Postgraduate courses in Teacher Training (PGCE)

A PGCE course is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. It is one of the most popular academic qualifications for teaching in the UK. 

It can sometimes be a competitive field to gain a place on these courses. They are offered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland while the Scottish equivalent is a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

If teaching is the career for you, why not add to your degree and enhance your skills with a PGCE Teacher Training course? Have a look and see if it’s right for you.  

What is a PGCE in teacher training?

A PGCE allows students to combine school placement while also studying the theory of behind teaching and learning. You do not need a PGCE to teach in the UK as it is a postgraduate certificate. You only need QTS to teach in the UK but any addition to a bachelor’s degree will help you to develop your skills and knowledge and add to your expertise, making you more attractive to potential employers. 

If studied on a full time basis, these courses are completed within 9 months. They can be quite intense courses as students must balance teacher training, lesson planning as well as meeting all assignment deadlines on time. 

Role of a teacher?

The role of a teacher can differ from day to day depending on your class, the curriculum and where you work among other similar variables. Some duties carried out by teachers include:  

  • Teach subjects from curriculum
  • Prepare lessons and learning materials
  • Encourage student participation 
  • Delegate and correct work
  • Grade student tests
  • Keep up to date with teaching methods and implement them
  • Provide educational and social guidance to students
  • Track children’s progression
  • Update parents on their children’s progress
  • Organize outings, social activities and events for children
  • Attend workshops, parent-teacher meetings, staff meetings


Teacher training PGCE courses can be done in primary education, secondary education and further/adult education. Some courses offer the opportunity to study part time and full time and under current Covid-19 restrictions, some universities may have their own plans. It is important to research a specific course in full. Examples of courses on offer are:

PGCE Primary 

Postgraduate primary courses will add to your knowledge and expertise in order to teach those aged 3-11 to the best of your ability. You will gain an understanding of children’s development and learning as well as working with skilled and experienced practitioners in the teaching field. You will study the principles of pedagogy, assessment, learning,  delivering presentations and engaging in critical research. 

PGCE Further Education and Training

These courses provide a formal teaching qualification for those who wish to work in the further education sector including colleges of further education and sixth form. Students will focus on topics such as Contemporary Issues in Education and Training, Teaching Practice, Applied Learning Theory and Inclusive Practice, Wider Professional Practice and Practitioner Enquiry. 

When it comes to secondary school PGCE courses the list of options are endless. Examples of courses available include PGCE Maths, PGCE English, PGCE Drama, PGCE Biology and Balanced Science, PGCE Chemistry and Balanced Science, PGCE Physics and Balanced Science, PGCE Geography, PGCE History and PGCE Modern Languages (French, German or Spanish), to name a few. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements may differ from course to course. In almost all cases you are required to have a good bachelor’s degree. SOme courses will accept a 2.2 degree while others require a 2.1 degree in a relevant field or subject, depending on the route you are taking. With some further education PGCE courses, GCSE results and work experience may suffice. It is important to research each course individually to make sure you meet the requirements. 

Salary expectation

Your salary will depend on the exact route you take as well as other factors such as location and experience.  The average salary for a primary school teacher in the UK may be around £25,777 but that can vary depending on location. The average salary of a secondary school teacher is around £30,063. The average salary for an adult education teacher is £25.90 per hour. All figures are based on estimates.

Skills and requirements

Helpful skills for working within this field include:

  • Strong communication 
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Able to adapt to new teaching styles
  • Critical thinking 
  • Organization skills
  • Ability to work with others 
  • Patience
  • A passion to learn and teach
  • Time management skills
  • A people person/friendly manner


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