Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Post Primary)

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Comments about Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Post Primary) - At the institution - Belfast - Belfast - Belfast - Northern Ireland

  • Entry requirements
    Conditions 1 Suitability for teaching: Applicants suitability for teaching will be explored via: 1.1 A POCVA check carried out to ensure that they do not have a criminal record which would enhibit their ability to work with children. 1.2 Applicants must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics (Grade C) or the equivalent in order to satisfy the Department of Education for Northern Ireland's minimum entrance to teaching requirement. Applicants wishing to undertake Religious Education as an option in the Postgraduate Certificate must also have GCSE Religious Education (Grade C Minimum) or its equivalent. 1.3 Two confidential references one of which must be from a representative of the University from which the applicant received his/her first degree. References will be taken up for successful candidates only. 1.4 The application form must be completed in full and be grammatically correct. 1.5 A formal interview at which applicants will be offered the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of and commitment to teaching as a career. The Postgraduate Certificate Course Committee will determine the constitution of the interview panel. 1.6 All candidates who are offered a place will be required to pass a medical examination before commencing the course. The information provided in this leaflet is correct at the time of going to press but the course course is subject to continuing development and the University reserves the right to make changes at any time, before or after a candidate’s admission. As much notice as possible will be given of such changes. 2 A Vocationally Relevant Degree 2.1 Applicants will normally be expected to have acquired a vocationally relevant Honours Degree. That is an Honours Degree (normally 2:2 or above) whose modules reflect the knowledge components of the subjects in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. The selection Committee will finally determine the vocational relevance of all applicant degrees. 2.2 Applicants who satisfy criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 2.1 will be considered for interview. 3 Offer of a place on the Postgraduate Certificate Course. An offer of a place will be conditional upon satisfying the Selection Committee on all of the above criteria. Applicants who are deemed suitable but for whom an immediate place is not available will be placed on a waiting list and offered a place if another applicant declines his/her place.
  • Academic title
    Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Post Primary)
  • Course description
    This course prepares students to teach the full range of pupils in secondary and grammar schools. The main subjects at Coleraine are Art and Design, English with Drama and Media Studies, Geography, History, Home Economics and Music. At Jordanstown, Physical Education and Technology and Design are available.

    Religious Education can be taken as a subsidiary subject for students with a suitable academic background in Religious Studies, (normally GCSE grade C or equivalent).

    Students not choosing Religious Education will take a subsidiary study in a specialised area of Curriculum or Professional Studies.

    Irish Medium Education

    An applicant with A level or equivalent in Irish is eligible to apply for one of three places outside the quota for PGCE subjects.  Applications for an IME place can be made in any of the eight Post Primary subjects offered by the University of Ulster.

    Duration and Mode of Attendance

    Full-time: one academic year.

    36 weeks for all main subjects except for Technology and Design which lasts for 42 weeks and includes a 6 week workshop practice at Mountcollyer Technology Centre, Belfast and commences in July.
    All students who successfully complete the PGCE will be eligible to claim 30 M level credit points towards a Masters qualification.


    Preference will be given to applicants who apply by the 10th December.
    The number of entrants to the course is controlled by a quota set by the Department of Education.

    Structure and Content

    The major aim of the course is to help students acquire competence in the basic skills of teaching and classroom management within their chosen subject area. In order to ensure a close link between theory and practice, the course includes both university and school based work throughout the year. Students will spend 24 weeks in schools and 12 weeks in the university. Students are also introduced to the most recent curriculum developments in their subject with particular attention being paid to the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Consideration is also given to the wider social, economic and political context within which these educational changes are taking place. Throughout the course students are made aware of the links between subjects, the statutory crosscurricular themes and the development of pupils’ literacy, numeracy and information communication technology competence via the main subject specialism.

    Teaching and Learning Methods
    Paramount importance is given to teaching competence by the student. To facilitate such acquisition students experience:

    Designed primarily for the imparting of knowledge by the lecturer to the student body.

    Tutorials Group or individually designed to assist and advise students experiencing difficulty or to advise in the preparation for school experience, curriculum projects and/or school based investigations.

    Practicals Involving simulations, role-play, practical activities and school experience clinics.

    Workshops Designed primarily to allow students to examine the relationship between theoretical perspectives introduced in lectures and their main subject specialism.

    As this is a competency based course students will need to demonstrate competence and satisfactory performance in: Coursework and School Experience, Information and Communication Technology, School-Based Project and Subsidiary Study.

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