The PGCE, or Postgraduate Certificate in Education, is a one- or two-year higher education course in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Although it’s not the only way, the PGCE is a very popular route for graduates to take to gain Qualified Teacher Status.
The PGCE is a well-respected teaching degree which is recognised worldwide, so is an attractive qualification for teachers who want to travel internationally throughout their career. As a postgraduate qualification, the PGCE is also a popular route for people who have an undergraduate degree and want a change in career, or have decided to teach right after graduating from University.
As a postgraduate qualification, you do need to be a graduate to qualify for a PGCE course. Ideally, your degree will be in the subject you want to teach or an associated subject, as the PGCE won’t teach you about your subject in detail.
Taking a PGCE usually involves both academic assignments and in-school placements, as the qualification’s goal is to help you pass a set of requirements called “The Teachers’ Standards” as well as learning the theory behind teaching.
The academic assignments are taught through a University, whether that be in a physical building or taken online. The practical side of the qualification will take place in a Primary or Secondary school depending on your chosen level of teaching. The school may be chosen for you or you may be able to choose, depending on who you take your PGCE with.
Once you finish your PGCE, you’ll be known as a Newly Qualified Teacher. You’ll have this status for your first year while you work through this probationary period. If you have enrolled on the Engage Teacher Training Programme for your PGCE, our Teaching & Learning Partnership team will remain on hand throughout your NQT year to make sure you’re being the best teacher you can be.
Taking a PGCE course can cost around £9,250 for UK students and up to £25,200 for international students. However, PGCE students are eligible for student loans and maintenance grants, through tuition fee loans, maintenance loans, teacher training bursaries and other funding options.
You will also have to consider how you will support yourself while you take your PGCE, especially if you are taking a full-time course, as it will be difficult or impossible to work alongside your studies.
At Engage, we offer a completely funded, free PGCE course for graduates who want to get into teaching in the UK, what’s more, you will receive a complete full-time salary for the time you spend teaching on your course, so funding yourself will not pose a problem. We’re confident that the Engage Teacher Training Programme is the smoothest route into teaching for recent graduates and career-changers alike.
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