University of Chester

Programme Specification
Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector ProfGCE
2015 - 2016

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

University of Chester

Tameside College

Tameside College, Beauford Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester 





Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

2 years part time

4 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Initial Teacher Education

 QAA Descriptors for HE qualifications at levels 6

The Professional Standards for Teacher and Trainers in Education and Training - England (May 2014) are embedded into the programme and trainees are expected to have fulfilled all areas to at least a good standard on completion of the programme.





Progression to Professional Recognition

On completion of the full award, candidates may apply to compete Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS), professional status that can be gained by successfully completing professional formation. Professional formation is a process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS. This process is undertaken by the Education and Training Foundation as the only organisation that confers QTLS status.

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector Assessment Board

Thursday 7th May 2015

Overall Aims of the Programme

  • To provide opportunities to evidence all of the 2014 Professional Standards determined by the Education and Training Foundation  
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the diversity of teaching within further and adult education and training.
  • To facilitate the professional and academic development of students within their own subject specialist area.
  • To facilitate the professional and academic development of students within a supportive environment.
  • To ensure that students are committed to meeting the highest professional standards in their own work.
  • To provide a structured and developmental programme of study which responds flexibly to students' needs and interests.
  • To ensure that prior learning, experience and expertise is valued and disseminated.
  • To provide an intellectually stimulating yet practical and relevant experience for students.
  • To promote reflective, self-analytical and self-evaluative skills.
  • To encourage a holistic view of the teaching-learning process.
  • To maximise the concept of ownership by involving students, employing institutions, and the University of Chester in appropriate decision-making processes.
  • To draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate education and the contexts within which it takes place.
  • To provide students with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts.
  • To encourage students to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society.
  • To provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory and processes in a wide variety of contexts.
  • To encourage the integration of educational processes in a wide variety of contexts.
  • To develop students' ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in a clear, lucid and coherent manner.
  • To promote a range of qualities in students including intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence.

FHEQ Level 6

  • Examine wider concepts of ‘education’ within the context of the Learning and Skills Sector. (ED6601)
  • Gain a complex insight into a teaching and learning context which differs from the familiarity of own setting. (ED6601)
  • Explore the nature, structure and function of organisations with particular reference to own specialist area. (ED6601)
  • Examine the function which learning plays within organisations. (ED6601)
  • Investigate the theories and principles which underpin curriculum design within the Lifelong Learning Sector. (ED6602)
  • Acknowledge the significance of diversity in terms of its role in promoting equality. (ED6602)
  • Examine a range of factors and influences, which impact upon the curriculum. (ED6602)
  • Critically analyse and evaluate own curriculum. (ED6602)
  • To critically examine contemporary issues in the Lifelong Learning Sector. (ED6603)
  • Examine different assessment methods and the need for record keeping.
  • Ways to negotiate appropriate individual goals with learners. (D6604)
  • How to use teaching and learning strategies and resources inclusively to meet curriculum requirements.(ED6604)
  • Analyse the theories, principles and applications of formal and informal assessment and their roles in learning and evaluation. (ED6604)
  • Review the significance of equality and diversity issues for the assessment of learning. (ED6601)

FHEQ Level 6

Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the two years of study, with progression from an emphasis on clear description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills by the end of the studies. The ability to reason and to synthesise information and data from various sources, to analyse, evaluate and interpret theories, will be shown.

  • Review and evaluate own development and experience as a learner. (ED6604)
  • Undertake small scale practitioner research. (ED6603)
  • Critically reflect on personal progress and practice. (ED6604)
  • Plan for future practice. (ED6604)
  • Develop personal skills in critical and analytical reading, writing and research. (All modules)
  • Reflect, evaluate, and feedback critically on own classroom practice and use this to develop own good practices in future. (ED6604)
  • Reflect and evaluate own assessment practice, and make suggestions for improvement. (ED6604)
  • Evaluate and improve own wider professional practice.(ED6601)
  • Engage in problem solving activities using work based/curriculum based scenarios. (ED6602)
  • Engage in critical session evaluation outlining problems, and possible solutions. (All modules)
  • Engage in practitioner research and employ a range of strategies and methodologies. (ED6603)
  • Evaluate the efficacy of different research methodologies and strategies. (ED6603)
  • Critically evaluate and select quantitative and qualitative data relevant to their own area of study. (ED6603)
  • Critically evaluate, selectand retrieve information using paper and electronic sources. (all modules)
  • Evaluate and use primary and secondary sources relevant to their area of study. (all modules)

The programme is designed to support and develop teaching and learning within a professional context. The ability to reflect upon their own learning and performance and enhance their abilities in the light of that reflection and feedback is critical to development of their professional and academic practice. Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research based on their subject specialist area in a variety of formats.

FHEQ Level 6

  • Analyse how personal and professional attitudes, values and beliefs can influence the teaching-learning process. (ED6601, ED6604) 
  • Examine how to promote awareness of how internal and external factors can influence what happens in the ‘classroom’. (ED6601, ED6604) 
  • Explore the importance of internal quality systems and approaches in terms of evaluating performance of both the organisation and own wider professional practice. (ED6601, ED6604) 
  • Analyse professional values and demonstrate the embedding of these in practice. (ED6604)
  • Display professional development aptitude. (all modules)
  • Examine own role, responsibility and boundaries of role in relation to teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. (ED6601, ED6604)
  • Plan, prepare, implement, assess, evaluate and review teaching and learning for individuals and groups. (ED6601, ED6604)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Fluent and accurate written communication, based on clear and critical argument and evidence-based reasoning (all modules)
  • Fluent oral communication suitable for an academic audience. (ED6601)
  • To gain skills in the use of Information Communication Technologies for reseach and presentation. (all modules)
  • Communicate highly effectively, create a climate conducive to learning using a range of appropriate resources and materials. (all modules)


The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector will enable graduate trainees to study for a qualification to their existing level of learning, provide an appropriate progression route for trainees with subject specialist degree who have completed the PTTLS and CTTLS qualification (or equivalent) and currently provides an appropriate route to QTLS status for graduates.

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector is a two year part-time programme. The mode of delivery for the part-time programme has been tailored specifically to the needs of learners in work and will enable learners who are both in-service and pre-service (where possible) to access the provision.  Where learners are pre-service and do not have access to teaching hours, the College will make every effort to facilitate teaching practice hours.  The programme is modular and is designed for those who are in  a ‘full teaching role' and have access to at least 100 hours teaching practice per year. 

The programme embeds the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) qualification in the first module (ED6401-PTLLS/Planning and Enabling Learning).  Thus there is technically an exit point at the end of the first module, where trainees can exit with 15 credits. Similarly, when combined, modules ED6401 (PTLLS/Planning and Enabling Learning) and ED6404 (Enabling Learning and Assessment) embed the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) qualification, thus, trainees exiting at this point can exit with 30 credits.  However, it is not envisaged that trainees enrolled on this programme will exit at either stage as the admissions and interview procedure requires trainees to commit to the full programme (those performing the ‘associate teacher role' will be referred to the appropriate City and Guilds programmes also offered by the College).  The expected exit point is at the end of Year 2 for the full Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector (120 credits at Level 6).  

The programme is designed to accommodate learning and assessment in both the classroom and the workplace and through personal, professional and academic development. At enrolment all students will be made aware of the structure of the programme for Year 1 and Year 2 and how the programme facilitates and progresses learning through the related subject material and a range of developmental assessable requirements. Teaching practice is an integral part of the whole programme and is crucial for work-based assessment via the construction of a Teaching Log and Teaching Observations. It is also a pre-requisite for entry to the programme.

The first year of the programme will provide students with a foundation for transferring and integrating existing skills, knowledge and abilities within the context of teaching and learning. The focus of Year 1 will be the micro-environment of the ‘classroom' and the processes of planning, managing and assessing will be underpinned by principles of learning. Development of practice will be promoted by: ‘concrete experience and reflective observation' (Kolb,1984).  




Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ED6401 6 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector/Planning and Enabling Learning 15 Comp
ED6402 6 Theories and Principles for Planning and Enabling Learning 15 Comp
ED6601 6 Wider Professional Practice 15 Comp
ED6602 6 Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice 15 Comp
ED6603 6 Contemporary Issues in the Lifelong Learning Sector 15 Comp
ED6604 6 Continuing Personal and Professional Development 15 Comp

The threshold qualification for teaching in this sector known as Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) (15 credits) is achieved through the successful completion of ED6401.  Modules ED6401 and ED6404 lead to the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) qualification (30 credits).  Tbese qualifications are not awards of the University of Chester, but students who successfully complete the relevant modules will receive a Certificate of Credit.

Students who successfully complete the whole programme will accumulate 120 credits at level 6 which will confer the award of Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector.

Trainees must pass all modules and all components in all modules without compensation to pass the programme

Progression to Professional Recognition

On completion of the full award, candidates may apply to compete Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS), professional status that can be gained by successfully completing professional formation. Professional formation is a process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS. This process is undertaken by the Education and Training Foundation as the only organisation that confers QTLS status.

Admissions will be processed directly by the colleges.

Enquiries will be forwarded to the relevant Programme Leader and those considered eligible will be sent an application form and an interview will be arranged with the programme Leader or a member of the teacher education team prior to the applicant being offered a place. Experience, aspirations, motivation, work history etc. will be discussed at interview. All applicants will be required to undertake diagnostic tests prior to entry to the course. Potential need for learning support may be identified at this stage and, if found, will be discussed with the applicant.

In order to satisfy the minimum general requirements for admission applicants must:

  • Possess a first degree or equivalent qualification.
  • Possess at least a minimum level 3 qualification in his/her own area of specialism
  • Provide evidence of having achieved or be working towards GCSE Grade C and above, (or equivalent) in English and Maths.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 6+ or equivalent).
  • Have a teaching or training contract for a minimum of 100 hours of teaching in the learning and skills sector over the period of the course, which is split into 50 hours for each of the 2 years. A voluntary teaching placement may be acceptable for part-time applicants at the discretion of the College concerned.
  • Provide two references and demonstrate support from employer and mentor
  • Have a subject mentor to offer subject specific support and guidance. Subject mentors must be prepared to attend an initial mentor training session.

As the programme involves working with young people, applicants will be required to disclose any previous criminal convictions, cautions or bindovers irrespective of when they occurred. All successful candidates who receive an offer of a place will be required to apply for and be in receipt of an enhanced DBS Disclosure before taking up their place. Only on the receipt of successful clearance from the DBS will the place on the programme be confirmed.

As part of the commitment to widening access to under-represented groups, non-standard qualifications (including those achieved in the workplace and work experience) will be considered on an individual basis. A similar approach will be adopted for those who have considerable teaching experience but only ‘historical' qualifications. Accreditation of prior learning will be considered in line with the current policy at the University of Chester. Each candidate for APL will be required to submit evidence of the outcomes of their previous learning, whether experiential or certified.

As teaching practice is an integral part of the Programme, discussion regarding the context, the learners and the nature of the learning-teaching process will take place at interview. This will establish the appropriateness of the teaching, i.e. planning, delivering and assessing learning the applicant has in place. Applicants will be required to provide written confirmation, from their employer/line manager, that the necessary teaching practice requirement will be concurrent with his/her attendance on the Programme.

Direct entry to Year 2 of the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector will be considered and be guided by the ‘AP(E)L' Policy and Procedures' of the University of Chester.

All Year 1 students will be screened at FE Level 3 with respect to their Communication Skills within two weeks of joining the programme. The screening of ‘direct entry' Year 2 students will be at the discretion of the Programme Leader. This will ensure that guidance can be offered rapidly to any students who may need Study Skills support.



 The programme has embedded the Education and Training Foundation Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training -England (May 2014)

Addressing the minimum core for language, literacy and numeracy within the programme: The minimum core for language, literacy and numeracy (likely to be replaced by Functional Skills) has been embedded throughout year 1 and 2 of the programme, and is a theme that is present in all sessions. In addition students are provided with two discrete sessions in both year 1 and 2 that address coverage and aid evidence acquisition. Evening workshops are also provided to that effect. To ensure effective tracking of the coverage of the standards is achieved, each course member will be asked to map individual coverage of the standards via the production of a cross referenced grid submitted as part of their course work. It is intended that coverage will involve a combination of taught modules, subject specific mentoring and possibly some independent supported study.

Minimum Core

The sector is currently awaiting guidance on evidencing the minimum core requirements in English, Mathematics and ICT. However, initial assessment and support for minimum core are already built into the programme.

All participants are required to have level 2 qualifications in English and mathematics on entry. A student profile of minimum core skills is included in The Continuing Personal and Professional Progress Development file (CPPPD). Individual development of minimum core skills (likely to be replaced by Functional Skills)  is monitored through the CPPPD file. 

All students entering the programme will be adults who are teaching or training within the Learning and Skills Sector, working in varied contexts and delivering a wide range of different subjects. This rich mix of experience, knowledge and skills will be a powerful learning resource and generate exchanges of information and best practice. The specialist experience of mentors will help students to develop experience within their specific subject areas.

Through their professional links with other employers and organisations, the course team are familiar with many of the settings from which the student body will be drawn. All members of the Partner College's teacher education team are experienced practitioners, each having particular specialisms and expertise which they bring to the programme. This combination can be used very effectively to facilitate students' academic and personal development and to guide and advise them in aspects of professional practice. In addition, the specialist experience of mentors will help students to develop expertise within their subject specific area(s).

The students' own teaching practice, work context and experiences, within the teaching/learning process, will contribute significantly to the whole programme. These will not only provide opportunities for all students to review and evaluate a range of teaching/learning settings and practices but also offer insights into different curricula and learner characteristics

A range of teaching methods and learning resources will be utilized to respond to individual learning styles and to ensure that differentiated delivery takes place. The ethos of the programme centres upon the promotion of professional practice and the development of evaluative and reflective skills, with particular reference to the student's own specialist area.

The Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training (2014) are evidenced through:

  • Practice-based learning; planning for teaching and learning, observation of teaching practice, evaluation and reflection of practice.
  • Individual and groups activities, tasks, case studies.
  • Observation of an experienced teacher.
  • Teaching Log.
  • Completion of Personal and Professional Progress (Year 1) and Professional and Academic (Year 2) Profiles.
  • Learning Journal.
  • Lectures and discussion.
  • Individual and group tutorials.
  • Individual mentoring sessions.
  • Student-led individual and group presentations.
  • Self-directed learning/independent study.
  • Reflective accounts.
  • Independent research/investigation.
  • Action learning sets (centred around curriculum specialisms.)

The assessment regime adopted within the programme will conform to the regulations established by the University of Chester and detailed in the partnership guidelines. An External Examiner will be nominated in accordance with the University of Chester regulations and will be subject to approval by the University.

Assessment of learning, in both Years 1 and 2, is continuous, formative and summative. Informal assessment takes place during every taught session via questioning, observation and feedback from student tasks, etc. Formal assessment is exemplified through observed Teaching Practice, Teaching Log, student presentations, Continuing Personal and Professional Development Profiles, reflective accounts and written assignments and presentations.

Each module in years 1 and 2 will have specific assessment criteria for each assignment. These will be set out in the student handbook and communicated to students by the tutor responsible for the module, who will undertake the assessment of written Assignments, Reflective Accounts and presentations. Students will be required to submit their written assignments on the date determined by the Module Tutor which will normally be two weeks after the completion of the module. It is a requirement of the programme that students upload all their written assignments onto the VLE in addition to providing a paper copy. Prior to formal submission, students will have the facility to discuss an assignment plan/introduction with their tutor. Students will not be allowed to submit a full draft of the assignment prior to the official hand-in date.

A personal development record will be maintained throughout each year of the programme. Personal Tutors will be responsible for Continuing Personal and Professional Development Profile (year 1 and 2), tutorials and Observed Teaching Practice. Personal tutors will be aligned to the curriculum specialisms of the student. Mentors will, wherever possible, be required to be specialists in the subject area of the student, and will be issued with a full mentor pack prior to commencement of study. Mentors will focus upon subject specialist issues, and undertake two teaching observation in each academic year.

Assignments will be returned to the students when the first, second and third stages of the assessment procedure are completed. However, students will receive provisional, written feedback from the first internal assessment. Second marking and moderation will be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University of Chester.

Students have the right to one reassessment in each failed assessment component. As this is a programme of professional preparation students must pass all module assessment components.


A graduate who leaves the programme with a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education in the Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector will be fully equipped to conduct themselves in a competent and professional way as outlined by their role requirements. They will have met the professional standards required by teachers in the sector.

All participants demonstrate and communicate subject knowledge in their chosen field up to and beyond level 3 (NQF). Those who achieve QTLS will be able to confidently demonstrate both subject specific and generic pedagogical skills. They will also have an informed understanding of the relationship between teaching and learning theory and classroom practice.

All graduates will be able to engage in the reflective practice required to plan, and participate in, continuing professional development.

An emphasis on employability is fundamental to the award and all trainees are either employed or in secured unpaid teaching placements. Settings for employment include teaching in adult and community education, private training providers or schools, and sixth form colleges, offender learning and special schools/colleges. In order to meet the practice requirements of the award this is a necessity. Teaching and learning approaches, assessment methods and strategies and tutor support take account of employement and career progression, with each module emphasising practice-based and subject specific issues. Reflective practice is integral to the programme and enables trainees to develop their generic and subject specific teaching skills with the help of supportive, developmental teaching observations and constructive tutor, mentor and peer feedback. The programme is designed with the needs of the sector in mind and is guided by partner colleges to help to ensure the programme meets current market needs and trends.

All Partner Colleges have an Equal Opportunities policy and strategy which has been refined and developed though consultation with staff, students and representatives from external organisations. The strategy has been particularly successful in enabling access for non-traditional students, and a physical access audit has recently been undertaken of all major campuses. Data is regularly gathered to monitor the recruitment, retention and progress of all students, with particular attention paid to issues arising through gender, ethnicity, disability, and economic disadvantage as potential barriers to student progress. A series of Equal Opportunities staff development events have been held and these proved extremely effective in developing staff knowledge and understanding of Equal Opportunities issues. Targeted curriculum audits have taken place. Students, entering this programme will be required to respect and uphold the Partner College's  Equal Opportunities policy. More importantly, they will be expected to promote and demonstrate equal opportunities within their own practice, for example evidence of differentiation in planning learning.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

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