Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET)

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET)


The Postgraduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) qualifies you to teach in the further, adult and vocational education sector. It is a full, nationally-recognised teaching qualification, specifically designed for those aiming to teach a vocational subject in areas such as Business, Health and Social Care, Media and IT.

The University of South Wales at Newport has led the field in vocational teacher education in Wales for many years, on our campus in Caerleon, in our partner FE colleges and more recently in our riverside campus in the centre of Newport. 

The course aims to develop student teachers:

  • who are familiar with/confident about social sciences discourse
  • who may later be interested in pursuing Master’s study in Education
  • whose writing is already at Master’s level (assessed during application)

You would need to hold a level 6 qualification in their teaching subject area, along with one or more year’s vocational experience in their teaching subject (where relevant). Once with us, you will develop skills, confidence and understanding of learning, teaching and assessment in your subject.

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Entry Requirements

  • A 2:1 degree or above is desirable, or a recognised equivalent, in a relevant subject area. If you are offering a vocational subject you are normally expected also to demonstrate that you have some relevant vocational experience
  • Mathematics and English language GCSE Grade C or above, or equivalent, are desirable
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants) 
  • If English is not your first language you should be able to demonstrate a level of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent (minimum score of 5.5 in each band)
  • Part-time applicants will be required to confirm 50 hours (minimum) of teaching, and 20 hours of observation of an experienced tutor in the first year and in second year will be required to confirm 50 hours (minimum) of teaching and 20 hours of observation/departmental duties.
  • An interview is required for this course


This course prepares you for a career as a teacher within the Post Compulsory sector and also provides an introduction to university study in a friendly and supportive environment.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) consists of six 20 credit modules:

Planning for Learning

This module provides an introduction to teaching in theory and practice, with an opportunity to try things out and a practical assessment. 

Assessing for Learning

This module enables you to get to know your learners better, and to plan to meet their needs. You’ll also be supported in the creative use of learning technology for assessment.

Developing Professional Practice

This module runs throughout the year and includes planning and managing 50 hours of taught sessions, being observed teaching, evaluating and reflecting on your own practice, and action planning for your own professional development.

Practice-based Research

This module provides a research project ‘taster’. You will undertake a case study of a learner and develop research skills such as interviewing and other data collection, to help you find out more about your learner and about effective teaching.

Literacies for Learning

This is a chance to explore ideas about all kinds of communication and literacy (digital, visual, graphic, written etc.) in your everyday life and your teaching. The module is assessed via a fun and interactive exhibition which you contribute to.

Extending Professional Practice

This builds on your professional learning in Developing Professional Practice, as you continue to plan, teach, reflect and be observed. You will also look beyond the classroom towards the post-compulsory education landscape and learn new technology/animation skills for an assessed presentation.

Teaching practice

Teaching practice in the full teaching role is at the heart of the qualification (100 hours for full time students, 50 hours per year for part time students). It provides the foundation for all your learning in every module throughout the course. Whilst on a teaching practice placement, you also need to undertake observation of other practitioners, and to take part in the life of the placement institution more broadly.

The course is available full time across one year and also part time across two years.


Full time pathway

Level 6

  • Planning for learning
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Extending Professional Practice

Level 7

  • Assessing for learning
  • Practice-based Research – Action Research in Social Context
  • Literacies for Learning

Part time pathway

Level 6

  • Planning for learning (Year 1)
  • Developing Professional Practice (Year 1)
  • Extending Professional Practice (Year 2)

Level 7

  • Assessing for learning (Year 1)
  • Practice-based Research – Action Research in Social Context (Year 2)
  • Literacies for Learning (Year 2)


Full time delivery pattern 

First half term (until October):

  • 9.30am-2.30pm Tuesday 
  • 9.30am-3.45pm Wednesday 
  • 9.30am-2.30pm Friday

November to June:

  • 9.30am-2.30pm Tuesday                               
  • 9.30am-3.45pm Wednesday  

Part time delivery pattern (year 1 and 2) 

  • Sept-June 1.15-7.00 

Teaching practice takes place outside these times, and student teachers negotiate their own teaching timetables with placement mentors or employers. 


There are no exams, assessment is 100% coursework.  
You are assessed in many different ways including practical and interactive activities, as well as written coursework. 



We provide support in securing teaching practice placements and practice mentors across the Post Compulsory sector.

We make every effort to ensure you have the most productive and supported professional development experience possible.


We have attractive and flexible learning spaces and a number of computer suites which will provide you with authentic learning opportunities.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Our graduates have a proven track record of moving into fulltime and permanent teaching posts 
This course will help you develop confidence and skills in working with a range of people and using the latest technology and media. It will also prepare you for further study. 

After completing the course, you could have a career as a PcET practitioner within the Post Compulsory Education and Training sector, eg Further Education (FE), Training Providers, Adult and Community Learning and Work Based Learning.

Recent graduates have gained full and part time employment across the sector and many of our past graduates actively support the course as mentors for our new student teachers. 


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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