Pre-Service Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Education, Training and Skills Sector)

This programme is designed for graduates who would like to work in the lifelong learning sector. The sector includes further, higher and adult education, community and youth services, the health services, uniformed services (the armed forces, prison, the police and fire services), and private trainers and large organisations with their own training departments. It also includes provision for teaching 14 to 16-year-olds in some subjects.

The programme is based on five big ideas as follows:

  • 1. Reflective practice: working in post-16 education and training is both exhausting and exhilarating. Encompassing all educational provision – formal, non-formal and informal – anything that falls between schooling and universities, there a no pre-defined pedagogic models for trainees to assume. They emerge as professional when they are able to situate themselves within and critique the interconnections between context and how it is shaped by research, policy and practice.
  • 2. Equity, diversity and inclusion: trainees may work in contexts as diverse as parents in a primary school or vulnerable learners in a high security prison; in multi-lingual and multi-faith inner city locations or mono-cultural rural communities. What defines post-16 professionalism is a commitment to education for all and the dexterity to move between these cohorts with ease.
  • 3. Professionalism: post-16 education is a recently professionalised occupation and as policy unfolds its claim on this status is open to interrogation. It is not conclusive that post-16 teaching as a profession is either desirable or possible however, this programme aims to highlight the positive role of teaching in post-16 education and its wide ranging area of employment opportunities. Threaded through the programme is an exploration of what this concept means, how it has changed and developed and what its implications are for critical reflection and considerations of social justice.
  • 4. Pedagogy, curriculum and assessment: trainees will explore and critique current issues as well as acquire technical competence in approaches to the three central concepts of pedagogy, curriculum and assessment. Exploring and critiquing rather than assuming the mantel of the ETF professional standards, they will appreciate distinctions between assessment of, for and as learning.
  • 5. Collaboration: The programme will be developed through a process of close partnership working with feedback from trainees, mentors and employers. Our partnership model means that FE Colleges, as employers are fully involved in the setting up and management of provision. We work towards a common set of principles protocols and standards to ensure the programme has academic rigour and professional relevance.

If you are interested in studying on this course at the Bridlington campus please contact Kelly Ackroyd, on 01262 455090 or email [email protected]

Course Code H1633/1

What will I study?

The content is organised over four modules that incorporate both academic content and professional practice.

  • Principles and Practice in Post Compulsory Education – the programme offers all trainees the opportunity to gain both breadth and depth in their understanding of professional practice. The defining feature of post-16 pedagogic practice is its diversity and understanding the implications of this for practice is a core component of the programme.
  • Practical Teaching and Learning – as well as an overview of post-16 education, the different spaces and places within which it is located, trainees are required to connect theory to practice and develop their practical teaching – emphasis is placed on developing a pedagogy that is sensitive to context. A student may complete the course while working in FE but will gain a good knowledge and through networking experience of other relevant context within which they may practice as a teacher, thereby enhancing their employability.
  • Exploring Specialist Teaching – while the programme allows trainees to work alongside subject specialists from the many disciplines found in FE close attention is paid to developing and maintaining their own subject or industrial expertise. The University is committed to developing dual professionalism: trainees are able to develop pedagogic expertise whilst ensuring they maintain expertise in their original industry or subject discipline.
  • Advanced Professional Practice in Context – while there is a strong academic core to the programme which enables students to become confident in the concepts, theories, research and empiricism that defines their practice – equal value is placed in developing context based professionalism. Trainees will work closely with practicing post-16 teachers and network with trainees across the region to develop knowledge based on practice. Trainees will develop the critical understanding they need to teach in the Education and Training Sector, enabling them to devise and plan creative learning opportunities. A research-informed appreciation of different learning theories and principles underpins their professionalism.

How will I be assessed?

The approach to assessment is defined as

  • 1) Varied and creative: we are working to enable students to develop both academic rigour and professional confidence which means offering an assessment strategy that does not over privilege a single mode of communication. Students are formally assessed through writing, presentations, posters, micro-teaching, video essay, blogging and whatever new modes of demonstrating knowledge and skill emerge as appropriate. The assessment regime requires this degree of flexibility to allow us to respond to unanticipated changes in our working environment, ensuring that trainees are equipped to manage these.
  • 2) Re-contextualised: trainees work in an extraordinarily diverse range of contexts from formal FE colleges to a women’s refuge to hostels for the homeless. The assessment strategy therefore needs to be flexible enough to allow trainees working in each of these contexts to make a direct connection between their specific interest and concerns and the core competences required from an FE teacher. This implies an assessment that is relevant to the specific context while simultaneously broad enough to develop an awareness of unknown future contexts.
  • 3) Balanced: in a time when the professionalism of teaching is no longer assumed we are committed to modes of assessment that encourage questioning and critique. It is important that trainees developing know-how is assessed but the context for the next few years equally demands that they have critical insight into knowing-what and why with a reflexive appreciation of where their own professionalism sits within knowing, doing and being.

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer to the HE Assessment Policy (section 5) and the programme spec for course-specific information.

How will the course be delivered?

The programme includes taught sessions, tutorials, teaching practice experience, visiting speakers and seminars, and a
conference at University of Hull.

All programmes are led and taught by experienced teaching staff who are vocational specialists.  They are qualified, and often have extensive experience within the industry or the sector being studied. All teaching staff meet or exceed the requirements set by the awarding institute or body.  

Staff Profile: Kelly Ackroyd
Kelly has over 16 years experience working in education, from Early Years to further and higher education. Her research interests are teacher education, blended learning and technology and inclusion. She is currently studying for a PHD focussing on creativity and innovation in teaching. 

Entry requirements

All students will need to be competent to level 2 for English and maths, evidenced by a short assessment prior to registration.

Some trainees will be advised to register for a formal level 2 qualification upon admission if they do not already have one.

Those who wish to pursue their QTLS, will need formal GCSE level qualifications in English and Maths.

The PGCE requires a Degree level qualification.

Additional entry requirement

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

A typical offer for this course would ask for the entry requirements to be met, however, all offers take individual applicants’ experience and qualifications into account. 

What next?

On successful completion of the full course you will be awarded a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education.
As a qualified teacher there are opportunities for teaching your subject area in a wide range of settings nationwide.
Credit points for each module may be used in the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme to progress to higher level
courses such as our Masters Degree in Education.

Additional information

Alternative routes to qualification are via our part-time Certificate in Education/PGCE or the Level Three Award in Education and Training.


Validated by the University of Hull