Postgraduate Certificate in Education
Secondary Initial Teacher Education Mathematics
This course is open for applications.
About this course
Page last updated 3 January 2017
The Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one academic year (36 week) course that trains graduates to be secondary school teachers of Mathematics.
If you need to boost your subject knowledge before starting the course you can do a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. You can only apply to do this after receiving an offer of a place on the PGCE.
The PGCE programme has been designed to train teachers to practice as a subject specialist teacher for the secondary age range (11-16). Trainees are assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) across the age range. Trainees will also often gain experience of the 16-18 age range, although they will not be formally assessed in this phase.
If you have an infectious enthusiasm for mathematics and enjoy working with young people then we are looking for people just like you! The ability to interpret numbers, calculate, handle statistical information and problem solve are essential skills in everyday adult life - you could help young people acquire these skills. We need mathematics teachers who can motivate, inspire, challenge and communicate their passion for mathematics. The PGCE Secondary Mathematics course at UWE will support you in becoming a confident, competent, reflective mathematics teacher.
The course is active and practical allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. Trainees work with young people, develop their expertise in their specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research. The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.
Find out more about what PGCE Secondary Education at UWE has to offer in terms of teaching quality, staff expertise and your student experience.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The course is part of the Department of Education's programme for Initial Teacher Training. Units studied are:
- Enabling Learning
- Meeting Curriculum Challenges
- Becoming a Teacher
These units are studied in both the school and the University-based parts of the course, the work on each site being complementary.
During the 36 week course you will address the various aspects of learning and teaching mathematics - how you learn and, through reflection, how young people might learn, as well as factors which may inhibit their learning. Sessions will involve you in workshops, discussion and informal lectures.
Work in schools is an integral part of the course. You will gain teaching experience in two schools where you will have opportunities to try out your ideas and further your learning skills and experience of mathematics teaching. You will work alongside teachers and student colleagues with small groups and individuals as well as engaging in whole class teaching. In each school there is a mathematics subject mentor who has primary responsibility for your day-to-day work and study. Your subject mentor will support you in your learning to teach, assess and manage classes in mathematics.
Throughout the course you will:
- engage in interesting and challenging mathematical starting points, reflecting on your own work and the nature of mathematical activity
- consider how learning environments appropriate to learners of all abilities can be created
- focus on specific issues related to the mathematics classroom, for example, the National Curriculum, numeracy, ICT and mathematics, special educational needs, differentiation and progression, the cross-cultural nature of mathematics, pupil assessment, language, and the teaching of mathematics at post-16 level
- explore strategies for the effective management of learners and resources, including ICT, in the classroom situation
- consider different teaching and learning styles, for example whole-class interactive teaching, problem solving, practical and investigative activity
- use your ability and initiative to create starting points which enable traditional areas of mathematics to be explored in interesting ways
- critically evaluate existing resources for mathematics, including computer software
- work at enhancing your own knowledge and understanding in mathematics and ICT with respect to the National Curriculum, National Strategy, and the 14-19 curriculum, including AS/A2 level
If you have the knowledge and the passion to teach Mathematics then this PGCE course is for you.
Hear what our students think about their time at UWE.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. Students have three main sources of support and information from the University during the course: firstly there is the Group Tutor in their subject area, secondly each student is allocated a Personal Tutor and thirdly any student can get support on a range of issues from the Department Student Adviser.
In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of QTS.
For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.
You will spend 24 weeks on placement: a total of eight weeks in one placement during the autumn term and 16 weeks in a second placement during the spring and summer.
As well as teaching, the programme includes contact time with a Senior Professional Tutor and a Subject Mentor, directed study time and personal study time.
There is an opportunity to spend time in a primary school and some students may also visit other institutions, such as special schools or colleges of further education.
Trainees often say that one of the highlights of the PGCE year at UWE is going out on a mathematics trip! The mathematics group have enjoyed visiting the Maze museum at Symonds Yat in the Forest of Dean. Trainees also get the opportunity to go out on visits with their schools. Many have enjoyed 'Mathamagic' at Techniquest in Cardiff and some have accompanied students to A level events.
During University blocks we often invite pupils in from some of our Partnership schools to work with trainees in a different setting from the school classroom. In recent years trainees have run a 'Maths and Science' activity day for gifted and talented Year 9 and 10 pupils from one of our local inner-city schools, designed a mathematics trail around the campus, run an A level mathematics workshop day for Year 12 students and a study skills day for Year 13 students, and have contributed to various other conferences, master-classes and workshops.
The Department of Education provides a pleasant environment in which to study. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available. The department has excellent IT facilities and houses an Open Learning Area with the latest equipment including an interactive whiteboard, CD burners, scanners and a range of equipment that can be booked out and borrowed, including digital cameras and laptops, with friendly staff on hand to help when needed.
You will access to a well stocked mathematics section of the resources centre that has a range of resources and equipment including videos, calculators, structural apparatus, computers, books and mathematical journals, house networked PCs and a variety of stand alone computers. Mathematics teaching staff and technicians are on hand for help and support.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Careers / Further study
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes now include 40 credits of assessment at Master's Level (Level M). For candidates who opt not to attempt the requisite credit at Level M, a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education will be available as an alternative award.
For further information on your career in teaching, including salary scales and case studies of current trainee teachers, visit www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching.
Hear from past UWE students about how studying here has enhanced their career prospects and opened up new opportunities.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
Supplementary fee information
The PGCE is financed as an undergraduate course. More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.
For funding options, please see funding for PGCE students.
Applicants normally have:
- An honours (normally 2:2 minimum) or equivalent with at least 50% in a related subject (relating to the subject you want to teach).
- GCSE grade C or above, or grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent.*
- To be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a comprehensive school (minimum of 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years).
*If you do not meet the GCSE entry requirements, we will accept equivalency tests that are of a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C or above.
Applicants with a non-mathematics degree or with less than 50% mathematics content in a mathematics-related degree might be eligible for a pre-PGCE Mathematics Enhancement Course.
Please note that this course starts early in September. We are unable to agree any requests for holiday due to the number of days required to fulfil the course.
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be interviewed at the Department of Education. All offers will be subject satisfactory health checks.
Disclosure of Criminal Background - Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary. If you would like information regarding issues that could disqualify you from teaching training, please contact us on +44 (0)117 32 83333.
Department for Education Professional Skills Tests
All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and before starting their course. We recommend that you complete the skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy as soon as possible after you have submitted an application for an Initial Teacher Education programme. If practical, you should take these tests before any interview that you may be invited for, but if this is not possible, you should take them as soon as possible thereafter. If you have not passed the tests at the interview stage, any offer will be conditional until you have passed both tests. You will need to pass both tests by 30th June. Information about the tests can be found at The Department for Education.
Standards and requirements
Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.
For information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in secondary schools, visit Directgov online
The Department of Education is not able to approve deferrals under any circumstances. Applicants unable to start their programme during the year of application will be required to withdraw and reapply the following year.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333