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Post-14 with Specialism PGCE

Specialist skills and subject knowledge are invaluable if you want to pursue a career as a teacher or trainer in the Further Education and Skills sector. This PGCE builds on your personal interests to equip you for rewarding roles working with post-14 learners in a vast range of educational settings.

Choose your own pathway
Our PGCE gives you the chance to select from a variety of teaching specialisms, drawing on the extensive expertise of the University. Depending on your preference and any prior experience, you can choose to specialise in English: Literacy, Maths, Engineering, Sport or teaching learners with disabilities.

The pathway you select will be reflected throughout the course in both core and specialist modules, in your assignments and on your teaching placement. It means you can focus on your area of interest while gaining a strong foundation of general skills in education and training. 

A stepping stone to professional status 
The PGCE Post-14 with Specialism gives direction and momentum to your teaching career. On completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for Qualified Teacher of Learning and Skills (QTLS) status via the Society for Education and Training. Valued by employers, QTLS status demonstrates your commitment, skills and knowledge, adding credibility and substance to your CV.

Our PGCE also puts you on the fast track to achieving a masters degree, providing you with 60 credits at masters level.

An ‘outstanding’ learning experience
Ofsted has awarded its highest accolade – an ‘outstanding’ rating – to our Further Education and Skills provision. In a 2015 report, inspectors praised our “excellent” work with teachers and trainers across the sector and said our “lively and thought-provoking” teaching challenged students to rise to high expectations.

Extensive practical experience
This is a highly practical hands-on course which gives you the chance to explore the full range of roles undertaken by qualified teaching staff in the Further Education and Skills sector.

Teaching experience will be the cornerstone of your studies. If you are a full-time student, you will spend two days a week on teaching placement and undertake a six-week block placement. We provide extensive support throughout: you will be allocated a mentor from the University’s teaching team as well as a subject specific mentor to guide you on your placement. 

To broaden your perspective, you are also expected to complete an alternative placement in a different educational setting before the course starts. We provide full information and advice on this at pre-induction.

A location and pace to suit you
We offer both full-time and part-time routes to the PGCE.  As a full-time student, you will be based two days a week in our dedicated teacher training facilities at the University. Our impressive Kirtley Building includes specially designed collaborative learning spaces.

You can also choose to take the course on a part-time basis over two years at one of our partner colleges, giving you the added convenience of studying even closer to home. They are a source of exciting ideas for you to take back to the classroom.

Inspirational teaching and support
With a rich heritage in teacher training dating back over 165 years, we have a strong reputation for nurturing successful, confident and forward-thinking teachers and trainers.

You will be taught by a highly competent and qualified team of tutors, including published authors and influential researchers whose work is helping to shape the future of the profession.

Entry requirements

You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2:2). You will also need GCSE grade C or above in English Language and Maths (or Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy).

In addition, you'll require the following for your chosen specialism:

  • English: Literacy – An English Language degree (minimum 2:2)
  • Maths – A Maths degree, or a degree with significant mathematical content (minimum 2:2)
  • Engineering – A degree in an engineering related discipline (minimum 2:2)
  • Sport – A degree in a Sport related discipline (minimum 2:2)
  • Teaching learners with disabilities – Any degree subject is accepted (minimum 2:2), but you must have an interest in special educational needs (SEN) as you'll be placed in a SEN setting.

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this course.

If you have lived outside of the UK in the past five years (excluding holidays), you will need to provide a current satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were resident in. You will need to submit this at your course induction.

Course modules

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Introductory Award in Education and Training
  • Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Theories and Principles of Educational Practice
  • Subject Specialist Professional Practice
  • Curriculum in Context  

The core modules listed above are expected to have a specialist focus (either Maths, English: Literacy, Engineering, Sport or SEN), which is reflected in your assignments and supported by observations of your practical teaching at your placement. You will then undertake the relevant final module to complete your specialist pathway.

You’ll also take one of the following modules depending on the specialist pathway you choose:

  • Teaching Maths: Numeracy
  • Teaching English: Literacy
  • Teaching Learners with Disabilities
  • Teaching Engineering
  • Teaching Sport
  • Teaching Practice Placement

Sponsorship information

We offer a 10% discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.


For part-time fee information, please contact the partner college you wish to study at.

Get in touch today and increase your future employability