29 June, 2022 | Posted by Colm McDonnell

What’s the Difference between PGCE and PGCEi?

The PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) is a one- to two-year programme that is offered in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. According to the UK-based education information outlet, Prospects, a PGCE is designed to “enhance and increase academic training, preparing students for life as a teacher”.

A PGCE combines substantial school placements with studying the theory behind teaching and learning. Most courses run from early September to July, taking nine months to complete on a full-time basis. Part-time study of the course will take longer.

Places on a PGCE course are highly sought after and competition to get one is fierce. The Scottish equivalent is PGDE or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education. PGCEs are not compulsory to teach in the United Kingdom. Aspiring teachers need only have a QTS or Qualified Teacher Status, which comes with certain degrees and courses. However, a PGCE will increase your academic knowledge and make your teaching more theoretically and practically informed.

The PGCEi performs a similar function to a PGCE with a few added differences.

The “i” in PGCEi stands for international. In essence, the PGCEi allows holders to teach overseas as well as in the United Kingdom. Both degrees are valuable for teaching domestically but if you wish to teach beyond the UK, you will need a PGCEi. Those who take a PGCEi course will undertake extra work to become equipped for international as well as domestic teaching.

Students will compare teaching approaches in different countries and develop a more global approach to education. Not only that but you will also learn things like cultural differences between countries to give your teaching a more nuanced perspective.

As stated by the University of Nottingham, the general aim of the PGCEi is to improve practice by building new ideas and strategies which are tested out in your own classroom.

The programme aims to improve teaching by helping you to understand your own education system from an international perspective.

Both qualifications are useful to anyone in Ireland who is looking to become a fully qualified teacher in the UK and the PGCEi will be of more use to those who are looking to teach even further abroad

Get in Contact

If you are interested in finding out more about studying at Portobello Institute you can visit our course pages here or get in contact with our director of enrolment Brandon McLean at brandon.mclean@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0035.

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