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International Postgraduate Certificate in Education

PGCE | Postgraduate Taught

International Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Entry year
Entry requirements
2.2 Honours degree
1 year (Full Time)
2 years (Part Time)
Places available
unlimited (Full Time)
unlimited (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    The international PGCE is an online programme that enables students to develop the understanding, abilities and competencies needed to teach in schools around the world. It allows students to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of current thinking in their chosen specialist area and ensures that international initial teacher education is rooted in theory, research and practice. Those completing this pathway will demonstrate both their ability in the classroom and their ability to critically reflect on their own classroom practice and current theories around teaching and learning.

    The IPGCE offers provision for teachers in the following areas:
    • Primary (ages 4-11)
    • Post primary (ages 11-18, all subjects)

    Is all the teaching delivered online?
    This is an online course and so learning can be done at a time which is convenient for the student. Students are expected to partake in weekly learning tasks.

    Will a placement opportunity be provided?
    Students will be asked to identify a placement school. They will complete 2 school placements and their practical teaching will form part of the assessment for this module.

    After this qualification, will I be able to teach in the UK or in international schools?
    The IPGCE programme is an international programme which ensures teachers internationally are being trained in teaching. In order to teach in the UK, the student must complete the PGCE UK programme which is taught in Belfast.

    Please note that this is a distance learning online programme and therefore not suitable for TIER 4 visa.

    Closing date for applications: Friday 30 July 2021 at 4pm. Late applications may be considered.

    International Postgraduate Certificate in Education highlights

    A school placement is used within this course, thus allowing students to experience the school setting and ensure that their classroom practice integrates the teaching and current research base which has been drawn upon.

    Industry Links

    • Queen’s University Belfast has a long history of preparing high quality teachers during initial teacher education. The course draws upon this expertise in order to deliver an internationally minded programme.

    Career Development

    • School placements allow you to put your learning into practice and to link theory research and practice. Those completing the course have opportunities for promotion.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • You will be taught by staff with research profiles of international standing, with a wide range of interests in education.

    Student Experience

    • Online facilities and support services exist for all students on the course to enable them to learn at a distance.
    • The course is flexible. The content is delivered on-line with opportunities for facilitation and support built in. Students on this course work in all areas of education.
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    The course is designed to be taken in one year and to fit around your current work in schools. During the course you will be expected to spend time planning, teaching and reflecting in classrooms as well as taking part in flexible, online, academic modules.

    Course DetailsCore Modules (all 20 CATS points):

    Education, Learning and International Perspectives
    This is the introductory module to the course and will give you an opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning in a range of international contexts. During the course you will develop knowledge and understanding of theoretical approaches to the conceptualisation of learning and relate this to teaching and learning in your own classroom setting. This module is taught online.

    Teaching in Your Discipline
    This module begins to explore pedagogical issues around teaching and effective teaching strategies in this module you will think more specifically about your own subject specialism and the issues which are central to effective teaching for your subject. You will be able to apply your knowledge and understanding to a variety of contexts and types of pupils. This module is taught online.

    School Based Learning
    This is a practical module which allows you to use learning from different modules and apply it in a classroom context. This core module includes a placement in a host school and allows you to use your knowledge on education theory, policy, research and practice to ensure success. The placement module will be organised by the student. The school must be teaching the national curriculum to the age ranges 4-11 or 11-18. At the time of application we will verify your proposed school choices. This module is a placement module.
    Course StructureThe course is designed to be taken in one year and to fit around your current work in schools. During the course you will be expected to spend time planning, teaching and reflecting in classrooms as well as taking part in flexible, online, academic modules.

    The course is divided into three modules, each consisting of 20 CATS points. All modules are assessed at Master's level and the course is entirely online. One of the modules involves 2 placement blocks, each 11 weeks (22 weeks total) and is carried out in a host school. Students must source and identify the placement school at the time of application.

    The programme is delivered entirely online and encompasses online teaching and learning and school experience. There is a clear emphasis on the acquisition of key teaching competences and students are expected to develop the competences both during their online teaching and while on school experience. It is a professional preparation course with two central activities:

    • Training in the methods of teaching;
    • Practical experience in school.

    In addition there is a series of general lectures, designed to introduce students to a wide range of educational theory and policy matters, and a variety of online tutorials, workshops, online and school based activities to ensure they have a broad understanding of educational issues and practices.

    The professional aspects are designed to enable students to develop a variety of teaching, communication and organisational skills within a broad set of values which focus on the importance of good educational principles and practice.
    IntroductionThis course is for you if you want to gain the expertise and skills required to teach. The course will appeal to you if you are currently working as a teacher or thinking of beginning work as a teacher but have no formal qualification. Crucially, you will apply your academic learning through practical experience with extended placements in a school environment.

    On completion of the degree you will have developed a breadth of understanding of teaching and learning in a range of international contexts, including both practical and theory based skills.

    People teaching you

    Dr Jennifer Roberts
    Programme Director and Lecturer in Education


    Contact Teaching Hours

    Personal Study
    5 (hours maximum)
    You will be expected to engage weekly with online content in the academic modules.

    Teaching Times

    This is an online course and so learning can be done at a time which is convenient for the student. Students are expected to partake in learning tasks weekly. When on placement students must adhere to the timetable of the host school.

    Career Prospects

    This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in teaching and education. To date, graduates of the course have been employed by a range of schools and school types and many have received promotions upon completion of the course.

    Employment after the Course
    You will be perfectly placed as a teacher in a school. Many of our graduates move on to management or senior leadership positions and roles as both department heads or pastoral roles within the school.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities are available for this course are outlined below:

    Collaborative Enquiry Approach

    You may be working alongside colleagues from a range of school types and countries. This ensures students can learn from and alongside each other and creates a collaborative enquiry approach to learning and teaching.

    Small groups

    You will be part of a small group and will be able to work alongside others.


    Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    Awarding of the IPGCE is based on continuous assessment of course tasks, online engagement, coursework and assessment of modules.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    Please note the closing date for 2021 entry to this programme is Friday 30 July 2021 at 12 noon.

    All applicants must possess the following:

    - At least a 2:2 Honours degree (and/or higher degree) or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University

    Any offer of a place on the course is subject to a satisfactory criminal history check. Applicants are required to have access to a host school for 22 weeks of placement during the course and access to a school based teacher tutor.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £5,800
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £5,800
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £5,800
    EU Other 3 £5,800
    International £5,800

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    International Postgraduate Certificate in Education costs

    Students will be expected to undergo safeguarding checks within their host country and are responsible for funding and coordinating this themselves. Students have two mandatory eleven week placements and are responsible for funding any travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs vary depending on the location of the placement provider. Students will be expected to dress professionally and may incur additional costs for clothing. Additional costs will be incurred for the creation of teaching materials whilst on placement, which may be partly absorbed by the placement school.

    How do I fund my study?

    Applicants are eligible for Undergraduate related funding, rather than Postgraduate. Please see the following sources for more information:

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    When to Apply

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Download a prospectus