A minimum of 100 hours of non-teaching practice

• A named subject specialist mentor in the primary placement location

• A named pastoral mentor in the primary placement location

• Completion of a satisfactory course interview

• Completion of a satisfactory subject interview

• Provide confirmation of an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

• Pre-service applicants wishing to teach in a school, or sixth form attached to a school will also be checked against the prohibition list

Applicants wanting to teach English and applicants wanting to teach mathematics (without a mathematics A Level/degree) are required to successfully complete an additional entry assessment to demonstrate their content knowledge and skills.

This may impact on the acquisition of a suitable teaching practice placement and therefore additional time must be factored for this.

¹ Specialist subject: Where the subject is regarded as SEND, the applicant must have a L3 SEND qualification.

² Equivalent qualifications must be named by the Society for Education and Training as suitable for entry to QTLS (Click here for approved maths and English qualifications).

³ IELTS certification date must be within two years of the point of application.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities, and in particular those that are currently under-represented in our Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses.

We specifically encourage applications from ethnic minority groups at this time.

This qualification is suitable for those who are already teaching (in-service) as well as those who are new to teaching. Lakes College will assist you to find a placement, but this is not always guaranteed. You may need to take responsibility for finding a suitable placement for your teaching experience.

Before applying it is very important that you are clear about your future status, and the difference between QTS and QTLS.

UCLan teacher education qualifications do not afford graduates with QTS status.

The Cert Ed. or the PGCE will not confer Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), however, there are opportunities to work in secondary schools, including academies and free schools after completing this Cert Ed or PGCE, especially so if you complete professional formation and gain Qualified Teacher, Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

On achievement of the Cert Ed or PGCE awarded by UCLan, qualified teachers in the FE and Skills Sector will be eligible to apply for QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) status through the Society for Education and Training (SET).

It is not normally possible to gain QTLS in less than six months from the end of the course, as applicants have to demonstrate their post-qualification development.

Initially, you will pay a £50 application fee (non-refundable) to the SET and then, the Professional Formation programme, leading to QTLS, is priced at £475.

These costs are correct at the time of publication.

Please see the course page for the latest information regarding fees and financial support we can offer you.

Learners are responsible for meeting any travel costs related to travelling to and from placement.

Through the Looking Glass. The Partnership produces an annual professional journal of trainees’ Action Research reports. This is a valuable opportunity for trainees to have their work published and copies cost approx. £10. It is also a useful learning resource for you when you carry out your own research.

DBS requirements. Your placement will require you to have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate. The current cost of this is £44 for an enhanced check. If you are already employed as a teacher this should already have been completed by your employer.

Travel to and from your placement and observations of peers and other teachers is as your own cost.

Teaching materials. The provision of your own laptop/computer and stationery is essential for this course.

Both the Certificate in Education and Postgraduate Certificate in Education form part of a modular Education Studies framework at UCLan which presents a convenient opportunity for progression to further study.

Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice. The programme is available to teachers and trainers with a degree or equivalent who have completed the PGCE modules (60 credits at levels 6 and 7) with UCLan. It consists of three modules (60 credits) at level 7.

Master’s in Education (MEd). Successful completion of the PG Diploma allows teachers to progress to the final dissertation stage of the Master’s in Education (MEd) programme. Following the MEd, you may wish to progress still further and study on the taught Professional Doctorate, (EdD) which is also available at the university in Preston.

Apply now

Apply now!

You can apply to our course directly via our website.

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Page last updated: 22/3/24