School of Education

Course Details

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. The induction stage is an intensive block of study. All additional modules are taught via distance learning, allowing you to conduct practitioner inquiry in your own schools.

The recommended timescale for the course is approximately 11 months.


The face-to-face programme will involve small group discussion, presentations, whole group interaction and tutorials.

The web-based component 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.


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


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

Further study

Marks of 50% or higher for a module will result in masters credit which gives the possibility of 60 credits towards an MA Education or MA Education (flexible) - 180 credits are needed for the MA.

A maximum of 30 credits can be used towards the MA Educational Leadership and Management and MA Special and Inclusive Education courses. We offer full-time, part-time and online study routes for the MA programmes.

For those who are interested in doctoral study, we have an MPhil/PhD. However, credit from the PGCEi cannot be used towards this programme.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England

The PGCEi is an academic qualification, not a teaching qualification, and therefore does not offer QTS.

If you wish to become a qualified teacher in England after successful completion of the PGCEi, you are advised to consult the Department of 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.


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.

Course fees

Fees vary according to the cohort venue and the cohort facilitator. Please see individual cohort venue pages for details of fees or for contact details of the cohort facilitator.



School of Education

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

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