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University of Buckingham: Independent Postgraduate Certificate in Education for Independent Schools and Academies

InstitutionUniversity of Buckingham View institution profile
Department Education
Telephone 01327 850388
Study type Taught


The Independent School Postgraduate Certificate of Education has been developed in close consultation with the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Since 2002 it has been offering teachers in the independent sector, who have not undergone a period of formal teacher training, the opportunity to participate in a structured programme of professional development. This course is for Primary, Prep schools and Senior Schools.

This course is widely recognised and will qualify trainees to teach in the independent sector, schools in Scotland and many Academies in England. But if you would prefer to qualify with QTS, and you teach in a school in England, please look at either our Primary Prep or Secondary PGCE with QTS courses.

How does this differ from the PGCE with QTS? It does not require a second school placement, and there is no requirement to attend an interview or to undertake professional skills assessments. You can have a fewer teaching hours on your timetable than is required for QTS. In addition, you do not need to teach across two key stages – which is a requirement of QTS.

Course content The PGCE is a 37-week school-based course, during which time you will work under the guidance of a mentor and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and to all age levels. There are four residentials (nine days overall) to attend and these are supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s online resources. You will be assigned a university tutor who visits once per term to assess your progress and guide your development. You will be assessed by both your mentor and your tutor and there are three assignments to complete.

For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we highly recommend participation in our Ab Initio course as an addition to the PGCE. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.

Your subject specialism Different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the residential course will be taught by a subject specialist. Our subject specialists this year include Art, Music, Design Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computer Science, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Psychology, and PE.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE

The University of Buckingham


About Buckingham

We offer postgraduate programmes across a varied mix of subject areas: Security and Intelligence, Psychology, International Studies, Economics, History, Philosophy, Business, Data Science, Law, Finance, Medicine and Education.

Our taught programmes have a similar amount of contact time as an undergraduate degree. They are made up of a range of modules that are delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, and will enable you to develop a higher level of expertise.

“Buckingham helped me to achieve my education goal through support, encouragement and inspiration.” …

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