UCL Graduate degrees


PGCE Post Compulsory

This programme will help students develop the skills needed to teach their own subject in the post 16 sector.

Key information

Please note: We are sorry, this programme is now closed for applications for September 2020 entry.

Programme starts

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Full-time students 5 days per week commitment: 1 or 2 days at UCL, plus placement and study. Part-time students 2.5 days per week commitment: 1 day at UCL, plus placement and study.

This programme is now closed for applications for September 2020 entry.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£9,250 (FT)
£18,790 (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Level: Post-Compulsory
Age range: 14+


The programme leads to an award of a PGCE (post-compulsory) at level 7 (Master’s level). Following successful completion of the programme, students may apply through the Society for Educational and Training for the QTLS licence to practice in the sector. NB: QTLS is not part of the IOE programme.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

First degree

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


Not required, but English and Mathematics at grades A or 7 - C or 5 is highly desirable.

School experience

No experience of teaching is required. However, any experience of education, particularly in post-compulsory sector settings such as Further Education colleges, independent learning providers, local authorities, prisons, community organisations, etc, whether in a teaching role or not, is recommended.

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. 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. These checks will either be carried out by UCL at a cost of £157, or by the college that employs you. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.

Skills tests

Not required.

English language requirements

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: Good

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

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this programme

Through taught sessions and mentored teaching practice in the workplace you will learn about employment in the sector, how to plan lessons in your subject, how to teach, engage and assess learners, how to manage the learning environment, and how to understand and use theory and research to broaden and improve your professional knowledge and expertise in teaching.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 M level credits.

Two 30 credit modules plus a non-accredited teaching practice module that must be successfully completed. 

Successful completion of the Professional Practice module and successful completion of the two other modules (60 credits) at level 7 will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

Three pathways are available:

English (Literacy & ESOL)

Mathematics with Numeracy

Generic - all other subjects

Find out more: Post-Compulsory Pathways

Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PGCE.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • The wider context of educational practice
  • Professional Practice


All students on this programme will undertake a teaching practice placement and your development as a teacher will be assessed as part of the course. You will teach at least 120 hours, working with subject-specialist mentors who support you through your placement. We are fortunate to have a good choice of colleges and other providers, as well as some outstanding mentors in the field of post-compulsory teaching, with whom we work.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered via taught sessions, (including lectures, presentations, discussions, and classroom group tasks), and a practical teaching element based in a partner-provider organisation, usually a further education college or adult education institute. You are also required to read widely and to carry out written assignments in your own time. The programme is assessed through written assignments, module tasks and formal and informal observations of practical teaching skills.

Students will spend:

  • 40% of time with the IOE,
  • 40% of time in placements, and
  • 20% in independent study and preparing for teaching. 


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



The DfE have announced the following incentives for this programme:

These are for pre-service trainees and cover the following subjects to be taught:

maths, science, engineering, digital, SEND, and English

the values are

  • maths, science, engineering, digital: £26,000
  • SEND: £15,000
  • English: £12,000

The conditions are that the trainee is accepted onto an FE ITE programme (minimum level 5 ie DET, Cert Ed or PGCE) and holds at least a level 3 qualification related to their teaching subject and a level 2 in English and Mathematics.

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.


Graduates of this programme are currently working for a diverse range of employers. They typically gain employment as lecturers, classroom teachers and/or managers in FE colleges, sixth form colleges, independent training providers, adult education services and prisons. The programme can also serve as route towards higher level qualifications.


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

Why study this programme at UCL?

The post-compulsory teacher education programmes at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) are designed to meet the training needs and qualification requirements of people who are working or would like to work in the post-compulsory sector.

Our post-compulsory PGCE qualifications are recognised by the post compulsory sector and provide a basis for higher level qualifications, such as Master’s degrees and professional doctorates.

Following their most recent OFSTED inspection in November 2013, our post-compulsory programmes were deemed outstanding and given a Grade 1 (the highest possible grade).


The programme leads to an award of a PGCE (post-compulsory) at level 7 (Master’s level). Following successful completion of the programme, students may apply through the Society for Educational and Training for the QTLS licence to practice in the sector. NB: QTLS is not part of the IOE programme.

Department: Institute of Education

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.

Who can apply?

Individuals who are interested in teaching in the post compulsory sector and have first degree (minimum of lower second class) or equivalent. 

Application deadlines

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 13 August 2020