The course is a recognised course for those working in FE Colleges in NI and in training organisations.
The Certificate in Teaching equates to one year of an undergraduate Level 4 course, and is made up of 2 x 30 credit point modules. It is part of a range of teacher education and continuous professional development courses within Ulster University.
The overall aim of the course is to prepare teachers, tutors or trainers in the field of further education and training by supporting them in their initial year of employment.
The CIT is considered to be a prerequisite for the PGCE (FE) and is required to be completed within the first year of taking up a position in an FE college or training organisation.
(See DfE website https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/topics/further-education/qualifications-required-teach-further-education)
Holders of the CIT qualification may not seek registration with GTC(NI).
Classroom assistants, teaching assistants and others with only a supporting role in education are not eligible to apply. Likewise training managers or administrators unless they can provide evidence of undertaking a direct teaching role.
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This course is compulsory for those involved in post-16 teaching and caters for the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of individuals teaching in Further Education (FE) colleges and work based learning (WBL) organisations. The course is endorsed by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) as a recognised teaching qualification for those working in the post-compulsory teaching and training sector. The course is part-time and will amount to approximately 3 hours of lectures per week plus individual study time and students will be observed teaching in their place of work.
The course runs in both Belfast and Magee campuses.
Please note that applications to this for September 2023 entry will close on Friday 28 July 2023.
The course covers one full academic year. (September to May) and as it is a professional course attendance will be monitored. Your attendance records may be released to your employer upon their request at the end of the academic year.
Classes at the Jordanstown Campus are expected to take place on Friday mornings (10.15am to 1.15pm), whilst classes at the Magee Campus are expected to take place on Thursday afternoons (2.15pm to 5.15pm).
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
This introductory module aims to equip beginning teachers with strategies to allow them to plan effective and appropriate learning episodes for their learners. It will introduce learning theories and allow teachers to try these out in their classrooms. Legal issues underpinning the teaching will also be discussed as well as strategies for effective behaviour management.
Teaching Skills 2
This module expands on the skills introduced in semester 1, encouraging learners to differentiate learning approaches and to embed the needs of learners who have additional needs into their curriculum. Learners will also be required to integrate technology into their sessions.
Applicants must be able to provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English and Maths (GCSE grade C or equivalent). See DEL circular FE12/09 Annex A.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
To be eligible to apply all applicants must meet the requirements as described below:
Candidates must be qualified to at least Level 3 in the subject area they intend to teach, in accordance with DEL subject teaching regulations.
Essential Skills tutors must hold a relevant degree, which satisfies the conditions, as stipulated by DEL (DEL Circular ES01/12) for literacy, numeracy or ICT.
Minimum of GCSE English and Maths at grade C or equivalent, as recognised by DEL.
Employed to teach at least 4 hours per week over one full academic year (Oct - May) with full teaching responsibility for a group of at least 6 learners in a suitable Further Education College or training environment in Northern Ireland.
Exemptions and transferability
The Certificate in Teaching is a complete programme and the student cannot be exempted from any part of the programme. Given the unique structure of the course in Ulster University it is not possible to transfer with exemption from another course or institution.
The course prepares the student to develop their professional practice and advance their teaching skills in further or post compulsory education and training. On successful completion of this course the student may be eligible to progress to the PGCE (FE) if they meet the entry requirements.
Fees and funding
Important notice - Tuition fees for this course may vary
The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.
For modules commenced in the academic year 2023/24, the following fees apply:
NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.
*Please note our on campus part-time postgraduate courses are not open to international (non-EU) students.
Additional mandatory costs
Students who are supported by their colleges (FE colleges and CAFRE) will have their observations completed by an in-house observer who has undergone training at Ulster University. This usually applies to full-time or associate lecturers who are fully supported – ie having their full fees paid and remission allowed.
Some students who are working in FE but are self-funding have been able to negotiate that their college will complete their observations. Not all colleges provide this support however, so it is the responsibility of the applicant to investigate this with their employer and notify the University of the decision during the application process.
Those outside the FE College partnership (FE employed students who are NOT having their observations covered by the college, and ALL WBL employed students) will be required to undertake a University supervised observation. This will incur an additional fee of £300 pounds on top of the standard fee.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.