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Difference between Professional Graduate and Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by ampersandgirl, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. I am just coming to the end of my PGCE and have just been informed that I have failed the Masters level element of the course (a 3000 word reflective essay). I've been told that my options now are to either receive a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, or re-do the essay, have it re-marked, hopefully pass at Masters level and receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Education but not get QTS til late September. I am very stuck about what to do! I am not concerned about the Masters credits themselves, just whether there are any important differences between the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education and Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and whether the delay in getting QTS will be a problem. Unfortunately, the course provider hasn't been very clear on this and I can't seem to get an impartial answer from my tutor. I am veering towards NOT re-doing the essay as I now want to focus on my NQT year and first teaching post, and as far as I'm concerned I got a lot out of the research that I did for the essay which has been useful for my practice, and that's the most important thing....
    Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Sorry if this message makes no sense, I'm a bit all over the place - thought the PGCE was done and dusted and this has come as a rather unwelcome surprise!
  2. Oh dear, sorry you've had such a shock! Hmm, it's a tricky one. It's likely you are going to have to complete a Masters qualification fairly soon - almost certainly within the next five years, and so the Masters element of the PGCE would definitely be a good thing. But, it's perfectly possible to do a Masters after a standard PGCE too. It really depends how keen you are to get your NQT year underway. Bear in mind though, that the job hunting season is coming to an end and so you'll be looking (probably) at January starts now anyway. Could you not just carry on applying on the understanding that you'll have QTS by then? It's annoying, but you could even work unqualified (prob via supply) while getting the essay redone?
  3. Thanks for the reply! Sorry, I don't think I made myself very clear in my first message - I've got a job starting 1st Sep, and that's all sorted out. I will get my PGCE and QTS whether I redo the essay or not. The main dilemma I'm facing is that if I don't redo the essay, my PGCE will be a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education rather than a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I just can't work out what the difference between the two actually is. As I say, I'm not too concerned about not having the masters credits themselves at this stage, as I can do a masters further down the line whether I have the credits now or not. I just don't understand what the implications are of 'only' having a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education rather than a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Is there any real difference?
  4. The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), in England leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) conferred by the GTCE, in Wales leading to QTS conferred by the GTCW and in Northern Ireland leading to ‘Eligibility to Teach’ conferred by the Department of Education (NI), is the most popular route into a career in teaching at secondary level. (extract from OU website).
    Postgraduate certificate in Education. This qualification is no longer available and has been replaced with Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (C71)

    Looking at the OU website they indicate that this is a replacement for the other title, however not sure why you can be offered one or the other.
    Suggest you check it out with TDA/GTC/union.
  5. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    QTS is more significant it is this which allows you to teach. Masters will be ogffered via CPD routes in future
    GorgeousGirlie likes this.
  6. As I understand it, they are the same qualification except the latter allows you to achieve credits towards a Masters - usually because essays are marked at 'Masters' level, or extra assignments are given at Masters level. In effect, the 'Professional' cert is the 'old style' PGCE (which was/is broadly equivalent to the final year of an undergrad degree). This doesn't offer any credits towards Masters. If you are unconcerned about Masters, then stick with the qualification you've got, which is what the vast majority of teachers have anyway. To be honest, I don't think schools are bothered, as long as you have QTS. Might you regret not redoing the essay later though - when you come to do Masters and have to start right at the beginning?
  7. Just realised you said that if you redo the essay this will delay your QTS until late Sept. This might be the deciding factor then, as it would mean you would only be able to take up your job as an unqualified 'instructor' (would your school have a problem with this?) until late Sept or possibly later if your number is issued late as often happens.
  8. Thank you so much for the advice everyone, that's been a huge help. I think my problem was that I wasn't getting entirely impartial info from the course provider as they seemed to be really pushing the masters element (for whatever reason). So it seemed that the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education was somehow a 'lesser' version of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and I was worried that this had certain implications. But, as you say, the QTS is the important bit, and I've got that either way. I've decided not to redo the essay, and stick with the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education. Thanks again for the help!
  9. We were told that the Professional Cert is at degree level, Post graduate obviously the higher qual.

    Unless it delays your QTS and so loses you your job, re-do the essay. Otherwise you will just have to do it later anyway. And it may affect your job prospects further down the line if other candidates all have the higher qual. Then again its definately not risking your job over.
  10. The only real difference is the ability to produce work at masters level the QTS is the same whether you have the post graduate or the professional graduate. It really is up to you what you wish to do, if the lackl of QTS will casuse a problem jobwise then you may have to accept the professional. The truth is that heads want good teachers not good academics and while the gov wants all teacers to be at M level, this will take a generation to really achieve. With the new MTL and plenty of other MA/MEd qualifications out there I don't think that the lack of some credits will be a serious issue. Do check with the Uni that the QTS and the essay are linked - some allow for the recommendation of QTS separately from the PGCE (at whatever level) allowing the student to gain QTS, start work and complete the resubmission later.
  11. I've just received an email from my tutor (mass email) saying some have failed the Masters essay. I have a permanent job at a school (secondary) to start in Sept (they want me to start before - the summer school). I have just bought my first car, and got my flat (as my job is in another area so I have to move). I am now worried that this could affect my employment. I was told a month ago that the QTS can be gained without the essays/PGCE part. I am just really concerned the school won't take me on without it? And I don't want to approach the school until I know for definite what state my qualification is in. I have contact the uni asking have I failed etc - still no reply. Do you have any advice? Or do you know what may happen? Are the school still likely to take me on? Thanks
  12. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    You're better off starting your own thread that dredging up a 3 year old one...
    But as to your question - you have QTS, that's about all schools really care about. A few snootier ones might care, but I doubt it - your QTS shows you have the skills to teach.
    But really, phone the school and ask them - only they can answer that question specifically.
  13. chrisb2004

    chrisb2004 New commenter

    I was told on my PGCE last year that both awards are called PGCE and it makes no difference at all unless you want some "free" masters credits. It didn't seem to be a big deal.
    My application forms always said PGCE and nobody asked me which I have (I do have the masters version). Maybe some schools do ask though?
  14. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    The acronyms are different:

    PGCE = Postgraduate Certificate in Education

    ProfGCE = Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

    But of course there's nothing to stop someone with a ProfGCE abbreviating it to PGCE, as the letters still match.
  15. chrisb2004

    chrisb2004 New commenter

    Our tutor told us to just write PGCE, that it was the same acronym for both.
    Not disagreeing with you but is there any official documentation for this to be sure?
  16. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    I'm not sure if there are any 'official' acronyms of any higher education qualifications.
    Nevetheless, I've definitely seen Ofsted use ProfGCE several times (though they write it 'Prof GCE', with a space).
    Google 'ProfGCE' and you'll find it's pretty well used.
  17. My course told us that it made absolutely no difference, you still put PGCE on your CV and obviously makes no difference to QTS. They pushed the masters element and encouraged us to go for masters credits, but stressed that it makes no difference. At graduation we were listed separately but that was it. I was more concerned with becoming a teacher and doing the best I could on my training than getting masters credits. I didn't get them, still got a job at second interview, have just passed my NQT year and I've never once been asked if the P is for Post or Professional.

    That said, I'm a Maths teacher, so it might be more of a consideration in more competative areas. I really doubt it would make much difference though.

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