Overview top

South Tyneside College - working in partnership with the University of Sunderland. 

Course content

The Cert Ed/PGCE course is an in-service qualification for practising teachers, lecturers, instructors and trainers who work in the post compulsory education and training sector (including those who work in industry, commerce or the public sector). 

The Cert Ed/PGCE has a largely practical focus which builds upon the varied experiences of course members.  These elements of the programme are linked to current issues in learning, teaching and assessment within the post compulsory education and training sector.    

The course provides a useful base of ideas and key concepts to consider when planning, delivering, assessing and evaluating teaching and learning situations.

It continues the theme of developing good teaching practice while extending the course members’ knowledge of educational principles and factors which affect teaching and learning.

In addition to attendance at the 3 hour weekly sessions there are additional requirements in relation to tutorials, mentor meetings and teaching practice.

Teaching Practice

In order to satisfy the practical teaching requirements of the course, all course members will be observed within their own teaching practice on at least 8 occasions during the 2 year programme.  The observations will be carried out by your course tutor and a work based mentor. 


Entry Requirements top

These courses are for people who are already working as teachers or trainers. Applicants must meet the following entry criteria to be able to join the programme:

  • Level 3 qualification or higher, in a vocational or another specialist subject

  • GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications) in Mathematics and English. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Additional entry criteria applicable to both routes:

  • A satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that has an issue date within 3 years at the start date of the programme

  • A completed medical pro forma

  • If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to complete a pre-interview written task, and complete a literacy assessment.

  • 50 hours of appropriate Teaching Practice Hours each academic year

South Tyneside College and University of Sunderland are not responsible for securing Teaching Practice Hours on your behalf. If you are unable to complete the compulsory Teaching Practice Hours, then under no circumstances (other than any negligence on the part of the University or any of its Partner FE Colleges) will the University of Sunderland or any Partner FE College be held liable for any loss you may sustain.

If English is not your first language, please refer to the University of Sunderland English Language requirements: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/help/applying/entry-requirements/what-english-language-qualification-do-you-accept/

Assessment top

The course is assessed using a mixture of assignments, presentations, teaching observations and the collection of learning, teaching and assessment evidence.

Attendance is also required at 3 Saturday school events held at the University of Sunderland (1 in Year 1, 2 in Year 2) and a one day career entry point development conference in June (in year 2 only).

Professional Opportunities top

Holders of a Certificate in Education can apply for progression onto a BA (Hons) in Education and holders of the PGCE may wish to apply for a Master’s programme to further continue their studies.  Successful completion of the programme will also provide course members with the necessary qualifications required for employment in the post compulsory education and training sector.  You may also wish to work towards gaining the QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) status with the Society for Education and Training.

Further Information top

For any further questions please see the contact details below;

Denise Whitehead


This programme is offered by Tyne Coast College working in partnership with the University of Sunderland. The award that you will receive will be from the University of Sunderland.

Support Services for University of Sunderland Partnership students

To make sure that you have everything you need on site at South Tyneside College, you will access certain facilities and support at the College rather than via the University. This is to enhance your studies and ensure that you can get the help and support you need as quickly and efficiently as possible. Support services you will access at the College include things like Careers and Employability Services; Disability Support Services and advice on dyslexia or specific learning difficulties; additional teaching support services such as support for numeracy and literacy; Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Services.

Complaints procedure for students studying University of Sunderland programmes at South Tyneside College

To whom Higher Education students on University of Sunderland franchised courses initially complain depends on who is providing the service you are complaining about. If the service is provided by South Tyneside College, then you must first exhaust the complaints  procedure of the College, in accordance with the standard complaints procedure. Complaints about issues not relevant to the University’s provision, including non academic matters, will be managed solely by the College.

Unresolved complaints about services provided by the College (that are relevant to the University’s provision) may be referred to the University once the College’s complaints procedure has been fully exhausted. Any such complaints would then enter the University’s complaints procedure at Stage 2: Complaint Review. The purpose of the Review is not to reinvestigate a complaint but to ensure that procedures were followed at the initial investigation stage. If the service is provided directly by the University, then the University’s Student Complaints Procedure should be used from the outset.

You can find full details of the University’s Student Complaints Procedure in the University Student Handbook or at www.sunderland.ac.uk/studentcomplaints

Student numbers

In order to help ensure that the student experience is maintained at a high level across the life of partnership programmes, there is a minimum of 12 students required to enrol in year 1 of each programme offered by South Tyneside College in partnership with the University of Sunderland in order for it to run. In the event that this minimum is not reached, the University reserves the right to either close this programme and withdraw offers made on it or, if appropriate to the programme, apply conditions to the programme in order to allow it to run with reduced student numbers. If the programme is closed, the University will use reasonable endeavours to help affected students switch to a suitable alternative programme or alternative HE provider if they wish to do so.  If a decision is taken to apply conditions to the programme in order to allow it to run with reduced student numbers, consultation will take place with affected students. Conditions may include things like studying some of the programme at a different venue or merging study with other similar programmes where there is overlap. If these conditions are not acceptable to all students, the programme will close.