Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Top Up)

Why choose this course?

This course is ideal for you if you are an experienced teacher who already has Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and want to develop your professional career further. This flexible PGCE Top Up course enables you to achieve the academic award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

You will already have completed a route into teaching such as School Direct or the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) and achieved QTS without the academic award.

This course will develop your skills and knowledge, support your progress towards leadership and provide a foundation for further study. You will examine education and teaching policy and practice, and how these affect your classroom experience.

Developing critical evaluation skills, you will explore current issues in teaching and learning.

The following pathways are available:

  • PGCE (Top Up) Early Years
  • PGCE (Top Up) Primary
  • PGCE (Top Up) Secondary
Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 1 year Weekend attendance and online learning September 2020
Location Kingston Hill

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is for practising teachers who have achieved QTS through a range of routes including the BA, GTP or School Direct programmes.
  • It is designed to fit alongside your teaching commitments. Taught sessions take place at six conferences on Saturdays during the academic year.
  • You will be able to use technology-enhanced learning opportunities for collaboration and networking with other students on the course.

What you will study

You will learn about education and teaching policy and practice, and how these impact on your classroom experience. You will develop your critical evaluation skills and explore current issues in teaching and learning.

You will study for two modules combining interactive, face-to-face learning plus private study.  The interactive learning will include taught sessions with discussions and activities and is planned to fit around practising teachers' work commitments. 

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Core modules

Core modules

The Reflective Teacher

30 credits

This module introduces students to theories of reflective practice and the value and purpose of reflection for teachers. This will enable students to develop in-depth understanding of how they reflect in order to identify issues and develop solutions in their professional settings.

The main features of the module are critical explorations of factors that affect how children develop physically, socially and as learners. Students will critically analyse issues relevant to their current practice considering their own position as effective teachers.

Through completion of a reflective journal during the module students will develop critical, reflective and reflexive skills to inform peer and colleague discussion within a learning community. Students will be encouraged and supported to challenge and develop their professional practice.

Perspectives on policy, practice and professionalism for teachers

30 credits

This module enables students to locate themselves as professionals within wider discourses about teaching as a profession. It engages them in evaluating their own identities as professionals and in reflecting on the values that they and the wider profession hold.

The module supports students to critically engage in discussions and debates that consider factors affecting classroom practice. These debates focus on specific areas to exemplify wider issues in education and include inclusive teaching and learning issues and legislative frameworks that influence codes of practice.

Students will read key papers related to the sessions and respond in online discussions to develop shared understandings. Students will focus on an area of interest in their professional practice when writing the assignment, drawing on knowledge and understanding gained through the formative tasks.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

What you need to apply for this course

Applicants for this course should have a first degree with a minimum 2.2 classification from a UK university or equivalent. It is expected that applicants will be working in a school or similar setting while enrolled on the course. If this will not be the case please contact us via email at the address below.

You must have QTS achieved through GTP or School Direct and have an assessed professional portfolio.

You should be able to provide:

  • evidence of your QTS and portfolio;
  • a letter of support for your application from your current headteacher; and
  • an academic reference supporting your application.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

You will engage with teachers and staff through attending teaching and learning days (six Saturdays) and through the University's virtual learning environment which includes online tutorials that can be scheduled to fit around your work.

There are technology-enhanced learning opportunities for collaboration, networking and peer feedback will be available via the virtual learning environment (VLE) discussion forum.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

10% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 60 hours
  • Guided independent study: 540 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises of essays, online discussions and reflective tasks.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

The tutors for your course have experience teaching in schools. They continue to be actively involved in a range of education related activities, such as further study, research and direct work with schools and in educational settings.

Course fees and funding

Here you can find more details about fees for this course, as well as any funding opportunities available to you for this course. Please note that fees relate to the academic year in question and will increase in future years.

If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you will not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University.

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • £2,655

Funding

Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies. 

 

Kingston Hill

There is a wide range of facilities at our Kingston Hill campus, where this course is based.

Kingston Hill is a leafy, hillside campus situated about three miles away from Kingston town centre. It is a quiet, secure place to study with easy access to London, meaning it provides the best of all worlds for our students.

Find out more about the Kingston Hill campus in the virtual tour.

Library

One of the highlights of the Kingston Hill campus is the modern library, called the Nightingale Centre after Florence Nightingale, who was a regular visitor to Kingston Hill.

The library provides a spacious and attractive place for students to meet and study and features a cafe, more PCs and zoned study areas. Long opening hours give you plenty of access to specialist education books, journals and online resources.

Find out more about the Nightingale Centre in the virtual tour.

Computer and online facilities

There are many computers (PCs and Macs) available for you to use across the Kingston Hill campus when you need a place to study. Access to the wireless network across the campus means you can also work from your laptop or mobile device.

Using IT to support your studies is crucial. Kingston has an innovative virtual learning environment called Canvas. This allows you to access course materials and contact fellow students and staff while away from the campus.

After you graduate

This course has been designed to be a practical, work-based course in learning, teaching and assessment in higher education. As such, it prepares you for working as a teacher and/or facilitator in higher or further education.
The award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is recognised by most universities in the UK, and increasingly internationally, as necessary qualifications for teaching in higher education institutions.

Additionally the course thoroughly prepares you for every success in applying for the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with the Higher Education Academy, a status recognised by most universities in the UK, and increasingly internationally, as necessary/desirable recognition for teaching in higher education institutions.

Research areas

Many of our staff in the School of Education are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Education research at Kingston includes:

  • Subject pedagogy
  • Curriculum design
  • Planning
  • Assessment
  • Safeguarding
  • SEND and inclusive practice
  • Early Years
  • Supporting more able learners
  • Educational inequalities
  • Policy
  • History of education
  • Higher education 

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Variations to regulations or other specific requirements for this course

Additional risk assessments will be undertaken prior to students commencing practice placements to take account of current, relevant public health guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of individual students. Students on these courses must adhere to their employer's Covid-19 guidance.

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.