This can refer to Postgraduate or Professional certificate of education, this is dependent upon where you do your PGCE course and at which level you graduate at.
A PGCE enables you to become a qualified teacher to teach in the U.K you are also able to teach in many other countries in the World with the exception of a few Countries. A PGCE is a full time professional course which is generally at Masters Level. It also entails undertaking some research into education depending on which University you are undertaking your Postgraduate course as a trainee teacher. Also depending on which sector you would like to teach in i.e Primary or Secondary School you will need to apply accordingly.
To be able to enrol on to a PGCE course the minimum requirement generally for most Institutions is an undergraduate Degree in your specialist subject. So if you have an undergraduate degree in Computing and you enjoy working with children then you may consider applying for a PGCE in ICT similarly if you have any other related degree you could become a maths teacher, English or Science Teachers. Of course specialist teachers are only required for Keystage 3, 4, and 5. This means you will be teaching 11 to 18 year olds.
If you would like to become a Primary School teacher then you will also need to do a PGCE but you will need to apply for the Primary school sector and after completion you will qualify to teach at Primary level also know as Keystage 1 and 2.
Normally if you had an undergraduate degree it didn't really matter as long as you were able to back it by showing how you are interested in working with kids etc but the new Conservative government is thinking about making the minimum requirement to atleast an honours degree. They have also already abolished many funding for many subjects in PGCEs.
Applying for a PGCE course
If you are familiar with applying to Universities via UCAS then this will be straight forward for you. The process is very similar with some differences.
The process is as follows:
- Register on gttr website
- Fill out your details
- Have a good personal statement
- Find four Universities - In order of preference
- Pay the fee usually around £20
- Submit the form
Your application will be submitted to a University at a time (Cascading), each University has a month each before it will move onto the next Institute. When you applied for your undergraduate course UCAS sent your application to all your chosen Universities all at once. The GTTR sends PGCE applications to Institutions one by one in order of preference. This means the process can take upto four months if you are not successful at your first three choices.
As of September 2011 the new Conservative goverment has decided that certain subjects are no longer deemed as core subjects. One of those is ICT, previously most PGCE programmes entitled trainee teachers to some sort of bursary those ranged from £6000 to £9000 for the entire duration which equated to around £400 to £1000 a month.
Currently not all trainees are entitled to bursary, core subjects such as Maths, Science and English are amongst those who are still entitled to get bursary. In addition to this the new English Baccalaureate emphasises the need to study History, Geography and one of the Modern foreign languages. This means that there are funding/bursary available for trainees wishing to study for a PGCE program in one of the above.