Exeter College Further education (F336)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) without qualified teacher status (QTS)

Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) is an academic qualification in education.

It’s recognised internationally, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

This course does not lead to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The PGCE is the required qualification for graduates who wish to become teachers in the post-16 education and training sector/Further Education colleges and training providers. Please note this is not a qualification for teaching in schools, this is to teach in post-16 colleges.

You will gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the role of the teacher/trainer in the post-16 sector. You will be given a teaching placement in Exeter College and develop your practical skills in your subject area. Within PGCE taught sessions you will meet a range of trainees from other subject areas and will share experiences, skills and knowledge. You will learn how to plan, deliver and assess learners in your subject area with a focus on active and inclusive learning. You will also study curriculum design and how to reflect on and develop your own practice.

You will study four 30 credit modules and each module submission is assessed by a 5,500 word assignment. You will also maintain evidence of reflections on your practical teaching experiences in Exeter College within a Teaching File. You will have 3 days teaching placement in an Exeter College faculty and 2 days taught PGCE classes at our main site.

Teaching placements

You will have one teaching placement and this is in an Exeter College faculty, relevant to the subject you wish to teach; we provide this placement.

You will also undertake additional placement days within other faculties or institutions; we support you to set up this breadth of practice whilst on the course.

You will have a mentor in your teaching placement and access to staff facilities including staffrooms, staff development sessions, faculty and wider college meetings. Your mentor will teach your subject and you will shadow them, then gradually take over some of their classes. You will eventually be teaching between 5-10hours per week. You will also have support from a personal tutor and academic tutor within the PGCE team.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

It may be possible to apply to teach a subject which is different to your undergraduate degree if you have substantial professional experience in a sector.

We will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We accept English and maths equivalency tests instead of GCSEs from these providers and prices start from £155: www.astarequivalency.co.uk

Personal qualities

We are looking for good, patient communicators who enjoy working in a busy environment with lots of things going on! You should be highly motivated to be a teacher and ideally have spent some time within an FE classroom. You should be reflective, able to adapt your practices and try out new things. It is vital to be well organised and calm.

Other requirements

You will undertake a criminal record check (DBS) and be able to confirm fitness to practice.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £7,795.

Financial support from the training provider

There may be a DfE bursary available for some subject areas eg English, maths, science, SEND, engineering. This information is pending from the DfE for 2023-24; details will be released here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/fe-funding-initial-teacher-education-ite-bursaries-2022-to-2023

Interview process

There are two interviews - one with the PGCE team and one with the placement faculty. You will be required to complete a pre-interview research task and at interview you will complete a written task, group task, a short presentation and a one-to-one interview.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Contact this training provider


Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

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