Independent PGCE

Entry requirements: Please see the entry requirements tab below Full or Part-time: Full-time UCAS Code: School: School of Education Search all courses
Enquire Now

Apply to us directly — select your options below:

Select a start date:

Course outline

The Independent Postgraduate Certificate of Education has been developed in close consultation with the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Since 2002 it has been offering teachers in the independent sector, who have not undergone a period of formal teacher training, the opportunity to participate in a structured programme of professional development.

This course is widely recognised and will qualify trainees to teach in the independent sector, but if you would prefer to qualify with QTS please look at either our Primary or Secondary PGCE with QTS courses.

Course content

The PGCE is a 37-week school-based course, during which time you will work under the guidance of a mentor and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and to all age levels. There are three residentials (nine days overall) to attend and these are supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will be assigned a University tutor who visits once per term to assess your progress and guide your development. You will be assessed by both your mentor and your tutor and there are three assignments to complete.

For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we highly recommend your participation in our Ab Initio course in late August as an addition to the PGCE. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.


Entry Requirements

You must be employed as a teacher in an independent school in the UK (or abroad in the case of the International PGCE) and be in sole charge of a full size class for a minimum of 10 hours a week.

You will be expected to have a degree from a UK University or equivalent.

In addition, you must:

  • Obtain the commitment from your school to provide a suitable mentor.
  • Show the physical and mental fitness to teach.

The employing school must be able to fully support a candidate through the course, enabling them to demonstrate all of the Teachers’ Standards across the full age and ability range of training, and cannot be graded as inadequate.

How to apply

Please use the ‘Apply Now’ button in the silver box (above) or contact The School of Education on +44 (0)1280 820222 or email

Application deadline 19 July 2019

Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >


Teaching & Assessment

Quality teaching

We offer high quality teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.

Teaching methods

The course consists of an individualised programme of school-based training, combined with termly three-day residential meetings at Buckingham where trainees will encounter lectures, workshops, seminars and discussion groups led by experts in their field. The course encourages reflective practice, focusing on the subjects being taught, the craft of the classroom and the underpinning educational values of the teacher.

Trainees are also supported by the Education Moodle, a virtual learning environment which links the University and the partnership schools and provides additional resources for trainees.

Assessment methods

Once each term students will be visited by a subject specialist tutor from Buckingham, who will help to ensure comparability of standards across the participating schools. The Buckingham tutor and the school mentor will jointly assess the student’s competence as a teacher during and at the end of the course.

See the Education Curriculum Handbook for further course details.


Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees 2019-20

Home Fees
(England & Wales)
Home Fees
(Scotland & NI)
Registration fee £275 £275
Tuition fee £5,000 £5,000
Additional expenses £450
Total £5,275 £5,725

Tuition fees cover the cost of all tutoring as well as food and accommodation when at Buckingham.



Fees may increase annually in line with inflation. For details, please see our Fees and Finance page.


Accommodation will be provided for all residentials at Whittlebury Hall or alternatively in nearby hotels, all of which will be arranged by the School of Education staff. The cost of this is included in the course fee.

If you have any questions please contact The School of Education on +44 (0)1280 820222 or email


Frequently Asked Questions

This page is currently under construction. Content will be available soon.

In the meantime if you have any questions, please email