Further Education PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Further education

The PGCE Further Education prepares you to teach one of the following: a GCSE/A level subject from a wide range of options; a vocational / technical programme from a wide range of courses; English (adult literacy / ESOL); Mathematics / numeracy 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 (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 academic year
2 academic years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 09 Oct 2023 – 02 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

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 for Education in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for the past decade (2014–2023).

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 4. 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 4. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 4 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.

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.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

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 £90, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £15.00 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 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.

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 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.

Who this course is for

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


On completing the programme, you will have satisfied the occupational standards expected of teachers in the Further Education and Skills sector.


The qualification meets the specifications that are regulated by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) for teacher education in the Further Education and Skills sector. The Society for Education and Training (SET) recognise the PGCE for applications to the status of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS).


The programme is taught through a mix of face-to-face and online sessions, (including lectures, presentations, discussions, and classroom group tasks), and a practice element based in partner-provider organisations, usually further education colleges or adult education institutes. 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, module tasks and formal observations of practical teaching skills.

The Professional Practice module requires the submission of a portfolio which includes a range of assessment types such as the use of presentations, online discussions and formalised reflections. These form evidence of professional experience alongside the observation of teaching practice. There will be a final, oral assessment of your ability to meet the occupational standards of teachers in the sector.

The Teaching, Learning and Assessment module and The Wider Context of Educational Practice module each require a single submission of written work. The assignments use evidence from practical experience as the basis for the academic writing thus utilise a range of academic and practical skills.

The normal breakdown of time (1200 hours in total) involves:

  • 180 hours of university-directed contact (face-to-face and online);
  • 250 hours in placement of which at least 150 hours are teaching (including 20 hours online teaching); and
  • 770 hours of self-directed study.

At the heart of this PGCE, I learnt to become more reflective in my teaching - a life-long skill essential for every teaching practitioner.

Bandini Shah, Further Education PGCE alumna

Bandini Shah

Further Education PGCE


Full-time students will undertake three modules. Two 30 credit modules plus a non-accredited professional practice module that must be successfully completed. The professional practice module will include evidence of at least 250 hours of professional experience in more than one location.

This will include:

  • at least 150 hours of teaching practice with at least 20 hours online synchronous teaching; and at least 10 formal observations of teaching practice

Part- time students will undertake one of the 30 credit modules in each year with the non-accredited professional practice module spread across the two years.

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 are 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 be in placement for a minimum of 250 hours. You will teach at least 150 hours (of which 20 hours will be online teaching) 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 and Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education, culture, psychology, and social science. We are one of the UK’s largest teacher training providers, offering a wide range of programmes across all phases of learning and more subjects than any other university. We also offer an extensive range of master’s programmes. Our research addresses society’s most important challenges and feeds into our teaching, enabling our graduates to go on to influence future generations for the better, from individual lives to societal change.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Learn to Teach with IOE

Are you interested in a career in teaching? Join our virtual events to find out more about Teacher Training at UCL, including admissions and student funding information.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: PGCE Further Education Teacher Training

Are you interested in a career in teaching? Join our virtual events to find out more about Teacher Training at UCL, including admissions and student funding information.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250 Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2024/25) £25,900 £12,950

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

Additional costs

You are expected to pay for your own travel to, and from, placements as well as to and from UCL.

You are not expected to provide your own teaching resources which are expected to 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

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: 14 December 2023
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

GREAT Scholarship

Deadline: 14 May 2024
Value: £10,000 towards tuition fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.