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With our jam-packed Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes, you’ll create engaging lesson plans, get extensive experience in the classroom and continuously evaluate your approach. Whenever you need feedback on your teaching or support brushing up on your knowledge of the national curriculum, you’ll have a fantastic support network at Edge Hill University that you can turn to.

No degree in the area you want to teach? No problem. Our secondary PGCE students can complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. To make a difference in schools, you’ll also explore social justice by discussing mental health, disability, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.

As one of our PGCE students, you’ll experience a jam-packed year. When you’re not in schools, you’ll be evaluating your latest lesson, planning what material to deliver next or brushing up on your knowledge of the national curriculum. It’s intense, but you’ll have a fantastic support network you can depend on.

Not all of our partners are traditional schools – you’ll experience education in SEN schools, hospital schools and forest schools, so you’ll be more than prepared by the time you graduate. As one of the largest providers of professional qualifications for teachers, many PGCE students return to specialise in areas including dyslexia and dyscalculia.

With our jam-packed PGCE programmes, you’ll create engaging lesson plans, get extensive experience in the classroom and continuously evaluate your approach.

What qualifications do you need to teach in England?

To work as a teacher, you need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to teach in early years, primary or secondary settings. Or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status if you want to become a teacher or trainer in the further education and training Sector.

A popular way of achieving this is to successfully complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme which leads to a recommendation for QTS or QTLS.

A teacher reads through a pupil's work with them during a lesson in a secondary school.

What is a PGCE?

PGCE means Postgraduate Certificate in Education which is 60 credits at postgraduate level. It is an academic qualification that often leads to Qualified Teacher Status.

What is a PGDE?

PGDE means Postgraduate Diploma in Education which is 120 credits at postgraduate level. It is an academic qualification that often leads to Qualified Teacher Status.

What are the different types of PGCE and PGDE?

PGCEs and PGDEs are available in primary education, secondary education, and further education.

At Edge Hill University you can study a PGCE or PGDE in one of the following age phases:

  • Early Years (3-7)
  • Primary (5-11)
  • Secondary (11-16)
  • Further Education and Training (14-19 and adult learners)

Each PGCE/PGDE runs full-time over one year. They focus on your development as a teacher rather than just on the subject you intend to teach.

What do PGCEs and PGDEs involve?

Much of your PGCE and PGDE programme will be spent learning in schools. This includes planning and delivering your own lessons to individuals, groups and whole classes of pupils. Your teaching timetable will increase as your training progresses, and you become more confident and competent in the classroom. You will gradually assume responsibility for the children, their achievements and progress. Resulting in you displaying excellence in teaching, learning and assessment, and being involved in all aspects of school/setting life.

Academic study, group discussion and reflection, alongside the professional practice in the classroom, will give you the knowledge and skills to become an outstanding teacher.

Current education issues central to the teaching profession will be discussed regularly and online and distance learning materials will support your learning. We will encourage you to develop key skills, including the use of ICT, to progress your own development.

A teacher uses large dice with pupils during a lesson in a primary school classroom.

Early Years Education

Teaching in an early years setting

Primary Education

Teaching in a primary school
PGCE with Lead delivery partners

Secondary Education

Teaching in a secondary school
PGCE with Lead delivery partners
Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Further Education and Training

Teaching in the Further Education and Training Sector

Why train to teach at Edge Hill University?

We’ve earned our enviable reputation over 135 years, training teachers and working with the country’s children, young people and adult learners in schools, colleges and other settings.

By choosing Edge Hill for your PGCE, you will be joining a University offering:

A teacher shows children how to pick up objects using a magnet during a lesson in a primary school classroom.
  • Expert tuition – highly experienced tutors and researchers make up our teaching team. Sharing their knowledge and supporting you to become an excellent practitioner in your own right. Staff are focused on your learning being up-to-date and relevant. Many are active in research. Publishing academic papers and texts, or holding high profile roles within examining boards and subject networks and associations.
  • A stimulating learning environment – the purpose-built, £9million Faculty of Education building is part of a stimulating learning environment. It has a lakeside position on our award-winning campus and features a 300-seat lecture theatre, ICT suites, teaching rooms and a cafe. In addition, the Faculty of Education Piazza building is now the base for Secondary and Further Education and Training provision.
  • Working in partnership – professional practice is an essential element of your programme. We have developed relationships with over 2,000 partner schools, colleges and other settings. Allowing us to provide an excellent experience for our trainees.
  • Support for you as an early career teacher – you will be supported through your transition to working life as an early career teacher through access to dedicated conferences and workshops. Bulletins and newsletters will be available to you in your new role as well as Masters level study opportunities. These initiatives enhance the careers advice and teaching vacancy service you receive during your training.

Next steps

If you are interested in joining a PGCE or PGDE, you should apply online through GOV.UK. An early application is strongly advised.

To visit our stunning campus, you can book your place at an open day. You can also discover the University from home by browsing our virtual open day pages.

To request a PGCE prospectus, please visit

For further information about any of our PGCEs or PGDE, please call Course Enquiries on 01695 657000 or email [email protected].

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Virtual Open Day

Explore Edge Hill University’s Virtual Open Day to discover presentations about our courses, a virtual campus tour with videos and 360 images of our facilities, videos recorded by our students and lots more.