Once you’re in the final year or have completed an undergraduate degree course you’ll maybe apply for training as a UK primary or secondary school teacher, teaching at a sixth form or local college.
An option is choosing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course with QTS to become a school teacher in England & Wales, and use it towards further study in education.
A level 7 PGCE is a postgraduate certificate and not a master’s degree, normally awarded 60 credits towards a master’s in education totalling 180 credits, or you’ll receive just a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) award.
What is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
In the UK a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is predominantly studied in England & Wales towards becoming a school teacher at 3-18 years old or at a further education college.
4 age levels of PGCE UK
- PGCE Early Years
- PGCE Primary
- PGCE Secondary
- PGCE Post Compulsory
Vocational in nature a PGCE is a one academic year teacher training course university lead qualification that includes both academic theory studying at university and 6-7 months on 2 schools vocational work based training placements.
Masters of education (MA), for example can be studied exclusively as a theory based qualification at university over the course of 9-10 months full time, significantly different from a PGCE.
Vast majority of PGCE course certificates count towards a master’s that can be used as 60 transfer credits taking a masters degree.
This allows you to join a master’s course at advance standing and complete both diploma & dissertation levels of 60 credits each for a full master’s degree award.
A PGCE is a postgraduate certificate type of qualification that can be combined with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) allowing you to be qualified to teach 3-18 year olds in England schools and sixth forms.
One significant difference between a master’s degree and PGCE is the master’s requires a dissertation project to be completed where a PGCE doesn’t.
Additionally, master’s degree courses can be all academic study, for example MA/MSC degree in education and may not include any requirement for class teaching time or contact with students.
See QTS or PGCE
PGCE & masters degree level
Both teacher training PGCE and master degree in England are postgraduate study at level 7 according to Portsmouth University.
Credits awarded for masters & PGCE
A United Kingdom PGCE is a certificate with 60 credits. A master degree totals 180 credits (Cat points): certificate (60 credits), diploma (60 credits) & dissertation (60 credits).