PGCE Post-compulsory


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Key facts

Start dates

September 2024


Harcourt Hill

Course length

Full time: 12 months – Harcourt Hill Campus only


Inspire others with a love for your subject or trade - and develop the methods and skills to teach in adult and further education.

On this course, you’ll build a deep understanding of adult education teaching pedagogy, and ways to support student learning. You’ll master teaching skills and techniques. You’ll apply your knowledge in the classroom. And you’ll graduate with the skills and confidence to help your students achieve their goals.

You’ll join a supportive community of trainee teachers - from all different backgrounds. You’ll learn from each other, and share experiences as you progress.

You’ll emerge a confident, versatile professional, ready to teach in further and adult education settings, like:

  • higher education
  • the health service
  • adult and community education
  • the prison service
  • the armed forces
  • private training.
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How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: GCSE English and Maths grade 4-5 are required prior to entry. 

Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline that is taught in FE or post-compulsory education and training. 

Admission is open to those with a good undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) or other professional / vocational qualification relevant to the subject you wish to teach. 

We also accept those with relevant vocational qualifications and experience who do not necessarily possess a degree.

Also you need to complete additional DBS and Health teaching checks prior to your enrolment. Once you have accepted an offer from Oxford Brookes you will notified to complete your Health and DBS checks preceding your enrolment; you will receive your DBS notification by email in May.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.


All applicants will be screened for fitness to practise and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Selection process

A successful application leads to a teaching interview invite from Oxford Brookes University. A successful interview will secure your place on your chosen PGCE Post Compulsory course. 

Your teaching interview will be remote (online). 

You’ll receive an interview date invite. That contains interview advice/guidance and documentation for your interview. Please confirm your interview date as soon as possible.

Then you'll receive a Zoom interview invite for 10.00 - 14.00 on your interview day. Please also accept this invite.

Enjoy your interview and ask questions, it’s your chance to find out about us.


English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

International students requiring a Student visa can study this course at our other partners.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - full-time course

Graduates should apply through:

DfE Apply
Application link:

Full Time application

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

Department of Education bursaries are now available for the PGCE Post Compulsory.

They're available if you wish to teach in STEM (Computing, Science, Engineering and Maths), SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and English.

Bursaries are available on a first come first serve basis and are subject to meeting conditions for eligibility.

If you are eligible, we'll discuss all details with you at your interview.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

On the course, you’ll combine your deep knowledge of your subject or trade with professional teaching skills. You’ll learn about the pedagogies that underpin adult education teaching approaches. And you’ll know how and when to use different techniques. You’ll be able to meaningfully support a diverse range of learners - all with different needs. 

As you study, you’ll work with your tutors to develop practitioner skills. You’ll be closely supported all the way through. You’ll gain confidence in an academic setting. And you’ll be able to implement key teaching competencies, like:

  • assessing learners’ needs
  • planning teaching programmes for groups and individuals
  • developing and using teaching techniques
  • using technology to teach, face-to-face and online
  • supporting individual learners
  • assessing learner outcomes and achievement.
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Study modules

If you do not meet the Level 7 criteria for the following modules:

  • Evidence informed practice
  • Key issues in subject specialism
  • Curriculum design.

You will study them at Level 6.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Understanding Learners and Learning (15 credits)

    This module is your introduction to teaching in the further education and skills (FES) sector. You will have the opportunity to explore and begin to develop your understanding of the range of provision in: 

    • the sector
    • the various stakeholders
    • the range of students that you may encounter 
    • the individual needs of learners within the sector. 

    You’ll consider theories and pedagogical strategies that support learning as well as helping you to develop your professional judgement. Looking at the policy, legislation and professional requirements that inform the sector, you’ll build your understanding of the requirements for the Professional Standards and Minimum Core Content. Also you will explore contemporary issues that will impact your teaching and the learners that you teach. 
    This module runs alongside and complements your Developing Professional Practice module, and will also prepare you for your subsequent modules.

  • Supporting learning and learners (15 credits)

    This module builds on your knowledge and skills that you are developing through studying the Understanding Learners and Learning and the Developing Professional Practice module. This module will also help you to create a solid foundation of skills and understanding to support students to be successful in the Level 7 modules of this programme. 

    You’ll now focus on planning and development of strategies and resources that support effective inclusive learning. Looking at how to effectively deploy institutional systems including additional adults such as Learning Support Assistants to create an inclusive learning environment that meets the needs of individual learners.

  • Evidence informed practice (20 credits)

    You will progress your knowledge and experience that you developed in previous modules exploring the complexity of educational research, including the ethical concerns of practitioner research. Also you’ll critically evaluate published research to gain an in-depth understanding of how research can be used to inform improved professional practice. Which will draw on a range of perspectives and fields of research for you to gain a deep understanding of effective teaching practice.

  • Key issues in subject specialism (20 credits)

    You will further your skills that you developed in the modules Understanding Learners and Learning and Supporting Learning and Learners. In study groups you will explore a range of controversial contemporary issues that are relevant to the Further Education and Skills Sector. Then you will identify a relevant controversial contemporary issue and consider in detail its impact in the context of their subject specialism. 


  • Curriculum design (20 credits)

    On this module we’ll draw together the content of the programme, taking a holistic view of the concept of a curriculum. Drawing on research and theories to explore effective curriculum design for an inclusive learning environment. Also you’ll consider strategies and approaches that inform the creation of an innovative inclusive learning experience for those within in the Further Education and Skills (FES) sector.

  • Developing Professional Practice (30 credits)

    This module will help support you to develop and demonstrate the required skills to teach effectively in the Further Education and Skills (FES) Sector. You will be given a range of tasks and opportunities that will contribute to the development of your required portfolio as outlined by the Education and Training Foundation. The module content and approaches will reflect the emerging needs of the cohort and the sector. The assessment tasks will reflect the national requirements of the profession. You’ll need to pass these and also meet the placement requirements as indicated by the Education and Training Foundation in order to gain your teaching qualification.

    This is a double module that runs throughout your academic year and will capture the professional requirements for the qualification as outlined by the Education and Training Foundation. It is essential for you to successfully complete this module in order to gain the PGCE Post Compulsory teaching qualification. 


School based training

Compulsory modules

  • School-based training

    For your teaching practice you'll be placed with a suitable provider who will coordinate your teaching experience and provide you with a mentor. You will begin by observing experienced teachers and working alongside them. You'll build working relationships and gain a deep understanding of the professional requirements to become an effective teacher.

    You'll gradually move towards teaching up to nine hours a week by the end of your first term.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Both Full time and Part time students will be on campus for the first three weeks of the course.

For the second three weeks full time students will be on campus on Monday and on placement for the rest of the week. Then full time students will be on placement Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and on campus Thursday and Friday. Part time students will then be on placement on Thursdays and Fridays and in between placements will also join full time students for taught sessions on Thursday and Friday, before returning to their placements in January..

On your placements you will:

  • begin by observing experienced teachers
  • work alongside experienced teachers
  • complete 7 contact teaching hours a week.

Assessment on this part of the course is by regular written assignments and observations by your placement mentor and a member of Oxford Brookes teaching staff.


Assessment methods used on this course

The most important aspect of your assessment will be the development of your teaching skills with individuals and groups. 

Your teaching will be observed by:

  • your mentor
  • a placement coordinator
  • a university tutor.

In order to pass the course you must demonstrate:

  • your competence as a teacher
  • your development as a reflective practitioner.

In addition you will be required to undertake assignments relating to the course modules.

There are no examinations.

Please note there is no guarantee of employment with your placement college when you have completed the course.


The School of Education, Humanities and Languages is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development, so students on master's level programmes join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study. During your time with us (either full or part time) you'll have opportunities to present your own research and network professionally.

We hold 2 major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School’s 6 research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View the School's staff profiles

Male student working

After you graduate

Career prospects

A PGCE in Post Compulsory education will give you the edge in the competitive further and adult education jobs market. And you’ll graduate ready to teach in colleges and other further education settings, like:

  • higher education
  • the health service
  • adult and community education
  • the prison service
  • the armed forces
  • private training.

You’ll also gain Masters’ level credits that can be applied to a Masters’ level course, if you choose to further develop your qualifications later in your career.

And we have strong links with local partner colleges, supporting your employment prospects.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.