PGCE Secondary English with QTS

a girl in a classroom

The PGCE English course is a rewarding 36 week training programme which helps you to develop the skills and knowledge to succeed as a teacher of English.

English as a classroom subject is diverse and challenging. We and our school partners have high expectations of our trainees and work together to provide the support and focus to help you succeed in the classroom. This is an interesting and exciting time for English as a classroom subject. We will give you opportunities to really develop your knowledge and understanding and become part of a dynamic and important profession. 

The South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study (DLHE 14/15).

Key Facts

UCAS Code: 2X5X
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
One year

Location:
Swansea
School/Faculty:
SWW Centre of Teacher Education
Contact Email:
angella.cooze@uwtsd.ac.uk
Language Choice
English  



  • I completed a Masters and then went to work in sales which wasn’t stimulating and I could feel everything that I had learned in University seeping away. I wanted to keep my mind working and learning and I really enjoy English as a subject. Teachers are responsible for creating well rounded citizens of the world and the English language makes-up the building blocks of society and underpins all other subjects – across the board.

    Laura Severs

  • Don’t forget how important English is it enables you to communicate, explain, describe, etc. Being part of the PGCE English class as trainee teachers we need to do all that we can to improve literacy. Seeing that spark when they get it… even if they hate it. If they hate it we can ask why? Talk and discuss to get them actively involved in discussions. English enables skills in debate and creates free thinkers.

    Liam Finan

  • I wanted to teach English because discussions are more important than the right answer, it is about seeing both sides and improving understanding. English teaches you how to be a well-rounded individual. (Donaldson Report).

    Bethan Francis

  • Education is so important – it has moulded me into who I am today, both academically and personally. I had such inspiring teachers who cared about the individual, wellbeing and progress. They taught the importance of succeeding. English is needed for so many other subjects – it is linked to all. It can create well-rounded individuals that are able to express their opinions and teachers the confidence to do that in a professional way.

    Emily Odwyer


The PGCE English course provides real opportunities for students to build and develop the skills and knowledge required to become a successful teacher of English. Working closely with our partner schools, the programme has been devised so as to support and extend our trainees in their university work and their school practice.  

If you are a successful applicant, you will explore key aspects of and approaches to the teaching of English.  Support will be provided in developing key aspects of subject knowledge, as well as trainees’ understanding of how to construct, prepare and assess purposeful English lessons. Provision is built in so as to ground trainees’ practice in theoretical, pedagogical and professional approaches and expectations. 

The course also provides several enhancement opportunities. These include our Literacy Day event, which gives trainees the chance to present their work alongside school colleagues, advisors and literacy experts such as David Crystal, who was our keynote speaker for 2013.  Other opportunities come by way of, for example, writing columns for local papers, providing peer support for students across all PGCE subjects in literacy and receiving specific training in key approaches.

Providing our trainees with the confidence and knowledge with which to explore their own practice and make informed decisions about teaching and learning is central to our approach.  We encourage and support our trainees in developing their exploration of their own practice as teachers of English. 

  • Module 01: Principles of Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy in Secondary Education (Level 6 – English only.  Post-graduate or Professional Graduate Cert.Ed. pathway available)
  • Module 02: Skills and learning across the Curriculum (Level 7 – Welsh or English. Post-graduate or Professional Graduate Cert.Ed. pathway available)
  • Module 03: Investigating Issues in Secondary Education (Level 6 and 7 – Welsh or English. Post-graduate or Professional Graduate Cert.Ed. pathway available)
  • Module 04: Curriculum Development and Enhancement (Level 6 - Professional Graduate Cert.Ed. and Level 7 – Post-graduate Cert.Ed..  Both English only)
  • Module 05: Professional Teaching Experience (Level 6 – English or Welsh/bilingual. Post-graduate or Professional Graduate Cert.Ed. pathway available)

The PGCE course is challenging, but motivating and invigorating, combining practical strategies and skills with academic enquiry and theory. The course is split between university and professional teaching practice, with approximately 12 weeks and occasional days and 24 weeks split between two placements.

The weeks at University are designed in such a way that you experience lead lectures both with your own subject area and with students from different subject areas in order to have an insight about how a particular issue relates to different specialist subjects. These may be given by University Staff or by guest lecturers with specialist expertise.

The PGCE English course has a long established record of close partnership working with a wide range of schools across South Wales. The employment rate of our students is excellent and many of our students continue to be involved in the course by way of mentoring, delivering sessions or continuing their study through our CPD programmes.  

Our programme is the largest provider of Secondary PGCE training in Wales and we have long-standing relationships with our partner schools. Many of our partnership mentors teach sessions on our course, providing our trainees with a clear insight into current initiatives and approaches. 

The breadth and depth of experience within the English team also gives trainees opportunities to develop their expertise in key aspects of English teaching. Our trainees have opportunities to explore areas of specialist interest, which are built into the course.

Within the newly designed course, if you are achieving your QTS early it is envisaged that, should you wish to take the opportunity, you can arrange a fortnight placement at an establishment of your choice within the Secondary or 14-19 sector.

This will enable you to gain some  experience in a specialist area that you may wish to pursue. It could include special needs schools, independent schools and training establishments. This opportunity is likely to increase your experience and employability.

Module 01 Principles of teaching, learning and pedagogy in secondary education

  • Coursework: 8000 words
  • Literature reviews/ Reflective presentation / Evaluative commentary

Module 02 Skills across the curriculum

  • Coursework – 4000 words
  • Conference style paper

Module 03a or 03  Investigating issues in secondary education

  • Coursework : 4000 words equivalent
  • An investigation using problem based learning  & critical evaluation.

Module 04a or 04  Curriculum development and enhancement

  • Coursework : 4000 words equivalent
  • A critical analysis of a teaching intervention

Professional Teaching Experience

  • Placement [100%]
  • Achievement of QTS evidenced by PDP and formative and summative assessments by mentors, senior mentors and tutors.  Moderated by University internal and external examiners

For the September 2015 entry you will need a B grade at GCSE in English and Mathematics and if you intend to follow your course through the medium of Welsh, a C grade in Welsh.

If you hold a C grade in GCSE English Language or Mathematics and are successful in other aspects of the selection process you will be given the opportunity to sit the equivalency test. If you are successful and you accept your place to study with us then you can start your programme as planned. Attendance at the workshops prior to the test is a compulsory part of the equivalency testing programme.

For further information please contact PGCE secondary admin: 01792 482111 at  S_PGCE@uwtsd.ac.uk

Good GCSE and A level qualifications related to English are generally expected.  The normal minimum entry requirement to the programme is a minimum second class honours degree in English or a closely related subject.   

Joint honours degrees are suitable, providing that at least 50% of degree level study is of English modules or courses.  A Level 'equivalent' qualifications, such as Btec Advanced, will also be taken into account.  Further details of particular subject entry requirements can be obtained by contacting the tutors named below.

It is recommended that you gain some experience at a secondary school in order to develop your understanding of the demands and expectations of school life. This experience will also help you begin to make the bridge between your studies at degree level and English as a classroom subject. This experience could range from paid employment as a TA or LSA to observation in a local school. This doesn’t have to be completed by the time of any call to interview, but it is recommended that it is at least in place.

If accepted onto our course, you will be required to obtain a clear enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly known as CRB, Criminal Records Bureau) clearance check as soon as possible.

The PGCE Secondary programme has a well-established link with the CANTEACH programme that supports and facilitates Canadian graduates’ application to the PGCE Secondary programme. 

The South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study (DLHE 14/15).

Many school and college departments, both locally and nationally, are staffed with several of our teachers and many of our trainees have gone on to forge successful teaching careers at strategic, professional and management levels at home and abroad.

Our PGCE graduates usually remain in close touch with us as they make their careers in the teaching profession and they often become Subject Mentors on the programme.  This creates a very strong, sustainable professional network of teachers which is a rich source of continuing professional development.

Recently our PGCE English graduates have gone on to work as Secondary teachers in many independent and state schools in Wales, England and abroad including (but not limited) to: Greenhill School (Tenby), St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School (Cardiff), Whitchurch High School (Cardiff), Bishop Gore Comprehensive School (Swansea), Bishopston Comprehensive (Swansea), The Howard School (Gillingham), Treorchy Comprehensive School (Rhondda), Ysgol y Strade (Llanelli), Christ College Brecon (Brecon), Whitecross Hereford High School (Hereford), Loxford School of Science and Technology (London), Stanwell School (Penarth), Bishop Vaughan Catholic High School (Swansea), Llanishen High School (Cardiff). 

If you are called to an interview you would need to undertake 30 minute Literacy and Numeracy tests and if you wanted to follow the course through the medium of Welsh, an additional Welsh Literacy test.  

For applicants to the English PGCE, subject specific tasks also form part of the selection process. These could include marking written work for accuracy, a piece of literary analysis and a group spoken task related to English as a curriculum subject. These tasks are supplemented by a formal individual interview. 

The interview process is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate not only their subject knowledge and skills, but also their potential as teachers of English.