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What is a PGCert?

A PGCert, or Postgraduate Certificate, is a postgraduate qualification worth 60 credits of a master’s qualification (180 credits). Short in length, PGCerts allow you to gain a qualification quickly.

They often have a vocational focus and are suitable for certain career paths, such as nursing or teaching. 

You may see PGCert written as PgCert, PGC, PG Cert or PgC.


How long is a PGCert?

Most courses take around 15 weeks or one term to complete. An exception is the PGCE, which takes about one year. 

Courses usually start in September or October. 


What qualifications do you need for a PGCert? 

Entry requirements for PGCert courses are similar to the requirements for master’s courses. You’ll probably need at least second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject. For professional training courses, you may also need relevant work experience. 


How is a PGCert taught? 

PGCerts follow a similar structure to master’s degrees. You could be studying modules with students taking a full master’s course in your subject area. 

You’ll work through a series of modules, attend lectures and seminars, and complete practical assignments. Depending on your subject area, you could be in classes for 6 up to 20 or more hours each week. You’ll be expected to take control of your own studies outside of classes. 


How is a PGCert assessed? 

It depends on your course and where you study it, but you’re likely to be assessed via essays and practical work. PGCert students don‘t usually sit exams or submit dissertations. 

PGCerts are typically graded as pass, merit, distinction or fail. 


What skills do you learn? 

You develop subject- and career-specific skills, but also transferable skills such as: 

  • Teamwork 
  • Communication 
  • Time management 
  • Presentation 


How much does a PGCert cost? 

Fees for PGCerts can be around £3,000, but this varies between courses and universities. International students generally have to pay more. 

Tuition fee loans aren’t available for PGCert students, but some bursaries and scholarships might be. 


PGCert facts

It's a Level 7 qualification (RQF).

You apply for a PGCert directly to the university.

Most PGCerts can be used towards a master’s degree or other advanced qualification.

Find out what scholarships you can apply for