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A postgraduate certificate (abbreviated as PGCert, PgCert, PG Cert, PGC, or PgC) is a postgraduate qualification in the United Kingdom at the level of a master's degree (level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, level 11 of the Framework for Qualification of Higher Education Institutes in Scotland). Postgraduate certificates require a shorter period of study than master's degrees or postgraduate diplomas, typically equivalent to 225 contact hours or one-third of a full-time academic year. They should not be confused with graduate certificates, which are at the level of a bachelor's degree in the United Kingdom.
Although requirements vary depending on the program, a certificate program represents a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student a record of academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. The standard entry requirement is a UK honours degree or an equivalent foreign qualification.
Like a postgraduate diploma, it is standard practice to use 'PgCert' or 'PgC' as a post-nominal designation after completing the certificate course.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCertEd) is the title used for postgraduate qualifications in education England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the level of master's degrees; in Scotland the title Postgraduate Diploma in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education is used. Professional Certificate in Education is the title used for qualifications at bachelor's degree level.
The Certificate of Postgraduate Studies (CPGS, also called Certificate in Postgraduate Studies or Certificate in Postgraduate Study) is a postgraduate certificate offered by a variety of British universities. It is typically taken as the first year exam of a PhD-course and aims at making sure that the student has learnt the necessary knowledge for successfully working on their PhD.
Postgraduate diplomas and certificates are at the same level (7 on the FHEQ/SCQF level 11 on the FQHEIS) but are differentiated from each other by volume of study and learning outcomes. The title 'certificate' normally signifies learning outcomes which would imply study equivalent to at least one-third of a full-time academic year, and the title 'diploma' normally signifies study equivalent to at least two-thirds of a full-time academic year at the relevant level (and/or, where credit is awarded, the volume of credit specified by the relevant credit framework).
In Scotland, Professional Graduate Diplomas in Education are at the same level as Postgraduate Diplomas in Education (SCQF level 11) and the use of the title 'Professional' does not imply a difference in level.