BA Teaching Qualification for Further Education (TQFE) - pre-service

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 a Teaching Qualification in Further Education. This course is available to students domiciled in Scotland.

BA Teaching Qualification for Further Education (TQFE) - pre-service

Key facts

  • Award BA, University Diploma
  • Start date August 2024
  • Duration 9 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus


General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

GTC Scotland Logo


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 accredited 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

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).

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

International entry requirements

Additional information

Application procedure

For this course all applicants should contact the Admissions and Access Office to request an application form.

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

+ 44 (0) 1786 467044

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 Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these 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

Course details

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 Practice or Adult Education or International Comparative Vocational and Further Education.

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


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details


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


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.

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.


Matthew Sowerby, Course Director

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Tuition fees for 2023-24 and 2024-25
  Tuition fee

Annual tuition fee for Scottish students

This course is only available to students with a tuition fee status of Scottish.


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.

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.


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

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

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.

International (including EU) 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.

After you graduate

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.

Companies we work with

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

What our students said

Roxanne Boyd
Roxanne Boyd
Scotland, United Kingdom
PGDip Tertiary Education with Teaching Qualification (Further Education) - Pre-service
I found the small class group and mix of blended learning really helpful for the overall learning process. The support of tutors and the friendly and collaborative atmosphere amongst our cohort was crucial in helping me achieve my postgraduate goals.
Read Roxanne's story
David McShane
TQFE employer
The Stirling experience has provided our employees with the skills and attributes of academic learning to put into the classroom setting. The TQFE course offers students the ability to walk the walk and talk the talk as students can enter at either a pre-service or in-service strand as appropriate. Stirling understands the education sector and graduates can contribute effectively to issues such as evaluation of learning and teaching, Curriculum for Excellence and Sustainability and Equalities.
Read David's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.