Top 10 PGCE Courses In The UK

So you want to know how to become a teacher? There are a couple of routes to gaining Qualified Teacher Status in the UK, and studying a PGCE courses is one of them.

Courses are separated into early years (ages 3 to 7), primary education (ages 5 to 11), secondary education (ages 11 to 18) and post-compulsory education (ages 14 to 18).

There are some excellent bursaries available to fund your studies and teacher training students can get up to £25,000 for their PGCE year.

Here is our rundown of 10 of the best PGCE programs available at universities in the UK*.

PGCE – University of Birmingham

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £15,570 for international students.

What you will study: The PGCE at the University of Birmingham offers early years, primary and secondary level teacher training concentrating on planning, teaching and classroom skills. Students can go on to complete a Masters in Teaching Studies after completing their PGCE.

PGCE – University of Bristol

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £15,800 for international students.

What you will study: This course at the University of Bristol focuses on secondary education with around 200 students training to become teachers each year. The main modules focus on Curriculum Studies, Educational and Professional Studies and School Experience.

PGCE – University of Cambridge

Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time.

Cost: £9,250 total fees for all UK and EU students / £25,200 total fees for all international students.

What you will study: At the University of Cambridge you can choose to specialise between early primary school, primary school or secondary school education. Students are able to continue on to gain a Masters in Education in the following year on a part-time basis.

PGCE – University of Durham

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £16,500 for international students.

What you will study: Offering both primary and secondary school level education, the University of Durham has a close partnership with local schools giving students a great variety of placements.

PGCE – University of Exeter

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £16,500 for international students.

What you will study: PGCE students at the University of Exeter can specialise in either primary or secondary school education. With the secondary school education course, students can increase their knowledge of their subject area during their first term with elective modules in other departments.

PGCE – Loughborough University

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 total fees for all students.

What you will study: Loughborough University prepares students to teach pupils at secondary (11 to 18 years of age) level. Students spend 60% of the course in classrooms on placement and this provides students with the confidence to work successfully after qualification.

PGCE – University of Manchester

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £17,000 for international students.

What you will study: The University of Manchester offers both primary and secondary level education and aims to ensure that students have an understanding of the teaching profession, the skills to excel at teaching, to value diversity and respect for social and cultural differences.

PGCE – University of Nottingham

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £15,885 for international students.

What you will study: Students at the University of Nottingham can pick between primary and secondary level education and secondary level students focus on either English, History, Geography, Maths, Science or Modern Languages.

PGCE – University of Oxford

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £9,250 for UK and EU students / £15,755 for international students.

What you will study: The Department of Education at the University of Oxford works closely with its partner schools to develop a unique program of training for secondary school level education. About 30% of their students go on to gain employment at their placement school.

PGCE – University College London

Duration: 1 year full time.

Cost: £7,000 to £9,250 for UK and EU students / £12,155 to £16,340 for international students.

What you will study: Teacher training students at University College London can specialise in either early years, primary, secondary or post-compulsory (14 years plus) education. Core modules include Teaching and Learning, Action Research and Professional Practice.

*SOURCE: The Good Teacher Training Guide 2017 published by the Centre for Education and Employment Research University of Buckingham

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41 comments

Farhin Vora June 11, 2018, 9:10 a.m.

Do I need to register myself in Manchester university?

Charlotte King June 14, 2018, 3:24 p.m.

Hi Farhin,

If you want to study your PGCE at the University of Manchester the best thing to do is to contact the university directly and find out what their requirements are.

Good luck!

Charlotte

Ratika Feb. 20, 2019, 4:28 p.m.

Can these courses be done online? If yes, then will they hold equal validation to the ones, done regularly, full time ?

Charlotte King Feb. 27, 2019, 11:47 a.m.

Hi Ratika - PGCE courses can't be studied online as they always involve some classroom/teaching/practical work alongside the academic study.
Here are all the PGCE courses available to study in the UK and Europe:
https://www.postgrad.com/search/postgraduate-programs/all/any-attendance/pgce/

maya March 8, 2019, 3:08 p.m.

my degree is in accounting and finance, I am looking to get PGCE qualification to teach in HE sector, however, I am not sure which course I should apply to there is no course specialized in accounting and Finance.??

Charlotte King March 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

Hi Maya,
With your background you would be best off specialising in Mathematics for your PGCE. Check out the range of courses here >
https://www.postgrad.com/search/postgraduate-programs/all/any-attendance/pgce/
Good luck - Charlotte

IKB March 13, 2019, 7:43 a.m.

Ratika, it's not true that PGCEs can't be done online. Long distance courses exist - however, they are always non-QTS. This is very important to note. In the UK you can attain QTS without a PGCE, and it is QTS that qualifies you to teach, not necessarily the PGCE. How it works is this: a lot of PGCE will have QTS recommendation at the end, meaning that by getting your PGCE, you also gain QTS status (assuming you meet all standard teaching requirements during your course). The two, however, are not necessarily always linked. You can get QTS without a PGCE and you can also get a PGCE without QTS. However it is often that you'd get QTS by studying a PGCE - but this is why you should always check the course details of each university. While it is common that there's QTS at the end of a PGCE, that is not always the case.

There's also the iPGCE that's usually done for international schools (also non-QTS) but it has a bad reputation, from what I've gathered - however it is also true that many teachers with iPGCE without QTS have been employed at international schools.

The catch really is finding a school that would be willing to train you. You'd need a school that's willing to take you on as a QTS candidate (if you graduated from a non-QTS PGCE), and during that year the school would assign you a mentor and help you build your professional portfolio that you then submit to gain QTS. Finding such a school can be difficult. This is why PGCE non-QTS is not generally recommended and also because typical British national teaching requirements require that you must have QTS. If, however, you've managed to get a teaching job in at least two British schools where you had full responsibility of a class in two consecutive key stages - there is the Assessment Route Only to QTS that you can look into.

I just want to reiterate it is absolutely possible to do a PGCE online. What is NOT possible is attaining QTS online. QTS can only be attained within British schools. The UK requirement seems to be that these should be in a UK state school. However I am currently talking with my head of primary in a British international school and clearly QTS is attainable even abroad (my head is mentoring 3 such candidates right now through ISTIP). International schools (not UK state schools) seem to care more about the degree than about QTS. So it very much depends on the market you're looking at. I'm about to embark on exactly this route - PGCE non-QTS long distance and with the hope that my current school will then mentor me to enable me to attain QTS. This means it will take me 2 years full time minimum (as opposed to 1 if you went through a PGCE with QTS).

The best is of course, get a PGCE with QTS right off the bat, then you're not at the mercy of finding a school that would mentor you. However, non-QTS courses cost between £1500-3000. iPGCE between £3000-6000. PGCE with QTS at £9000+. So, finance is something else to consider.

Charlotte King March 13, 2019, 2:31 p.m.

Thank you for clarifying that IKB.

Sahar April 10, 2019, 5:18 p.m.

I've recently graduated in BSc Biomedical Science, I am hoping to apply for PGCE in Primary School, however, I am not sure which subject or course is relevant to my degree? And also could you please explain what is the difference between SCITT and PGCE? Do both these courses require experience in working with children? Thanks

Charlotte King April 12, 2019, 6:48 p.m.

Hi Sahar,

Here is some information explaining about the SCITT courses and how they often include PGCE qualifications >
https://www.ucas.com/teaching-option/school-centred-initial-teacher-training-scitt

Charlotte

Emma April 16, 2019, 2:30 p.m.

HI,

I'm looking to do a PGCE to teach at primary level. however my current degree is in criminology and criminal justice, because of this i am unsure of what I should specialise in and what funding is available.

many thanks

Charlotte King April 16, 2019, 3:56 p.m.

Hi Emma,

According to the UK Government website as long as you have GCES English and Maths at Grade C/4 and a degree you are eligible to apply for a PGCE >
https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/eligibility-for-teacher-training

Good luck in your application and remember that when you have been accepted onto a place you will be eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 >
https://www.postgrad.com/psuk_study_bursaries_apply/

Hasan April 23, 2019, 6:12 p.m.

Hi there, I studied a bachelors degree in Journalism and majored in English and then honours in Journalism. I was wondering if it would be possible to choose English as the subject I do my PGCE in? I was also wondering if you could recommend Universities that offer scholarships to international students if there are any for the PGCE. Thank you.

Charlotte King April 23, 2019, 8:45 p.m.

Hi Hasan,

If your major was in English I would think you will be able to choose English for your PGCE major - although it's best to contact the universities that you are interested in directly to double check their entry requirements.

Once you have been offered a place on a PGCE program you will be eligible to apply for on of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 > https://www.postgrad.com/psuk_study_bursaries_apply/

Good luck!

Henry onyemenam April 26, 2019, 9:14 p.m.

I have gained Admissions PGCE with QTS in UK but don’t know whether I can get a teaching job after gaining my PGCE with QTS and also a working permit.i have gained 23 years experience in teaching mathematics here in Africa. I heard that UK don’t accommodate students as soon as finish your programme

Ankita Raj Kumar May 14, 2019, 7:06 a.m.

Hi,

I have done my MA and M.Phil. in Spanish and have been teaching in India in IB schools for 6 years. I am now looking forward to teach outside and that's how I came across PGCE. How beneficial would it be for me? I would appreciate if someone can help me out in this. Thank you so much.

Charlotte King May 14, 2019, 9:19 a.m.

Hi Ankita,
If you want to teach at a state school in the UK you need to study a PGCE. You can either choose to specialise in primary or secondary education and the course should take one year to complete. You will then be able to work as a teach in the UK - so if this is the career path you would like to follow a PGCE would be very beneficial to you.
Good luck!

Ankita Raj Kumar May 15, 2019, 4:32 p.m.

Thank you so much, Charlotte! I am looking for PGCE secondary courses, there are quite a number of them in the UK. If I may ask just one more thing, is PGCE recognized all over the world? I mean if I want to go and teach in Canada or anywhere else, will it be accepted? It's just that these courses are quite expensive for international students and I want to make sure that I am making the right choice. Thank you once again for your advice.

Charlotte King May 15, 2019, 8:08 p.m.

As far as I am aware if your PGCE gives you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) it should make you eligible to teach in countries across the world including Canada. However I do think it is worth checking with the secondary schools in Canada first though just to make sure this is definitely the case though as rules and regulations can change.
Good luck.

Ankita Raj Kumar May 16, 2019, 6:43 p.m.

Thank you so much for your help.

Kazi hasnain June 24, 2019, 12:13 p.m.

Hi,
I am hasnain. I want to training on pgce (math) in London . How i can do this.any one help me to given informatio. Advance thanks

Charlotte King June 25, 2019, 8:17 a.m.

Hi Hasnain,

To be eligible to study a PGCE you'll need to demonstrate GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in maths and English – and a science subject for primary trainees. You'll also need a degree (or degree equivalent).
Here is the link to the UK Government information on eligibility requirements >
https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/eligibility-for-teacher-training

Good luck.
Charlotte

Jeetu June 25, 2019, 5:56 p.m.

Hi, by qualification I'm mechanical engineer but from last 15 year I'm teacher of physics and maths for competitive entrance exam in India , which more higher than AS and A level in UK and finished many books of AS and A level , now I want to become teacher in London . Which University is best for PGCE and QTS and what are the next steps , plz guide me

Charlotte King June 28, 2019, 1:52 p.m.

Hi Jeetu,

I think you should register with the UK Government's Get Into Teaching website to check your eligibility >
https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/eligibility-for-teacher-training
Once you have established this then maybe you should try UCL as that is a London-based university that constantly achieves well in the PGCE rankings.

Good luck,

Charlotte

Mohamed Salih Sept. 15, 2019, 11:31 a.m.

Hi, I’m a driving instructor would like to change my profession due to the stressful job, I’ve done my BSc Under graduate 2008/9 at the University of East London 2:1 (Technology & E-Commerce) I’m planning to register PGCE to get into the teaching but I’ve no idea which subject to do on PGCE and which university is the suitable one for me because I live in Milton-Keynes which is in Buckinghamshire, could you please help me to choose a right path to achieve my target. Thank you

Charlotte King Sept. 17, 2019, 8:02 p.m.

Hi Mohamed – Congratulations on making this decision for an exciting new career change. There are several universities quite close to you in Milton Keynes that offer good PGCE programs including the University of Northampton and the University of Bedfordshire. Take a look at the links below for more comprehensive listings of PGCEs available in your region of the UK. Good luck!

https://www.postgrad.com/search/postgraduate-programs/east-midlands-uk/any-attendance/pgce/

https://www.postgrad.com/search/postgraduate-programs/east-of-england-uk/any-attendance/pgce/

Sonakshi Shrivastava Sept. 20, 2019, 6:38 a.m.

Hello,
I completed MA Psychology last year in September. Now, after a year of deciding on the next step towards a career, I have decided to pursue PGCE in 2020.

To begin with, I have applied for a statement of comparability for my qualifications(school examinations) that were achieved outside of the UK. I did my master's degree from the UK. Now, the next step would be to wait for applications to open in October.

I have read on many university sites that experience in a school is recommended prior to starting the PGCE course. Recently, I approached a few schools in my city and they all said that they require a degree in education to even take me as an intern. So, I have been having trouble gaining experience in schools. Although, I keep ringing up schools for experience.

However, I do have experience working with kids. During my undergraduate degree, I volunteered at a special school for a month and also was a student volunteer for a year during my postgraduate degree which also involved working with children with special needs. Would this experience count in my application for PGCE? I am worried about this part of the application. Can you suggest further on it.

Thank you.

Charlotte Sept. 23, 2019, 5:46 p.m.

Hi Sonakshi – it is a good idea to have some classroom experience before starting a PGCE – if nothing else it will help you determine whether teaching is a career that you definitely want to pursue! I recommend you register with the UK government’s teaching website as they can help you get school placements:
https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
The experience that you already have will definitely be worth mentioning on your application. And don’t forget that once you’ve been accepted on a PGCE program you will be eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 >
https://www.postgrad.com/psuk_study_bursaries_apply/
Good luck!

Andrea Sept. 26, 2019, 7:07 p.m.

Great article - thank you!

I’m currently an ESL teacher in Vietnam and really keen on doing a PGCE with QTS. Is there any advice to offer to someone like me on the best way to do a PGCE with QTS while abroad or do i have to return to my home country as you mentioned that online PGCE might not be good? Please enlighten me

Charlotte King Oct. 3, 2019, 1:23 p.m.

Hi Andrea – If you look back through this blog thread to the message from IKB in March 2019 you will find a very comprehensive answer to your question. To summarise, it is indeed possible to study a PGCE online - however this wouldn’t include QTS.
Hope that helps! Charlotte

Raj Mehat Oct. 6, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

Hello,

Are there any PGCE's that have Jan starts in the Midlands?

Ahmed Sherief Oct. 6, 2019, 12:09 p.m.

Hello,

I have done a considerable amount of research about teaching in the UK as I want to move there. I have a few questions please.

I'm an international student who have bachelors of pharmacy and masters of marketing, so I think I could teach science for primary and/or biology/chemistry for secondary.

Q1. I have found a couple of types of PGCE (school direct and a different one) what's the difference?

Q2. What's the difference between PGCE and PGDE? I want to be able to teach in the UK.

Q3. Which kind of PGCE or PGDE with QTS that can lead to (after completion) MA in education or learning and so on maybe PhD?

Q4. The new post grad 2 years visa ( tier 4) would apply to student starting when in 2020?

Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

Cheers

Charlotte King Oct. 7, 2019, 6:36 p.m.

Hi Raj – I can’t find any universities in the Midlands currently offering a PGCE with a January start date, although I do think it’s worth you emailing the relevant department of the universities that you are interested in studying at in case they are launching this new for 2020.
I know it's not in the Midlands but Canterbury Christ Church is the only UK university that I am aware of that is currently offering this option with a Flexible Route PGCE starting in January:
https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/pgce-primary-flexible-route-19-20.aspx

Charlotte Oct. 8, 2019, 1:29 p.m.

Hi Ahmed – Our blog on Getting Into Teaching provides an outline on the two different PGCE routes - school-led and university-led >
https://www.postgrad.com/blog/Getting-Into-Teaching/
A PGDE (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education) is basically the Scottish equivalent of the PGCE. There is also another qualification called the PGDE (Postgraduate Diploma in Education) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which is worth 120 CATS credits, rather than 60 and works towards an optional masters. To teach in the UK the simplest option is for you to complete a one-year PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education in Scotland. If you want to go on to study an MA in Education a Postgraduate Diploma in Education in England, Wales or NI is the right one to study.
This link has the UK Government’s up-to-date student visa information: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/eligibility
Good luck with your studies.

Arshiya Oct. 17, 2019, 2:42 p.m.

I'm from India and im interested in teaching Chemistry to secondary school after completing pgce course. I have completed my masters in chemistry from India. Which university will be best suited for full time 1 year pgce course? Can I apply for funding or bursaries? Will it cover my study expense? Do I have to apply for a 4 tier visa to study in UK?

Charlotte King Oct. 18, 2019, 8:14 a.m.

Hi Arshiya – Here is a list of all the universities offering PGCE courses for secondary education in the UK >
https://www.postgrad.com/search/postgraduate-programs/all/any-attendance/pgce/
The country is very keen to recruit more science teachers so I think there will be some good funding options for you if you do your research – and of course once you are offered a place on a PGCE program you will be eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries > https://www.postgrad.com/psuk_study_bursaries_apply/
You currently need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
Good luck with your studies.

Seb_A Oct. 27, 2019, 12:20 p.m.

Hi Charlotte,

I've been teaching English as a second language in Japan and Singapore for the last 10 years but I am thinking about coming back to the UK to do a PGCE and look for a job in a secondary school. My BA was in Journalism and my Masters was in Applied Linguistics. However, I'm interested in Secondary Biology. I realise that this is quite a departure from my previous area of experience and I do not know if this is a realistic expectation of mine. Any information or advice would be appreciated.

Maliha Oct. 27, 2019, 6:23 p.m.

Hi,
There are a lot of questions in mind regarding PGCE.
I hope you will be able to help me out. At the moment I am a stay at home mom
All my education (till masters in zoology) is from Pakistan and I know that I dont have GCSEs to get into teaching. I definitely need A-C grade in maths and English ..... will maths and English level 2 ( functional skills) be considered as gcse equivalent as Teaching criteria?
Which school/college is working as partners with a which particular university ( for PGCE trainees)how would I know that?
I am looking forward to secondary or post compulsory teaching but I feel I have zero knowledge about how to get into it.
Should one be working as a volunteer in some school to get into teaching? Can we not apply for PGCE without work experience at some school?
Thanks alot

Charlotte King Oct. 28, 2019, 6:37 p.m.

Hi Seb – Unfortunately to become a secondary school biology teacher you do need a minimum of a lower second-class UK bachelors degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Biology or a Biology-related subject. I think you would be qualified to become an English or English-related subject secondary school teacher. Here is a link to the government’s Get Into Teaching website >
https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
Good luck.

Charlotte King Oct. 29, 2019, 7:27 p.m.

Hi Maliha,
I'm not sure how your qualifications correlate with the UK GCSE Maths and English Grade C – I think you're probably best checking with one of your preferred PGCE course providers to find out more. Also the UK Government website has some good advice on this as well > https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
It is always a good idea to have some schools experience before applying for a PGCE – it will also help you decide if this really is the right career path for you.
Good luck!

Nasser Nov. 11, 2019, 9:02 p.m.

Hi
I am a CELTA qualified (from the UK) English teacher with a master's degree in English (from India).
I have been teaching since 2008. I have also taught English in Saudi Arabia for four years.
Now I want to do the PGCE and I came across your platform.
I want to know:
1. How to get admission?
2. Requirements.
3. Fees for international students.
4. Scholarships if any.
5. Do I have to pay the complete amount at once or in installments?
Since i would be spending almost all the savings i have, i need to know if i will get any work permit along with my studies or after the completion of my studies.
I also want to know if i will get enough time to work (work permit during studies) because PGCE studies might need more attention than partime job.
I really appreciate your previous answers to other candidates' queries. They were really helpful.

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