Plymouth Institute of Education

CertEd Certificate in Education (incorporating the Diploma in Education and Training)

Develop the skills, knowledge and professional values to enhance your teaching career within the further education and skills sector. This nationally endorsed qualification prepares you for the challenges and rewards of teaching in a variety of environments, including further education colleges, adult and community education, offender learning and the public sector. Qualify ready to enter the workplace.

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. After completing this course you'll have the option to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

Key features

  • Put skills into practice with a significant proportion of the course devoted to your placement. You will spend two days a week on placement in a further education and skills setting.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to network with potential employers, and follow in the footsteps of many of our trainees who go on to work within their placement organisations.
  • After completing this course, you have the option to apply for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.
  • Receive "excellent support from tutors and mentors and make good progress in developing the skills and attributes to become accomplished teachers"*.
  • Benefit from highly qualified tutors with many years’ experience in the further education and skills sector.
  • Demonstrate innovation, creativity and enterprise throughout your time on the course 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  an important part of the programme’s philosophy and organisation.
  • Tailored for applicants who hold a Level 3 qualification or have relevant experience. The postgraduate certificate in education is available to those who hold a relevant degree qualifications in the subject they wish to teach.
  • Weston College, in partnership with 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 re-offending 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.
*Ofsted (2014)

Course details

  • Course structure
  • During this one year programme you’ll be expected to complete four 30-credit modules and eight teaching observations. 

    As a full-time trainee, you’ll be committed to a Monday to Friday week of academic and professional study, consisting of two full days a week of on-campus study, two days a week of professional practice placement (arranged by the University) and one day a week of independent study and research. 

    You work closely with your coursemates, learning together and from one another, with peer support an important part of the course 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
    • DLLS400 Evidencing English and Maths Competency

      This module is designed to allow trainees on the PGCE/Cert Ed (Inc DET) course to evidence a minimum level of competence in English/literacy and maths/numeracy required for completion of the Initial Teacher Education course. The PGCE/Cert Ed (inc DET) cannot be awarded without successfully evidencing these minimum levels of competence.

    • DLLS490 Learning, Teaching and Assessment

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

    • DLLS579 Curriculum and Society

      This module 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 evaluation of individual subject specialisms in relation to inclusive curriculum design.

    • DLLS580 Wider Practice and Professional Development

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

    • DLLS584 Theories and Principles of Managing Learning Environments

      Through reflective practice and study, this module evaluates theories, policies and principles for enabling inclusive learning, focusing on learning environments including classroom, virtual, restricted, work-place, field trips and outdoors. It examines communication, resources, teaching/learning strategies and organisation policies.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

    • A level three qualification (or be able to demonstrate suitable subject expertise and specialist knowledge) in the subject area you wish to teach.
    • GCSE: You will be required to achieve and evidence a level 2 equivalent in both English and Maths by the end of the programme. 
    • 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.

    English language requirements

    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.

    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.

    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.

    For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

    Fees, costs and funding

    The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

    New Student 2020 2021
    Home £9,250 To be confirmed
    International £13,800 To be confirmed
    Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
    Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. For more information about fees and funding please visit

    Undergraduate scholarships for international students

    To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

    Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

    Additional costs

    This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

    How to apply

    To apply for this course, please download, complete and return the application form.

    Guidance notes are available to enable you to complete the application form.

    Please contact our Admissions Office should you require any further information:

    Central Admissions
    University of Plymouth
    Drake Circus
    PL4 8AA

    Tel: 01752 585858 Fax: 01752 588050

    To apply for this course, please download, complete and return the application form.

    Guidance notes are available to enable you to complete the application form.

    Please contact our Admissions Office should you require any further information:

    Central Admissions
    University of Plymouth
    Drake Circus
    PL4 8AA

    Tel: 01752 585858 Fax: 01752 588050

    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