The Pre-Service TQFE course is the recognised qualification for people who want to go on to be a lecturer in Scottish further education (FE). 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. The course supports you in developing your capacity as a professional educator so that you can make a positive contribution to the modern further education sector.
You’ll gain valuable work experience in one of our partner colleges across Scotland, and enhance your understanding and professional practice within the FE sector.
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.
You’ll gain valuable work experience in one of our partner colleges across Scotland. The work-based placement provides a rich, context sensitive, learning experience for you. Support is provided by university tutors and also by experienced college staff who act as mentors in introducing you to the complexities of the modern further education college.
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 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 English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
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 this TQFE postgraduate degree 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.
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.
Core modules are assessed through academic assignments that require you to make links between theory/concepts and aspects of your professional practice.
Placements are assessed as part of the Link Practice module. The assessment requires you to maintain an online journal, write reports on your placement and have reports written about them by your college mentors.
Placements are arranged by the University of Stirling for students on the pre-service course, a commitment of two to three days per week is needed to satisfy the placement requirements.
Each 20-credit module costs £303; 40-credit modules cost £606.
The total cost of the course is £1,820
The total cost of the course is £1,820.
This course is only available to students with a tuition fee status of Home / EU.
You will pay for each of your modules as you study them and you will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on. Your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee. If you are not studying full-time, the fee for each year will be pro-rated based on the number of credits you enrol on each year.
Pre-service students may be eligible for the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) funding. Check out the SAAS website.
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 who want a lecturing career in Scottish further education, the TQFE provides you with a highly relevant and marketable postgraduate qualification.
Graduates are able to confidently seek employment as a further education lecturer. They 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.
As a graduate from the TQFE diploma you’ll confidently be able to seek employment as a further education lecturer. Previously some of our TQFE postgraduate diploma students have been offered employment by their placement college before completion of the course.
The work-based placement in one of our partner colleges within the FE sector in Scotland provides a rich, context sensitive, learning experience for you. Support is provided by university tutors and also by experienced college staff who act as mentors in introducing you to the complexities of the modern further education college.
As well as working with our partner colleges in the development and ongoing support of the programmes, the General Teaching Council is also involved on an ongoing basis.
Previous placement partners we’ve worked with include: