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What makes PGCE - Secondary - Physical Education at Worcester special?

Age phase: 11-16 with post-16 enhancement

Our PGCE in Secondary Physical Education is delivered with the highest expectations, informed by research, evidence and collaboration with many external partners.

You’ll be taught by energetic, innovative, and experienced tutors who bring a wealth of different experiences, expertise, and passions to the PE sessions. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced and considers what subject knowledge you’ll need to successfully teach PE – this builds cumulatively over the year through three phases and results in excellent outcomes.

On this course, we nurture your potential, not only in progressing 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 in PE from tutors and mentors with strong previous experience.
  • Learn valuable 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.
  • Increase your subject knowledge and employability with a variety of National Governing Body and teacher's awards.
  • Develop your knowledge for teaching PE through a well-designed curriculum
  • First class support and guidance from tutors and mentors from within a strong partnership of schools.
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

Opportunities to enhance your learning

  • PE exclusive second subject enhancement activities.
  • Additional placements with specific focuses on EAL, SEND 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.

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full details of entry requirements, but most specialisms ask for:

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. 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

Other 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 in-person. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE Secondary 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.

Cara Brincat

Cara Brincat

“I really like the fact that I had two, contrasting, teaching placements on this course. The facilities were incredibly different in the schools that I worked in and it made me adapt my teaching. When I go into my new employment, I now know that I can teach in whatever facilities they have. The assignments on the course also really supported our teaching practices and helped to move us forward.

Rugby is my passion, and I play in Allianz Premiership for Worcester Warriors Women. I’m going to continue this alongside teaching. I’ve got a full-time job starting shortly as a PE teacher.

The support from my Personal Academic Tutor has been amazing. They support you all the way through the course and act as a first point of contact. This was particularly useful for balancing my Rugby with my studies.”

Sophie Tandy

Sophie Tandy

“I loved a lot about this course and we had really interesting placements. Our placements allowed me to develop consistency in my teaching and really target specific aspects of my work. We’ve had loads of different and varied assignments. I didn’t do a teaching undergraduate degree and this course has allowed me to widen my opportunities of what I want to do in the future. The facilities and support from tutors have also been fantastic.

I’m so pleased that I was able to pursue my dedication to my sport whilst studying, and I currently play Rugby for Gloucester Hartpury in the Allianz Premiership. I have previously played for England 7s.

I’ve recently got a job, starting in September, and will soon by a full-time teacher. I will continue with my sport alongside this.”

Ella Powell Davis

Ella Powell

“The amount of support I was given as a high-level sports person to balance both my PGCE and playing sport has been incredibly helpful. Although the course is challenging, it does make you a better teacher and a better all-round individual. I’ve learnt so much about myself as well as developing as a teacher.

In September I have a full-time permanent job secured which I will combine with playing High-Level Netball and International Netball. I currently play Superleague Netball at WASPS Netball and I’ve recently been selected for the Welsh International squad. We are building-up for the Commonwealth Games next year in Birmingham, which I’ll hopefully be selected for. The school I’m going to work in are really supportive in balancing this against my first ECT years with them.”

Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith

“I’m passionate about Rugby, I’m currently playing for Gloucester-Hartbury Women in the Women’s Allianz Premiership and I’ve got 14 caps for England. Throughout the course, I liked developing my own teaching strategies and skills within the placements. This September I start a full time PE teaching role. Hopefully, within my teaching career, I can continue to create a balance with playing Rugby Internationally and for the top league within the Women’s Rugby Premiership.

Learning at Worcester has given me an opportunity to develop within a new career path, alongside my Rugby, and I now feel so confident that I can go into school and help children with various different sporting interests and their own experiences.”

Emily Harris

Emily Harris

“I feel very proud to be graduating. My time at University of Worcester has been crucial in shaping me, not only as a person, but as a teacher. The sense of community is a real asset and I can't imagine studying at a different institute for my PGCE.”

“The support that was offered in terms of securing a teaching post and during my NQT year is so appreciated. I do not know of another university that values and supports its alumni like the University of Worcester.”

Bryony Gunn-768

Bryony Gunn

“I’ve wanted to be a PE teacher in a Secondary School for as long as I can remember,”

“Receiving my PGCE qualification was essentially the moment I had been waiting for since forever. When you achieve something you’ve been wanting to achieve for a very long time, you can’t help but feel proud of yourself.”

"The university was very supportive and the PGCE module leaders gave us ample opportunities to develop ourselves despite the pandemic locking down the country. I cannot thank the university tutors enough for ensuring that as a cohort we were not at a disadvantage to previous cohorts and truthfully, some of the tasks we were assigned during the pandemic have shaped my teaching today.”

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

  • 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 spiral threads through the three phases of our carefully crafted curriculum such as; subject knowledge, lesson planning, assessment and examination PE.
  • Enriching your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of experienced tutors 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.
  • Links to subject associations. 


  • 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 PE 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

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

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.

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

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.

David Woodward

David Woodward

Dave is the PGCE secondary subject lead for physical education. He spent over 10 years in secondary teaching. His experience includes teaching in secondary schools, working in close collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust and he was also a professional mentor in a Worcester University partnership school before joining the tutor team in 2018. 

He has been the subject lead since 2020. He is an examiner and moderator for Edexcel/Pearson GCSE PE. Dave has presented at TEAN conferences and had several articles published in AfPE journal as well as writing a chapter on mentoring for ‘The A-Z of School Improvement through PE and Sport’. He is an external examiner at Liverpool Hope University and is currently working towards his Masters’ qualification.  He is a fellow of the HEA.

Charlotte Ross

Charlotte Ross

Charlotte completed her degree at Carnegie and PGCE at Loughborough. Her teaching spans 16 years in a 11-18, large comprehensive school. The breadth of knowledge gained as Head of Year, Head of Department and Teaching and Learning Lead Practitioner has been invaluable as a subject mentor, ECT mentor and staff mentor in school. Through university partnerships, Charlotte has led sessional work in university in addition to serial practices and whole school PGCE training in school.

As the lead teacher for A Level Physical Education in school, Charlotte has taken a keen interest in developing the pedagogy of examination Physical Education on the PGCE. 


Kim Hibbert-Mayne

Twitter: @UW_PGCE_PE

Kim is the coordinator of the PGCE secondary professional studies programme and a member of the PGCE secondary physical education tutor team. She has worked in education for the last 14 years as a physical education teacher in secondary schools before embarking on a career in teacher education in 2015.

Kim has experience teaching on the PGCE primary route, has been the subject lead for Secondary PE and is now a sport-specialist for the PGCE in Further Education. Her studies towards an MA in Education and other research projects have predominantly focused on areas of social psychology. Kim is particularly interested in how an individual's identity affects their experiences within the teaching profession. She is a fellow of the HEA and an external examiner at the University of Chichester.




Group of PGCE Secondary Physical Education students sitting on benches in sports halls
  • 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.
Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential
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 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. 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: X9C6

Training provider code: W80



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

David Woodward

Personal Academic Tutor