Post Compulsory Education

Pave the way to further professional education-related qualifications

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This recognised teaching qualification enables you to work as a qualified further education teacher. The course is designed for teachers, trainers and instructors who currently work or those aspiring to pursue a career in the post-compulsory education sector, which is comprised primarily of further education colleges, sixth-form college and private training providers educating students from the age of 16 and over.

Those applying to do this course will be either already teaching or have secured teaching hours with a relevant institution for at least 50 hours per academic year of study; this is a 2 year part time course. In addition you should be qualified in a subject specialism to at least a full level 3 standard and hold a GCSE grace C or above in maths & English or equivalent.

You will develop and refine professional practice over the period of the course through group and individual teaching, tutoring and training.

What will I experience?

You will develop your skills as a teacher through practical activity and knowledge development on core teaching theories as well as contemporary issues within further education. You will then apply these skills and knowledge to your everyday teaching practice. Generally classes are made up of professionals from a range of subject backgrounds, giving you an effective peer network where a variety of teaching practice can be shared.

As this course is delivered at the university’s partner collaborative partner colleges you can choose where to study. Please note, however, all applications must still be submitted via the university website. Direct applications cannot be made to an individual college.

Places to study:

What opportunities might it lead to?

The Certificate in Education is a professional teaching qualification which recognised by further education providers in the UK.

On completion of the Certificate in Education there is the opportunity to progress and top-up to a BA (Hons) Education and Training at the University of Portsmouth.

Juliet Littlechild, CertEd Post-Compulsory Education student 2013

As a new teacher in education, Certificate in Education inspired me to create teaching resources which are creative and fun, taught me certain teaching methods and strategies for engaging learners and creating a fun learning experience.

Juliet Littlechild, CertEd Post Compulsory Education student 2013

Compare this course through UNISTATS

Key Facts

2 years part time
Professional qualifications. A part time teaching post which meets the full teaching role in one of the following areas at the start of the course:
- institute of further or adult education
- sixth form college
- other training institution (e.g. police force, armed forces, industry)
Teaching contact must offer opportunities to develop and refine professional practice over the period of the course and involve both group and individual teaching, tutoring and training of not less than 50 hours per year.
All applicants are subject to interview.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications

15/16 entry:  Students at franchise colleges: Please contact Academic Registry on 023 9284 5259.
This course is not open to International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students.
*Please note that tuition fees are subject to annual increase.

+44 (0)23 9284 5204
School of Education and Continuing Studies
Programme specification


Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on opportunities to work in a relevant educational setting
  • The support available to all students
  • The flexibility of unit options that enable you to tailor your study to your own interests

Browse all courses in Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

This part time course is offered via one of the university’s collaborative partner colleges. Course timings vary, depending on the individual college; however, classroom based study is normally one afternoon or one evening per week. 

The course is split into four units that are studied over two years, with two units studied per year.

Year 1 focuses on developing you as a teaching practitioner. This involves learning about teaching concepts and developing practical skills in planning and delivering lessons to a high standard, as well as assessing students.

Year 2 is designed to enable you to establish a wider knowledge of the further education sector. You will research contemporary issues which are affecting further education as well as continuing to hone your teaching practice.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching aims to demonstrate good practice and therefore employs a range of styles which include seminars, workshops, lectures and active group participation. Your time in class will develop your skills and knowledge to inform your own teaching practice and help to develop your own teaching style.

Each year you will complete two units of study. Each unit comprises of between 2 – 3 assignments. These assignments differ in their assessment methods, examples include, research based essays, teaching practice files, lesson observations and logging personal development which will be supported by reflective accounts.

The emphasis throughout the course is on inclusive learning and teaching combined with reflective practice within a teacher’s own specialist subject area.

How are you assessed?

There are two units of study per year and each unit is assessed through coursework and portfolio. The observation of your teaching competence is carried out by college tutors and subject-specialist mentors.

Stephen Corbett

Tutor's view

Stephen Corbett
Post-Compulsory Education

This course is designed for subject specialists who wish to develop the skills to deliver effective learning and teaching to students. The course is highly demanding and highly rewarding as it requires its students to be in constant pursuit for standards of excellence.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Study in SECS

The School comprises a body of enthusiastic staff with a range of expertise in the professional and academic sectors. We offer a welcoming learning environment, in a location near the heart of town, the student buildings and the sea front.

Academic Skills Unit (ASK)

ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance and make a smooth transition into university study.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

The CertEd offers non-graduates in teaching roles the opportunity to secure a qualification in their chosen profession, enhancing your potential for promotion and progression. It also paves the way to a BEd in education.

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunites
Employment boosting opportunites

Full-time students on the CertEd will have a placement arranged by the School of Education to put their learning into practice, and will have secured more than 100 hours of teaching practice at the completion of the programme. Part-time students are likely to be working in this field already. 

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 88 per cent of our 2013 graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

Applying via an education agent, representative or partner institution? Apply to our International Office.

Visiting opportunities

Our general University Open Days, before you apply, have now finished - but there are also other options for visiting us.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

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