Professional Graduate Certificate of Education

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A teaching qualification awarded to non‐postgraduate entrants to the profession. Originally, there was a unitary qualification for graduate entrants, known as the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), which was usually awarded at higher education level 3, which is the equivalent of a first degree. The ambiguous title of the award, which could be taken to suggest that the term ‘postgraduate’ applied to the level of the qualification itself, rather than to the entry qualification of the student teachers, was eventually judged to be misleading. As a consequence, higher education institutions who validated the postgraduate certificate 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, 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. Since this may be achieved through a process of differentiation by outcome and assessment, it can allow both groups of student teachers to follow the same programme. The potential divisiveness of this restructuring and renaming is further minimized by the fact that the two qualifications retain the identical abbreviation.

Subjects: Education.

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