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What is a PGCE?

The postgraduate certificate in education (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.

Trainees who successfully complete our training programme will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Masters level.

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.