PGCE vs PGCEi - A Guide for Teachers

PGCE vs PGCEi: A Guide for Teachers

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Educators who are passionate about teaching frequently contemplate pursuing a postgraduate degree. Two popular options are the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and the Postgraduate Certificate in Education International (PGCEi), with there being differences between the two education degrees.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a UK-based programme that leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is required to teach in UK state schools. PGCE curricula are typically full-time, on-campus studies with a practicum component.

On the other hand, the PGCE (International) is a programme designed for educators who want to or are already teaching abroad. PGCEi programmes are typically flexible and can be completed online or through overseas partner colleges. Please remember that PGCEi courses do not lead to a teaching license in any nation, but are often required by many international schools in order to teach, or for a teacher to be promoted to more senior positions.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between PGCE and PGCEi:

SNo. Characteristic PGCE PGCEi
1 Target audience Educators who want to teach in UK state schools Educators who want to teach abroad or who are already teaching abroad
2 Location Typically undertaken in the UK Can be completed online or through international partner institutions
3 Focus UK-centric curricula and teaching practices Global education and teaching within international contexts
4 Teaching qualification/license Leads to QTS in the UK Does not lead to a teaching license in any country

Before selecting the perfect curriculum for you, consider your professional goals, ideal location, and the type of teaching you want to do.

Here is a checklist to help you make an informed decision:

PGCE is the right education degree if:

  • You aspire to teach in UK state schools.
  • Your goal is to earn a QTS in the UK
  • You prefer full-time, on-campus study.
  • You have secured a scholarship or your school will provide financial support.

PGCE (International) is the right education degree if:

  • You are already engaged in teaching abroad.
  • Your goal is to improve your CV by obtaining a formal education qualification.
  • You do not intend to teach in the United Kingdom.
  • Pursuing this qualification while working aligns with your schedule.

Scholarships are available from a variety of schools and organisations to help educators pursue postgraduate courses. You can also inquire about your school supporting the costs of your PGCEi programme, as many schools allocate budgets for professional development.

The decision between PGCE and PGCEi should be based on your professional goals and teaching objectives. Both programmes offer valuable opportunities, but it is critical to select the programme that is best for you. To commence on a journey towards being a good teacher, conduct extensive study, examine your options, and take advantage of scholarship opportunities.

Additional advice on pursuing a PGCE or PGCEi:

  • If you are a non-native English-speaking teacher, thoroughly explore PGCEi courses. Some countries may not recognise PGCEi courses that do not include a practicum.
  • If you are already teaching in another country, enquire with your current school about the likelihood of them supporting your PGCEi course. Many schools are eager to invest in the professional development of their teachers.
  • Do not hesitant to seek assistance. If you have any questions regarding the PGCE or PGCEi programmes, contact the institutions that offer them or reach out to other educators who have completed these programmes.


Notable institutions that offer PGCEi or equivalent through Stafford Global:

University of Nottingham – PGCE (International)


The School of Education is ranked in the top 10 in the UK and top 50 worldwide in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.

University of Dundee: Masters in Education – (PG Cert & PG Diploma entry & exit routes)


University of Dundee is ranked 33rd in The Times and Sunday Times league tables in their Good University Guide 2024.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/uk-university-rankings

For more information on UK Teaching and Education courses or to determine your eligibility for a PGCE course, please contact a Higher Education consultant.


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