The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year course in the UK for existing bachelor's degree holders leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is needed to become a teacher in maintained (state or local authority) schools. The qualification is normally taught at a university or other higher education institution, though much of the course time is spent on placements in local schools. After completing the PGCE and gaining QTS, an additional first induction year of paid teaching in a school whilst still under the guidance of a mentor is required to allow the candidate to carry on teaching.
It is rather poorly named, as a standard postgraduate certificate (PGCert) is the lowest level of post-graduate qualification, requiring about half the work of a postgraduate diploma (PGDip), which is similar to the taught element of most master's degrees. Though it is hard to compare directly, the PGCE's workload is probably closer to that of a master's. However, the name is now firmly established and unlikely to be changed.