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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
£2,160 (UK/EU) *
Fees only for students who are not taking the PG Cert Teaching as part of an ITT programme
Course leader
Catherine Walsh

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

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

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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.


We’ve made sure that the skills and knowledge that you’ll gain on your course will not change during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, your module information is below.

  • 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.


We’re planning to deliver our assessment in a similar way to previous years. We will review this regularly, and let you know in advance of your assessment if we need to make any changes.

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

Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some practically focussed sessions on campus, with the majority of your theoretical teaching and larger lectures delivered online. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

Please note that attending classes on campus and placements are compulsory parts of the course, so if you are unable to attend due personal circumstances, please get in touch with us so we can work with you to resolve your situation.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live lectures and interactive/live seminar or other workshop type sessions or other scheduled teaching time

Contact time per week, per level:

22 days (@ 3 hours) (equivalent across the year)

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

22 days (@ 3 hours) (equivalent across the year)

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

10 days @ 1 hour

(equivalent across the year)

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

Placement 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 timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.


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 mainly be delivered online 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 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. EU from Sept 2021
  3. 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 2020, January 2021

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

Code: PGX30X

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