Teacher Development

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education: Teacher Development has been designed to support the continuing professional development of teachers working in schools around the world.

This programme provides an opportunity to:

  • Develop and enhance your professional teaching and learning practice;
  • Work with colleagues to engage and reflect on successful teaching practices, including your own;
  • Understand your own teaching practice and other models of teaching practice in the context of research undertaken by UCL Institute of Education academics.
A student group comparing notes
Develop and enhance your professional teaching and learning practice.

As a graduate of the programme, you will gain:

  • An ability to manage your own learning and reflect on your practice, so as to improve and change the outcomes for your learners.
  • A University of London Professional Graduate Certificate in Education: Teacher Development (FHEQ level 6). This equates to 60 credits, and is equivalent to the final year of an honours undergraduate degree. It will help students who may not have had the opportunity to get an honours-level undergraduate degree when completing earlier study, and may also help qualify you for master’s level study.

This programme does not offer UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Programme details

Programme structure, modules and specification

The programme comprises two core 30-credit modules:

  • Thinking about Learning – module 1
  • Learning in Teaching – module 2

You will need to complete both modules successfully to be awarded the Certificate. You must commence module 1 before beginning module 2.

Thinking about Learning – module 1

You will study theories about how learning happens in the classroom and what research tells us about learning. To achieve this, you develop a learning journal based around your teaching role, which will help you reflect on  your practice and your professional development as a teacher.

Learning in Teaching – module 2

This module focuses on assessment for learning and inclusion. It will help you understand the diverse needs of students. It will help you think beyond the course to your own professional development as a reflective practitioner.

Key dates

This programme has two intake dates per year: March and September

March 2022 intake
Application deadline 24 February 2022
Registration deadline 01 March 2022
Programme starts March 2022
September 2022 intake
Application deadline 16 August 2022
Registration deadline 30 August 2022
Programme starts September 2022

How you study

The programme is delivered online and there is no requirement to come to the UK as part of your studies. It is a self-guided course for your professional development that you will work with alongside a self-identified critical friend, and fellow students. Your professional development will be supplemented and supported by our high quality materials. Each module offers a structured learning experience with a coherent set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria to support you in your learning.

The coursework includes the requirement to undertake critical reflection and professional discussions with your colleagues. You will engage in online forums throughout your studies and enjoy the benefits of being part of a network of teachers developing a community of practice.  You will choose someone to act as a critical friend/peer mentor to support you in your learning. They will do this by listening and discussing ideas in a reflective way. The critical friend will observe your professional practice with an objective eye and make notes to support discussions. A handbook will be provided so that the critical friend (who is not your line manager or principal) understands their role.

For students who reside within mainland China, there also is the opportunity to undertake a blended learning model of the PG Cert: Teacher Development, developed by academics at the world-leading UCL Institute of Education.

This additional (and optional) provision allows learners to study face-to-face with other students on the programme, receive structured learning on pedagogical theories and practice from British academics, improve their Academic English, and obtain a teacher training qualification issued by a prestigious Chinese teacher training institution. There may also be the opportunity to participate in an immersion visit to the UK to observe British teaching and learning in an authentic context.

For further details, please contact the University of London’s exclusive China Advisor, InterGreat at:

Email: UoLChina@intergreat.com

Tel: 010-8592 5292

Visit the InterGreat website.

Study materials

All essential resources, activities, videos, discussions and support are provided in the Virtual Learning Environment. This allows you to fit your studies around your working commitments. There is no need to purchase additional textbooks.

Throughout the programme, you will explore new areas of learning, reflecting on your own learning and teaching, and analyse and reflect on the experience of learning.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to the Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers online learning support, access to peer review software, reflective activities, informal discussion areas, and links to resources.
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
  • Online tutors will provide advice and feedback to help you manage and get the most from your studies.

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.

Time commitment

The modules run from September to March and from March to September.

We expect participants to undertake one module per session, starting with ' Module 1: Thinking About Learning’.


The assessment strategy supports you in developing theoretically informed reflection on your own teaching practice.

Assessment is through coursework, and there are no examinations.

Module 1:

This module is assessed through submission of three different elements:

  • A Portfolio of Activity as a record of engagement with the module activities;
  • Evidence of Professional Practice through at least six annotated and critically considered observations of teaching; 
  • A short essay assignment (2,000 words) on one aspect of learning, developed through engagement with the module.

Module 2:

  • A Portfolio of Activity as a record of engagement with the module activities;
  • Evidence of Professional Practice through at least six annotated and critically considered observations of teaching;
  • Three short essays, making up one assignment which explore the themes developed from the teaching of the module plus a short synopsis (4,000 words).

Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

To register, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate qualification or equivalent at FHEQ level 5 or above (appropriate qualification/subject approved by University of London and checked against NARIC for compatibility)
  • Qualifications equivalent to an undergraduate degree will also meet the entry requirements for example Pearson level 5 certificates 


  • Cambridge International Examinations: Professional Development Qualification – Diploma (Level 5) which has been examined in English and studied between January 2015 and February 2017. 

All applicants are expected to be working in a school setting in a teaching role (as a teacher, a teaching assistant or a volunteer). In that role, they would sometimes have responsibility for the whole class as appropriate. Applicants should have completed the equivalent of two years teaching before they commence study on the programme. Reference letters will be requested when your application is processed by the Admissions Office. Alternatively, you can upload signed letters of reference to your application when you apply. 

English Language requirements

You must satisfy the English language requirements for the programme. You can fulfil the English language requirements for our undergraduate programmes with one of the awards or proficiency tests listed here.

If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirements but believe that you can demonstrate the requisite proficiency the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

Internet Access and Computer requirements

You will require regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection in order to study the programme.

The computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser with Cookies and JavaScript enabled (a latest version of Firefox or Chrome is recommended);  
  • a good internet connection;
  • And the following applications installed:
  • a word processor that accepts Microsoft Word formats (.doc and .docx);
  • a pdf reader;

* Full mobile access to VLE resources is not available for all programmes. 


The fees below apply if you begin during the 2022-2023 session only. These may be increased by up to 5.9% per year.

Academic year 2022-2023
Application Fee (non-refundable) 107
Registration Fee 274
Module 1 Fee 668
Module 2 Fee 668
Full Programme Fee 1610
Indicative total (application fee plus full programme fee) 1717

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

The full fees can be found in the fee schedule. More about programme fees

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams
  • Tuition costs if you study at a Recognised Teaching Centre.

How to pay your fees.

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax.

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees. (If in doubt, please check with them before making a payment.)

Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.


Career opportunities

This programme will prepare students who wish to go on to Masters level study in Education.

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Note: This programme does not confer Qualified Teacher Status in the UK.

Academic leadership

UCL Institute of Education

Academic leadership for this programme is provided by UCL Institute of Education, a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education and social science. 

Ranked number one for education worldwide in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 QS World University Rankings, the IOE was awarded the 2015 Queen’s Anniversary Prize. In 2014, the Institute secured ‘outstanding’ grades from Ofsted on every criterion for its initial teacher training, across primary, secondary and further education programmes. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment of university research, the IOE was top for ‘research power’ in education. 

Programme team

The Programme Leader is Mrs Kim Insley, Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education. In addition to her work on the PGCE Teacher Development, Kim has been a primary classroom teacher, subject coordinator, PGCE and MA programme and module leader, consultant and adviser in primary and secondary education. Kim travels worldwide to support teacher education, working closely with teacher education providers in Armenia, Dubai, India, Jordan and Pakistan. She leads within her department the Innovation and Enterprise strategy as well as continuing to lead the MA and Graduate Diploma in Advanced Educational Practice.

Her research includes music education in primary schools focusing on the practice of the non-specialist class teacher, as well as mathematics teaching and learning, exploring access to learning for those who struggle to understand, and researching international professional development.

Funding your study

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London award anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. 

You may find that your school is willing to fund your study.  Sponsoring teachers on this programme will help schools to deliver on their plans to improve school performance, by supporting teachers’ developing their professional skills and supporting them in becoming reflective practitioners. 

If you have a group of more than 15 teachers interested in doing this programme, contact us to find out about cohort groups.

More on funding your study.

Megha Chand Dhakal

Megha Chand Dhakal:

"This programme has been a great learning experience. The modules were enriching with lots of activities which have helped me reflect on my teaching and learning experiences. I have learned about educational theories and pedagogies, assessment techniques, inclusion and most importantly the importance of reflection in our teaching and students’ performance."

Students discussing music theory with lecturer

Aaron Pressnell:

“I do feel that this programme helped me to develop my classes and examine my own teaching. There are a lot of things I learned and I can use all of it in the future to continue to improve myself and make sure I’m making the right decisions in my teaching. I especially found the practical research useful, things that I could take and directly implement in my classes.”

Student presenting with a lecturer

Chao Zang:

"The concept of inclusive education and reflective teaching are deeply engraved in my mind. These strategies will greatly change my teaching quality and improve my teaching ability. As an educator, I should also be a learner. I should take this project learning as a new starting point to constantly improve myself."

Apply to Teacher Development