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Teaching PGCert

Learn about the course below
Flexible (Autumn, Spring or Summer terms) depending on modules taken: practising teachers within the Middlesex University Teacher Education Partnership or
September for Middlesex University Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students
Flexible depending on modules: For students who are practising teachers within the Middlesex University Teacher Education partnership
Full-time: For ITT students following Middlesex University School Direct or Apprenticeship routes to QTS
£2,400 (UK) *
£3,600 (EU/INT) *
Fees only for students who are not taking the PG Cert Teaching as part of an ITT programme
Course leader
Catherine Walsh

This programme aims to support your ability to operate as an effective teacher. All modules are underpinned by the DfE Teachers’ Standards (2012) and are designed to provide you with an appropriate means of reflecting critically on your own development as a teacher and engaging in school-based research to improve your own practice. The curriculum will enable you to demonstrate that you are meeting the Teachers’ Standards at a level appropriate for your stage of experience.

Why study PGCert Teaching at Middlesex University?

This course is suitable for practising teachers who wish to gain an academic postgraduate award to enhance their QTS qualification, e.g. when following an Assessment Only route or after gaining a 'QTS only' award through a School Direct programme. It has also been designed for initial training teachers following an employment-based routes to QTS, either School Direct or a Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship at Middlesex University.  All the modules reflect engagement with the Teachers’ Standards and have been designed so that you can gain recognition and award for your professional practice as a school teacher.

This PGCert and the associated assignments have been designed as an integral part of your professional development and will enable you to develop as a reflective learner and teacher, with the additional benefit of academic credits, which can be carried forwards towards an MA degree.

This course has been designed with input from our Initial Teacher Education Partnership schools and will provide relevant and useful academic enhancement as well as a useful entry point to further postgraduate study if you wish to continue to Masters or doctoral level.

Course highlights

  • This course is flexible and suitable for teachers at all stages of development, from Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through to several years of experience
  • Your work as a teacher will be recognised as you engage with the Teachers’ Standards and your own Professional Development as an emerging leader or advanced classroom practitioner.
  • It has been designed to recognise and enhance the typical day-to-day activities of your professional practice so that you can realistically manage the academic requirements alongside your work as a teacher
  • Two of the three modules provide an opportunity to study and gain credits at Level 7. They will complement and enhance your work in a school setting through relevant and useful assignments.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on PGCert Teaching?

Two of the three modules provide an opportunity to study and gain credits at Level 7. They have been designed to complement and enhance your work in a school setting through relevant and useful assignments.

The other module recognises ongoing professional development and engagement with the Teachers’ Standards. For training teachers on a Middlesex University School Direct or apprenticeship programme, this module forms the backbone of your development towards QTS. For candidates on an Assessment Only route, this module could be achieved through use of the Assessment Only professional practice portfolio. For practising teachers, this module could be achieved through APEL or through demonstration of your continuing professional development against the Teachers’ Standards.

To gain the award of PGCert Teaching you must pass all assignments.


  • Modules

    • School-based Professional Development (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to develop and demonstrate your progress in the understanding and skills necessary to operate as an effective teacher. As such, it supports you in demonstrating that you are making progress within the framework of the current professional requirements described by the Teachers’ Standards. You will compile a professional development portfolio (PDP) which demonstrates ongoing review of professional development within the framework of the Teachers’ Standards.

      Practising teachers may be able to use APEL for this module.

    • School-based Enquiry (20 credits) - Compulsory

      For this module you will undertake a small-scale research project where you will investigate a school or departmental priority through primary research. This will allow you to apply theory and practice through enquiry-based research to an individually negotiated educational area based on a school improvement priority.

    • Assessment and Monitoring (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the impact of teaching on pupils’ learning by producing a theoretical and critically reflective account of teaching and analysis of pupil progress, along with portfolio of supporting evidence (3000-word equivalent).

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the PGCert Teaching taught?

Middlesex University ITT students will be taught through lectures, seminars and workshops. There will also be relevant online activities. A bespoke model will be available for practising teachers employed in Partnership schools.

Since the programme is designed for employment-based training and practising teachers, self-directed and independent study is essential.


You will be assessed though assignments that combine portfolio evidence, research findings with 3000 word theoretical narratives.

Changes for students in 2021

We are back on campus for the majority of teaching in Autumn 2021, as long as restrictions allow. Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

In case of any changes to government guidance, we‘ll be ready to move to teaching with more restrictions in place and continue to give you an excellent learning experience. In this scenario, on campus teaching should continue although more of your course will take place online.

The table below gives you an idea of what your learning will look like across a typical week. Some weeks might be different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information may change slightly as we receive further guidance from the government. You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario A: Without social distancing

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

4 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

1 hour

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

1 hour

Scenario B: With social distancing and/or with restrictions on travel to campus

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:


Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

5 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

1 hour

The hours above are an estimate for taught hours for days when trainees participate in university-based training.

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1800 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our plans for in-person on campus teaching following government advice to keep you safe. If more restrictions are put in place in the future, or there is another lockdown, we’ll deliver your learning and support fully online for a temporary period. We’ll make alternative arrangements for any required placements if they can’t go ahead as planned. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2021/22

Read our guide to what you can look forward to when you study your subject with us including more information about your teaching experience this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU fees from October 2021
  3. EU/International
  4. Additional costs

How can the PGCert Teaching support your career?

The postgraduate award could enhance career progression within teaching, for example, as middle and senior leaders.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Education MA

Start: September 2021, January 2022

Duration: 1,2 or 3 years part-time, dependant on previous experience and qualifications

Code: PGX30X

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