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Age phase: 11-16 with post-16 enhancement

At Worcester teaching is delivered with the highest expectations, having been informed by research, evidence and collaboration with many external partners. This course is led by two energetic, innovative and experienced tutors who bring a wealth of different experiences, expertise and passions to the subject matter. 

Our PGCE in Secondary Physical Education nurtures your potential, not only in progress towards a teaching qualification but in your confidence, competence and ability to achieve a successful career.



Key features

  • Gain a greater understanding of how pupils learn from tutors with strong previous experience.
  • Learn transferable skills in assessment, officiating, competition and the conditioning of games whilst taking part in sport and parallel learning.
  • Grow your confidence with authentic learning experiences before putting these into practice using specific aspects of teaching on placement. Examples of placements might be: Modulations, FE micro-teaching, Multilingual Athletics Festival, PE Teaching Conferences.
  • Increase your subject knowledge and employability with a variety of National Governing Body and teacher's awards.
  • First class support and guidance from tutors and mentors from within a strong partnership of schools.

NB Physical Education is offered through both Core and School Direct routes and with Biology.

PGCE online taster sessions

We're currently arranging the next round of online taster sessions. Check back here for future dates and booking details.

Have you got an A level in Biology,  or a Sports and Exercise Science Level 3 Btec?

We have additional PGCE - Secondary PE places available for those people who have an A level in Biology at grade C or above.

If you successfully gain a place on this route you will be expected to complete an 8-week Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. This is a pre PGCE course which offers a £200 bursary per week.

For more information please contact the admissions team.

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Opportunities to enhance your learning

  • PE exclusive second subject enhancement activities.
  • Additional placements with specific focuses on EAL, SEND, ethnic minorities and post 16 teaching.
  • Further access to a wide range of coaching awards and qualifications at reduced costs. Additional time to complete these qualifications is offered.
  • Dedicated subject session time for assessment support.

I have learned skills I never thought I would. Despite only being half way through the academic year, if I compared myself to when I started, The difference is massive

Trainee - Autumn Term Evaluation

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • Honours degree (normally 2:2 or higher) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate physical education or sport related area.
    Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/level 4 at GCSE in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) (for 2020 entry, applicants must have these qualifications by 30 November 2020). Alternatively, we offer equivalency exams 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.
  • A range of teaching and coaching experiences and qualifications are desirable
  • School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At interview we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them. NB Interviews will continue throughout 2020 and be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

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


Other information

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.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

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

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests 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

  • An excellent teacher requires confident subject knowledge and an understanding about how pupils learn. The majority of your time in university is in subject workshops.
  • Be introduced to and re-visit areas of teaching in our 5 carefully crafted curriculums; subject knowledge, planning, meeting the needs, assessment and examination in PE.
  • Enrich your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of tutors with national and international research profiles, in partnership with school mentors who have excellent current practice in your specialist area.

Specialist Subject Opportunities

  • Practical and theoretical learning and teaching strategies modelled.
  • Support with planning, differentiation, assessment and much more.
  • A range of PE specific models, units of work and resources.
  • Gain a range of teaching awards and NGB qualifications
  • Additional visits to schools and colleges
  • Present to colleagues within and beyond the University
  • Begin networking and start the publishing side of your career.


  • Understand and apply theory and research about how children learn – most university teaching sessions will model or demonstrate classroom practice currently used in school.
  • Deepen your understanding of subject specific pedagogy by engaging with literature, much of which is written by practising history teachers and university tutors.
  • In school, learn by initially observing and then practising the skills of teaching in a safe and supportive environment. Benefit from opportunities to share and learn from your fellow trainee teachers.

Professional Studies

  • Explore a range of practices and wider issues of education.
  • Understand equality and develop inclusive teaching strategies.
  • Develop your research skills as teachers with these skills are capable of bringing about change.

Enhancement Activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: PSHE and Citizenship, Developing a Second Subject, English as an Additional Language, Teenage Mental Health, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Technology Enhanced Learning.  In addition we also offer an Aspiring Leaders programme. 

School Experience

  • Grow through at least 120 days placement in our strong school network across the counties. Experience at least 2 contrasting 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 NQT and onwards.
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation.
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

PGCE Secondary Physical Education students in university gym

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 first class Firstpoint services

"The approachable nature of the tutors and accessibility of a range of information enables progression... none of the sessions are repeated and I feel that we are constantly moving forwards."

Trainee, Autumn Term Evaluation

Group of PGCE Secondary Physical Education students walking on riverside walkway


  • Assignments are carefully designed to develop your skills as a teacher.
  • Assessments that move from highly structured to more open briefs as you develop your professional skills.
  • The opportunity to develop skills as a research informed practitioner.

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 will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


Kim Hibbert-Mayne

Kim previously trained at the University of Worcester, taught PE and mentored Worcester trainees. Now tutoring and lecturing on the PGCE Secondary PE course, she enjoys working with determined trainees to maximise their impact on learning through PE.

She has particular interests in the breaking-down of knowledge, the education of emotional intelligence and physical activity for wellbeing.


David Woodward

Dave joined the University of Worcester in April 2018, having had eleven years of experience working in a local secondary school. Experience includes working as a Professional Mentor, a Director of Sport and in supporting PGCE trainees and NQTs.

He has an extensive range of coaching experiences and qualifications. In his spare time, his pursuits include running and cycling over the Malvern Hills. Teaching was an early passion for Dave and he now hopes to instil this enthusiasm in the students he meets.


Where could it take you?

Two students in seminar room
  • Great employment prospects
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation
  • Many University of Worcester trainees gain promotion within the first few years of teaching
  • A large number of our trainees secure jobs in partnership schools and now mentor current trainees while they are on placement
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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2020/21 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2020/21 will be £13,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You may be able to 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 are disabled.

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 be expected to purchase a University top that costs between £20 - £30.

We offer accredited courses during taught subject session times with a variable cost of between £50 - £75 for the year.  There are many other nationally accredited courses available throughout the year with reduced costs that vary depending upon the course. These courses are optional and will depend on your the developmental needs.  We recommend that you undertake National Governing Body awards and accredited courses in order to increase your opportunities for employment.

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, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Part-time route

You can apply to study this course on a part-time basis.

The part-time route runs for 4 school terms and starts in September each year. You will spend terms 1 and 2 in one school and terms 3 and 4 in a second school. In the first 3 terms you will typically spend 3 days per week on the course, either in school or university. Term 4 will be full-time in school.

The bursary will be spread across four terms, and the fees will be the same as the full-time route.

For more information get in touch via details below. You can also discuss this route in more detail at interview.

Applying through UCAS Teacher Training

UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto PGCE courses

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

Kim Hibbert-Mayne

Personal Academic Tutor

David Woodward

Personal Academic Tutor