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Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education (Cert Ed/PGCE) Certificate Intensive: Specialist English, Maths, SEND

  • HE

The PGCE/CertEd is a qualification for those who want to teach in Post Compulsory Education (PCE). The PGCE/CertEd 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 PCE. QTLS is given for those wanting to teach learners aged over 16 years of age and is awarded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). This is different to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which those wishing to teach in schools work towards.

This is a one-year full-time course that is ideal for people who would like to teach within a Further Education (F.E) College. It is a full-time course, which enables learners to both gain work experience and the qualification required to teach in F.E. The course provides core professional training in teaching for staff who would like to work in the area of Lifelong Learning, addressing the 2014 (ETF) National Standards for Teaching and Learning with PCE. It comprises a single programme that can be taken at two levels, either the Certificate in Education (CertEd) or the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This course is equivalent to the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET) (Formerly DTLLS).

This specialist route is a one-year full-time course designed for people that would like to teach English, Maths or Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) to learners aged over 16yrs old. The programme is made up of both the CertEd/PGCE and accompanying 45 credit Level 5 University CPD Certificate.

This is a ‘pre’-service course and teaching placements are arranged at Bedford College.

Learners will be able to become qualified Post-Compulsory teachers with a Subject Specialism (Skills for Life) in a year. Placements will be arranged within a Further Education college setting to meet the 100 hours course requirement. The course provides a significant amount of vocational experience throughout the course which ensures that learners are well prepared to apply for teaching jobs once completed.

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).

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

The University of Bedfordshire is a registered trademark and its logo is used by The Bedford College Group with full permission in relation to course partnerships.

Application deadline

Applications for the full-time PGCE/CertEd course must be submitted by Friday 31 July 2020.  The full-time route involves a lengthier admissions and interview process, so after this date applicants will only be considered for the part-time route.  Our full-time PGCE/CertEd is very popular and placements with mentors are limited, so we encourage applicants to submit their applicants as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Still have questions? Here are the answers!

Download and read our information pack here. It contains information on days of attendance, timetabling, placements, being a mentee, becoming a lecturer, other Initial Teacher Training courses, bursaries, loans and Student Finance and much more…

Everything you need to know...

The National Careers Service website has useful information about becoming a Further Education teacher.

The FE Advice website also has helpful information about becoming a teacher, incentives for training, qualifications, the variety of the sector and most of what you need to know as a new entrant or an existing worker.

View information about applying for a student loan or grant

Entry requirements

The programme is suitable for people wanting to teach 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

Entry requirements include 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). The CertEd is at the Level 5 and is for Non-Graduates. The PGCE is set at Level 6 and is intended for Graduates.

Learners need to be at least 21 years old and be willing to undergo CRB/DBS clearance. The application process will involve both an interview and a microteaching session. Applicants will also be required to have appropriate vocational, industrial or commercial experience in the subject they want to teach.

The course leads to QTLS (Qualified Teacher for Learning and Skills) as a Skills for Life specialist. 

If you do not already have the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (or equivalent) you will be required to undertake this qualification prior to the start of the course. We offer an intensive course to meet this requirement.

Course content

This is a modular, taught ‘pre-service’ course. The course will be delivered over one day a week at Bedford College and learners will have access to a placement for two further days (Total of three day a week commitment). In addition, there is also an amount of self-study required. Learners will also be required to complete a programme of observed teaching which links the taught elements to teaching practice.

To fulfil the requirement of the specialist pathway an extra evening of tuition will be necessary.


  • Planning and Preparing for Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching and Learning Process
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Observed Professional Practice One
  • Theories and Principles of Inclusive Learning and Teaching
  • Researching Practice
  • Curriculum, Design and Development
  • Professional Practice Two.

Units are assessed by a mixture of: assignments, presentations, microteaching and observed teaching practice.

Additional study will be required outside College. There are a number of 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.

Specialist University Certificate (at an extra cost – please ask for details)

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.

Assessment methods

Each unit represents 150 hours of study of which 24-30 hours will be classroom based (total attendance required is a minimum of 3 days 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 Skills for Life Teacher, or Trainer in the Lifelong Learning and FE 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

The course leads to QTLS (Qualified Teacher for Learning and Skills) as a Skills for Life specialist.  QTLS can now be transferred to QTS and this could be a route for teachers wanting to teach in Secondary Education (Schools). To apply, you must complete and return a UoB application form to the Bedford College Teacher Training Department.

There will be a nominal extra tuition fee to cover the cost of your specialist route and the Level 3 Award in Education & Training. Please enquire for details.

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 in blue box)
  • select the 'Apply online' button below and complete your application in as much detail as possible
  • in the ‘Personal Statement’ section, you must write a full personal statement of 250 words minimum starting:
    • What subject you would like to teach
    • What Bedford College department this subject is likely to be based in
    • Why you want to become a teacher
    • Why your qualifications and experiences to date prepare you well to become a teacher
    • Where you see yourself in five years
  • in the ‘Qualifications’ section, ensure you include titles and grades for any degree/s, other teaching awards gained and your highest levels of English and Maths

At this appointment you will also be expected to bring all your supporting documents (including certificates for your degree and accompanying transcript, other teaching awards, Level 2s/GCSE ‘C’s or above in both English and Maths and passport).

You will be required to attend two interviews; one informal exploratory talk with the tutor and one formal interview with the tutor and mentor/department head for which you will have to prepare a micro-teaching session. This process may take several weeks to complete.

Please note that applications received after 31 July 2020 may not result in a place being offered on the full-time course due to the length of time that the application and placement process takes. Please enquire for alternative course information.

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 Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 15/09/2020 £6250 Cauldwell Street E2214

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