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Pre-Service BA - Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE)

Application is direct rather than through UCAS Part-time study available

Do you want to be a lecturer in further education? We’re one of just three Scottish Universities endorsed by the Scottish Government to offer the Teaching Qualification in Further Education.

Pre-Service BA - Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE)

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Key facts

  • Award BA
  • Start date September, with a course induction in August
  • Duration 12 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Campus based
  • Accreditations General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Do you want to become a lecturer in further education? If so, this is the qualification you need. Our pre-service Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) is a unique course that we tailor specifically to students who aspire to a career in the FE sector.

We’re one of just three Scottish Universities who are endorsed by the Scottish Government to offer the Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE). It’s validated by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) and you can register with them when you graduate. We’re also guided and informed by a Programme Advisory Group made up of colleagues from further education colleges.

It’s a qualification that will ensure you have the best start to a career in further education. As a pre-service student, you may have other teaching experience but wish to gain the TQFE qualification to work in the further education sector.

Our course is informed by the latest research and is practice-focused, ensuring you have a high quality learning experience. We also emphasise peer interaction and critical reflection in our teaching. The course also includes a placement opportunity in a further education institution to build your confidence in teaching and increase your employability.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Professional accreditation

    We’re accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which means you can register with them when you graduate.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Entry requirements

    University Diploma

    Higher National Certificate (HNC) at Level 7 on the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework (SCQF) or equivalent.

    This pathway is for students where an HNC is the highest qualification available in the UK in that subject area.

    BA Degree

    Higher National Diploma (HND) at Level 8 on the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework (SCQF) or equivalent.

    Equivalent recognised qualifications are:

    • Senior Award from the City and Guilds ‘Professional Recognition Award’ (Affliateship Level).
    • Other qualifications which are equivalent to an HND or HNC may be considered.

    Candidates for both qualifications must also have both literacy and numeracy skills. The normal entry requirements are:

    • A National Qualification Course in English at level 6 on the SCQF (or suitable evidence of being able to attain this standard) or SQA communication level III.
    • A National Qualification Course in numeracy or Mathematics at level 4 on the SCQF (or suitable evidence of being able to attain this standard).

    You should also have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills equivalent to Intermediate 2 (i.e. level 5 on the SCQF).


  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

    Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.

    Application procedure

    Please note, for this course all applicants should contact the Admissions and Accesss Office to request an application form.

    Application Enquiries
    Admissions and Access Office
    University of Stirling
    Stirling FK9 4LA
    Scotland UK

    + 44 (0) 1786 467044

    The deadline for submission of applications for 2020 entry is Saturday 29th February 2020

  • Other routes of entry

    Recognition of Prior Learning
    If you have any of the following prior Professional Development Awards (PDAs), you’ll undertake a 20 credit APL module as your final module on the course:

    • Group Award Code: G85D 18 ‘Advanced Diploma Teaching in Further Education’
    • Group Award Code: GG87 49 ‘PDA Teaching Practice in Scotland’s Colleges’
    • Group Award Code: GG82 49 ‘Developing Teaching Practice in Scotland’s Colleges’

    If you’re a postgraduate candidate who has the DELTA (or equivalent) award, you’ll be exempt from the final course module.

    If you claim any of the above exemptions, you must provide your certificates when you apply for the TQFE course. Retrospective exemptions are not given once you’ve started the course. Where exemptions are granted, a reduced fee is charged.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL 80 with no subtest less than 17
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-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.

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    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

This is a recognised teaching qualification if you’d like to pursue a career in the further education sector. You’ll follow a one year course which leads to a BA degree or an undergraduate diploma. Over the year you’ll cover five modules at SCQF Level 9 that are worth 120 credit points, including: Learner Diversity; Teaching and Assessment 1 and 2; Link Practice; and Professional Development.

We have strong links with the college sector, enabling us to arrange placements with various partner colleges throughout Scotland.


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.

Course details

  • Teaching

    Our modules require you to attend on-campus lectures, seminars and workshops. There’s also a placement at a Scottish further education college which gives you excellent teaching practice.

    We make all our teaching materials available to you online, including: recordings of all lectures; e-journals and e-books. Additional resources are provided by various organisations in the FE sector, including:

    • College Development Network
    • Education Scotland
    • General Teaching Council Scotland
  • Assessment

    As a pre-service student you’ll undertake an unpaid college placement. You’ll be observed teaching on your placement on two separate occasions. Each observation involves a written reflective exercise based on professional dialogue with your observer. These are usually carried out by core staff on the TQFE course. We also employ FE college-based Teacher Fellows who complement the core team who undertake teaching observations.

    There are no examinations in Education.

  • Classroom hours

    This full-time course consists of 20 on-campus taught days, in addition to 120 hours of teaching practice on placement at a local college.  

  • Work placement opportunities

    Our course is practice-focused, so you’ll go on an unpaid teaching placement at a local college (120 hours of teaching). This involves 2 to 3 days per week of teaching practice in a college. Your placement will be supported by tutor visits and college mentors. It gives you the opportunity to develop and enhance your teaching practice in the further education environment.

  • Study abroad

    Not available on this course.

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    This course is only available to students with a tuition fee status of Home / EU.

     2020/21 fee
    Annual tuition fee for Scottish/EU students £1,820*

    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.

    You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, you’ll be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf. (SAAS will then pay your fees direct to the university.) If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll be liable for an additional fee.

    For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

    Note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2020/21 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2021/22 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and we will publish any updates on our University and Europe information pages.

  • Funding opportunities

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    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.

  • Cost of living

    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.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    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.

What can you do with a Pre-Service TQFE course? 

The TQFE course provides you with a highly relevant qualification for lecturing in further education. You’ll graduate with the confidence and skills to successfully gain employment as a further education lecturer or Adult Learning tutor.

  • Our GTCS accredited course will make you stand out to future employers as a qualified professional.

  • The confidence, communication and professional skills developed over this one year course will help your career development.

Our pre-service qualification is also highly valuable for other aspiring trainers and teachers, beyond the college sector. Some of our students wish to work for Adult Learning organisations, the police, fire and ambulance services, as well as charities and other training providers.

  • Employability skills

    This course gives you the skills you need to be successful as a Further Education lecturer or Adult Learning tutor for a variety of training providers. The placement we provide gives you invaluable teaching practice in the sector before you graduate. This allows you to highlight your experience in applications and interviews.

  • Companies we work with

    We have strong links with colleges throughout Scotland, enabling us to provide practical placements as part of this course.

The TQFE course offers students the ability to walk the walk and talk the talk
David McShane
TQFE employer
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