• PGCE Post Compulsory web banner.jpg

PGCE Education - Post-compulsory


Leads towards the status of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

The PGCE Post-Compulsory Education is the professional qualification for those who wish to teach in the education and training sector, including further education colleges and adult education. Successful completion of the course leads to QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) which is equivalent to but distinct from QTS (Qualified Teacher Status for ages 5-11 or 11-18 in schools).

We hold regular Open Days throughout the year, please come along and chat to the lecturers and find out more about the course.

The full-time course is designed for students who wish to enter the profession and can only be studied at our Harcourt Hill Campus. The part-time course is designed for those already employed as teachers and trainers in the education and training sector - this might be in further education, higher education, the health service, adult and community education, the prison service, the armed forces or private training providers. The part-time course can only be studied at one of our partner colleges:

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus / Activate Learning - City of Oxford College / Swindon College / Activate Learning - Reading College

Course length

  • Full time: 1 year
  • Part time: 2 years (in-service)

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You can study the course full-time or part-time
  • You will be given a personally tailored individual learner plan
  • You will be supported throughout your studies by your personal tutor
  • The PGCE Post-Compulsory will enhance your knowledge and skills


Professional accreditation

This course leads towards QTLS, which is equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). For more information about how to apply for QTLS please see the Society for Education and Training's website: https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/professionalism/qtls/  "

You will develop your skills as a reflective practitioner in all your teaching / training roles and will be supported by a personal tutor who will guide you through the course using an individual learner plan tailored to you.

You will cover the following aspects of teaching and learning in the post-compulsory sector:

  • Assessing learners’ needs
  • Planning and preparing teaching and learning programmes for groups and individuals
  • Developing and using a range of teaching and learning techniques
  • Managing the learning process
  • Providing learners with support
  • Assessing the outcomes of learning and learners’ achievements
  • Reflecting on and evaluating your own performance, and planning for future practice
  • Working within a professional value base and conforming to agreed codes of professional practice

Students on the full-time course will undertake teaching practice in a post-16 institution.

All students will be observed teaching in their setting or institution.


Course Structure

Trainees on the part-time routes study for one day at the local college over 2 years. Full-time trainees will spend the first three weeks of the course at Harcourt Hill Campus following an introductory programme for working in the classroom or other learning environments.

Assessment of this part of the course will be through the compilation of a portfolio of evidence and a series of written assignments. This will include resources and plans you create for teaching sessions.

Following the introductory module, you will 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, working alongside them and gradually moving towards teaching up to nine hours a week by the end of the first term.

You will attend the university on Thursdays and Fridays, with your teaching placement Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.



Approach to assessment

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 and a university tutor. In order to pass the course you must demonstrate your competence as a teacher and your development as a reflective practitioner. In addition you will be required to undertake assignments relating to the course modules. There are no examinations and all assessment is on a pass or refer basis.

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

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.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £9,250 2020/21: £9,250 (subject to agreement by the Office for Students)

Home/EU - part time off-campus fee: 2019/20: £3,100 2020/21: £3,785

International - full time: 2019/20: £13,410 2020/21: £13,900

Please note tuition fees for full time Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for full-time course (one year)

Teacher training for the education and training sector attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. 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. Degrees which may be suitable are: Accountancy, Agricultural Studies, Business, Communication, Construction, Engineering, Health and Social Care, Information Technology, Nursing, Law, Mathematics, Media Studies, Sciences, Sport and Leisure, Tourism. This list is not exhaustive.

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

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

Entry requirements for part-time course (two years)

The part-time course is intended for teachers/lecturers or trainers already working in the post-compulsory sector.

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

You will need to be teaching for at least 50 hours during each of the academic years in which you undertake the course (100 hours in total).  A degree is not necessary for admission to the course but you are required to have a Level 3 qualification which may be a vocational qualification in your subject. The course requires attendance of one day per week for two academic years.

All students are required to undergo a medical health check and require DBS (previously CRB) clearance.


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

English language requirements

Please see the university's standard English language requirements

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 Tier 4 visa cannot study this course at Swindon College, but can apply to study it at our other partners.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - full-time course

Graduates should apply to:

UCAS for teacher training
Rose Hill
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0371 334 4447
Website: www.ucas.com/apply/teacher-training

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - part-time course

Applications for the part-time course should be made directly to Oxford Brookes University.

Apply for this course

If you require any further information about the part-time course, please contact the Programme Administrator:

Tel: 01865 488292

Email: education@brookes.ac.uk

Alternatively, please contact the relevant partner college directly.

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.


We have strong links with local partner colleges offering excellent employment prospects for students.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

For those considering studying part-time at a partner college, you can learn more about what is on offer at each college: 

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

Sustained excellence in research and publication has ensured that a significant proportion of our School of Education staff were entered for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 (UoA 25). Almost 90% of our research was deemed to be of international merit, with around one half either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Contributions to the REF were spread across all of our research groups.

Our research aims to create impact on contemporary educational issues - supporting knowledge creation and developing innovative approaches to researching pedagogic practices. The School’s research strategy functions at all spatial scales, from local to global. We publish our highest quality research in leading peer-reviewed journals. Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Research Fellows contribute to our research programmes and outputs.

The School holds two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. Our Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers) runs annually - all students are invited to attend. We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

Members of the School are engaged in a variety of funded and unfunded research projects; we have previously enjoyed prestigious funded scholarships (such as the Fulbright – Peabody scholarship) and, when feasible, offer funded Research Studentships to doctoral applicants. Our Centre for Educational Consultancy and Development (CECD) regularly secures consultancy and research money.

As might be expected in such a research active school, many staff are engaged as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for various peer reviewed academic and professional journals, as well as online journals.

Research areas and clusters

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes University is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development.

The School’s six research groups reflect a thriving research community of academics, scholars and students. They exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops. They focus on:

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

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Find out more

For full details about studying PGCE Post Compulsory Education, please visit the College website.