The Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) is the recognised teaching qualification for individuals who are currently employed as lecturers in Further Education. It gives you the recognised teaching qualification for the FE sector and provides opportunities to progress onto further qualifications.
This course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
The Stirling TQFE programme has been offered for 15 years and is a well respected programme. The programme was commended in June 2012 when reviewed by the GTCs. The Stirling TQFE programme (at both UG and PG levels) integrates a range of pedagogic techniques which aim to encourage students to engage with academic and policy literature and to communicate with their peers as part of a ‘professional learning community’. Both face-to-face (on campus or on college based sites) sessions and a variety of online technologies are used to achieve the overall aims of the programme.
The Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) is designed to meet the needs of the contemporary Scottish Further Education (FE) sector. The content is based on the professional standards for FE staff as laid down by the Scottish Government and is fully accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). The course is suitable for:
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Candidates must also have both literacy and numeracy skills which meets the demands of the course. The normal entry requirement will be:
Candidates should have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills equivalent to Intermediate 2 (i.e. level 5 on the SCQF). This level of skill in the use of ICT is required partly in order to be able to fully participate on the TQ(FE) course and partly in order to be able to function effectively in the working environment.
Students on the in-service course must be employed in an appropriate work environment (e.g. a college or similar organisation).
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your course of study.
All applicants should contact the Admissions Office to request an application form.
Student Recruitment and Admissions Service
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467044
Fax: + 44 (0) 1786 466800
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
You will complete three of the following modules:
|TQFP001 Learner Identity and Diversity||20 credits||Core module|
|The broad purpose of the module is that the students, employed as lecturers in Further Education colleges in Scotland (PG), will gain deeper and more critical understanding of their role and practices in the support and guidance of their students and in learning support. To this end the module aims to develop student understanding of the significance of learner identity in engagement in learning, to identify and critically assess the lecturers’ role and practices in support and guidance and learning support to particular students and groups, and to research and critically evaluate current institutional and wider practices, policies and research regarding support and guidance and learning support.|
|TQFP002 Teaching and Assessment||20 credits||Core module|
|In this postgraduate module students encounter and critically examine some of the main theories of learning, teaching and assessment. Key to the work is the idea that practice can be informed by reflection, engagement with colleagues, with the practice setting and, importantly, through relating theory to the practice to teaching and assessing learners. This module focuses on the planning and enactment of a research-informed innovation in practice.|
|TQFP003 Professional Practice||20 credits||Optional module|
|The module aims to enable students to critically examine their role as a vocational educator in further education and to identify areas of their practice that could be changed to improve the learning experiences of their students. Students will be encouraged to examine various debates about professionalism within further education and the implications of these debates for their own professional practice. The module will also introduce students to different frameworks of quality enhancement within further education and students will be supported in critically examining how these frameworks can enhance or hinder their professional practice. The final part of the module will focus on different approaches to professional learning with a particular emphasis on networked professional learning communities.|
|TQFP004 Professional Experiential Learning||20 credits||Optional module|
|Those students who successfully complete the module will be expected to be able to undertake a self-directed study of a chosen aspect of their professional context/practice in a scholarly manner informed by appropriate literature. The outcomes from the study will be of benefit to the local institution, TQFE peers and the student themselves. As a consequence of completing this module students will have developed independent thinking skills, the ability to identify and frame in an appropriate way issues within their professional context/practice that are of particular relevance to them and to communicate with peers and tutors clearly and effectively about their study.|
The course is taught using a combination of lectures, seminars and materials made available via Succeed, the University of Stirling's chosen online learning environment.
The attendance requirement for most modules is three days per module, with all course materials available online in advance.
Three formal assignments are required (where a student has not been granted any exemptions) each of 3,000 words. Where the first submission is graded as a fail one resubmission attempt is allowed. Where the resubmission is graded as a fail the student must retake the module. The pass mark for postgraduate work is: 50%
A student is permitted a maximum of five assessment attempts (3 module registrations to include assessment only) per module.
In addition to the formal written assignments students are required to be observed teaching on two separate occasions and to complete a written reflective review of the observed lesson. One of the observations may be undertaken by suitably qualified college based staff.
|TQFP001 Learner Identity and Diversity||20||11||3|
|TQFP002 Teaching and Assessment||20||11||3|
TQFP003 Professional Practice
TQFP004 Professional Experiential Learning
1 (followed by online discussions)
If candidates have any of the following PDA’s they will be given exemption to ‘Professional Practice’ or ‘Professional Experiential Learning’ and will do a 20 credit APL module instead:
Reduction in fee: £293
Postgraduate candidates who have the DELTA (or equivalent) award are exempt from the Professional Practice module (spring semester).
Reduction in fee: £586
Candidates claiming any of the above exemptions must provide certificates at the point of application for the TQFE programme. Retrospective exemptions are not given once a candidate has started the course.
Avis, J., Fisher, R., & Thompson, R. (2009) Teaching in Lifelong Learning A Guide to Theory and Practice. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd.
Ecclestone, K., & National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (England and Wales) (2005) Understanding assessment and qualifications in post-compulsory education and training : principles, politics and practice (2nd ed.). Leicester: NIACE.
Gregson, M., & Hillier, Y. (2015) Reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education (4th. ed.). London: Bloomsbury.
Gregson, M., Nixon, L., Pollard, A., & Spedding, T. (Eds.). (2015) Readings for Reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education (4th. ed.). London: Bloomsbury.
Huddleston, P., & Unwin, L. (2013) Teaching and learning in further education diversity and change (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.
Tusting, K., & Barton, D. (2006) Models of adult learning : a literature review. Leicester: NIACE.
Weyers, M. (2006) Teaching the FE Curriculum. London: Continuum.
Whilst attending teaching days (7 teaching days are offered either on-campus or at college based sites) students will experience large group lectures delivered by TQFE staff and, on occasions, invited guest lecturers. The lectures provide an opportunity for key concepts and issues to be highlighted and for students to receive guidance about key aspects of assessment tasks. Lectures are recorded using the university’s ‘Listen Again’ system and can thus be easily accessed by students attending at college-based sites). The key concepts introduced via the lectures are explored in greater depth in small group seminars and workshops during the rest of the day. In the seminars/workshops students are encouraged to draw upon their own professional experience and context and to share ideas and knowledge with their peers. The opportunity to engage with peers from different subject areas is seen to be a key element of the face-to-face learning and this has been frequently highlighted in feedback from students.
The university’s VLE ‘SUCCEED’ is used extensively as a significant element of the TQFE course. A wide variety of digital resources are made available online including: recordings of all lectures (made available within 24 hours of their ‘delivery’ on campus); e-journals and e-books (made available via electronic reading lists). In addition to ‘in-house’ resources students are also provided with links to digital resources which are provided by various organisations in the FE sector including: ‘College Development Network’, Education Scotland, General Teaching Council Scotland. The wide variety of resources reflects contemporary issues and trends and enables students to interact in a variety of modes (visually and aurally).
The SUCCEED system is also used to support online interaction between TQFE staff and students and between the students themselves. Discussion spaces are used to support each module and these spaces provide a flexible opportunity for students to engage in ‘professional dialogue’ to clarify and deepen their understanding of key topics. The professional practice module (the final module in the programme) makes extensive use of these asynchronous discussion facilities and receives very positive student feedback as a consequence.
Key principles underpinning the Stirling TQFE programme include:
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
In-service students attend for a total of seven days (excluding academic and administrative induction) over the academic year. As the course is a 'work-based' course students' professional practice in their own college environment is an integral part of the learning experience.
There is, therefore, no weekly timetable. However, on the days that the TQFE students are on campus the day consists of individual tutorial support, and then a lecture followed by a seminar and workshop.
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, our Educational research had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
Currently, Education studies ranks as:
Displaying our commitment to achieve a high level of; Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months, and research in Education. In the most recent study by QS, staff from the University of Stirling received 5 out of 5-star rating for teaching.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
Please consult the programme director as this is something that is under development.
The University of Stirling has an outstanding range of accommodation and catering facilities. Located within the historic Airthrey Estate, the stunning 330 acre campus grounds include an 18th Century Castle, loch and golf course and have been described as ‘an exceptional place to study and work’.
The Stirling Court Hotel - one of only two venues in Scotland awarded the highly coveted Conference Centre of Excellence Award provides 100 bedrooms, 365 days a year and features conference, accommodation and dining facilities.
Other accommodation options in and around Stirling can be found at Destination Stirling.
The University of Stirling offers a wide range of catering options for students, staff and visitors, to suit all tastes and budgets.
The Pathfoot and Haldane's eateries are ideally suited for larger group lunches while other smaller coffee shop/café outlets such as Stir Café and The Bite Costa offer a lighter ‘on the move’ option.
University of Stirling students have access to a wide range of facilities and activities within the stunning campus grounds including:
The further education sector is varied and complex and needs the highest calibre of teaching staff to achieve its varied purposes. The pre-service TQFE course provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which the next generation of FE staff can develop to meet the exciting challenges of the sector.
Dr Kevin Brosnan, TQFE Programme Director
As the recognised teaching qualification for individuals who are employed in Scottish Further Education, the TQFE provides you with a highly relevant and marketable postgraduate qualification.
The course enables students to enhance their understanding and professional practice within the FE sector. This personal and professional development enables students to adopt greater responsibility and leadership within their own work environments.
The course involves extensive links across a network of partner colleges within the FE sector in Scotland. Students are supported to engage with their peers across this network to enhance their own and their colleagues’ professional development. Students also have access to experienced and qualified staff in partner colleges who provide guidance in relation to the work related aspects of the TQFE PG Certificate.
As well as working with our partner colleges in the development and ongoing support of the programmes the GTCs is also involved on an ongoing basis.