This is the recognised teaching qualification for people who are already lecturing in further education – called In-Service. The course is based on the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges, and is fully accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
If you’re a lecturer and already teach in a further education college, or similar environment, you can complement your previous experience and qualifications with a postgraduate degree in TQFE. The course is also suitable for anyone who works in other education and training contexts in post-compulsory education.
Throughout the course you’ll develop your personal and professional abilities to help you adopt greater responsibility and leadership in your own work environment.
The University of Stirling have been delivering the TQFE course for 15 years. The course integrates a range of pedagogic techniques which aim to encourage you to engage with academic and policy literature and to communicate with your peers as part of a ‘professional learning community’. Both face-to-face sessions and a variety of online technologies are used to deliver the course.
This course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Educational research at the University of Stirling had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.
A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) in a relevant subject or equivalent is required.
You must also be employed in an appropriate work environment e.g. a college or similar organisation.
You must have both literacy and numeracy skills which meet the demands of the course. The normal entry requirement will be:
You should have ICT skills equivalent to Intermediate 2 (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 TQFE course and also to be able to function effectively in the working environment.
If you have any of the following PDAs you’ll be given exemption to ‘Professional Practice’ or ‘Professional Experiential Learning’ and will do a 20 credit APL module instead:
You’ll receive a reduction in fee of £293.
Postgraduate candidates who have the DELTA (or equivalent) award are exempt from the Professional Practice module (spring semester). Your reduction in fee will be £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.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
Last updated: 5 December 2019
For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.
Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.
Key principles underpinning the Stirling TQFE course include:
The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.
The course is taught using a combination of lectures, seminars and materials made available via the University of Stirling's online learning environment.
The attendance requirement for most modules is three days per module, with all course materials available online in advance.
Whilst attending teaching days 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 you to receive guidance about key aspects of assessment tasks. Lectures are recorded using the university’s ‘Listen Again’ system and can 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 you’re encouraged to draw upon your own professional experience and context and to share ideas and knowledge with your 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.
Canvas, our virtual learning environment, is used extensively as a significant element of the TQFE course. A wide variety of digital resources are made available online including:
Our virtual learning environment 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 you to engage in ‘professional dialogue’ to clarify and deepen your understanding of key topics. The professional practice module makes extensive use of these discussion facilities and receives very positive student feedback.
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 (three module registrations to include assessment only) per module.
In addition to the formal written assignments you’re 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.
In-service students attend for a total of seven days (excluding academic and administrative induction) over the academic year. As the course is 'work-based', students' professional practice in their own college environment is an integral part of the learning experience.
There’s no weekly timetable. When you are on campus the day consists of individual tutorial support, and then a lecture followed by a seminar and workshop.
This course is only available to students with a tuition fee status of Home / EU.
Fee for Home/EU students
Full course fee
20-credit module fee
|Fee for Home/EU students|
Full course fee
20-credit module fee
You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.
Part-time In-service students working a maximum of 15 hours per week may be eligible for the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) funding. Check out the SAAS website.
There are other categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling. You may qualify for University funding as well as funding from government bodies, the European Commission, funding trusts, research councils, industry and employers.
If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.
There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.
If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.
EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.
We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay
As the recognised teaching qualification for people already employed in Scottish further education, the TQFE provides you with a highly relevant and marketable postgraduate qualification.
It will help you to progress in your career either within employment or you could also go on to do further study such as the MSc in Professional Education and Leadership, EdD Educational Doctorate or the part-time PhD programme.
The course enables you to enhance your understanding and professional practice within the FE sector. This personal and professional development allows you to adopt greater responsibility and leadership within your own work environment.
The course involves extensive links across a network of partner colleges within the FE sector in Scotland. You’re supported to engage with your peers across this network to enhance your own and your colleagues’ professional development. You also have access to experienced and qualified staff in partner colleges who provide guidance in relation to the work related aspects of the TQFE Postgraduate Certificate.
As well as working with our partner colleges in the development and ongoing support of the courses the GTCS is also involved on an ongoing basis.