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PGCE (Top-Up) Primary/Early Years/Secondary

Key Facts

  • Level


  • Duration

    1 year part time

  • Starting


  • Fees UK 24/25

    Part Time: £2,760

  • Fees International 24/25


  • Location

    Waterside, Distance Learning

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

+44 (0)1604 893981


The PGCE Top-up course enables you to achieve the academic award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) if you have already successfully gained QTS through the Graduate Teacher Programme, School Direct or similar. This PGCE is accredited by the General Teaching Council Scotland which means on successful completion you will have met the requirement to be eligible to apply for registration as a teacher in Scotland.

If you are interested in doing this, information about the rest of the requirements for registration can be found on the GTCS website. In addition, QTS holders in the UK and internationally will benefit from this one year programme, designed to meet the needs of practicing teachers and increase your employability around the world.

For more information you can email Dr Helen Caldwell.

To apply for October 2024:

Updated 15/12/2023


  • Flexible schedule to fit around work schedules.
  • Course is accredited by the General Teaching Council Scotland.
  • Achieve PGCE status if you have already completed the required credits.

Course Content

  • This course enables academic study alongside full-time teaching. It consists of formal taught sessions with tutors held at weekends or during the mid-term breaks. We also deliver teaching through online sources, which you can access anywhere, at your convenience through our Virtual Learning Environment, NILE. You will also have access to the library and a tutor, who will be available to help in person or online, and we hold regular webinars to support your studies.

    This course is designed to support your professional development, embedding academic studies in the context of your work. You will enhance your QTS by studying modules at Masters’ level to gain the PGCE qualification. It will give you a deeper understanding of teaching and learning to enhance your practice and help you on your way to a Masters’ degree and beyond if you wish to progress this further.

    Module information can be found on the Award Map.

  • Applicants are required to have a minimum of 2:2 classification from their First Degree from a UK university of equivalent.

    You must have QTS status through the Graduate Teacher Programme, School Direct route or similar and have recent teaching experience. We are happy to discuss this with individuals.

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Years 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • £2,760 (60 credits)
    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Years 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • £2,675 (60 credits)

    There are currently no additional costs anticipated for this course for 2023 and 2024 entry.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • How will I be assessed?

    You will have a variety of assessments, submitted throughout the year. They will include reflective pieces of writing, essays and a small-scale research project.

    How will I learn?

    The entire course consists of interactive, taught sessions, involving activities and discussions plus some independent study. This course is run over two terms between October and June. You should also expect to do six to 10 hours of private study each week.

    The structure of this online course has been created to accommodate practicing teachers, wherever they are based. There is no necessity to visit Northampton.


Eunice Lumsden, Head of Childhood, Youth & Families and Professor
Eunice Lumsden

Head of Childhood, Youth & Families and Professor

Faculty of Health, Education and Society


Careers and Employability

Most PGCE top-up students will already be professional teachers, however this qualification will allow you to teach in other countries, subject to their own regulations, and opens up opportunities for career progression such as leadership and management.

We would encourage you to check visa requirements if you are intending to use the course to enable you to teach in a different country.

Is this course for you?