English students in a workshop

Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Secondary Initial Teacher Education English

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
Q3X1
Applications:
UTT
Level:
Postgraduate
Department:
Education and Childhood
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
One year
Delivery:
Full-time
Programme leader:
Joan Foley

Page last updated 31 August 2017

Introduction

The Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one academic year (36 week) course that trains graduates to be secondary school teachers of English.

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.

The course is creative, active and practical, allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. Trainees work with young people, develop expertise in their specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research.

What does it mean to be an English teacher in twenty-first century classrooms? This course develops new teachers' understanding of English in secondary settings through active workshops, creative projects and joint explorations of texts, language, drama and media. Students are encouraged to develop their own subject knowledge for teaching supported by experienced university tutors who have many years' successful classroom experience themselves. We focus on principled practice, deep and rigorous subject knowledge, and even purposeful playfulness.

You will be supported to create an inclusive, energetic, exciting classroom environment which will appeal to a range of preferred learning styles and draw on a range of resources.

The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career. Why not join us and start that career today?

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

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.

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

You will be supported in university workshops to learn how to teach English through a variety of strategies including:

  • Contributing to paired, small group and whole class activities
  • Observing and analysing the teaching methods modelled by your course tutors
  • Engaging in creative writing, drama and film making sessions
  • Participating in peer-led, subject knowledge development seminars on topics as diverse as: madness and fools in Shakespeare's tragedies, the use of the expanded noun phrase in contemporary texts, multicultural fiction written for a teenage audience, reading film.
  • Reading and discussing relevant educational theory and subject related research into, for example, how to support the development of reluctant or struggling writers.

See more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Personal support

We recognise that embarking on a new course of  professional study can be a challenging undertaking. PGCE trainees have three main sources of support and information from the University during the course: firstly there is your Group Tutor in their subject area who will monitor and support your progress. Secondly, each trainee is allocated a subject specialist Personal Tutor who will review progress twice during the year with you. Finally, all trainees can access support on a range of issues from the Department Student Adviser. The course includes contact time when on school/college placement with a Senior Professional Tutor and a Subject Mentor.

Find out more about our academic staff, their teaching expertise and research interests.

Study time

During the 12 weeks of University-based time, you will study the teaching of your main subject in relation to the above components. This includes consideration of a range of learning and teaching styles and resources, including the use of appropriate information and communications technology (ICT), and preparation in all aspects of the National Curriculum including assessment for learning. You will also participate in sessions in mixed subject groups where cross-curricular issues are covered, such as: safeguarding,  pupils' learning, managing behaviour for learning, innovative models of curriculum organisation,diversity and equality, the broader professional role and research underpinning decisions and policy in the field of education.

On this course, you will be encouraged to investigate ways in which you can help young people to learn. You will analyse the dynamics of what happens when students talk together about an issue that concerns them and how they use talk to advance their own thinking . Furthermore, you will investigate strategies to scaffold this happening in your classroom. How best to monitor and assess the learning that takes place and identify targets to support your students' development will be important areas for discussion.

You will be asked to read and to understand, analyse and evaluate a wide ranges of texts. If you are sitting in a corner reading the latest novel by a writer of teenage fiction, or an anthology of poetry or lost to the world in a text from the 19th century, you will be working, doing what you are required to do.

You will spend the majority of your time in schools where you will need to be creative, enthusiastic and ready to seize the initiative in the many opportunities that will come your way.

There will be lots of people at the University and in your placement schools who will be only too ready to work alongside you and to support your progress throughout the course.

Hear what our students think about their time at UWE.

Assessment

In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. You 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.

Features

Placements

24 weeks are spent 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 terms.

In June, there is an opportunity for you to spend time in a primary school and some trainees may also visit other institutions, such as special schools or colleges of further education, Museums, Field study centres.

Study facilities

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.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Careers

Careers / Further study

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes now includes 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.

Fees

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.

Entry

Entry requirements

Applicants normally have:

  • An honours degree (normally 2:1 minimum) or equivalent with at least 50 per cent in a related subject (relating to the subject you want to teach).
  • GCSE grade C/4 or above 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.

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.

Additional requirements
Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be interviewed at the Department of Education. All offers will be subject to 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.

Deferrals

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

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