Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) PGCE PCE

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

Click here to watch a Live Q&A event to find out more about the PGCE PCET and meet lecturers. 

Our PGCE and PCE PCET programmes are well recognised and valued within the sector and provide you with a nationally recognised, professional teaching experience which will qualify you to explore a range of teaching careers in Further and Higher Education, youth work provision, adult and community education, 14-19 sector, work-based education, training in HM Forces, prison education, industry and commercial training departments. 

There are two courses available depending on your existing qualifications which are aligned with the Professional Teaching Standards:

  • 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 they are qualified in to Level 3 or above. They should also be teaching or actively seeking teaching in the post-compulsory sector of education and training. 

The PCE PCET is for students who have a Level 3 qualification and wish to further their experience in their subject area by teaching in the PCET or lifelong learning and skills sector. 

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.

Both in-service qualifications require a minimum of 30 hours of contact teaching in the first year and 100 hours in the second year (to be carried out between September and May). Students are responsible for arranging their own teaching hours and finding a suitable subject mentor to support their professional teaching practice. 

Our past students have secured part or full-time teaching in the PCET sector, usually teaching their subject as well as other subject related areas. All graduates are signposted to Cardiff County Council and Cardiff Met's Widening Access department as potential adult education tutors for outreach and summer school activities, as well as signposting to Adult Learning Wales for additional teaching opportunities.

Find out more about a 10 week short course – Preparing to Teach in PCET – which starts on Monday 12th September. 

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 (10 credits)
  • Level 5 Delivering Learning and Teaching in PCET (30 credits)
  • Level 5 Reflective Practice (20 credits)

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 Professional Context of PCET (20 credits)
  • Curriculum Design for Teaching and Learning Strategies in PCET (20 credits)
  • Subject Pedagogy and Reflective Practice (20 credits)

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

Preparing to Teach in PCET Short Course

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 please click here.

The next Preparing to Teach in PCET course starts on 12th September 2022. 

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:

  • Self-evaluation and reflective practice
  • Group work and group evaluation
  • Student led seminars, tutorials and discussion
  • Paired or group learning
  • Role-play and analysis
  • Team building exercises
  • Discussion
  • Experiential and reflective exercises
  • Case studies and evaluation
  • Self-directed private and self-guided independent study, reading and open learning
  • Interactive lectures and discussion
  • Blended learning / hybrid learning 

Contact Hours

Students are required to attend class on one day a week usually between the hours of 2pm and 8pm.  Times will often vary depending on the module being studied, the content and the assessments.  Students will be informed of any changes to the modules throughout the course.  In addition to class contact, students are required to undertake teaching hours in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course (see specific module information).


The course team prides itself on the level of support offered to our students, which student feedback continues to confirm.  A range of support is provided prior to, during and on completion of the programme, including access to:

  • Open door policy (online and on campus) to access support from staff, especially programme director, personal tutor and module leaders
  • Student Charter / Induction Programmes / University Student Handbook
  • Student Programme Handbook
  • Study skills support packages including online IT skills training through MS Teams
  • Library and learning resources are supported with online training sessions
  • Tutorials (scheduled and bookable throughout the course)
  • Mentoring support from work-based mentors and former students
  • University wide IT facilities as well as programme specific computer rooms
  • Access to Student Services including those offered by Disability support, Counselling
  • Mental Health support, Finance and Welfare advice, I-Zone, Out of Hours assistance, Chaplaincy and Health Service
  • Student Union representation and services including advocacy and support

Technology and Facilities

Modules are primarily delivered face to face and are well supported by the various learning and assessment tools available on Moodle (VLE). The VLE is extensively used in the School to make available learning material and resources. Other features that are used to engage students in their own learning include wikis, blogs and discussion groups. In addition, the VLE is also used in both formative and summative assessments and finally to communicate with students. Students also receive support via email as well as face to face assistance as appropriate.  Students are encouraged to participate in online discussions, experiment with applications when teaching and are fully supported with digital skills training and development to be able to integrate these into their teaching practices.

Microsoft Teams is also used as a tool to enhance flexible and hybrid learning as a result of home learning last year and will continue to form part of the course delivery in the coming year.  Students will have the opportunity to undertake training in Digital Skills to enhance their use of various applications.

Staff expertise

Staff teaching on the course have extensive experience of teaching in higher education, further education and the adult and community sector.  All staff are members of Advance HE and other recognised professional bodies.  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 deployment of these in the classroom in order to provide high quality teaching and learning experiences for students.  As such the programme itself seeks to provide role models and exemplars to the students.


A variety of assessment methods are used across all modules on the programme and as trainee teachers, students are exposed to a number of assessment methods used in the PCET sector (either formally or informally) and their viability within the various disciplines is discussed within class sessions.  These may include: 

  • Group discussions and activities within modules
  • Individual exercises and activities within modules
  • Case studies; written assignments
  • Practical teaching assessments
  • Seminar presentations with tutor and peer feedback
  • Personal and group tutorial discussions and feedback
  • Poster presentations
  • Reflective written tasks
  • Simulated experiences using role play scenarios

Summative assessment will be undertaken through successful completion of the module assessment task/s for each module undertaken. 

Students will be fully supported throughout their assessments and will receive ongoing feedback when completing assignments and throughout their practical teaching placements via subject mentors and course team.  Students often comment on the quality of support they receive whilst on the programme.  Students also undertake peer assessments of practical teaching sessions, where the topic of providing support is discussed as part of the teaching cycle.

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.

Professional Accreditation

Students working in the FE and work-based learning sectors are required to register with the Education Workforce Council (EWC) and this process is facilitated through Programme Team links with EWC representatives.

Students wishing to teach in HE are signposted to membership of Advance HE as part of their CPD.

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

Criminal Records Check:

You will be required to complete a PCET Self Declaration form with regard to any criminal conviction(s) before the start of the programme.  It is likely that you will be required to undergo the DBS process before commencing a professional teaching placement.  Criminal convictions may prevent you from carrying out a professional placement; please speak to the course team if you are in doubt.

International Applicants

Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

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

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available please refer to (see undergraduate part time per 10 credits on fee table). Students can also contact Student Finance Wales for further information about financial support.

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​​

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

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.

Students will cover 120 credits over the two years - 60 credits in year 1 and 60 credits in year 2.  

PGCE PCET Virtual Live Q and A Event
Meet the Team
Thursday 27 January at 6.30pm

Watch a PGCE PCET Live Q and A event previously held on 27 January 2022, to find out more about our PCET PGCE/PCE programme at Cardiff Met. Discover more about the course and teaching in the post-16 sector and meet lecturers.
Watch video on Microsoft Teams.

More About the Course
How PGCE PCET helped me secure my first job as a lecturer

Jonathan studied the Preparing to Teach taster course before completing the PGCE PCET. He tells us about his study experiences and becoming a lecturer in Higher Education.
Read more.

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