Postgraduate Certificate in Education Secondary Initial Teacher Education Art and Design
This course is open for applications.
We are continuing to interview applicants to this course but will do so via Skype or alternative means.
Page last updated 19 May 2020
The Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one academic year (36 week) course that trains graduates to be secondary school teachers of Art and Design.
The PGCE course has been designed to train teachers to practise 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.
Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. Pupils use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. Through art and design activities pupils learn to make informed value judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions, becoming actively involved in shaping environments. They explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers. They learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in contemporary life and in different times and cultures.
The course is active and practical, allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. It is our view that teachers of art and design must be artist teachers, so trainees develop their subject knowledge in a range of workshops. We also work with different subject areas in cross-curricular projects. Past examples include geographical themes through art and design media; responding to the work and landscape of a WW1 poet through art, English and geography; and creating a medieval experience for children at Chepstow Castle with history and design and technology trainees.
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 why you should train to teach with us.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The PGCE programmes are part of the Department of Education and Childhood, within the Initial Teacher Education cluster.
The University of the West of England is committed to training the best teachers for the future, able to provide first-class educational experiences and make a significant difference to the life chances of all children. We will train you to do so in partnership with schools and settings across the region. All children deserve to learn well, with enthusiastic subject specialist teachers.
Teaching is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career with a high level of job satisfaction. It is a great privilege, as well as a great responsibility, to be able to influence and shape the progress of children and young people.
Our PGCE programmes are very popular and the standard of applicants is high.
As a trainee teacher, you will complete a minimum of 120 days in school on placement practice. This will take place in at least two contrasting schools, in blocks of no less than six weeks, during which time you will be expected to demonstrate effective progress in your own practice and have a positive impact on pupil progress over time.
The module areas you will study are:
- Theories underpinning pedagogical approaches
- Planning and implementing appropriate teaching strategies and classroom management
- Subject studies
- Current educational policy and practice
- Evaluation of learner needs and the educational impact of their teaching
- Professional skills and attributes, including keeping children safe
- The use of evidence-based practice
- Feedback and assessment of teaching against the English Teachers' Standards, supported by a university tutor and school based mentor.
The module areas are listed above, however the final titles are subject to final approval.
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
The PGCE courses are designed so that your experiences on placement are complemented by university-based learning, where you will be able to engage critically with and challenge current educational policy, practices and theory. The training on placement supports your learning in the Department of Education and Childhood, and vice versa, enabling you to work in any school in England, and possibly beyond.
Seminars, lectures and placement-based learning equip you to meet the Teachers' Standards, to teach and assess in your chosen phase and/or subject.
The University continually enhances its programmes by responding to feedback from 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 programme. If changes to your programme are approved, we will inform you as soon as possible.
Hear what our students think about their time here.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. You have three main sources of support and information from the University during the course: firstly there is the Group Tutor in your subject area, secondly you are allocated a Personal Tutor and thirdly you can get support on a range of issues from the Department Student Adviser.
Assessment is carried out in a number of ways, including by written assignment, formal presentation, viva voce and assessment of teaching practice in schools, measured through lesson observations and the collation of a portfolio of evidence, demonstrating progress against the Teachers' Standards.
All modules are compulsory and you must pass all modules to gain the award of PGCE. This course prepares you for a career as a teacher and leads to recommendation for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to the Department for Education, upon successful completion of the course.
Please note that the Department for Education has consulted on proposed changes to the award of QTS and when this is made, and we await further guidance on this.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Placements are offered by schools and settings within our ITE partnership and are geographically diverse, with schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and Wales, offering placements. We work hard to match placements to trainee teacher needs and experience, and we endeavour to keep travel times to a maximum of 90 minutes each way, each day.
Trainee teachers are supported in schools by a Senior Mentor, who is a designated lead teacher for ITE placements in the school, and is responsible for overseeing the training that takes place. Trainee teachers are also closely supported by their Class Mentor (Primary) or Subject Mentor (Secondary), who is their day-to-day contact and supporter in school during placement.
Careers / Further study
PGCE programmes include 60 credits assessed at Masters level.
As a trainee teacher, you will be joining a modern and well-regarded programme to train to teach across the 11-16 age range and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You should typically meet the following criteria:
- An undergraduate degree, or a recognised equivalent qualification, with at least 50% in a subject related to what you want to teach. This is typically 2:2 or higher but we will look at all applications against the demands of the course.
- GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
Our PGCE courses include a high level of placement based learning and working with children. We would encourage all applicants to get as much relevant experience of working or volunteering with children to help prepare them for this crucial element of their course.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements, but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to an interview day with course tutors, consisting of a micro-teach activity, group interview and literacy/numeracy tasks, as appropriate.
For Art and Design, you will be asked to bring a portfolio of work to interview.
All applicants will be required to complete:
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check*
- Health checks*
*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.
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.
Find out further information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in secondary schools.
We are not able to accept deferrals for PGCE courses. Applicants unable to start their course during the year of application will be required to withdraw and reapply the following year.
How to apply
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333