Independent PGCE

Entry requirements: Please see the entry requirements tab below 
Full or Part-time: Full-time
School: School of Education Back to course finder

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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.


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 20 July 2018.

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 > >

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.

Graduate employment

Our graduate prospects are excellentOur graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.

Tuition fees 2018-19

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.



As the MA residential is just one day, accommodation for the night prior is only provided by the University of Buckingham for international trainees.

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