Information you need for Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE

Download thinking of teaching in 2024 leaflet

Watch this admissions video, which was a webinar hosted by the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship Group. It is relevant to all prospective PGCE students.

To study to become a teacher at UCT, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree (3 or 4 years’ study) followed by a one-year full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE is a teaching qualification).

The PGCE is NOT offered by distance-learning nor by correspondence studies.

PGCE entry requirements

There are four PGCEs: Foundation Phase; Intermediate Phase; Senior Phase-FET; FET.

NB: We regret that the PGCE Foundation and Intermediate Phases will not be offered in 2024.
NB: Please note that the PGCE English FET-Only & Geography FET-Only methods subject (single teaching subject) will NOT be offered in 2024. History FET-Only will continue to be on offer in 2024.

Teaching in a primary school - not offered in 2024

  • Foundation Phase (Grade 1 – 3):
    • A bachelor’s degree comprising a selection of subjects that will provide the knowledge to teach Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills. Applicants also require a Grade 12 pass in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy. Strongly recommended for degree study (BA, B. Soc Sc): Psychology, SA languages (including English), linguistics, Quantitative Literacy for Humanities (or Social Science), social sciences.
  • Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 7):
  • A bachelor’s degree with five whole-year courses in two or more school subjects (2 semester courses = 1 whole year course) and a minimum of 150 credits:  Language(s); linguistics; mathematics and statistics; natural sciences; geography and environmental sciences; historical studies and archaeology; psychology; music; fine art; drama; dance; information systems/computer science; human movement studies. Applicants also require a Grade 12 pass in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.
  • Strongly recommended for degree study (BA, B. Soc Sc, B.Sc):
  • SA languages (including English), linguistics, Quantitative Literacy for Humanities (or Social Science), Historical Studies, Environmental and Geographical Sciences. 

Teaching in a high school:

  • Senior Phase-FET (Grades 8 – 12)  and/or  FET (Grades 10 – 12):
    • Your bachelor’s degree must include at least two subjects (from the list below), studied to at least second year level:  languages, mathematics, environmental and geographical sciences, historical studies, life sciences (botany, zoology), chemistry, physics, accounting, economics, music, fine art, dance, drama, computer science.  However, a major in psychology is required for Life Skills teaching, and 1 year of mathematics is accepted for Mathematics Senior Phase & Maths Literacy FET.
    • FET only students take one method subject, i.e. English, History, Geography, Mathematics or Dramatics Arts.
    • Conversational Xhosa is required for the award of PGCE.; so, an introductory Xhosa course is strongly recommended as part of your undergraduate degree.

Steps to becoming a teacher at UCT

  1. Decide which phase you would like to teach.
  2. Choose an appropriate degree (study the UCT website and Handbooks.) Examples: (a) For FP and IP, a B.A or B.Soc Sc or B.Sc degree is suitable (b) a B.A if you want to teach SP-FET English and History (c) a B.Sc if you want to teach SP Natural Science and FET Life Science, (d) a B.Com if you want to teach SP-FET accounting and economics, (e) a B.A in Music Education if you want to teach music. Before choosing your degree courses, it is strongly recommended that you consult the PGCE student advisor, Nicole Lesch (
  3. Contact the relevant faculty office (e.g., Humanities for B.A or B.SocSc ; Science for B.Sc, Commerce for B.Com) if you need general advice about the degree programmes.
  4. Apply to UCT to study the degree that you have chosen.
  5. Apply online for the PGCE as of April in your final year of undergrad.
  6. Applications are considered in order of receipt and admission to any PGCE will be closed when the available places have been filled. Early application is advised.
  7. A person needs to obtain a minimum average results in undergraduate courses required for entry to the following teaching methods courses:
  8. Performance Arts Diploma applicants: Drama (advantageous to do TDP3010 & TDP3018), 

55%: Physical Sciences SP & FET (EDN3244W), Economics SP &FET (EDN3227W), Accounting SP& FET (EDN3222W), Xhosa SP &FET (EDN3247W) and Afrikaans SP & FET (EDN3223W);

57%: Mathematics SP & FET (3240W) and Mathematics SP and Mathematics Literacy (EDN3248W)

60%: Geography SP & FET (EDN3232W), Life Sciences FET (EDN3238W), Natural Sciences SP (EDN3243W), Life Skills (EDN3239W). 

65%: History SP & FET (EDN3235W) and English SP & FET (EDN3229W)

NB! Please note that meeting the minimum admissions requirement does not guarantee admission into the PGCE.

PGCE applications open in April each year. The closing date is on 31 October. Please apply early.


  1. The Department of Basic Education has Funza Lushaka bursaries, see Applications usually open in October to February each year. Please note the priority subjects prior to making an application. 2024 Priority subjects are: isiXhosa, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences (incl. Bot & Zoo) and Arts (Drama, Visual, Dance, Music and Design). 
  2. The HCI Foundation offers bursaries to PGCE students. Applications for the 2023 intake usually open on August/September to 30 November. Queries can be directed to or 021 424 6010.
  3. The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship (JGF) offers scholarships to PGCE students. Applications for new intake is open from February to July, and can be made during the final/third year of undergrad. 
  4. Ikusasa Student Financial Aid (ISFAP) funds the PGCE:  Note the FAQs: queries can be made directly to ISFAP at or or Ms Carmelita Lee Shong based at UCT.


PGCE Admissions advisor:

Nicole Lesch
School of Education

6 Neville Alexander building
Lover's Walk
Lower Campus
Room 3.34