Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Postgraduate certificate without QTS

Develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to enhance your teaching practice and make a real difference in the classroom with our flexible online PGCE without Qualified Teacher Status.

  • Benefit from 100% online learning, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies around other commitments
  • Our online PGCE is ideal for early career and experienced teachers working in schools who want to become better practitioners
  • Taught by an expert team of academic practitioners and university staff with a wealth of experience in school teaching and leadership, as well as teacher education.
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your PGCE online course

Our online Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) without QTS is ideal if you are teaching in an education setting for school aged children in the United Kingdom or overseas, and want to improve your professional practice through online learning.

Perfect for both experienced practitioners who are looking to support their current practice with a formal qualification or teachers who are early in their teaching career , and looking to enhance their skills and understanding in educational practice.

Our online PGCE will help you develop new skills that will help you to demonstrate proficiency and make a real impact in your workplace.

Study online for the flexibility to enhance your career around your other commitments.

Please note that this is an academic qualification, and not a course of Initial Teacher Training with qualified teacher status.

Course highlights

  • Study with a work-based approach to the course content that allows you to develop practical skills to make an impact in your workplace as you learn
  • Develop specialist expertise in an area of teaching and learning that interests you
  • Supports your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to enable you to improve your effectiveness as a practitioner
  • Opens the door to further postgraduate study with credit towards our master’s degrees

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 1 year

Start datesStart in September

Application deadline

Our next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) without Qualified Teacher Status offers school teachers the opportunity to become better practitioners. You’ll develop an area of teaching relevant to your current school and improve your overall practice and understanding of current educational issues and apply your study directly to your day-to-day teachings. Our PGCE course also opens the door to further postgraduate study for those with longer term career goals, with credit towards our master’s degrees.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education(PGCE) comprises a compulsory teaching observation within your educational establishment. It's therefore essential that you are in a teaching role before the start of the course, with the support of an identified school mentor/leader so your school mentor/leader can observe you. The teaching observation will form part of the quality assurance processes and support your continuing professional development, and will focus on assessing your practice in relation to the related learning outcomes within the modules.

Through your teaching modules you’ll learn about the latest educational theories, how they impact teaching policy and practice in England, and how to create appropriate learning resources for children. You’ll also collaborate with your peers, learning from observation and feedback, using critical analysis to reflect on your experiences in the classroom, and demonstrating how you’ve deployed your new skills and knowledge.

You’ll begin to establish a professional network by working alongside other like-minded teachers on the course and establish a secure foundation upon which to build a highly successful career in education. During the online PGCE course you’ll also engage in a professional enquiry, developing specialist expertise in an area of teaching and learning that interests you.

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The Reflective Practitioner

Enhance your knowledge and skills within your teaching practice and complement your professional development as part of your career in teaching. Examine current theoretical perspectives related to the reflective practitioner discourse and make comparisons to the competences discourse in teaching as well as current national agendas within teacher education in England. You’ll critically reflect on your own teaching skills and examine the skills needed for successful reflection, then use this to identify areas for self-improvement. You’ll identify critical incidents in teaching children and their learning, considering how these influence pedagogical approaches. You’ll appreciate how professional feedback through observations supports on-going development as a teacher as well as how to create appropriate learning resources to enhance children’s learning. You’ll be expected to draw on your own professional experiences to support your development of linking theory to practice and demonstrate how you have critically applied your knowledge and understanding to your professional role.

Professional Evidenced-based Enquiry

In this module you’ll develop specialist expertise in an area of interest relating to teaching and learning. The notion of enquiry is intended to reflect the contributions you bring to advanced study from your professional teaching. You’ll pursue individual enquiries into a subject area which is directly linked to professional teaching and learning experiences. The use of enquiry is based on a social constructivist approach to learning, which reflects a belief that our thoughts about the world and our ways of knowing are developed through our shared perceptions of it. Central to this is the use of critical thinking which underpins reflective learning. You’ll have the opportunity to engage in professional enquiry which will predominantly be work-based; the aim is to develop a deep understanding of factors which shape ways of thinking, working, and learning in Primary and Secondary educational settings.

Modules are subject to change and availability.


We’ll assess you through a patchwork text (a composite of short, reflective pieces about your professional experiences over time), and an enquiry-based project linked to your own professional setting.

How you'll study

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) without QTS is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, PC or tablet, both at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

Please note this course includes some live webinars, these are not compulsory, but it is recommended that you attend if you can.

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your PGCEonline, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist online PGCE tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your PGCE online course, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services


What could an online PGCE without QTS do for my career?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education without QTS is an internationally recognised qualification at master’s level that demonstrates your continued commitment to professional standards and development. This will support your practice in independent schools, academies, international schools, free schools and alternative education within the UK and internationally.

What job roles can I consider with a PGCE online?

To study our Postgraduate Certificate in Education without QTS you would need to be working in an educational setting for school aged children, whether that’s in a state school or independent schools. You could be an experienced practitioner or an early career teacher, either way the PGCE will improve your practice and ultimately make you a better teacher, as well as validating your experience and expertise.

Having a PGCE without QTS on your CV can support your career aspirations and combined with your personal experience, other qualifications and areas of specific interest could open doors to a number of teaching roles. Here are just some.

  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Sixth Form College Teacher
  • Further Education Teacher
  • International Teacher
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Teacher
  • Head of Year
  • Head of Department
  • School Leader

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings see It is important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What skills will I get from a PGCE online to help my career?

Choosing to study a PGCE will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • Advance your critical evaluating skills but particularly in relation to current research and established pedagogic strategies.
  • Develop your effectiveness in group working, team organisation and using learning resources whilst studying the course modules.
  • Be able to confidently identify personal goals for professional development and improvement of professional skills in order to practise effective teaching.
  • Improve your communication skills for professional practice.

What can I study after a PGCE online?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests, after successful completion of the PGCE, you may decide to explore further postgraduate study such as our online MA Education suite or top up your PGCE to a full Master’s of Education.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability Service, who will work with you throughout your time at ARU and after you graduate, whether that’s landing your dream job or your next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

You must hold an undergraduate degree or UK equivalent

Hold GCSEs in English, Mathematics and a Science at grade 4 or above (or demonstrate qualifications at an equivalent level)

Be able to demonstrate that you regularly undertake teaching practice either as a full or part-time employed serving teacher in a school.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected/asked to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet, and email.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this PGCE online course is £2,100.

The tuition fees you pay each year for the full Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) without QTS will be £2,100. The course is studied over 1 year.

Approved prior learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your online PGCE can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Dio - ARU Student

ARU was a great choice that allowed me to achieve my personal and professional ambitions. I felt supported, empowered, and accomplished.

Read Dio's story
Shipa - ARU Distance Learning Student

I have been able to study at a time and place convenient to me. I was able to manage my job, family life and study in the comfort of my home whilst still developing my career prospects.

Read Shipa's story
Sophie - ARU Student

Being a distance learner, I feel like I am getting the absolute most out of the time I put in. It will give me opportunities that a few years ago I didn’t think were possible.

Read Sophie's story
Mark - ARU Distance Learning Student

If you have commitments outside of your studies, distance learning is perfect. It has been great for me as a teacher working abroad.

Read Mark's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

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