Cert Ed/PGCE/PgDipE Lifelong Learning Pre-service

HomeCert Ed/PGCE/PgDipE Lifelong Learning Pre-service

Awards of the University of Huddersfield include:

  • Lifelong Learning Certificate in Education (CertEd) Pre-service
  • Lifelong Learning PGCE Pre-service
  • Lifelong Learning PGDipE Pre-service
  • ‘Cert Ed/PGCE/PGDipE’

About the course

Places are still available on these courses.

This is a pre-service lifelong learning (post-14) teacher training course with full-time (one year) or part-time (two years) options available. You will be a student of the University of Huddersfield with your place of study being Northern College.

It’s focused on training to teach within the lifelong learning (post 14) sector comprising further education, adult education, offender learning, training organisations and adult community learning to name just a few. The mission of the Northern College is transforming communities and we are particularly looking for applications from people who wish to make a difference to the lives of others and teach for a social purpose.

During the course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills to play a full part in teaching and curriculum development. While you study you’ll focus on your particular subject specialist area, alongside general teaching in the lifelong learning sector. We know there’s no substitute for the classroom environment, so we’ll give you the opportunity to go on placement either at Northern College or with a partner institution.

On your placement you’ll be able to observe experienced teachers, gain practical hands-on experience and benefit from one-to-one mentoring to help develop the skills you’ll need to become an outstanding and effective teacher.


The final qualification depends on the highest qualification you currently hold. Your pathway will be decided after enrolment.

The following qualifications are available:

  • Certificate in Education
  • Professional Graduate/Post Graduate Certificate in Education
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education

All qualifications are awarded by the University of Huddersfield and the structure of the course is the same for all pathways meaning you would not necessarily know who was following which in your group.

What can this course lead on to?

All the awards lead to a professional qualification for teaching in further education and sixth form colleges, adult education and a wide range of other training and educational settings. This course also provides a route to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) following a process of professional formation through the Society for Education and Training. This is the full professional status for teachers in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

Please note: the course does not confer Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for those working or intending to work in schools, although it is currently possible for people with QTLS to obtain work in schools as a qualified teacher.

Students may also progress onto the BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development or Master’s level study.


You undertake four 30 credit modules, which are based on different aspects of teachers’ work such as designing learning materials, assessing.

Research informed teaching, learning and assessment 

This module aims to develop your understanding of how people learn in the Lifelong Learning Sector and of the role of assessment in enabling learning and achievement.

It introduces theories and principles of learning and assessment and develops your ability to apply research evidence in designing effective learning and assessment strategies and materials. It seeks to develop positive approaches to the management of group and individual behaviours and promotes an inclusive approach to teaching, learning and assessment. It introduces the role of key transferable skills and the ways in which people learn English, Maths and digital skills.

The module is assessed by means of a practical micro-teaching assignment and the design of an intervention, strategy, activity or resource, underpinned by an understanding of key principles of teaching, learning and assessment.

Becoming a subject specialist tutor 

The module reviews your practice as a trainee teacher. It explores your teaching values, knowledge of your subject specialism, and your knowledge and understanding of how you’re learning to teach. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to identify and respond to students’ needs, and how to use suitable teaching, learning and assessment strategies to develop inclusive teaching and learning environments.

You’ll have the chance to evaluate your teaching effectiveness and develop as a reflective practitioner as well as engage in personal and professional development planning, against the appropriate Professional Standards, to recognise and develop relevant subject specialist knowledge, behaviours and skills. This will include further development of English, Maths and digital skills for you and your students.

Being a subject specialist tutor 

This module builds on previous generic and subject specialist development in two ways. Firstly, it contributes to your development of more advanced strategies and methods for promoting learning and, secondly, it involves a focus on specific specialist areas and the critical analysis subject specialist pedagogy.

The module seeks to enhance your ability to reflect critically on, and to evaluate, teaching and learning; by recognising particular curriculum and professional challenges; and by enabling you to develop critical responses to these concerns in sophisticated, innovative and creative ways.

Key learning activities of the module are practical teaching experience and the engagement with other specialists through collaborative practice. The module is assessed through a Teaching Portfolio and a Conference Paper dealing with teaching and learning in the specialist subject.

Policy and professional issues 

The module will develop your understanding of policy and issues relating to professionalism in Lifelong Learning. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the impact of policy on professional practice and curriculum developments, drawing on appropriate evidence to evaluate professional practice and discuss possible improvements.

You’ll also discuss key issues of professionalism in Lifelong Learning, including debates on reflective practice and a discussion of your own educational values and the extent to which these promote social justice.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by undertaking written assignments, a micro-teach, reflections, presentations and providing evidence in an e-portfolio.  This allows you to explore topics that are of interest to you, relevant to your working environment, and to your career development.  Your teaching practice will also be observed by tutors and your mentor (eight observations in total). 

As part of the ‘Being a Subject Specialist Tutor’ module you will be expected to attend two specialist conference days at the University of Huddersfield (whilst this is currently on a Saturday in November and one around the Easter school holidays the University may implement equivalent alternative arrangements).  Attendance is part of the assessment for the module and is therefore mandatory.

Entry requirements

No prior teaching experience is needed. The course is particularly suitable if you have relevant qualifications and some experience in your industry and/or subject specialism.

Entry requirements are as follows:

  • Certificate in Education applicants – students should have a qualification at Level 3 or above in the area they teach (for example, A-levels, HNC, HND, CGLI advanced, NVQ Level 3-4), and relevant work experience.
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education applicants – students should hold a UK first degree or equivalent and relevant work experience where appropriate to the subject. Students should also hold a qualification at Level 3 or above in the subject area they teach in, if this is different from that of their degree.
  • Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma in Education applicants – students should hold a UK first degree at 2:1 or above or equivalent and relevant work experience, where appropriate to the subject. Students should also hold a qualification at Level 3 or above in the subject area they teach in, if this is different from that of their degree.

In addition you must also:

  • provide a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and health clearances
  • provide two satisfactory references.


As well as studying at Northern College, you’ll learn the practical skills of teaching through a placement in an appropriate educational institution. Examples include colleges, work-based learning providers and community learning settings. You’ll complete at least 100 hours of teaching in total on placement (at least 50 hours in any one year for part-time students).

Your placement could be based in areas some distance from your point of study, so please be aware of potential associated travelling costs.

How to apply

For full-time study:

If you don’t have a degree, you will need to apply for the Pre-service (Lifelong Learning) Certificate of Education at Apply for Teacher Training

  • You will need the Institution Code H60 and Course Code D498

If you do have a degree, you will need to apply via at Apply for Teacher Training

  • For the Pre-service (Lifelong Learning) Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) you will need the Training Provider Code H60 and Training Programme Code A734
  • For the Pre-service (Lifelong Learning) Postgraduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) you will need the Training provider code H60 and Training programme code R227

Please note, for all applications it will appear as if you are applying for the University of Huddersfield which is because you will be a student of the University with your place of study being Northern College.

For part-time study:

Applications should be made online via the University of Huddersfield website https://sepd-onlineapps.hud.ac.uk/

Please select the ‘course type’ and then ‘CertEd/PGCE Lifelong Learning part-time in-service’

Depending on the route you are taking, the ‘study course’ is either:

Teacher Training Lifelong learning CertEd in-services (Northern College)


Teacher Training lifelong Learning PGCE in-service (Northern College)

(If you wish to study on the PgDipE, please apply for the PGCE route)

It is worth letting David Feeney, the course leader, know when you have applied so she check your application has gone to right place David Feeney   Dfeeney@northern.ac.uk  

Evidence of qualifications

You must provide evidence of your qualifications.  Photocopies are not acceptable. The Northern College will make arrangements to see your original certificates before you can be formally enrolled.

What is the selection process? 

On receipt of your application, we will invite you to an interview which will give you the opportunity to find out more about the course and the way we teach as well as for us to begin getting to know you.  We will then let you know if you have been offered a place.  If we can’t offer you a place, we will tell you why. 

Course fees 

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for entry 2021/22 will be £9250*.

The part-time undergraduate tuition fee for 2021/22 entry will be £4625*.

*Fees are subject to change and may rise with inflation (Retail Price Index)

Further information on course fees can be found here https://www.hud.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees-and-finance/

This course is eligible for a Student Finance England Loan for tuition fees and, if you are studying on the PGCE or PGDipE route, you are also eligible to apply for a maintenance loan https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance

Teacher Training bursaries are available for certain subjects in the academic year 2021/22. Please contact David Feeney for further information   Dfeeney@northern.ac.uk  

What do I need to do next? 

If you have any questions, please email 

David Feeney   Dfeeney@northern.ac.uk  

We look forward to meeting you.

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