The teaching qualification taken by some graduate entrants to the profession. Since this qualification was originally awarded at higher education level 3, or undergraduate level, its title was deemed to be misleading, making it appear that the term ‘postgraduate’ applied to the level of the qualification itself, rather than to the entry qualification of the student teachers. As a consequence, higher education institutions who validated the PGCE agreed to introduce instead a differentiated award which would allow student teachers to take the qualification at its original level 3 and gain a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), or, with the agreement of their tutors, to undertake a proportion of the work at master's level in order to gain a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Thus, the postgraduate certificate is now postgraduate in the real sense that it denotes achievement at master's level. The identical initials, while a possible source of confusion, are designed to be non‐divisive. See also qualified teacher status.
http://www.tda.gov.uk/Recruit/thetrainingprocess/typesofcourse/pgce.aspx Details from the Training and Development Agency for Schools on content, structure, and necessary entry qualifications.