PGCE - Secondary
Why train to teach at Worcester?
At Worcester, we have an established and dynamic partnership with the schools in the region where you’ll do your placements. They also keep us up to date with job vacancies, so not surprisingly, our employability statistics are pretty impressive.
The PGCE focuses on your development as a subject specialist secondary teacher. Expert tutors challenge and support you to achieve the very highest levels of subject knowledge, performance against the Teachers' Standards and academic achievement.
Whichever specialist subject you choose, you’ll be taught in small seminar groups, and get plenty of academic and personal support from your tutors. You really get to know your subject and how to teach it.
- Placements in at least two different schools, giving you a breadth of experience and the chance to specialise while you develop self-reflection, self-criticism and self-confidence
- Opportunities to develop additional specialisms in areas such as special educational needs, technology enhanced learning, and leadership
- Extra-curricular opportunities, such as conferences and special projects, to boost your chances of employment
- Core and School Direct routes and the option to study full-time or part-time
- The course lasts for 10 months and there are excellent tax free training bursaries available
Register your interest
Enter your details and we will keep you up to date with all you need to know to apply for a PGCE place:
The PGCE course at Worcester perfectly prepared me for a career in teaching. The subject-based sessions were focussed and provided me with an array of practical activities to implement in my teaching practice.
Kieran, PGCE Graduate & Current Head of Year
What qualifications will you need?
Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full details of entry requirements, but most specialisms ask for:
- 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.
- Grade C/4 at GCSE in English Language, Mathematics (or equivalent) passed at the time of application
- 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.
Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: AdmissionsA@worc.ac.uk
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.
All applications for PGCE Secondary should be made via UCAS Teacher Training.
Professional skills tests
All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.
The tests are required in addition to your mathematics and English GCSEs, and are designed to show that you have the basic levels of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard. They will not test your knowledge of the curriculum or how to teach.
The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject are provided free of charge.
Support we offer
We offer free skills tests workshops if you have accepted a place on the course. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt of the skills test then we will also provide one-to-one support in both numeracy and literacy.
Find out more about our skills tests workshops and support.
Our PGCE taster events give you the opportunity to explore our facilities, take part in teaching taster activities, and find out about student life. This day is for those considering applying for the course, not those who have already applied or those who have been offered an interview. For further information or to request a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this enquiry form.
Upcoming taster days:
9th October 2018, 5pm-7pm
6th November 2018, 5pm-7pm
4th December 2018, 5pm-7pm
5th February 2019, 5pm-7pm
19th March 2019, 5pm-7pm
7th May 2019, 5pm-7pm
Book your place at an Open Day
Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?
Our open days are the perfect way to find out.Book your place
What will you study?
Modules within this course are linked to your specialist subject, professional studies and related assessments.
I really enjoyed my PGCE year at Worcester; it gave me a very supportive start to my teaching career.
Victoria Honeybourne, PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages graduate, now a published author on Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching and teacher.
You will undertake some modules in your specialist area and others related to professional studies where the focus is related to pedagogy and practice. Modules relating to professional studies are the backbone of the course and feed into subject sessions, your work in school and related teaching.
Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full course content details.
Unique to Worcester, these optional activities give you chance to develop an additional specialism and can mean you get to spend time in another school.
- Aspiring Leaders
- Special Educational Needs and Disability
- Technology Enhanced Learning
- English as an Additional Language
- Second Subject
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
At the heart of good teaching is the desire to promote learning, and the love of learning. Nothing is taught until it is learnt. To achieve this, the programme aims to develop teachers who are
- skilled and inspirational subject specialists
- confident and reflective practitioners
- effective communicators who can work in partnership
- informed intellectuals who promote a love of learning
- resilient professionals able to demonstrate high standards of personal conduct
The PGCE secondary (core and school direct) programme enables all trainees to become autonomous learners. The course is designed to support trainees of varying experiences, needs and background; to develop key/transferable skills and to disseminate good practice in learning and teaching. To achieve this we closely monitor the quality of your experience in university and on placement.
Training enables you to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to teach within the subject specialism and age phase for which you are training. All trainee teachers teach pupils aged 11-16 with post 16 enhancements apart from Economics and Business and Psychology trainees who teach pupils within the 14-19 age range.
All successful trainees will meet the Department for Education Teachers’ Standards’ (2013). These postgraduate programmes with QTS are designed to meet specific requirements laid down by the DfE and against which judgements by OFSTED inspections are made. It is also informed by and reflects the most recent legislation concerning the well-being of children and young people expressed in government legislation with regard to Special Educational Needs and Disability and equality and diversity.
All trainees are required to spend 120 days in at least two contrasting schools/colleges. We find these placements for you and your subject tutor will visit you whilst on placement as well as delivering taught sessions in university.
Subject tutors are also Personal Academic Tutors. All Personal Academic Tutors at Worcester have three basic roles:
- To support your academic development
- To act as the first point of call if you are experiencing issues or problems arising whilst at University or on placement
- To provide your official University reference
These roles are a minimum expectation and are expanded on the PGCE course to include additional functions such as placement support. University policy explains that the main focus of the Personal Academic Tutor role is to support you in relation to your course and studies as follows:
- To support you in becoming a member of the university and making the transition to studying at level 6 and 7 (Masters’ level)
- To help you to understand the requirements of your course in terms of knowledge and understanding, skills development and assessment requirements
- To support you in taking responsibility for your own learning through helping you to reflect on your progress, identifying your learning needs and developing appropriate strategies to achieve them
- To help you to make the most of the learning resources and other forms of learning support available
- To support you in academic, professional and career related planning and development, and the appropriate recording of this
- Advise and guide you on issues or problems arising whilst you are at the university or on placement and, where appropriate, direct you to the broader range of services provided by the university
- To support you if there are particular challenges you face
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 or professional studies (for school direct professional studies is delivered in school).
Typically university contact time will be structured around a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods including
- peer group activities
- directed reading
- independent research
- directed study
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 programme aims to train you to meet the Teachers’ Standards (2013) for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Assignments provide the opportunity to gain 60 credits at Master’s level. The course is packaged as four modules although it is taught in a more holistic fashion with constant re-visiting of themes, topics and skills. Some of the modules are time related but one (PSEC 3004) is effectively a “long thin” module whose outcomes are addressed throughout the course. The four modules are:
Module 1: An Introduction to Learning and Teaching
This involves an induction period for all trainees supported by university sessions. During this time, you will be introduced to both school life in general and to your department in particular. Your school experience in the autumn term contributes towards the learning outcomes of the module culminating in Assignment 1 (PSEC3001).
Module 2: Developing Learning and Teaching
This module builds on taught sessions at the beginning of the spring term and school experience in a second school placement. This culminates in Assignment 2 (PSEC3002/4002) that is marked at level 7 (Masters’ level).
Module 3: Evidence Informed Teaching
This module focuses on school experience in the later section of the course and develops research skills to support you towards becoming an evidence informed practitioner. This work commences in the autumn term and culminates in Assignment 3 (PSEC3003/4003) in the summer term that is marked at level 7 (Masters’ level).
Module 4: Meeting the Teachers’ Standards
This involves all study from September that relates to meeting the Teachers’ Standards (2013) as assessed by your final school report. For this module you complete a series of progress reviews that culminate in three accumulative action plans. The first two build on school experience in the autumn and spring terms. The final plan builds into the University of Worcester Career Entry Profile that bridges the transition into the Newly Qualified Teacher phase of the training.
You are supported at every stage of the assessment process. For example, you work with peers to review your progress towards assignment 4, tutors provide formative feedback on practice drafts for all assignments and tutors host writing retreats to support you with academic writing. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with your tutors.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
Where could it take you?
There are excellent prospects in teaching, Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have one of the highest employment rates of all graduates and are very much in demand, especially those who have trained in a shortage subject.
Our high quality programmes and innovative teaching methods prepare and train the very best professionals. Worcester gradutes have made a huge difference in the field of education.
Ann Jordan, Head of Institute
Request or download a prospectusRequest now
How much will it cost?
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fee for UK and EU students registering on the PGCE in the academic year 2019/20 is £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
The standard annual fee for international (non-EU) students enrolling on the PGCE in the academic year 2019/20 is £13,300 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 are disabled. Most course are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.
Please consult individual subject specialism pages for details of any bursaries or scholarships.
Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.
Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.
We organise occasional visits to increase subject knowledge. Travel costs are at your own expense but we do encourage car sharing. In addition there is sometimes a fee but this is not normally more than £20 in total.
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.
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 £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).
For full details visit our accommodation page.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS Teacher Training
UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto PGCE courses
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.
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.
English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, design technology (food & textiles), French, geography
Find out about the bursary.