Professional Certificate Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET)

The Professional 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 Hair and Beauty, Construction and Motor Vehicle Maintenance. 
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. 
You would need a level 3 vocational qualification and relevant industry/sector experience to join the course. Once with us, you will develop skills, confidence and understanding of learning, teaching and assessment in your subject.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
X340 Full-time 1 Year September Newport City C
N/A Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
X340 Full-time 1 Year September Newport City C
N/A 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 Professional Certificate in Education 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 4

  • Planning for learning

Level 5

  • Assessing for learning
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Practice-based Research
  • Literacies for Learning
  • Extending Professional Practice

Part time pathway

Level 4

  • Planning for learning (Year 1)

Level 5

  • Assessing for learning (Year 1)
  • Developing Professional Practice (Year 1)
  • Practice-based Research 
  • Literacies for Learning (Year 2)
  • Extending Professional Practice (Year 2)


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

Full time delivery pattern 

First half term (until October):

  • 9.30am-2.30pm Tuesday 
  • 9.30am-3.45pm Wednesday 
  • 9.30am-2.30pm Friday

November to June:

  • 9.30am-2.30pm Tuesday                               
  • 9.30am-3.45pm Wednesday 

Part time delivery pattern (year 1 and 2) 

  • Sept-June 1.15-7.00

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:

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

  • Successful applicants will need to hold a minimum level 3 qualification in their teaching subject area, along with one or more year’s vocational experience in their teaching subject (where relevant).
  • 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) 
  • 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 -  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.

International Entry Requirements

We welcome international students, though applicants should be aware that this qualification prepares teachers for the UK-based Post Compulsory education and training sector.

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 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK:  £900 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
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.
Travel to Placements / Placement costs *
Costs of travelling to placements and any additional costs levied by placements.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

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.