Building on tradition - with a vision of the future

At Yr Athrofa:Institute of Education, we understand that teachers matter. UWTSD holds the teaching of teachers in the highest esteem and ranks the study of education as one of its most important functions. Built on partnership and collaboration, our programmes combine the practical, hands-on expertise of the school sector with the expertise of higher education.

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Built on partnership and collaboration, our programmes combine the practical, hands-on expertise of the school sector with the expertise of higher education.

Our PGCE Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes offer Qualified Teacher Status for both primary and secondary teachers in both Welsh and English.

Why UWTSD for PGCE study?

We have an excellent 97% employment rate (DLHE, 2015/16)

Proud of our heritage, and the distinctive nature of the nation we serve, Yr Athrofa is unashamedly ambitious, drawing upon international best practice to inform our work at home and abroad.

Yr Athrofa is a stimulating and enquiring Institute of Education with values rooted in justice, equity, democracy, human rights, citizenship and encouraging high aspirations for all.  Our aim is to enable student teachers to develop into skilled creative and employable graduates who will contribute to society and be responsible citizens of the world.

Yr Athrofa, in partnership with key stakeholders across the spectrum of education, builds bridges between schools and the university as we seek to learn from the very best. We believe that working in such a collaborative way is a powerful tool in strengthening Wales’ education system for the benefit of all learners.

Through our Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership (APLP), we support more than 600 student teachers on our Initial Teacher Education programmes. These include primary under-graduate, and primary and secondary PGCE programmes, all with Qualified Teacher Status.

Over 200 partnership schools are part of the APLP and we are proud to be working in partnership with schools, the Welsh Government and colleagues on a number of important educational and community initiatives, including the design and development of Wales’ new curriculum and the assessment of the learning of our pupils.

Additionally, Yr Athrofa is engaged in a wide range of small and large-scale research projects with key stakeholders across the spectrum of education, involving schools, regional education consortia and partners overseas.

We are confident that our model of ITE will help you develop into an inspiring, professional teacher who has the necessary dispositions to conduct close-to-practice research, defend pedagogical choices and to disrupt the status quo to bring about social justice.

Overall, a teacher educated at the APLP will bring about transformation for the benefit of pupils, teachers and tutors in classrooms in and beyond Wales.

Our newly accredited PGCE Initial Teacher Education programmes offer a valuable entry point to a career in the education sector. We offer 16 secondary subjects, as well as primary programmes in English and Welsh, and there are many opportunities for cross-phase collaboration and learning.

Some of the key reasons why you should train with us:

  • UWTSD has teacher education at its heart and a well-respected heritage dating from 1848 of supporting student teachers;
  • You will learn with experienced teachers and university teacher educators who are part of the Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership. All are passionate about their subjects and are dedicated to helping you develop your own teacher identity and expertise;
  • You will have the opportunity to choose an elective experience in school so that you can  pursue a particular curriculum interest;
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in Yr Athrofa: Aiming for Excellence Conference, supported by respected experts from the field of education;
  • You will have the opportunity to develop your spoken and written Welsh Language in a supportive and differentiated learning environment.
  • Yr Athrofa offers opportunities for you to continue your professional learning studies on completion of your PGCE. The programme offers 60 credits at Master's level which can be carried forward to a fast-track MA Education programme or you can 'top-up' at a later date in your career.

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Entry Requirements 

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants are required to hold a good honours degree (2:2 minimum) in an area related to chosen secondary subject.

GCSE qualifications

Grade B or above in GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics.
Student teachers studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade B or above in Welsh (first language).
Equivalence workshops and tests are available for those with Grade C GSCE in English Language, Mathematics and Welsh.

A-Levels/Level 3 Vocational Qualifications

If applicants do not hold an undergraduate degree in a curriculum subject, successful study at appropriate higher levels must be evidenced.

Work Experience

You should be aware of the realities of being a teacher and life in a classroom and so we ask for recent and relevant experience in a secondary educational setting. This may be through employment or volunteering in a school and should be for a minimum period of two weeks.

Gaining experience in a school classroom will help to strengthen your application and better critically inform your personal statement. It will also prepare you for our selection process and give you some experience from which you can draw in your interview.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

If accepted onto our programme, 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. There is a fee associated with the service and applicants should ensure they opt for the 'update' service.