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Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education (Cert Ed/PGCE) Certificate (part-time) (evening)

The PGCE/CertEd is a qualification for those who want to teach in the Adult Learning Sector (Post Compulsory Education-PCE). The CertEd/ PGCE is a University of Bedfordshire (UoB) Award. Both pathways lead to QTLS (Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills) which is the main requirement to teach in the Adult Learning Sector. QTLS is given for those wanting to teach learners aged over 14 years of age and is awarded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF – Formally the IfL). This is different to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which those wishing to teach in schools work towards.

The PGCE/CertEd is a 2 year part-time in-service course designed for people that would like to teach learners aged over 14 years old. The course provides core professional training in teaching for staff who would like to work in the area of Life Long Learning, addressing the 2014 ETF National Standards for Teaching and Learning with Post-Compulsory Education. It comprises a single programme that can be taken at two levels, either the Certificate in Education (Cert Ed) or the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This course is equivalent to the Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Formerly DTLLS).

The course leads to QTLS (Qualified Teacher for Learning and Skills).  QTLS can now be transferred to QTS and this could be a route for teachers wanting to teach in Secondary Education (Schools). The part-time course allows trainee teachers to both work and study for the teaching qualification at the same time. It is ideal for people who are already in a teaching position, but need to get qualified. Some trainee teachers volunteer their time for 50 hrs each academic year to meet the entry requirements of the course.

The programme is suitable for people currently teaching in:

  • Sixth Form and Further Education
  • Higher Education
  • Adult Training and Education in industry and commerce
  • Adult Training in public sector services such as the NHS, the police, and social services

The CertEd is set at Level 5 and is for non-graduates. The PGCE is set at Level 6 and is intended for graduates.

Valided by, and leads to an award of, the University of Bedfordshire

Lindsey Francis

“Before choosing the course I came along to one of the College’s open days and chatted to the course tutors – they really impressed me with their enthusiasm about the course and were a big part of why I decided to come here.”

“I’m really enjoying the course, especially the focus on the practical side of things. The course has given me real confidence about going back to work and juggling the work-life balance. My placement on the course is in the Computing & IT department here at the College, so after my course if everything goes well I’m hoping to get a permanent position.”

Lindsey Francis - Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education (Cert Ed/PGCE)

Entry requirements

  • This is an in-service course. To start the part-time PGCE/Cert Ed you must be engaged in teaching in Post-Compulsory (F.E, H.E or Adult) education for at least 50 hours per academic year.
  • A suitable qualification (and or experience) in the subject you want to teach. This must be at NQF/QCF Level 3 or above.
  • You must have GCSE English and Maths at C grade or equivalent (we can advise you if you need to retake these courses to allow you access to the CertEd/ PGCE course).
  • You must be at least 21 years old.

Course content

This is a modular, taught course. There is one lesson per week.  Learners will also be required to complete a programme of observed teaching which links the taught elements to teaching practice.

The first year includes elements such as; lesson planning and Scheme of Work design, Behaviour Management, Teaching methods and resources, Assessment and Evaluation.

The second year includes elements such as: Action Research, Policies, Settings and Contexts of education, Curriculum design and specialist areas such as teaching learners with SEN.

Year 1

  • Planning and Preparing for Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching and Learning Process
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Observed Professional Practice One

Year 2

  • Theories and Principles of Inclusive Learning and Teaching
  • Researching Practice
  • Curriculum, Design and Development
  • Professional Practice Two

Additional study will be required outside College. There are two weekend study days per year at the University of Bedfordshire (UoB). These days bring together students from all the partner centres and provide the opportunity for all learners to form special interest groups to explore their own particular area of practice in more detail.

Assessment methods

Units are assessed by a mixture of: Assignments, Presentations, Microteaching and Observed Teaching Practice.

Each Unit represents 150 hours of study of which 24-30 hours will be classroom based (total attendance required is 3 hours per week). Most of the taught sessions will be used for discussions and group exercises which students will need to supplement with extensive independent study. Assessment on the course is via a system of credits. Credits are awarded when students can demonstrate through a portfolio of work, project, assignment or presentation that they have met the Learning Outcomes of the modules. Some Learning Outcomes are related to practical skills, others to knowledge gained. When students have gained credits for all the modules, they receive the overall award. Learning Outcomes for the PGCE are structured slightly differently, as they require a wider range of knowledge and more evidence of analysis and critical thinking.

Further study and career options

On successful completion you will be qualified to practice as a Teacher, or Trainer in the Lifelong Learning and F.E sector. Further courses could be taken at the University of Bedfordshire (UoB) either to improve subject specialism or to further career prospects. Professional Formation for Teachers and Trainers in the Lifelong Learning and FE Sector (QTLS/ATLS). QTLS can now be transferred to QTS and this could be a route for teachers wanting to teach in Secondary Education (Schools).

Additional information

Additional study will be required outside College. There are two weekend study days per year. These days bring together students from all the centres and provide the opportunity for all learners to form special interest groups to explore their own particular area of practice in more detail.

Successful applicants will become a student at both Bedford College and the University of Bedfordshire and will therefore have access to both sets of facilities and amenities within each institution.

To apply, please:

  • ensure you download, ‘unzip’ and read our information pack (link below)
  • select the 'Apply online' button below and complete your application in as much detail as possible
  • in section 1 ‘About You’, you must write a full personal statement of 250 words minimum (4000 characters maximum)
  • in section 2 ‘Qualifications’, ensure you include titles and grades for any degree/s, other teaching awards gained and your highest levels of English and Maths (240 characters maximum)
  • complete the application within 1 hour

You will be required to attend a short assessment of your current English and Maths ability and an interview. At this appointment you will be expected to bring all your supporting documents (including certificates for your degree & accompanying transcript, other teaching awards, level 2s/GCSE ‘C’s or above in both English and Maths and passport).  Successful applicants will then go on to attend an interview.

If you have any specific queries about the interview process, content of the course, acceptance of other teaching awards, bursaries available, specific dates/times etc. please e-mail

Course information & how to book

To apply for this course, please select the 'Apply online' button below. You will also need to click here to download our information pack. After 'unzipping' the pack, you will see the supporting documents you will need to complete. If you have any questions, just call the College on 01234 291000.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)Fees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 20/09/2016 Tue 6.00 pm - 9.15 pm £2600 Cauldwell Street E1341 Course in progress

Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, problems with English and Maths, are deaf or hearing impaired, or missing the essential skills needed to complete your course, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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