Plymouth Institute of Education

PGCE (incorporating the Diploma in Education and Training)

With options to work in further education colleges, adult and community education, work-based training, offender learning and public sector organisations, our programme helps you develop the required skills, knowledge and professional values. With a large proportion of your time spent on placement, you have the chance to gain real-world experience, preparing you for a fulfilling and rewarding career.

We particularly welcome applications from exceptional candidates who wish to teach in offender learning settings.

Key features

  • Receive 'excellent support from tutors and mentors and make good progress in developing the skills and attributes to become accomplished teachers' (Ofsted, 2014).
  • Spend two days a week on placement in a further education and skills setting. We also have a limited number of placement opportunities in offender learning.
  • Benefit from highly skilled and qualified tutors with many years’ experience in the Further Education and Skills sector.
  • In the most recent Student Perception Questionnaire survey, students reported very high levels of satisfaction with this programme.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to network with potential employers. Follow in the footsteps of many of our trainees and possibly go on to find employment within the organisations you work with during your placement.
  • Demonstrate innovation, creativity and enterprise throughout your time on the programme and benefit from the way education for sustainable development is embedded in the programme. There is a strong research base across the partnership which underpins these and other developments in the programme
  • Work closely with your fellow trainees, learning together and from one another, with peer-support is an important part of the programme’s philosophy and organisation.
  • Tailored for applicants who hold a bachelors or masters degree. The Certificate in Education is available to those who do not hold one of these qualifications
  • Take your qualifications to the next level - after completing this course you'll have the option to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status
  • Weston College, in partnership with the University of Plymouth, wish to provide placements for exceptional applicants that have a keen interest in using teaching and learning as a way to reduce reoffending and support rehabilitation. We are looking for candidates who are passionate about teaching and want to make a major difference to people’s lives. In return, Offender Learning offers a rewarding career with prospects for progression, ongoing Continuing Professional Development and support to develop and achieve aspirations
  • We also work with the new local studio schools and would invite exceptional applicants to apply with biology or health and social care qualifications and relevant experience

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You are expected to complete four 30-credit modules and eight teaching observations. As a full-time trainee you are committed to a Monday-to-Friday week of academic and professional study, consisting of two full days per week of on-campus study, two days per week of professional practice placement (arranged by the University) and one day per week of independent study and research. You work closely with your colleagues on the programme, learning together and from one another, with peer support an important part of the programme organisation and learning. Your teaching observations are carried out by University tutors and subject-specialist mentors in an atmosphere of professional evaluation and support.

    Core modules
    • DLLS690 Learning, Teaching and Assessment

      This module addresses processes, principles and theories of planning, preparing and enabling learning. It critically examines theories, principles and processes of assessment including inclusive assessment practices. It critically investigates key aspects of the roles and responsibilities of teachers, trainers and tutors in this Sector.

    • DLLS779 Curriculum and Society

      This module critically explores curriculum theories, principles and ideologies and social, economic, political and cultural differences affecting inclusive curriculum design, equality and diversity and education for sustainable development. It enables reflexive evaluation of individual subject specialisms in relation to inclusive curriculum design.

    • DLLS780 Wider Practice and Professional Development

      This module focuses upon notions of professionalism and wider professional practice enabling critical examination of professional conduct, accountability, quality assurance and improvement, and the wider context of teaching. Participants reflexively evaluate their professional and personal development and plan future development.

    • DLLS784 Theories and Principles of Managing Learning Environments

      Through reflexive practice and study, this module critically evaluates theories, policies and principles for enabling inclusive learning, focusing on learning environments e.g. classroom, virtual, restricted, work-based learning, field trips and out-doors. It examines communication, resources, teaching/learning strategies and organisation policies

    Alternative outcomes
    • DLLS679 Curriculum and Society

    • DLLS680 Wider Practice and Professional Development

    • DLLS684 Theories and Principles of Managing Learning Environments

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Bachelors or masters degree in a relevant subject
  • GCSE English and maths at grade C/4 or a level 2 equivalent
  • Good information and communications technology (ICT) skills.

Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

If English is not your first language, you require: 

  • IELTS at level 7 with 7 in all four components or GCSE in English language at grade C or above
  • IELTS at level 6 and an undergraduate degree in the UK or IELTS at level 6.5 and a postgraduate degree in the UK.

You’ll normally be pre-service and your entry onto the programme will be conditional upon the University identifying a suitable placement and mentor in the subject specialism.

Non-academic requirements

All appropriately qualified candidates will be given equal consideration during the selection process. The University does not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, colour, disability, religion, nationality, age, sexual orientation or any other irrelevant distinction.

Entry onto these programmes is conditional on the University identifying a suitable placement and mentor.

An interview is a pre-requisite for entry onto this programme

There is a two-stage interview process for this course. The first stage is conducted by a member of the teaching team, which includes a short presentation that you prepare and deliver and follows the format described in the link below. If successful there will be a second interview with a subject specialist tutor from the placement college. This interview is to ascertain your level of subject knowledge in the areas that you might reasonably be expected to deliver whilst on your teaching placement. Find more information about interviews in the Institute's interview pages.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) N/A To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

Applications for this programme are made via the UCAS Teacher Training site using UCAS course code X341.

Please ensure when submitting your application form through UCAS, that you are available for interview during the 40 day turnaround time following the submission of your application form. UCAS stipulate for all training providers to make a decision on applications within 40 working days. If you are not able to attend your interview during this period we will be unable to make a decision and therefore UCAS will reject your application by default. If you are unable to attend interview until after the 40 day period, and your application is rejected by default you will need to re-apply through Apply 2. If you have any concerns about this process you can visit the UCAS website or email us at

Interview guidance

There is a two-stage interview process for this course. The first is conducted by a member of the teaching team, which includes a short presentation that you prepare and deliver and follows the format described below. If successful there will be a second interview with a subject specialist tutor from the placement college. This interview is to ascertain your level of subject knowledge in the areas that you might reasonably be expected to teach whilst on your teaching placement. Find more information about interviews in the Institute's interview pages.

Graduate profiles

Dan Wheatley - graduate profile

I found the period changed and developed my outlook on life tremendously. This was an opportunity to explore experiences from our teaching placements and reflect on developments. The quality of teaching from the tutors on this course was outstanding.

Dan's excellent work placement has led to him now being employed as a lecturer.

Russell Shobrook - Programme Leader

The FE and skills sector is busy and dynamic. Those students who wish to pursue a vocational or academic avenue deserve the very best teachers. Our PGCE/Cert Ed aims to equip trainee teachers with the skills and knowledge needed to meet that need.

A teaching career in FE is very rewarding. Our course will prepare you to enter this career with the best possible chance of future success.

Find out more about Russell’s teaching and research interests