School of Education

Course Details

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Course aims

The general aim of the Postgraduate Certificate Education (International) (PGCEi) is to improve practice by building new ideas and strategies which are tested out in your own classrooms. More specifically, the programme aims to improve teaching by: 

  • helping you to understand your own education system from an international perspective 
  • enabling you to become familiar with the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of a range of learning theories and to evaluate their usefulness in specific educational situations 
  • promoting a deeper understanding of a range of teaching strategies 
  • developing expertise in practitioner research 
  • making appropriate use of professional and research literature

Course structure 

The PGCEi consists of three core 20-credit modules and an induction. The induction stage is an intensive block of study. All modules are studied part-time via distance learning, allowing you to conduct practitioner inquiry in your own schools (or education context).

You will be expected to put in a minimum of 200 hours of study per module (600 hours for the whole course). These activities have been designed to take approximately 85 hours of study time. We also expect you to spend around 105 hours on your assignment preparation and writing. The final 10 hours of time for each module is allocated to the induction event. Consequently, most students should aim to spend around 14 hours per week on study.

The recommended timescale for the course is 12 months.



The induction involves compulsory participation in sessions and activities to understand the course and module structures. It also provides you with the opportunity to meet, and bond with, fellow students and your tutors. Following this, all modules are studied online, part-time. You will have access to regular tutorial support online.

The induction sessions for the cohorts with in-person inductions take place in the country of the cohort you apply for and will be held 9am to 5pm (in the local time zone for the cohort location) unless otherwise stated on the cohort page. The induction sessions for the online cohort will take place on MS Teams and are given as UK times, so please adjust to your own time zone.

It is compulsory to attend all induction sessions, dates for these can be found in the cohort-specific information, so please ensure you are able to attend these dates.

The web-based component of the course uses a dedicated virtual learning environment (VLE) including online course materials, learning resources and tutorial support. To ensure you have the appropriate computer requirements to enable you to study online, please view our computer specification guidance notes.



The current modules are: 

Educational Aims and Values in International Contexts

This module considers international contexts for education and ideas from the philosophy of education and about the purposes of education in different settings. It introduces a philosophical, comparative and observational focus, which runs throughout the PGCEi course. 

The aims of the module are to:

  • develop an understanding of education as a world-wide phenomenon
  • enable you to understand your own education system from an international perspective
  • develop appreciation of the philosophical basis of education
  • develop a range of frameworks for making sense of educational contexts
  • develop alternative perspectives on schools, classrooms and their purposes. 
Understanding Learning and Teaching in International Contexts

This module focuses on the relationship between theories of learning and models of teaching and enables you to translate your developing understanding into your practice through critical reflection. You will be able to select from a choice of different learning theories and pedagogical approaches.

The aims of this module are to:

  • become conversant with the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of a range of learning theories and pedagogical approaches
  • understand the practical implications of theories and pedagogical approaches 
  • be able to compare and contrast theories and pedagogical approaches and their relative usefulness in specific educational settings 
  • develop professional knowledge, skills, and understanding for teaching
  • review and develop existing personal theories of learning and models of teaching
  • improve the quality of reflective practice 
Inquiring into Educational Practice in International Contexts

In this module, you will plan and undertake a small-scale investigation in your own educational context. The project is an investigation into an aspect of your students' learning. In preparation for the inquiry and data-gathering processes, the module supports you to develop your understanding of the principles and methodological and ethical considerations of practitioner research.

A research proposal in the form of a formative piece of coursework is submitted to the course tutor for comment at an early stage of work on this module. You are expected to undertake your own literature searches and carry out a literature review to support your inquiry. The completed assignment relates investigation findings to preparatory reading material.

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand the principles and practice of undertaking an educational inquiry into your own practice, at masters level
  • develop familiarity with educational research methodology and ethical requirements
  • promote critical reflection and professional learning
  • enable you to identify and make appropriate use of professional and academic literature


Each module will be assessed by coursework and a 4,000-word assignment or equivalent.



Course details are subject to change. While we will do all we can to ensure the information on these pages is accurate and up to date, the University of Nottingham reserves the right to change the content, modules and titles of any courses listed without prior warning.

Find out about our online learning with the School of Education.


Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England

The PGCEi is an academic qualification, not a teaching qualification, and does not offer QTS or a licence to teach in the UK or elsewhere.

If you wish to become a qualified teacher in England after successful completion of the PGCEi, you are advised to consult the Department for Education Teaching Agency website for advice and information.

Please note that arrangements for teacher education in the UK are currently undergoing change. Qualifying as a teacher in Scotland and Northern Ireland is different to England and Wales.


School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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