PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) for Independent Schools


This module aims to develop your understanding of principles of educational psychology, neuroscience and contemporary educational theory on behaviour. You will explore how children learn, what influences behaviour and what strategies and interventions are effective for promoting good teaching and learning.

This module aims to develop your knowledge of subject pedagogy, effective lesson planning and application of statutory codes for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as well as principles of assessment and feedback practices.
This module aims to develop a reflective and self-critical approach to teaching. As such, you will be required to demonstrate effective practice via critical evaluation and systematic analysis of your own teaching practice in line with The National Teachers’ Standards in England (Department for Education 2012).
The Practical Teaching Practice module is practice-based and runs throughout the course. You will be encouraged to set, review and show that you can meet targets related to your professional practice and demonstrate your competency in all of the Teachers’ Standards.

In more detail...

  • Personalised on-the-job training
  • Available in a location that suits you
  • Aims to provide highly practical learning experiences
  • Built around the craft of the classroom
  • Available for both primary (including preparatory/junior) and secondary (senior) phases in all school subjects
  • Multiple start dates
  • 24/7 access to online learning materials
  • Day-to-day guidance from a school-based mentor
  • Face-to-face sessions/seminars optional
  • Designed to provide varied and engaging assessments

This is designed to be a highly practical course, in which trainee teachers have the opportunity to develop their craft in schools, under the supervision of skilled school-based mentors and experienced university tutors.

The course maintains that there is no one way to teach, and encourages teachers to engage with a variety of teaching methods to develop their own best practice. It promotes the principle that continued professional development is fundamental to outstanding teaching and aims for its graduates to carry forward this belief throughout their careers.

There are four modules of study comprising Behaviour and Classroom Management, Curriculum Delivery and Assessment, Development of the Teachers’ Standards, and Practical Teaching Practice.

The Practical Teaching Practice module culminates in a summative assessment at the end of the year via a portfolio of evidence. Trainees are required to collate evidence for this throughout the course and the portfolio is assessed formatively across the first three modules of study.

The course comprises four modules and is typically studied on a part-time basis over one academic year (three school terms). You’ll receive day-to-day guidance from a school-based mentor trained by the university, and will also be assigned a university tutor who will visit you in your school up to twice a year. 

The modular structure of the course is blended in approach. It combines online distance learning with practical in-school support. There are also optional face-to-face sessions, which aim to provide valuable peer support and a collaborative learning environment for trainees to have the chance to learn from one another while sharing and reflecting on experiences away from school. 

Assessment throughout the PGCE aims to be varied, engaging and designed to stimulate learning. It includes lesson observations, case study research, oral presentations and written assignments.

The Practical Teaching Practice module culminates in a summative assessment at the end of the year via a portfolio of evidence. You are required to collate evidence for this throughout the course and it will be assessed formatively across the first three modules of study.

The PGCE is a standalone formal teacher training qualification resulting in 60 Level 7 Master’s credits that may be transferred as prior learning credits for future study at Master’s degree level.

While this course does not provide Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) – the recognised award to teach in state-maintained schools in England – it has been designed to sit alongside the national Teachers’ Standards in England and national guidelines for Initial Teacher Training (ITT), as prescribed by the Department for Education. Evidence collated for the course is rigorously assessed, which may substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to gain QTS at a later stage.

On successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Teach effectively and skilfully so that all pupils in your lessons progress and learn well
  • Develop a reflective and self-critical approach to analyse and foster skills in teaching that promote your self-efficacy and confidence
  • Critically evaluate pedagogy to adopt relevant strategies and teaching methods that promote high-quality behaviour and learning within your individual context
  • Adapt to new environments according to the needs of children
  • Critically reflect on what impacts pupil learning, and exercise independent judgement, using evidence from your own teaching as well as relevant educational research, to inform and improve your own teaching
  • Analyse your own teaching, and research both teaching theory and practice to identify opportunities for future development, and put improvements into practice 
  • Develop critical self-awareness from mentoring, and respond positively to feedback to develop greater resilience that will help you to enjoy longevity in a teaching career
  • Demonstrate that you understand the relationship between theory and your own practice, and meet the minimum level when assessed against the Teachers’ Standards
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate pedagogical theory and literature in support of an argument and present evidence of effectiveness in relation to your own teaching

A 15-credit module consists of 150 hours of learning, which comprises a mix of directed and self-directed study. 

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