Higher Education



The PCET/PGCE is a teacher training qualification that equips you to educate learners over the age of 14 including adults, sharing your knowledge and helping others fulfil their potential. You may be teaching apprentices, trainees or students in further education and sixth form colleges or training colleagues within your organisation. This is a valuable opportunity to gain a recognised University qualification as you improve your teaching skills.

This course also prepares you to register for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, which is a key qualification for teaching in further education and can be gained in the year after you finish the programme.

You will be supported by a mentor in your subject specialist area.

Course requirements


  • You are required to have achieved a Level 2 in English and maths and a minimum of Level 3 in the subject specialism which you intend to teach.


  • To achieve the PGCE you need to have previously gained an honours degree in addition to your English and maths at Level 2.
  • A DBS check is required for all students.

Work related learning
You are required to undertake relevant teaching or training that will provide you with a minimum number of hours (50 hours for year 1 and 50 hours for year 2).

What will I do?

Year 1

  • Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector
  • Practical teaching and professional development
  • Developing theories of teaching, learning and assessment in post-compulsary education and training

Year 2

  • Contextualising policy and curriculum in PCET
  • Enhancing learning through innovation and change
  • Practical teaching and professional development
  • Individual action research project

You will attend at least one weekly planned learning session of 3 hours per week in College.

You will be taught by methods that encourage you to reflect on your professional development and in ways which will help you to engage with relevant educational research and current government policy developments related to the sector.

These consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, tutor and self directed learning, student centred learning, group work, independent research and self-directed study. Group discussions, presentations, research tasks and workshops.

Observation of your teaching practice will be undertaken by your tutor and your chosen mentor at least 4 times each year within your teaching or training location. This will enable you to identify key strengths and reflect upon areas for development. You will also be expected to critically self-reflect and evaluate your teaching/training practice in order to set actions and goals to improve.

The College Virtual Learning Environment is used as a discussion forum to share your own practice and experiences with other students on the course.

You will be assessed through a range of assignments, group work, reports, seminars, practical workshops at the University of Sunderland, presentations and observed teaching practice.

What will it give me?

The course will give you a teaching qualification to be able to work in the Further Education and Training sector.

Materials needed

You will be required to purchase a range of relevant stationery and it would be beneficial to have a range of reference books to develop your knowledge and understanding of theory related to the sector.

What can I do when I finish?

Successful completion of the two year qualification can lead to further study on the BA (Honours) Degree in Education and Training (Post Compulsory Education), and the MA Education (Generic) at the University of Sunderland.

You could also apply for Professional Formation/Qualified Teaching and Learning Skills status (QTLS) which is the professional status that you gain via the Society of Education and Training.

Alternatively a teaching or training role within the further education and training sector.

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