Education and Training, Preparatory Certificate

Education and Training, Preparatory Certificate




Partner Institution

Why study this course?

Teaching is an interesting and rewarding profession - , one where you will use your enthusiasm and talents to really make a difference.  This qualification is for those who may be interested in starting to prepare to teach or train in the post- 14 Further Education (FE) and Skills sector, which includes FE colleges, sixth forms, adult and community learning, the NHS, offender learning, the Police service and in private sector training organisations. 

The course It is particularly suitable if you want a short qualification that does not have a minimum teaching requirement and do not currently need a full teaching qualification such as the Certificate in Education/PGCE.  It is ideal if you would like a taster of teaching and a qualification that leaves the way open to progress to the full award pathway in the future if your role changes and you are able to secure some teaching practice hours.  

It is suitable for new ‘in service’ teachers, and for ‘pre-service’ and ‘pre-employment’ teachers, trainers and tutors in the FE and Skills Sector.  For in-service applicants, it is advisable to check with your employer as to whether or not this course’s target qualification meets the requirements of your job role.

The Preparatory Certificate: Education and Training comprises the first module of the 6-module Certificate in Education or PGCE – nationally recognised qualifications for teachers, trainers and tutors in the FE and Skills Sector and the UCLan Teacher Education Partnership offers you the exciting opportunity to study at one of a range of Colleges across the North West region.  This will give you the opportunity to specialise in your chosen field as you start your training towards being a teacher.

You will be introduced to classroom fundamentals and teaching and learning strategies, with a focus on developing your practical and academic skills through reflective practice.

  • Duration:

    The Preparatory Certificate usually takes one college term but may be delivered in more intensive blocks.

  • Level:


  • Campus:

    Partner Institution

  • Award Type:


  • Fees:

    Please contact the partner institution for information about fees

Entry Requirements

  • You must be qualified to teach in a subject that is part of the Further Education and Skills Sector or Sixth Form Curriculum. Therefore, you will need a Level 3 (QCF) qualification in the subject you will be teaching.
  • 5 GCSE’s at grade A-C (or equivalent) to include English
  • The ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 7.5 or equivalent).


Further Information

Course Outline

The course is comprised of one module that will introduce you to classroom fundamentals and the roles and responsibilities of a teacher.  You will learn how to identify the needs of learners, and how to plan, deliver, assess and evaluate teaching, with a focus on developing your practical and academic skills through reflective practice.  Your tutors will model inspirational teaching practice and your teaching skills will be developed through in-class peer to peer teaching practice, and also via the observation of experienced teachers.

As part of the last Ofsted inspection of this provision in 2015 Ofsted said “The quality of the training across the partnership is consistently good, with examples of outstanding provision.”

Highlights of the Course

  • Highly qualified and highly supportive teaching teams
  • Excellent balance of practical and theoretical elements which enables trainee teachers to continuously reflect and improve on what they do
  • 69% of our July 2017 PGCE graduates are now employed in the FE and Skills sector. The national benchmark for graduates employed in the sector after completing their qualification is 60%.
  • Opportunities to study at one of 14 UCLan partner colleges across Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.


Your course is assessed through a combination of a professional teaching practice portfolio and assignment work. You will be assessed throughout the course, with no final examination. In addition to these formal assessments, you need to demonstrate professionalism at all times, meeting the Education and Training Foundation Professional Standards.

Progression routes

A wide range of teaching and training opportunities exist across the Further Education and Skills sector, in organisations including further education colleges, sixth forms, adult and community learning, the National Health Service, the prison service, the police service and in private sector training organisations.

The Preparatory Certificate is primarily for those wishing to work with the 14+ age group and job roles include trainer, assessor, instructor, demonstrator, mentor, and pastoral mentor.  Institutions have their own qualification requirements and you are advised to check with your employer as to whether this target qualification is suitable for your current/future role.

Whilst this qualification is for those who wish to work in the FE and Skills sector, there are now employment opportunities in some schools, particularly in relation to vocational subjects.

This qualification does not confer QTS.  If you progress to successfully complete the full PGCE or Certificate in Education, you can then apply for QTLS status through the Education and Training Foundation which will enable you to be employed as a qualified teacher in a secondary school, academy or free school.

How to Apply

Please apply directly to the college(s) of your choice, using the special application form they will send you. The contact details for each college can be found on the right under ‘Partner Institutions’.

Related Courses

If you find that the Preparatory Certificate isn’t for you, you might want to consider one of UCLan’s other Initial Teacher Education courses including :

Partner Institutions

The UCLan partnership network offers higher education courses in 22 Partner Institutions, allowing students to study locally for their HE award. Partner students are able to take advantage of a wide-range of University facilities as well as accessing the facilities available at the Partner Institution.

Many of the courses run in partner institutions provide the opportunity to ‘Move On’ or progress to UCLan to complete a programme or to study for a higher qualification.


The full list of modules indicated on this course page are for information purposes only. Certain modules may not be delivered every year and delivery might be dependent on the number of students selecting a given module. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this course, you are accepting that it is possible that not all of these module options will be available. At (or before) the start of each academic year, you will have an opportunity to discuss your course and preferred module options with your tutor. The University will then do all it reasonably can to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred module options.



About the class sessions:

"Micro-teaching and the feedback from tutors and peers are such confidence boosters."

“Our taught sessions are fun and active.”

“Classes are always stimulating and challenging.”

“Tutors are really positive and have strong subject knowledge.”

“We get ideas for different teaching approaches and resources and feel our tutors model best practice.”

About teaching:

“I feel the course is helping me to be a teacher one day.”

“I’ve enjoyed sharing ideas with people from other organisations and hearing about the courses they want to train on.”

About support from staff:

"Staff support has really helped to increase my self-confidence."

“Our tutor is really understanding and very professional.”