Post Compulsory Education & Training (PCET) - PGCE/PCE

Course Overview


Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) PCET
Professional Certificate of Education (PCE) PCET.​

The PGCE PCET is for graduates who want to teach their degree subject or any subject for which they have at least a level 3 qualification in. They should also be teaching or actively seeking teaching in the post-compulsory sector of education and training. Students do not need GCSE Maths or English to apply for this course.

The PCE PCET is for students with a Level 3 qualification (e.g. NVQ3, OCN 3, A Level equivalence) preferably in the subject they are teaching or want to teach.  The programme is for students who have experience in their subject areas and who wish to further their experience by teaching in the PCET or lifelong learning and skills sector. Students do not need GCSE Maths or English to apply for this course.

Graduate and non-graduate entrants will follow the same learning pattern but, in compliance with the requirements of QAA, be assessed at the differentiated levels for undergraduate study in Year 2.

Read what previous students have said about the programmes:
“Support and encouragement I have received has been excellent”
“The tutors have very extensive knowledge of their subjects”
“I am much more confident now and feel able to teach properly”.

Preparing to Teach in PCET

If you are not sure that the two year course is right for you there is a short course designed as an introduction to teaching in post 16 - Preparing to Teach in PCET.

The Preparing to teach 10 week course is a teaching toolkit aimed at students with a Level 3 qualification who are considering teaching or who are currently teaching or training in post compulsory education environments. This is a stand-alone module and career progression onto the PGCE or PCE PCET is available on successful completion of Preparing to Teach. For further information about Prepare to Teach, please click here.

Course Content

The PCET programmes have been devised to introduce students to teaching in the post compulsory education and training (PCET) sector including tertiary, further and higher education, adult and community education, vocational and 14- 19 education as well as training in the private sector or work-based learning environments.  These two-year part time programmes will engage you in both academic and practical assignments. 

The programmes are based upon participative student-centred learning which requires the student to engage with a number of teaching methods including practical and simulated exercises, class based discussions, role play and experiential learning tasks and blended learning approaches to maximise effective learning and offer an inclusive learning experience for all students throughout the programme.

The general aim of these programmes is to produce teachers or trainers who can demonstrate competence across the range of roles and tasks related to the design, delivery, management and evaluation of learning. Students will leave the programme equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge that underpin the performance of those tasks expected of the professional educator or trainer in the post-compulsory sector.

The programme aims to provide a high quality and professionally appropriate experience that offers the opportunity for students to develop their abilities to plan and undertake projects related to practice and to link their practice to theory in a critical and evaluative way.  It aims to equip students with the skills to engage with the concept of reflective practice and to select areas of professional relevance for their study.

The Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) sector is an area of growing importance in a world of rapidly evolving economic and social change.  As individuals face the need to upgrade their skills in order to meet the requirements of the world of work, educators in the Post 16 sector have a key role to play in helping them to achieve their learning goals.

The overall aim is to create 'reflective practitioners'.  


Year 1

Level 4 Preparing to Teach

Level 5 Planning for Teaching in PCET 

Level 5 Delivering Learning and Teaching in PCET

Level 5 Assessment and Evaluation of Learning in PCET

Level 5 Reflective Practice 

Year 2   

The following modules are delivered on both programmes - the PCE PCET are delivered at Level 5 and the PGCE PCET at Level 6

The Context of PCET

Employability and Professional Development in PCET

Sustainable Teaching and Learning Strategies in PCET

Inclusive Curriculum Planning and Design in PCET

Subject Pedagogy and Reflective Practice 

The Course Team reserves the right to amend the programme to ensure compliance with professional standards.​


Learning & Teaching

The programme team recognises that adult learners bring with them experiences which can be used as a resource for learning.  Consequently formal lectures are not a feature of this programme.  We expect all sessions to involve students actively participating in their learning. 

The overall emphasis will be on working together and effectively utilising the experiences and skills that the individual learners bring to the group.  This student-centred approach allows students to take responsibility for their own learning.  Tutors are seen as facilitators of learning, providing resources, supporting, stimulating and challenging where appropriate.

To this end the teaching methods on the programme will include:

Input from tutors.  This can be useful in providing new or up-to-date information to larger groups provided there is an ongoing opportunity for questioning and participation.  They will be used sparingly on the programme to generate interest in new subjects and provide information for future discussion, analysis and evaluation.  The role of the programme team is to expose students to a full range of teaching and learning strategies and to model best practice in the way sessions are delivered to provide a high quality teaching and learning experience for students.

​Small group work.  This will be one of the key strategies utilised.  The major aim of these activities will be to develop skills relating to thinking, discussion and the presentation of information.  Students will be able to practise their communication skills, listen to other group members, support weaker peers and observe group dynamics in action.  They will have extensive opportunities to develop their presentation skills in a safe environment and learn how to give encouraging and constructive feedback to their colleagues.  Methods utilised will include:

• Ice-breaking exercises

• Team-building exercises

• Workshops

• Buzz groups and brainstorming

• Simulations

• Case-studies

• Role plays

Seminars.  These will be led by programme members and will allow them to further develop their presentation and delivery skills.  They will be designed to allow group members to explore issues relating to their own institutional settings or their academic specialisms.

Individualised learning periods.  Directed self-study activities will be used to allow students to learn at their own pace outside normal classroom environment. The number of hours of self-study varies for each student and it would be worth discussing this with your personal tutor at the start of the year.

Tutorials.  Group members will meet with their individual tutors at regular intervals to reflect on their learning experiences, share concerns and problems and set learning targets. Previous students and external examiners have praised the level of tutorial support offered on the programmes.

Blended Learning.  Moodle is Cardiff Met’s virtual learning environment and this is used as a means of promoting a blended approach to teaching and learning with programme material, lecture notes, presentations and website links being made available.  


A variety of assessment methods appropriate to the PGCE and PCE programme levels will be used throughout the programme and may include:

·         Written assessments (WRIT) such as reports, self-reflections, analytical documents, case studies, online blogs, peer assessments, essays;

·         Presentations (PRES) and Microteaching sessions which may be individual and/or group; seminar; (non)-interactive; with audience;

·         Practicals (PRAC) such as individual and/or group; coaching; mentoring;; performance;

·         Portfolio (PORT) that includes a collection of evidence, frequently including a contextual statement; poster; website;

·         Placements (PLAC) such as a fieldwork placement; school placement; experiencing the world of work.

The programme is formally assessed through module assignments and the supervised teaching experience to include 130 hours of direct teaching over the two years. 

Students will undertake four observed teaching hours in Year 1 and four in Year 2.  Each of these will require written preparation and also a self-evaluation report following the observation.​

Employability & Careers

The PGCE and PCE PCET will qualify you to teach in Further and Higher Education, youth, adult and community education, 14- 19 sector, work-based education, training in HM Forces, prison education, industry and commercial training departments.

Students who have completed this course have gone on to part or full-time teaching in the post compulsory sector of education and training, usually teaching their subject and other subject related areas.  All graduates leaving the course are signposted to Cardiff County Council and Cardiff Met's Widening Access department as potential adult education tutors for outreach and summer school activities.  Some students are offered teaching opportunities by their mentor once they have graduated and networking with peers can also be useful in terms of future teaching opportunities.

Progression Routes:


Non-graduates successfully completing the PCE (PCET) will gain 120 credits at levels 4 and 5.  Students would be able to progress on to a degree programme in their specific subject discipline or other related CPD qualifications.

Graduates completing the PGCE (PCET) will gain 120 credits at levels 4, 5 and 6.  Students can then progress onto Masters programmes within their particular subject area e.g MA CPD Framework at Cardiff Met.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants to the Professional Certificate in Education (PCET) should have:

·         A qualification at Level 3, or above in the subject they intend to teach

Applicants to the PGCE (PCET) should have:

·         A degree

·         A qualification at Level 3, or above in the subject they intend to teach 

Selection Procedure:
Application forms can be found online or  Students will be required to attend an interview and submit a CV.  Students will also need two references and submit copies of their highest qualifications.  Students will be asked about possible teaching opportunities and finding a suitable mentor.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Education
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
Two years part time

Both programmes are delivered on a part-time basis over two years and are in-service qualifications which require a minimum of 30 hours of contact teaching in the first year and 100 hours of contact teaching in the second year.  Students are responsible for arranging their own teaching hours, which should be carried out between Sept and May in each academic year.  Students will also need to find a suitable subject mentor to support their professional teaching practice.

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available.  Students can also contact Student Finance Wales for further information about financial support.  Please refer to

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leaders:
Rhiain Burberry
Tel: 029 2041 6292

PCE (PCET) and Preparing to Teach (10 week taster):
Leanne Davies
Tel: 029 2041 7097

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting​​ 

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting