Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) qualifies you to teach in the further, adult and vocational education sector. It is a full, nationally-recognised teaching qualification, specifically designed for those aiming to teach a vocational subject in areas such as Business, Health and Social Care, Media and IT.

The University of South Wales at Newport has led the field in vocational teacher education in Wales for many years, on our campus in Caerleon, in our partner FE colleges and more recently in our riverside campus in the centre of Newport. 

The course aims to develop student teachers:

  • who are familiar with/confident about social sciences discourse
  • who may later be interested in pursuing Master’s study in Education
  • whose writing is already at Master’s level (assessed during application)

You would need to hold a level 6 qualification in their teaching subject area, along with one or more year’s vocational experience in their teaching subject (where relevant). Once with us, you will develop skills, confidence and understanding of learning, teaching and assessment in your subject.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Newport City C
Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Newport City C
Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C

This course prepares you for a career as a teacher within the Post Compulsory sector and also provides an introduction to university study in a friendly and supportive environment.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) consists of six 20 credit modules:

Planning for Learning

This module provides an introduction to teaching in theory and practice, with an opportunity to try things out and a practical assessment. 

Assessing for Learning

This module enables you to get to know your learners better, and to plan to meet their needs. You’ll also be supported in the creative use of learning technology for assessment.

Developing Professional Practice

This module runs throughout the year and includes planning and managing 50 hours of taught sessions, being observed teaching, evaluating and reflecting on your own practice, and action planning for your own professional development.

Practice-based Research

This module provides a research project ‘taster’. You will undertake a case study of a learner and develop research skills such as interviewing and other data collection, to help you find out more about your learner and about effective teaching.

Literacies for Learning

This is a chance to explore ideas about all kinds of communication and literacy (digital, visual, graphic, written etc.) in your everyday life and your teaching. The module is assessed via a fun and interactive exhibition which you contribute to.

Extending Professional Practice

This builds on your professional learning in Developing Professional Practice, as you continue to plan, teach, reflect and be observed. You will also look beyond the classroom towards the post-compulsory education landscape and learn new technology/animation skills for an assessed presentation.

Teaching practice

Teaching practice in the full teaching role is at the heart of the qualification (100 hours for full time students, 50 hours per year for part time students). It provides the foundation for all your learning in every module throughout the course. Whilst on a teaching practice placement, you also need to undertake observation of other practitioners, and to take part in the life of the placement institution more broadly.

The course is available full time across one year and also part time across two years.


Full time pathway

Level 6

  • Planning for learning
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Extending Professional Practice

Level 7

  • Assessing for learning
  • Practice-based Research - Case study of a Learner
  • Literacies for Learning

Part time pathway

Level 6

  • Planning for learning (Year 1)
  • Developing Professional Practice (Year 1)
  • Extending Professional Practice (Year 2)

Level 7

  • Assessing for learning (Year 1)
  • Practice-based Research - Action Research in Social Context (Year 2)
  • Literacies for Learning (Year 2)


Full time delivery pattern 

Sept-Oct – Tues, Wed and Thurs 9.30-3.30 
Nov-Dec – Tues, Wed 9.30-3.30 
Jan-May – Wed 9.30-3.30 
Part time delivery pattern (year 1 and 2) 

All year – Thurs 1.30-7.30 
Teaching practice takes place outside these times, and student teachers negotiate their own teaching timetables with placement mentors or employers. 


There are no exams, assessment is 100% coursework.  
You are assessed in many different ways including practical and interactive activities, as well as written coursework. 


We provide support in securing teaching practice placements and practice mentors across the Post Compulsory sector.

We make every effort to ensure you have the most productive and supported professional development experience possible.


We have attractive and flexible learning spaces and a number of computer suites which will provide you with authentic learning opportunities.


The team are all experienced teacher trainers, who started their careers as teachers in Further, Adult and Community and/or Secondary education. They come from a wide range of subject backgrounds, including Maths, Science, English (ESOL and Adult Literacy) and ICT, and have a range of teaching and research interests. Key staff are:

  • A 2:1 degree or above is desirable, or a recognised equivalent, in a relevant subject area. If you are offering a vocational subject you are normally expected also to demonstrate that you have some relevant vocational experience
  • Mathematics and English language GCSE Grade C or above, or equivalent, are desirable
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants) 
  • If English is not your first language you should be able to demonstrate a level of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent (minimum score of 5.5 in each band)
  • Part-time applicants will be required to confirm 50 hours (minimum) of teaching, and 20 hours of observation of an experienced tutor in the first year and in second year will be required to confirm 50 hours (minimum) of teaching and 20 hours of observation/departmental duties.
  • An interview is required for this course



Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees


Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
DBS * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


We interview all suitable applicants. At the interview, you will be asked to do a 5-minute presentation telling us how your experience and qualifications suit you to become a teacher in the post-compulsory sector. After your presentation, you will have an informal interview with one of the course team, where we will ask you further questions about your presentation, including your ideas for learning and teaching the range of learners in the Post Compulsory sector.

For the full time course, please apply via UCAS Teacher Training
For the part time course, please register and apply directly to the University

Our graduates have a proven track record of moving into fulltime and permanent teaching posts 
This course will help you develop confidence and skills in working with a range of people and using the latest technology and media. It will also prepare you for further study. 

After completing the course, you could have a career as a PcET practitioner within the Post Compulsory Education and Training sector, eg Further Education (FE), Training Providers, Adult and Community Learning and Work Based Learning.

Recent graduates have gained full and part time employment across the sector and many of our past graduates actively support the course as mentors for our new student teachers.