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

We’re one of just four Scottish Universities endorsed by the Scottish Government to offer the Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE). This course is available to students domiciled in Scotland.

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

Key facts

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


General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

GTC Scotland Logo


If you’re a lecturer in Further Education or vocational education, this is the qualification you need. Our in-service TQFE qualification will benefit you if you work in a further education or college environment, with three years’ experience of your subject area and at least two years’ training, teaching or coaching experience at an appropriate level.

We’re one of just four Scottish Universities endorsed by the Scottish Government to offer the Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE), and it’s accredited by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS). You can register with GTCS when you graduate, and your qualification will ensure you’re a professionally recognised lecturer.

Our TQFE is unique in emphasising the importance of critical reflection, peer learning and peer assessment. We value the knowledge and skills you can bring to the course and encourage you to critically reflect on your existing teaching practice. Feedback from our previous students has been very positive about these features of the course.

Top reasons to study with us

Professional accreditation

We’re accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), so you can register with the GTCS 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’ (Affiliateship 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 (PDA's), 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

You’ll be awarded with a BA or University Diploma when you complete the course. Over one academic year you’ll take modules at SCQF Level 9, worth 120 points.

This course is available to those currently working in post-compulsory education (i.e. an FE college or similar institution) and you’ll take the course part-time.

Your workplace teaching forms an integral part of the course. The following modules are included:

  • Learner Identity and Diversity
  • Teaching and Assessment
  • Teaching Practice 1 and 2
  • Professional Experiential Learning
  • An elective from:
    • Professional Practice, or
    • Adult Education or International Comparative and Further Education.


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

Course details


This TQFE course is offered to you as either online study or blended study (a mixture of online and on-campus classroom teaching).

Canvas, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), is used extensively as a significant element of the TQFE course. We provide a wide variety of digital resources for you to access 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 and General Teaching Council Scotland.

Our face-to-face teaching involves lectures and workshops delivered by TQFE staff and guest speakers. The lectures provide an opportunity for key concepts and issues to be highlighted, and for you to receive guidance about assessments. The interactive workshops provide opportunities for you to engage with your peers from different subject areas and different organisations. 


For each module you’ll complete formal written assignments, each of 2,000 words. You’ll also be observed teaching at work on two separate occasions. Each observation involves a written reflective exercise based on professional dialogue with your observer.

Classroom hours

10 face-to-face teaching days are offered either on our campus or as synchronous online sessions.

Study abroad

Not available on this course.

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.

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 jobs can you get with a TQFE course? 

The TQFE course provides you with a highly relevant qualification for lecturing in further education. Our course also attracts students from beyond the college sector. Some of our students come from Adult Learning organisations, the police, fire and ambulance services, as well as charities and other training providers.

If you achieve the BA award, you may also consider progressing to the MSc Education, MRes Educational Research, or the MSc Professional Education and Leadership.

Companies we work with

Lecturers from the following colleges have undertaken the TQFE course at Stirling in the past:

  • Ayrshire College
  • City of Glasgow College
  • Edinburgh College
  • Fife College
  • Forth Valley College
  • Glasgow Kelvin College
  • Inverness College
  • New College Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire College
  • West Lothian College

What our students said

Fraser Hainey
Fraser Hainey
PGCert Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) - In-service
The TQFE lecturers were very helpful and informative. Due to the nature of the course, a lot of work was done outside the University, but the teaching staff had plenty of communication with me. This was very helpful and reassuring.
Read Fraser's story
Ciaran O’Neill
Ciaran O’Neill
Scotland, United Kingdom
PGCert Tertiary Education with Teaching Qualification (Further Education) - In-service
Wonderful location and setting – excellent, knowledgeable academic staff and fabulous use of various resources available. The combination of lectures and workshops / seminars was what I liked most. Theory and practice is, in my opinion, the most potent form of learning.
Read Ciaran's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.