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Dear James - PGCE/PGDE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by gemmamarie08, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. gemmamarie08

    gemmamarie08 New commenter

    Hi James,
    I am a potential Physics teacher and almost ready to send the application off. The University I want to make my first choice is in Wales and offers the PGDE course in Secondary.
    Could you explain the difference between the PGCE and PGDE please? Their prospectus doesn't go into much detail and I don't want to limit my chances of getting a job after the course. I would more than likely return to England to teach as I cannot speak Welsh but they say the course leads to QTS and allows you to teach in England.

  2. Ok Gemma, here we go...
    You need to realise that there are two parts to a teaching qualification. There is the academic part which is assessed and awarded by the institution you are registered with, e.g. a university or college, which is known as a PGCE/PGDE and there is the professional part which is qualified teacher status (QTS). QTS which is conferred by the genreal teaching council of England (or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland) and not the university - they just recommend you for QTS.
    The PGCE in England can come in two forms
    <address>1. the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education - this is the qulification you get when your academic work (essays/assignments etc) reach a level 3 standard - that is the same standard as achieved in the final year of an initial degree BA/BSc</address><address></address><address>2. the Post Graduate Certificate in Education - this is the qualification you are awarded when you gain a minimum number of masters level credits for your academic work (essays/assignments etc) How many credits you need to get this qualification does vary a little from institution to institution.</address><address></address><address>3. The Postgraduate Diploma in Education is awarded in Scotland and at institutions in Wales and is equivalent to the professional graduate certificate in education. Normally if any qualification from a university is a Diploma it is not at Masters level.</address>The question is whether or not you choose to apply for the M level or Diploma level entry or the decision rests with the institution once you are registered, on course and submitting work - some institutions only admit people at Diploma level and access to the M level part (the PGCE) is down to how well you do during the course. Others register all new students at M level and offer the lower level qualification if they fail to reach M level in their owrk. You need to find out from the institution what their policy is.
    When it comes to jobs many teachers do not yet realise that there is a two tier system in place now. In general, head teachers are more interested in how well you teach, not how well you can reach M level in your academic work. Having said that, teaching is moving towards a masters profession and the expectation now is that all teachers will be working towards masters level either on the job via the very new masters in teaching and learning (MTL - which is just getting off the ground).
    If you are offered an interview, it is worth discussing this whole issue with the university tutor so that you understand how their system works.

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