Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Foundation Phase Teaching

(Recommended completion time two years part-time; minimum completion time one year full-time; maximum four years part-time; minimum 120 credits)


The aim of this fully online programme is to respond to the increased need for professional educators in South Africa. The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Foundation Phase (FP), is for students who want to qualify as professional educators in the Foundation Phase after having completed an appropriate three-year degree or recognised national diploma.

Mode of delivery

Distance mode

Time Commitment

Minimum two years part-time,
maximum four years full-time or part-time.
The programme includes
both January and July intakes


Accreditation Registered as Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006; NQF 7; SAQA ID 101972.

Admission Requirements

  • A candidate must have complied with all the requirements of a bachelor’s degree (or an approved diploma of minimum 360 credits at NQF level 6) from a DHET registered higher education institution before the beginning of the academic year for which he/she has been selected.
  • The prior bachelor’s degree (or approved national diploma) must include a selection of subjects/disciplines that will provide a teacher with appropriate disciplinary knowledge to effectively teach Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills to young learners and lay foundations for learning in future grades.
  • Holders of multidisciplinary degrees (or approved diplomas) without a main focus in a single field related to teaching could be allowed into the PGCE FP, provided that the disciplines underpin the learning requirements for the foundation phase and, where relevant, the subjects to be taught are taken to at least NQF 5 (with a minimum 30 credit weighting over a minimum of two semesters).
  • As per the RPL Policy, no more than 10% of mature applicants can be admitted. These are those who have been disadvantaged because of their inability to obtain formal qualifications or who have inadequate entrance qualifications, but who have obtained work or life experience that qualifies them to be admitted as students.

Students who have completed this qualification should be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in reading, writing and speaking the language/s of instruction in ways that facilitate their own academic learning and learning in their classrooms
  • Demonstrate competence in interpreting and using numerical and elementary statistical knowledge to facilitate their own academic learning, and manage teaching, learning and assessment
  • Demonstrate competence with regard to the knowledge base underpinning the learning areas or subjects they will be teaching
  • In their area/s of specialisation (foundation phase and subject/learning area), demonstrate competence in planning, designing, and reflecting on learning programmes appropriate for their learners and learning context
  • Demonstrate competence in selecting, using and adjusting teaching and learning strategies in ways that meet the needs of the learners’ and the context
  • Demonstrate competence in managing and administering learning environments and supporting learners in ways that are sensitive, stimulating, democratic and well-organised
  • Demonstrate competence in monitoring and assessing learner progress and achievement in their specialisation
  • Demonstrate that they can function responsibly within the education system, the institution where they are working, and the community in which the institution is located
  • Demonstrate a respect for and commitment to the educator profession.

External subjects for teaching in PGCE FP

Your Acceptance Letter may indicate that you must complete undergraduate modules (also indicated as undergirding modules) to meet the PGCE entry requirements. They are not part of the PGCE and do not count towards its required credits.

For admission into English Didactics, select:

  • English for Education (NQF 6)

For admission into Afrikaans Didactics, select:

  • Afrikaans for Education (NQF 6)

For admission into isiXhosa First Additional Language Didactics, the following is required:

  • An affidavit testifying to fluency in (written and spoken) isiXhosa.
  • Prospective Students are required to have IsiXhosa Home Language or First Additional Language at an NQF 4.

For admission into Mathematics Didactics:

Demonstrate the required minimum subject content and knowledge in Mathematics or alternatively in Statistics:

  • Statistics for Education (NQF 6)

For admission into Life Skills Didactics, students need to possess a total of at least 30 credits on a NQF 5 level in subjects Psychology, Sociology, and Citizenship (Philosophy). They are expected to showcase a solid understanding of subject matter and expertise in a minimum of two areas, with Psychology being one of the mandatory fields. Alternatively, the following subjects in the BA over two semesters:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Citizenship (Philosophy).

Important Links





Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ towards the end of this document.

Cornerstone Institute
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