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Teacher Development

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education: Teacher Development has been designed to support the continuing professional development of teachers working in schools around the world.

This programme provides an opportunity to:

  • Develop and enhance your professional teaching and learning practice;
  • Work with colleagues to engage and reflect on successful teaching practices, including your own;
  • Understand your own teaching practice and other models of teaching practice in the context of research undertaken by UCL Institute of Education academics.
A student group comparing notes
Develop and enhance your professional teaching and learning practice.

As a graduate of the programme, you will gain:

  • An ability to manage your own learning and reflect on your practice, so as to improve and change the outcomes for your learners.
  • A University of London Professional Graduate Certificate in Education: Teacher Development (FHEQ level 6). This is equivalent to the final year of an honours undergraduate degree, so it will help students who may not have had the opportunity to get an honours-level undergraduate degree when completing earlier study, and may help qualify you for Masters level study.

This programme does not offer UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Course details

The programme comprises two core 30-credit modules:

  • Professional Portfolio – module 1
  • Professional Independent Study – module 2

You will need to complete both modules successfully to be awarded the Certificate. You must commence module 1 before beginning module 2.

Professional Portfolio – module 1

You will study theories about how learning happens in the classroom and what research tells us about learning. To achieve this, you develop a learning journal based around your teaching role, which will help you reflect on  your practice and your professional development as a teacher.

Professional Independent Study – module 2

This module focuses on assessment for learning and inclusion. It will help you understand the diverse needs of students. It will help you think beyond the course to your own professional development as a reflective practitioner.

September 2019 intake

Application deadline18 August 2019
Registration deadline31 August 2019
Programme starts16 September 2019

The programme is delivered online and there is no requirement to come to the UK as part of your studies. It is a self-guided course for your professional development that you will work with alongside a self-identified critical friend, and fellow students. Your professional development will be supplemented and supported by our high quality materials. Each module offers a structured learning experience with a coherent set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria to support you in your learning.

The coursework includes the requirement to undertake critical reflection and professional discussions with your colleagues. You will engage in online forums throughout your studies and enjoy the benefits of being part of a network of teachers developing a community of practice.  You will choose someone to act as a critical friend/peer mentor to support you in your learning. They will do this by listening and discussing ideas in a reflective way. The critical friend will observe your professional practice with an objective eye and make notes to support discussions. A handbook will be provided so that the critical friend (who is not your line manager or principal) understands their role.

Study materials

All essential resources, activities, videos, discussions and support are provided in the Virtual Learning Environment. This allows you to fit your studies around your working commitments. There is no need to purchase additional textbooks.

Throughout the programme, you will explore new areas of learning, reflecting on your own learning and teaching, and analyse and reflect on the experience of learning.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to the Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers online learning support, access to peer review software, reflective activities, informal discussion areas, and links to resources.
  • The Online Library contains thousands of journal articles. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.
  • Online tutors will provide advice and feedback to help you manage and get the most from your studies.

Time commitment

The modules run from January to September and from September to March.

We expect participants to undertake one module per session, starting with ' Module 1: Professional Portfolio’.


The assessment strategy supports you in developing theoretically informed reflection on your own teaching practice.

Assessment is through coursework, and there are no examinations.

Module 1: 

This module is assessed through submission of three different elements:

  • A Portfolio of Activity as a record of engagement with the module activities;
  • Evidence of Professional Practice through at least six annotated and critically considered observations of teaching; 
  • A short essay assignment (2,000 words) on one aspect of learning, developed through engagement with the module.

Module 2:

  • Three short essays, making up one assignment which explore the themes developed from the teaching of the module plus a short synopsis (4,000 words).

What qualifications do you need?

To register, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate qualification or equivalent at FHEQ level 5 or above (appropriate qualification/subject approved by University of London and checked against NARIC for compatibility)
  • Qualifications equivalent to an undergraduate degree will also meet the entry requirements for example Pearson level 5 certificates 


  • Cambridge International Examinations: Professional Development Qualification – Diploma (Level 5) which has been examined in English and studied between January 2015 and February 2017. 

All applicants are expected to be working in a school setting in a teaching role (as a teacher, a teaching assistant or a volunteer). In that role, they would sometimes have responsibility for the whole class as appropriate. Applicants should have completed the equivalent of two years teaching before they commence study on the programme. These requirements to be confirmed at application via reference from head teacher of the school. 

English Language requirements

You must satisfy the English language requirements for the programme. You can fulfil the English language requirements for our undergraduate programmes with one of the awards or proficiency tests listed here.

If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirements but believe that you can demonstrate the requisite proficiency the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

Internet Access and Computer requirements

You will require regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection in order to study the programme.

The computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser with Cookies and JavaScript enabled (a latest version of Firefox or Chrome is recommended);  
  • a good internet connection;
  • And the following applications installed:
  • a word processor that accepts Microsoft Word formats (.doc and .docx);
  • a pdf reader;

* Full mobile access to VLE resources is not available for all programmes. 

The fees below apply if you begin during the 2018-2019 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Academic year2019-2020
Application FeeN/A
Registration Fee£500
Module 1 Fee£700
Module 2 Fee£700

How to pay your fees.

On 1 July 2017 a Goods and Services Tax (GST) [external website] was introduced in India which applies to online services. From 1 August 2019, the University will be required to add GST at the statutory rate of 18% to its programme fees for new and continuing students resident in India.

This programme will prepare students who wish to go on to Masters level study in Education.

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Note: This programme does not confer Qualified Teacher Status in the UK.

UCL Institute of Education

Academic leadership for this programme is provided by UCL Institute of Education, a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education and social science. 

Ranked number one for education worldwide in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 QS World University Rankings, the IOE was awarded the 2015 Queen’s Anniversary Prize. In 2014, the Institute secured ‘outstanding’ grades from Ofsted on every criterion for its initial teacher training, across primary, secondary and further education programmes. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment of university research, the IOE was top for ‘research power’ in education. 

Programme team

The Programme Leader is Mrs Kim Insley, Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education. In addition to her work on the PGCE Teacher Development, Kim has been a primary classroom teacher, subject coordinator, PGCE and MA programme and module leader, consultant and adviser in primary and secondary education. Kim travels worldwide to support teacher education, working closely with teacher education providers in Armenia, Dubai, India, Jordan and Pakistan. She leads within her department the Innovation and Enterprise strategy as well as continuing to lead the MA and Graduate Diploma in Advanced Educational Practice.

Her research includes music education in primary schools focusing on the practice of the non-specialist class teacher, as well as mathematics teaching and learning, exploring access to learning for those who struggle to understand, and researching international professional development. 

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London award anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. 

You may find that your school is willing to fund your study.  Sponsoring teachers on this programme will help schools to deliver on their plans to improve school performance, by supporting teachers’ developing their professional skills and supporting them in becoming reflective practitioners. 

If you have a group of more than 15 teachers interested in doing this programme, contact us to find out about cohort groups.

More on funding your study.