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.

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. This course draws upon these 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.

Learning and Teaching

Learning opportunities are available for this course are outlined below:

Collabative 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.

Entry requirements

Entrance requirements


All applicants must possess the following:

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

- At the time of application, GCSE Mathematics grade C 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.


1 year (Full Time)

2 years (Part Time)

Careers or further progression

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.

Subjects taught

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 Details

Core 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 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.

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.


This 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.

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.

Assessment method


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.

Application date

How to Apply

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

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year 2020

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!