Difference between PGCE and PGCEi University of Sunderland Watch

jwatsonthailand
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Hello, I am an American educator working at a British international school in Thailand and have been a teacher for 15 years. In order to enhance my job security and professional development, I am considering enrolling in the PGCE Independent Distance Learning program at the University of Sunderland. I have long heard that the PGCEi was an inferior qualification and focused mainly on educational theory. The full PGCE seems to match well with my desire to focus on developing lessons and practical classroom application. However, I have been advised by some UK colleagues that the new Sunderland program may not be worth the cost (£7,100 vs. 3,000-4,000 for PGCEi). I am hoping to get some solid advice on what would be the best option for me. I am not averse to spending more if the quality is there, and I am motivated to take a rigorous program. Thank you for any advice!
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SarcAndSpark
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Hi

For your UK colleagues, the concern may be that the Sunderland distance learning program doesn't offer QTS (qualified teacher status). This doesn't sound like an issue for you, as you're not planning to come and work in the UK, but QTS is the key thing most people want out of a PGCE in the UK. In my opinion, Sunderland have hidden this to an extent in their advertising, which may be why UK colleagues are warning you off.

Internationally, I believe the course could be a good option- but I'm afraid I don't know if it would be worth £3000 more. If the course focuses on what you want to focus on, then it sounds like it could be right for you.

As a new course, I would also be wary of potential teething problems.
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