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Professional and Postgraduate Certificate in Education / Certificate in Education - An Award of the University of Huddersfield

This course is for teachers and trainers who are working with young people or adults in the Post-Compulsory Education and Training sector. It is a part-time, in-service course, designed for those who are already employed in this area. The course is taught at Calderdale College. Teachers of vocational courses to 14-19 year olds in schools may also be eligible, as are those with an established training function in a business/commercial organisation. Voluntary teaching/training hours may be acceptable.


The aims of the course are expressed in the acronym ASPIRE: we aim to produce teachers who are Ambitious, Student-focussed, Professional, Inspiring, Reflective and Excellent practitioners. Our trainees develop a deep interest in the academic and pastoral well-being of their students.

You are expected to have a good understanding of your chosen subject: a degree if you are applying for the Professional Graduate or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or a subject specialist qualification at a minimum of Level 3 for the Certificate in Education. The course provides a route to the status of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) if you are appropriately employed in the sector. This is achieved following successful completion of the course, through a process of professional formation administered by the Society for Education and Training.

The course encourages you to be reflective and critical in relation to your teaching. It combines a focus on practical strategies around topics such as classroom management and assessment with knowledge of the underpinning theory involved. One of the distinctive features of the course is that the teaching and learning strategies used by the tutors are part of the content of the course as well as its delivery. Discussion of what methods tutors use and how well they work is designed to encourage you to make reflective judgments about what will work with your learners.

You will encounter a wide range of teaching and learning activities as you work through the course. You will work in small groups and on your own, attend lectures and seminars as well as presenting your own work. Work-based learning will be an important feature of your studies, not just in relation to practical teaching but also to develop your wider professional role. A similar variety of assessment strategies will also be encountered, ranging from essays and projects to teaching observations and peer assessment.

Click here for the full course details (programme specification)


Attendance will be 3 hours per week for 31 weeks per year, with additional tutorials. You're required to attend a Subject Specialist Conference at the University of Huddersfield in April of your 2nd year.

Course Leader profile

Janet Holden

Main Grade lecturer full time Calderdale College Bsc (Hons) Psychology, QTLS Life long Learning Sector, Member of BPS. I have a wide range of experiences that inform my teaching, for example working with Social Services to set up group homes and work rehabilitation for vulnerable adults and those with mental health issues. I have worked with the education system in schools with children with severe behavioural challenges and have a special interest in autism and autistic spectrum conditions. When the Kosovan refugees came to this area I was asked to help get them ‘ready for school’ and I worked with them and their families in order to access the support needed for these traumatised children to achieve. This year’s teaching commitment is with the Foundation Degree in Early Years, Cache L3 Diploma in Supporting individuals with Learning Disabilities, Initial Teacher Training (Lifelong Learning) PGCE/CertEd and in the past I have taught on the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care and the Ba (hons) in Early Years and several sessions of Staff Development on autism, Equality and Diversity, Motivation and Stress and am involved each year in supporting and mentoring student teachers. I am the vice chair of the college’s UCU and I sit on the college’s Joint Consultative Committee where college wide issues are discussed with senior management and staff representatives such as the capability and sickness policy, health and safety issues etc.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Certificate in Education must possess, or expect to possess before the start of their qualification, a National Vocational Qualification at Level 3 or 4 (or an equivalent qualification), in the subject area forming their main teaching base. In addition to the above, candidates for any of these awards will normally have a minimum of 2 years post-qualification "field" experience related to their main teaching are (where this is vocationally related). Applicants for the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education must possess or expect to possess before the start of their programme, a UK first degree (not a Foundation Degree, not a Masters Degree) or equivalent qualification from a recognised institution. In most cases, you will be required to show that you have had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check carried out by your employer. If you aren't in paid employment, it is the responsibility of the placement provider to ensure that you have been suitably checked. As part of the application process, you will need to confirm that a DBS check has been carried out. Applicants for the Postgraduate Certificate should hold, or expect to hold before the start of the programme, a degree from a British University, or an award regarded as an equivalent by the University of Huddersfield. You will need to show that you have the potential for postgraduate level of study in the field of education. You will need to identify a mentor in your workplace who is a specialist in your subject area. You will also need to have access to 100 teaching hours over the duration of the course (50 per year).

Interview Process

An interview with specialist tutor

Questions & Answers

Who is the course for?

This course is for teachers and trainers who are working with young people or adults in the Post-Compulsory Education and Training sector. It is a part-time, in-service course, designed for those who are already employed in this area. The Certificate in Education is for those who hold a Level 3 (or above) qualification in their specialist subject. The Professional Graduate Certificate is for those holding a degree. The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is for those wanting a Masters Level Teaching qualification in the Education and Training sector and who do not wish to proceed to the full MA Teaching in Lifelong Learning.

What will be studied?

The Certificate in Education, the Professional Graduate and the Postgraduate Certificate in Education follow the same modules in the first year: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Personal and Professional Development. In the second year, Certificate in Education modules are: Teaching a Specialist Subject Curriculum and Professional Issues. Professional Graduate Certificate modules are: Studies in Teaching a Specialist Subject Studies in Curriculum and Professional Issues Postgraduate Certificate modules are: Advanced Studies in Teaching a Specialist Subject (Masters Level module) Advanced Studies in Curriculum and Professional Issues (Masters Level)

Does the course lead to a qualification?

Certificate in Education (at Level 5) Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (at Level 6) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (at Level 7)

How is the course assessed?

Assessment is through submission of a portfolio for each module which is validated by the University and observation of teaching practice. There is no examination.

Are there any opportunities for progression?

BA Education and Professional Development (through the University of Huddersfield) for Cert.Ed. Master’s level study, for example, the MA Teaching in Lifelong Learning (University of Huddersfield) for PGCE. Achievement of the awards should enhance your career development in the Lifelong Learning Sector. The awards are accredited by the Higher Education Academy, the relevant professional body for higher education teaching.

Functional Skills



Before Enrolment

The Advice & Guidance team will provide help and advice for applicants, both before enrolment and during your study, including: financial advice, applications for grants and student loans, assistance if you need help with childcare, equipment, fees, or travel.

During Your Study

You will have access to specialist academic skills support during your studies. You may have a learning difficulty and/or disability or other condition which significantly affects your daily life. Careers and student advisors are also available to give you the necessary help and guidance you need when you are progressing into work or on to study at a higher level. If you would like to discuss your support needs, or for further information about the support available, please contact the study support team on 01422 357357 Ext 9347.

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Course details

  • Attendance: Part-time (evening)
  • Start Date: September 2017
  • Hours per week: 3 hours per week (72 weeks)
  • Days: Tuesday (Evening)
  • Start Time: 5.30 pm
  • End Time: 8.30 pm
  • Duration: 2 years part time
  • Course Fees: £tbc. The fee quoted is for guidance only and will be confirmed at enrolment. All higher education students must apply to Student Finance England for assistance towards fees. For help or advice with this please contact our Guidance Team on 01422-399367. The college has an Access to Learning Fund which students may access if they are facing financial difficulties.
  • Venue: Calderdale College
  • Faculty: HE Professional Studies
  • Department Manager: Katie Walker


  • Level: PGCE/CERT ED
  • Qualification Name: Professional or Postgraduate Graduate Certificate/Certificate in Education
  • Awarding Body: Huddersfield University

Contact Information


Apply for this course

You can also download a printable application form (PDF 209KB).

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Calderdale College,
Francis Street,
Halifax, HX1 3UZ

+44 (0) 1422 357 357

Course Information:

+44 (0) 1422 399 399

Admissions Team:

+44 (0) 1422 399 316