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What makes PGCE - Secondary - Art and Design at Worcester special?

Age phase: 11-16 with post-16 enhancement

Enhance your passion for the creative industries by studying to become a secondary school teacher in Art and Design. On the Worcester PGCE teacher training programme, you will gain insightful knowledge of the world of secondary education together with specialist skills in the art and design curriculum.

You will be taught by academics whose extensive research will enable you to engage with the importance of secondary teaching, as well as gaining experience through multiple placements in a variety of contrasting school environments throughout the year, which will prepare you for a successful transition into teaching. While gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be provided the opportunity to explore the current concepts and issues in art and design education, develop and extend your own subject knowledge through a range of practical workshops and gain invaluable experience of learning and teaching in the classroom.

Bursaries of £10,000 are available for trainee Art and Design teachers if you’re eligible and starting your course between September 2024 and July 2025. Please see the DfE website for more details.

We are proud that our Secondary PGCE was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in March 2023. Ofsted identified that:

Trainees benefit from an exceptional learning experience at the University of Worcester. This experience instils in them a deep-rooted commitment to making a difference to the lives of the children and young adults in the communities they serve.’

Placements, university sessions and mentors will support your development and our trainees are ‘exceptionally well-prepared for their first teaching post’ (Ofsted, 2023)



Key features

  • Develop your own rationale for why and how Art and Design should be taught, and what inspires and motivates young people
  • Know what effective learning and teaching looks like in Art and Design and explore a range of Art and Design activities
  • Reflect on your own learning and explore current research evidence
  • Discuss current issues within Art and Design education
  • Develop your own subject knowledge experientially through a series of practical workshops and reflect on what it is to be 'innovative'
  • Understand how to equip young people to become the artists, designers, and innovators of the future
  • Develop your professional network through the subject association and have the opportunity to experience a National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) conference
Ofsted Outstanding logo

Ofsted has rated us as "Outstanding" in training Primary and Secondary Teachers 2023.

The University of Worcester’s education of future primary and secondary teachers has been given the highest possible grade with inspectors stating that, along with its partners, the University creates “a learning community that places children at the heart of everyone’s endeavours”.  

Read our full news story
Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject area. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (formerly grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English Language or English Literature and Mathematics (applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer an equivalency test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: 

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this.  You may already be part of the DBS update service. Find out about the update service here. As part of the DBS process you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Additional information

To help you prepare for your interview you can expect questions covering the following:

  • the subject knowledge required for teaching the subject curriculum in school
  • your ability to critically reflect on your prior experiences in relation to your future development as a teacher
  • your understanding of the UK education system and the wider role of a teacher
  • how you have overcome challenges in your life and shown resilience
  • how you plan to meet the academic and teaching demands of the course.

In addition, we are looking for enthusiasm, commitment, and potential. Clear verbal and written communication skills are integral to this which you will have an opportunity to demonstrate throughout the interview.

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential.
  • Interviews will be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

Classroom of secondary school students.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Not sure about your subject knowledge?

Build up or refresh your existing knowledge with a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme before the course.

Subjects offered at the University of Worcester:
English, biology, chemistry, physics, design technology (food), religious education.

Find out about the bursary.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. To accommodate this feedback modules change periodically in the interest of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Subject knowledge with a deep understanding

  • Enrich your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of tutors
  • Develop confident subject knowledge and an understanding of how best to teach this
  • Understand how pupils learn in art and design
  • Work in partnership with school mentors with excellent current practice
  • Work collaboratively with peers to explore the teaching of art and design
  • Participate in focused taught sessions, suggested reading, and activities to undertake with peers
  • You will be fully prepared to teach the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-Level art and design.

Specialist subject opportunities

  • Access subject association meetings and resources
  • Learn to consider innovative ways to make art and design memorable and exciting in the classroom
  • Develop your skills in understanding how to enhance pupils’ learning through a range of opportunities to work with a cross-curricular approach, and with local arts organisations.
  • Links to subject associations.


  • Understand and apply theory and research on how children learn and develop.
  • Explore a range of teaching styles and ways to organise a classroom.
  • Discover how to promote progress through observing, planning, teaching and assessing learning.

Professional Studies

  • Develop adaptive teaching strategies to respond to the unique needs in a range of contexts, leveraging the diversity inherent in schools.
  • Be informed by the research and evidence about effective teaching at a general level before applying this knowledge to subject-specific approaches
  • Learn the expectations, standards and behaviours which are appropriate to the profession and the wider responsibilities of a teacher.

Enhancement activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: PSHE and Citizenship, Careers Education, Education in Climate Emergency, Teenage Mental Health, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Technology Enhanced Learning.  In addition, we also offer an Aspiring Leaders programme.

School Experience

  • 120 days school experience in our partnership schools which are spread across the region. Experience in two schools.
  • Be supported and challenged by our blend of school-based Mentors and Personal Academic Tutors.

Your Career

  • Become a reflective self-evaluating practitioner.
  • Enjoy great employment prospects; our support takes you from trainee to ECT (Early Career Teacher) and beyond
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation.


  • 120 days teaching in schools plus additional days which allow opportunities to prepare and rehearse key teaching skills, covering three foundational teaching skills; explanations and modelling, talk for learning, and assessment for impact. These additional days will explore practical strategies for the classroom, with opportunities to practice, rehearse and implement in school.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

Teaching approach

  • School experience in a range of settings
  • Professional Studies sessions in school and at University
  • University-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading
  • Participation in high-level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate
  • Directed studies, case studies and problem-solving tasks; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our excellent Library services and first class Firstpoint services.

Contact time

There is no typical week on the PGCE course - every week is different. Your time will predominantly be spent on school placement (a minimum of 120 days). When you are not in school you will be in university attending either subject sessions (typically 180 hours across the course) or professional studies sessions (typically 110 hours across the course). For school direct professional studies is primarily delivered in school.

A typical week in university will be 30 hours face to face taught sessions. Some of these sessions will be in your subject groups (subject sessions are typically 18 hours) and some will be in mixed subject groups (professional studies are typically 12 hours).

Typically, university contact time will be structured around a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods including

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • peer group activities
  • seminars
  • directed reading
  • independent research
  • directed study
  • presentations
  • tutorials
  • fieldwork

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, during the university taught weeks you are expected to undertake personal self-study of around 7 hours per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Self-study time will also be spent planning lessons and assessing pupil work.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


  • Full time – September – July (3 terms)


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.

Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, portfolios, and presentations.

You will be assessed in the following ways:

  • 1 Annotated learning resource
  • 1 Reflective commentary
  • 1 Critical literature review
  • 1 Digital presentation
  • 1 Viva voce
  • 1 Electronic portfolio

You will receive feedback assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team who have expertise and knowledge of teaching and learning in schools. Tutors are all experienced teachers and many have worked in advisory roles for local authorities, examination boards and professional associations. The expertise of university tutors is very strong, and informed by recent and relevant pedagogical research. Many tutors have an academic writing profile having written or published books. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles. The partnership team includes teachers working in our partnership schools.

All members of the department are permanent members of staff. All have Qualified Teacher Status and been practicing secondary teachers. All staff are Senior Fellows or Fellows of the HEA or working towards.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles. The partnership team includes teachers working in our partnership schools.

Simon Huson

Simon Huson

Simon is the subject lead for the Secondary PGCE Art and Design; he also has responsibility for the Art and Design component of the Further Education PGCE programme. Prior to joining the University as a Senior Lecturer in 2021, Simon was Head of Art at Monmouth School for Girls.

Simon contributes over 25 years of teaching and middle management experience across all phases of education, including as a secondary Head of Art and Design, and 13 years as a Senior Lecturer on the PGCE Art and Design programme at UWE Bristol.

As well as teaching, Simon has his own art practice involving painting, illustration, ceramics, and stained glass.



  • Great employment prospects to become a teacher
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation
  • Many University of Worcester trainees gain promotion to middle leadership and senior leadership within the first few years of teaching
A female teacher training student in a classroom working on placement as part of her degree to get into teaching.

PGCE Alumni Scholarship

If you are a University of Worcester graduate starting a full-time PGCE in September 2024 then you may be eligible for a £500 Cash Scholarship.

See our scholarships page for more details.

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £9,250 per year.*

* Please note that for EU students training as Physics or Languages teachers and in receipt of a UK government bursary/scholarship package the fee is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You can get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or have a disability.

Some courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, trips, stationery, printing, and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport and sometimes, these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

You will need to buy some protective clothing to wear for practical work (an apron for example).

In addition, we encourage you to join subject-specific associations. The cost is typically between £25 to £50 for which you benefit from their support, guidance, and resources.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.  


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Apply now

Applications for PGCE courses should be made online through the government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website for detailed information on how to apply for a PGCE.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Course code - L080

Make an application

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Secondary PGCE Office

Simon Huson

Personal Academic Tutor