Level 6

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (FE and Skills Sector) (PgCE)

Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£7750 * Southend Campus
£3875 per year * Southend Campus
Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£7750 * Southend Campus
£3875 per year * Southend Campus


This award is validated by the Open University.

The following details are representative of the current specifications; revisions to the programme are in the process of being applied for delivery from September 2024 inline with updates to the requirements for Teacher Education in the Further Education & Skills sector, published by the ETF.

This teacher training programme is for individuals who wish to gain a nationally recognised Level 6 teaching certificate in the post compulsory sector.

Full time – one year (two days in college).
Part Time – two years (one evening per week).

The Professional graduate Certificate in Education (Further Education and Skills Sector) is a Level 6 teaching qualification which has a teaching/training practice requirement.

This course is ideal if you work, or want to work as a teacher or trainer in the further education and skills sector; if you are in or want to start a career in a teaching or training role; if you are a teacher or trainer who is seeking career progression in your area of work. This programme is a recognised Full Teacher Training qualification, eligible for QTLS application on completion.

From September 2024, as part of our teacher training programme you will be required to complete a minimum of 250hrs in placement, including at least 150hrs of teaching practice across the duration of the course during which you have full responsibility for planning, delivering and assessing specific area/s of the institution’s provision. The placement should be within a local school teaching 14-plus students, a local sixth-form teaching post-16 learners or a local college teaching post-16 or adult learners.

Alongside organisation of a placement and to support your studies, you will also be required to ensure you have a mentor in the workplace who is a qualified teacher/lecturer (i.e. PgCE) and where possible is a subject specialist in the same area as the trainee teacher. Where the mentor is not a subject specialist the trainee teacher will require the support of a named subject coach.

Entry Requirements

  • Hold an honours degree or equivalent. We use the UK NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) guidelines to make international comparisons
  • Hold GCSE Maths and English at grade C / 4 or above, or hold an equivalent numeracy or literacy qualification at Level 2, such as Functional Skills – evidence of this will be required during the application cycle. Where a GCSE or equivalent is not held, an applicant may still be suitable for entry; this would be determined at interview.
    • We will consider applicants holding overseas qualifications that are equivalent to those described above. For an assessment of overseas qualifications contact National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (NARIC). If NARIC deem your English language qualification not to be equivalent to a GCSE grade C or above, you must hold an IELTS qualification with a minimum score of 7 in each element. NB: Applicants must hold these qualifications before applying for the course.
  • A 500-word written piece, prescribed following application and returned to the ITE team prior to or at interview (for details please contact ITETeam@southessex.ac.uk).
  • A completed Teaching and Mentor Hours form from your workplace to confirm your mentor and organisation
  • You are required to provide evidence of Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)* enhanced check. in advance of starting the course and your placement. These are a requirement by law, in order to complete any work placements within an educational or community environment. Evidence of this will be required during the application process

Additional Entry requirements – Part Time

You must be working in a paid educational position.

Additional Entry requirements – Full time

You must secure a suitable teaching placement. Whilst the ITE team will give advice on how to apply for positions we do not provide you with teaching placement. It is the responsibility of the prospective trainee to arrange their own placement.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Bursary

See the "Course Cost" section below for details on elgibility and further information

Course Structure

The Open University (Resources and Regulations)

As a student studying at South Essex College you have joined a community of over 40,000 students studying on programmes validated by The Open University and delivered by our network of partner institutions worldwide. When you're studying on a OU Validated programme your primary relationship is with the institution you have registered, which means you have access to their resources and facilities.  Did you know that in addition to this you can use the Open University's free online resources and tools. Follow the link to Regulations for validated awards of The Open University.

Structure of the Course

A variety of teaching strategies are used, such as group interaction, paired and individual work, one-to-one seminars, guest speakers, support from subject specialist mentors and regular tutorial input. A range of interactive technologies are taught and are available for use by trainees.

Part-time programme

  • Study four modules per year, eight modules across the two year programme
  • One evening per week in college

Full-time programme

  • Study eight modules in one year
  • Two days in college, two on placement


  • Principles of teaching and learning
  • Developing teaching and learning
  • Behaviour management
  • Enabling learning by assessment
  • Theories and principles in pedagogy
  • Developing resources for inclusive practice
  • Wider professional practice
  • Action research project

Assessment & Feedback

Link to Open University Student Handbook

Assessment dates fall in both semester one & two. Trainees complete a variety of assignments including portfolios of teaching practice, presentations, case study, seminar and research project. Trainees need to complete a minimum of 100 hours teaching during the course, and will have eight classroom-based observations carried out by the ITE team to co-inside with each module.

Course Cost

Adult, full_time: £7750
Adult, part_time_evening: £3875 per year

Fees are per academic year for Home/UK students.

Additional course costs can be found here

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Bursary

If you have English and Maths at a Grade 4 or equivalent and a subject specialism at L3 or above you may be eligible to apply for the ITE Bursary. For more information please visit the Government website here.

What Next...

After completion of the course you will be able to apply for Qualified Teacher: Learning and Skills status (QTLS). QTLS is equivalent to but distinct from QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) for ages 5-11 or 11-18 in schools.