Further Education PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Further education

The PGCE Further Education prepares you to teach one of a wide range of subjects (GCSE/A level subjects, vocational / technical programmes, English (literacy / ESOL) and mathematics) in the further education and skills sector. Our PGCE develops effective, confident teachers whose practice is informed by knowledge of educational theory, and who will continue to develop throughout their careers.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
1 academic year
2 academic years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 11 Oct 2022 – 04 Aug 2023

Applications open


This course will give you everything you need to face the classroom, both the pedagogical theory and the practical skills to be an inspiring teacher.


Our gradual immersion approach will introduce you to the classroom progressively, from one learner to the whole class.


Placement in diverse, carefully chosen colleges will allow you to learn from different contexts and be prepared to teach in any FE setting.

Start teaching

For those already working in FE, the PGCE is designed to help you reflect on and improve your practice For those new to FE teaching we will provide you with the tools to progress to a fulfilling career in the sector.

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, has been ranked 1st in the world for education for nine years running in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

Entry requirements

First degree

A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

A levels

Not required, but level 3 qualifications are normally expected in your subject specialism.


English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. We do not accept "applied" or "additional" GCSE subjects. Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test via Equivalency Testing or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 5. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 5 are accepted. BTEC, Functional Skills or Access course qualifications are not accepted in place of GCSEs.

School experience

We recommend that you aim to gain some experience of education, particularly in further education (FE) sector settings, prior to interview.

Equivalent standard

Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test at www.equivalencytesting.com or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 5.

Relevant experience and background

Applicants whose degree qualifications are lower than 2:2 standard may be admitted if they can demonstrate an appropriate academic background at master's level and above and/or significant postgraduate experience in the relevant field.

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa - study must be full-time, starting September.

DBS and occupational health

If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The Occupational Health Check is £77, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £12.75 if you can submit your DBS Enhanced Disclosure check via a UK Post Office. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.

About this course

The programme is taught through a mix of face-to-face and online sessions (including lectures, presentations, discussions and group work). There is also a practical teaching element based in a partner-provider organisation, usually a further education college or adult education centre. Online elements allow partnership working through joint university and partner taught sessions. You will learn about employment in the further education sector, how to plan lessons in your subject that engage learners, how to assess learners, how to manage the learning environment, and how to use theory and research to broaden and improve your professional knowledge and expertise in teaching. You are required to read widely and to carry out written assignments in your own time.

You will be assessed through a range of written assignments, a reflective portfolio and formal observations of practical teaching skills.

There are three routes on this programme: a specialist route to teach adult literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), a specialist route to teach mathematics and numeracy and a general route that deals with all other subjects.

The further education sector comprises further education colleges, sixth form colleges, adult education, prison education, charity and community organisations, and independent, work-based providers of learning. This sector is for you if you are interested in any, or all, of the following: supporting young people into further education; higher education and employment; leading technical and vocational education; encouraging post-16/adult learners returning to education for another chance; working in non-traditional educational settings; and assisting adults with skills and knowledge for life and work.

The programme caters for a range of subjects in the sector. The core elements of the programme will develop teaching skills that are common to all subjects whether you plan to work in arts, humanities, STEM subjects or vocational and technical education. Subject pedagogy is developed through a combination of partner organisation support and the use of ‘clustered’ subgroups. There are two ‘specialist’ modules concerned with the teaching of (a) English (literacy and ESOL) and (b) mathematics and numeracy in the sector.

Students on the PGCE FE programme benefit enormously from the complementary skills and expertise of staff in partnership organisations and at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society.

The programme both meets the content requirements and addresses the professional standards as set out by the Education and Training Foundation. On completion, students can use the PGCE to apply for QTLS.

Who this course is for

This programme is for graduates with: an interest in the Further Education and Skills sector; excellent communications skills; the ability to cope well in highly pressurised and demanding situations; and a commitment to collaboration and co-operative working with colleagues.
The Further Education teacher education programme at IOE is designed to meet the training needs and qualification requirements of people who are teaching or would like to teach in the Further Education and Skills sector.

What this course will give you

Our Further Education PGCE qualifications are recognised by the Further Education and Skills sector for employment as a teacher. The routes for English (Literacy / ESOL) and mathematics / numeracy satisfy the frameworks for specialist teaching.

In addition, the PGCE provides a basis for higher level qualifications, such as Master’s degrees and professional doctorates.

"The most impressive part of the course was the manner in which everything was presented; from induction to the final days of course completion. Everything and every topic was themed and contextualised, diversity and equality were practiced throughout and every trainee was treated with the utmost respect and attention". 
Behzad Tarfiee, PGCE FE graduate
Read the Q&A with Behzad

The teacher you want to be

As well as improving subject-specialist knowledge and expertise in pedagogy and assessment, you will develop a wide range of highly transferable ‘people skills’ which are essential for teachers: these include empathy, patience, listening, cultural awareness and sensitivity. Through your teaching practice, you will also develop awareness of aspects of workplace life and the norms of professional behaviour, around a range of issues such as respect for others, equality and diversity, health and safety, rights at work, line-management and appraisal, and inspection and quality assurance procedures.

The tools of a great educator

  • Understanding theory and pedagogy
  • Creating a successful climate for learning
  • Planning and teaching engaging classes
  • Using assessment to inform planning


Our graduates will work in a range of different types of organisations including:

  • Further education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Adult education institutions
  • Independent training providers
  • Voluntary / grant aided organisations.

Our graduates may undertake other roles in the education sector e.g. working with examining bodies and local authorities.


The qualification follows the expectations of awards that are regulated by the Society of Education and Training for teacher education in the Further Education and Skills sector.


The two 30-credit modules ( Learning, teaching and assessment and The wider context of educational practice) use a single submission of written work. It is important to note that these assignments use evidence from practical teaching as the basis for the academic writing thus utilising a range of academic and practical skills.

The Professional Practice module involves the compilation of a portfolio of evidence drawing on a range of assessment forms such as the use of presentations, online discussions, formalised reflections and the observation of teaching practice.  

The normal breakdown of time (1200 hours in total) involves: 180 hours of university-directed contact (face-to-face and online); 120 hours of teaching and 240 hours of other aspects of practice (such as planning, attending meetings, reviewing work) in placement; and 660 hours of self-directed study.


Full time students will undertake three modules in one academic year. Two 30-credit modules plus a non-accredited professional practice module that must be completed to a satisfactory standard. The professional practice module will involve the production of a portfolio of your professional development drawing on evidence from your teaching experience.

The modules:

  1. Learning, teaching and assessment or Learning, teaching and assessment (Literacy and ESOL) or Learning, teaching and assessment (Mathematics and Numeracy)
  2. The wider context of educational practice
  3. Professional Practice – includes teaching practice at partner organisations

Full-time students will undertake one of the modules in (i) (depending upon subject specialism) before (ii). The Professional Practice module (iii) will be studied in parallel with (i) and (ii).

Part-time students will undertake one 30-credit module in each academic year with a non-accredited professional practice module spread across two years that must be completed to a satisfactory standard. The professional practice module will involve the production of a portfolio of your professional development that draws on evidence from your teaching experience.

The modules:

  1. Learning, teaching and assessment or Learning, teaching and assessment (Literacy and ESOL) or Learning, teaching and assessment (Mathematics and Numeracy)
  2. The wider context of educational practice
  3. Professional Practice – includes teaching practice at partner organisations

Part-time students will undertake one of the modules in (i) (depending upon subject specialism) during the first year and module (ii) during year 2. The professional practice module (iii) will start in year 1 and complete in year 2.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Upon successful completion of 60 credits and the Professional Practice module, you will be awarded a PGCE in Further Education.

College placements

All students on this programme will undertake teaching practice placements and your development as a teacher will be assessed as part of the course. You will teach at least 120 hours and experience other aspects of a teacher's job. You will work with subject-specialist mentors who support you through your teaching experience. We are fortunate to work with a range of providers, as well as some experienced mentors, in the field of further education teaching.

We ensure your placement will provide fulfilling and valuable experiences through:

  • A dedicated team who will identify the best colleges for your placements
  • Support and guidance from your university tutor and your college-based mentor
  • College experience that allows you to progress at an appropriate pace for you
  • Reasonable travel times from your home to your college placement

Making the most of your placement

We know facing a classroom and managing your times as a teacher can be intimidating, as well as needing careful planning to be practical and work out with your personal life.

That's why we will support you all the way through, as well as helping your work out the best options for this key moment in your life.

Teaching is a demanding profession and student teachers can feel nervous about college placements or anxious about the workload. Your tutor and college-based mentor will help you navigate your placement experience, ensuring that you have the input you need. Empathetic feedback and discussion about your developing professional practice will support you to be successful.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,250 Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2023/24) £24,200 £12,100

Pathways include:
Mathematics and Numeracy (TEPPCFSEMN02)
English (Literacy and ESOL) (TEPPCFSFEE02)

Additional costs

Students are responsible for funding their travel to and from placements.

You are not expected to provide your own teaching resources which should be provided by placement partners.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The Department for Education provides tax-free bursaries for Further Education PGCE starting their training in 2023, who teach in in certain subjects, subject to eligibility. For more information and to find out if you are eligible visit our Teacher Training Funding pages.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Deadline: 13 December 2022
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Application and next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

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