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Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) & Certificate in Education (Cert Ed)

Course Level: 

Level 5

Job opportunities after this course: 

This programme leads to a Professional Graduate Certificate (PGPCET) or Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET). The main recognised qualification for the Post 16 Sector in the UK. The programme will develop your knowledge and practical skills in designing, delivering and assessing post-compulsory learning programmes.

It is ideal for teachers, lecturers or trainers in the PCET Sector. Qualified Teacher in Learning Skill (QTLS) can be achieved after this qualification through the Professional Formation process. Your PG/CE will enhance your employment throughout the post-compulsory sector. Study can be continued and this qualification may count towards further diploma or degree opportunities.

Overview of the course: 

This programme is offered by East Durham College working in partnership with the University of Sunderland. The award that you will receive will be from the University of Sunderland.

EDC working in partnership with the University of Sunderland offer both PGCE PCET and PCET programmes. These are in- service programmes and you should be employed or working in a voluntary capacity in the post-compulsory education and training sector in FE Colleges, Training Agencies or the Public Sector.

Year 1 covers a range of subjects and modules which include, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Developing Theories of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and also Practical Teaching and Professional Development.

Year 2 covers a range of subjects including Advancing Practical Teaching, Enhancing Learning through Innovation and Change and Contextualising Policy linking to the changing face of teaching in the PCET sector and employer and organisational need.

For all the current information on this course on the University of Sunderland's website, please follow these links:

In order to provide the most effective and safest means of delivery the following teaching strategies have been planned for 2020-21

Onsite Delivery: 50% onsite teaching covering essential course module content. This will include seminars, small group work, micro teaching and practical teaching workshops.

Remote Delivery: 50% online and remote teaching delivery employing extensive use of CANVAS and e-Portfolio Virtual Learning Environments. Conferencing facilities to include MS Teams for full class lectures, group presentations and individual tutorials. Submission of Module Assessments via CANVAS and e-Portfolio. This is to include all teaching practice documentation and reports by mentors and tutor.

Teaching Observations: Learners will be provided with an option to present online teaching as a means of satisfying evidence required for in-service teaching practice. Greater detail will be provided by ETF and University Partnership at the start of the Academic Year on percentage of online teaching which can be used. Wayne Cotterill:

Entry requirements: 

This course is for people who are already working as teachers or trainers. Applicants must meet the following entry criteria to be able to join the programme:

PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) In-service

Academic qualifications:

• An honours degree, 2:2 or higher in a relevant subject.
• GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications) in Mathematics and English. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Professional Certificate in Education (PCET) In-service

Academic qualifications:

• Level 3 qualification or higher, in a vocational or another specialist subject.
• GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications) in Mathematics and English. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Additional entry criteria for the PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) In-service and the Professional Certificate in Education (PCET) In-service:

• A satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that has an issue date within 3 years at the start date of the programme.
• A completed medical pro forma.
• If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to complete a pre-interview written task, and complete a literacy assessment.
• 50 hours of appropriate Teaching Practice Hours each academic year.

The University of Sunderland and/or any Partner FE College are not responsible for securing Teaching Practice Hours on your behalf. If you are unable to complete the compulsory Teaching Practice Hours, then under no circumstances (other than any negligence on the part of the University or any of its Partner FE Colleges) will the University of Sunderland or any Partner FE College be held liable for any loss you may sustain.

If English is not your first language, please refer to the University of Sunderland English Language requirements:
Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.


The course is delivered through a combination of approaches, group activities, discussions, peer presentation and research. There are some guest speakers. Self-directed study also forms an important element of the course. Topics covered include the role of a teacher, planning and preparation, analysis of own practice and planning for development and assessment for learning.

How is the course assessed?: 

Assessment is covered by a range of methods including observation of teaching practice in own learning environment, self and peer assessment, group and individual work, assignment tasks and research.

Length of the course: 

Work based part time, over two years.

Classroom delivery, individual research and self study, tutorials and observation, group work over the academic year. Three modules to be completed by the end of the first year.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2021


*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (03 Mar 2021 12:10) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.
Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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