How to apply

The number of places available for PGCE Initial Teacher Education programmes are allocated to Yr Athrofa each year by Welsh Government. This means that the number of places available can vary and competition can be high. You are strongly advised to apply early to secure the best opportunity for a place.

You should apply for your PGCE programme online through the UCAS teacher training portal.  The application process opens in mid to late October (Apply 1) each year.  In Apply 1 you will be able to apply for up to 3 different courses/providers.  Apply 1 usually closes in January (although some providers may close earlier) and this is when you have an opportunity to apply through 'Apply 2'. During ‘Apply 2’, you can only apply for one course/provider at a time.  

When you are preparing your application, keep in mind the following: 

  • Take your time over your application and don’t rush. As you are applying to be a teacher is it important that you ensure everything is completed correctly.  You can save your work as you go through the application form and return to it at any time. 
  • Contact your referees in advance so that they have time to prepare a reference - your application cannot be submitted to us by UCAS until your references have been received.
  • In your personal statement try to demonstrate your commitment to becoming a teacher; your passion for your subject, and the knowledge and understanding you have gained about education through any classroom experience that you have undertaken.
  • Some courses, especially PGCE Primary are very popular and places can be filled quickly - often within the Apply 1 window. For this reason, we would advise you to make your application as early as possible. 

Once you have submitted your application, the process moves along quickly.  All providers must respond with a decision within 40 working days and if you are offered a place you will have ten working days to consider the offer and make a decision.  

You will then be invited to an interview where you will be required to take a short literacy and numeracy test and attend a one-to-one interview.  Interview day is also an opportunity to meet tutors, see the teaching setting and find out more about the programme. At Yr Athrofa, Headteachers and Senior Mentors often join tutors for the interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions 

The fees are £9,000, tuition fee loans are available from the Student Loans Company (SLC) and currently Welsh students can receive a subsidy of £5,100 towards the fee.  

Yes. There is a Welsh Government Initial Teacher Training Grant that is available for some subjects/pathways.  Each year the Welsh Government announces, usually in February, which subjects are eligible and the amounts that are available.  These bursaries can vary but are usually offered for high-priority subjects and for first class honours degrees.  

There are also bursaries offered by Yr Athrofa and details can be found at Scholarships and Bursaries 2018/19.

Athrofa Postgraduate Scholarship

Awarding criteria:
Available to UK/EU citizens who have completed a full-time or part-time undergraduate degree and who are applying to undertake one of the following specialisms on the Secondary PGCE at UWTSD:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • ICT
  • Design & Technology

(12 awards available)

Applicants must have a grade B in GCSE English and Maths and a grade C in Science.

Award amount:
Up to £750.

Application process:
Application form.

Deadline for application:
1/8/2018.

Contact Swansea campus: Sharon Alexander sharon.alexander@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01792 481123 

The grants are distributed by the university on behalf of the Welsh Government.  You will complete the required paperwork when you enrol and will receive the bursary in nine monthly instalments starting at the end of October and continuing until May, with a double instalment in June.

Yes, you can.  For example, if you have the right qualifications to be eligible to join the PGCE Secondary Welsh Programme, but your first class degree is in History, you would still be eligible for the ITT Grant awarded students undertaking a 'high-priority' subject. (For as long as Welsh remains a 'high-priority subject').

Partnership schools develop and deliver the programmes in collaboration with the university and understand the requirements for meeting Qualified Teacher Status. This means that you cannot arrange your own school placement and we will do this for you. We take your location and circumstances into account when arranging placements, for example, if you don't have a car we would do our best to place you in a school that can be reached by public transport.

No, we would not usually place you in a school where you have any links including schools where you have studied, undertaken work experience or where a family member works or studies.  

The PGCE course is a very intensive professional programme of study.  In the university setting you can expect to be in classes from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.  During your professional teaching experiences you will be expected to attend the school for the duration of the school day. You may also be asked to participate in your school's extra-curricular activities such as parents evenings and staff meetings.  Due to these long hours and the time recommended for preparation and reflection, it is not advisable to work elsewhere at the same time.

The application process for PGCE programmes works differently to that of undergraduate degrees.  This means that there is no set application deadline.  Each programme has an allocation of places for which it can make offers.  Once all of those offers have been made, applications to that programme will close.  For very popular programmes this can happen as early as January whilst others with more places to offer may remain open to new applications throughout the year. You will be able to search for courses with vacancies on the UCAS Teacher Training website.