PGCE Secondary English

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“The PGCE course at UEA has an excellent reputation. The breadth and variety of placements schools on offer is one of the best to my knowledge and the support of the tutors and staff is brilliant.”

In their words

Catherine Barr, PGCE Secondary Graduate

The PGCE (M) Secondary programme will get you ready to teach pupils aged 11 to 16 with post 16 enhancement in secondary schools. You will be teaching pupils as they mature from early adolescence into adulthood. This is an exciting time for you to become an English teacher. As the curriculum changes, new approaches to teaching English emerge. You will learn more than just how to teach, you will be joining the discussion and influencing the subject, purpose and scope.

The programme runs for 38 weeks and you will be based in schools for two thirds, 120 days, of the time for two extensive placements in our partnership schools. You will get a broad range of practical teaching experience and will be able to put ideas and theory into practice as you work in different schools. The rest of the course is on campus and focuses on the curriculum and your professional development.

Overview

UCAS course code: Q3X1

The PGCE Secondary English programme will get you ready to teach pupils aged 11-16 with post-16 enhancement in secondary schools. 

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), one-year, full-time course leads to a PGCE (Qualified Teacher Status) with 90 Masters level credits.

This is an exciting time for you to become an English teacher. As the curriculum changes, new approaches to teaching English emerge. You will learn more than just how to teach – you will be joining the discussion and influencing the subject’s purpose and scope.

We are looking for good honours graduates who have the qualifications, expertise and flexibility required to teach English. You will be energetic and committed to helping young people develop their communication, reading and thinking. Recent trainees have joined the programme from diverse backgrounds, and represent a broad age range. Recruitment decisions take account of your experience and academic preparation.

The new curriculum for the subject emphasises canonical literature and excellent communication in Standard English. You're likely to hold a degree or joint honours degree in an English discipline, but we also consider applicants with degrees in related fields such as American studies, and linguistics. You will need to have a first, 2:1 or 2:2 degree classification to qualify for the course. If you've got a 2:2, you'll need an A level in either English literature or English language at grade B or higher. If you have a drama or media degree, you'll need an A or B in English literature or English language at A level.

The programme runs for 38 weeks and includes at least 120 days on placement in schools and 60 days spent at the University. We work in partnership with secondary schools across Norfolk and Suffolk and the course is available through both UEA or with our School Direct partners.

This is an interesting, often very demanding but tremendously rewarding age group to work with as pupils mature from early adolescence to adulthood. The course is designed to equip you to teach your main subject (English) and to make an effective contribution to the work of schools beyond your subject.

The UEA partnership scheme has attracted national and international attention for its successful close inter-weaving of school and university-based work. It provides you with the opportunity to engage in the systematic study of theory and current good practice both in schools and in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at UEA.

In University League Tables, UEA is ranked in the Top 15 in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2018) and Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (2017).

Programme structure

Work based in schools is spread across extensive placements in two of our partnership schools, which are located across the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. This emphasis on practical teaching provides you with a broad range of teaching experience in different schools.

University-based sessions will be held in Norwich, a location which is widely regarded as one of the most attractive and friendly cities in Britain. The campus at the University of East Anglia is set in extensive parkland and the distinctive architecture is nationally acclaimed. 

At university sessions you will discuss experiences with others on the course and learn more about the theory and practice of teaching. Expect to be involved in a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

Career opportunities

Our trainees achieve a very high success in gaining employment, with many opting to stay in Norfolk and Suffolk. Career opportunities within secondary teaching are now far wider and more diverse than ever before. Within a few years of beginning teaching many are able to gain promotion to leadership positions, either within their subject or with pastoral responsibilities. There may also be opportunities to become a Leading Practitioner, taking a leadership role in developing, implementing and evaluating policies and practice in the workplace - contributing to school improvement. After experience of middle management successful teachers can progress into senior leadership roles - Assistant Head Teacher, Deputy Head or Head.

Open days and events

Throughout the year, we will be hosting Teacher Training open days and events about how you can train to teach, and we will also be attending different events organised by the National College for Teaching and Learning which are held around the country.

Course Modules 2017/8

PGCE Secondary Course: Teaching English

This course gives you the chance to consider and develop realistic ideas about what to teach, how to teach it, and why. You will often take part in workshops, where you and your fellow students assume the roles of both pupil and teacher.

At the University, and during your two school placements, you’ll develop a repertoire of teaching strategies. You will gain insight into pupils’ learning and motivation. You will become skilled in long-term planning, the practicalities of assessment and, of course, classroom management. You will always have mentors, other colleagues and your tutor to guide your progress.

The programme is wide-ranging, including topics such as making progress in literacy, spoken language, creative writing, the reading process, children’s literature, developing pupils’ response to texts, language and technology, grammar, language variety and development, and media in English.

You will also be guided in the requirements of the National Curriculum, planning lessons and planning schemes of work, ensuring pupils’ progress and assessing learning in English accurately. In addition, an audit of your own subject knowledge for teaching will support your private study as you work to become familiar with the breadth of curricular content. 

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Class Act

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    Read it Class Act
  • Great Lengths

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject English.
  • Degree Classification 2:2 or above.
  • Special Entry Requirements Please see below.

Entry Requirement

Degree requirements

Applicants are required to have achieved a degree or its equivalent* in an English discipline by the beginning of the PGCE programme in September. We will also consider applicants with degrees in related fields such as American Studies and Linguistics.  As a general guideline, approximately 50 per cent of the degree should be relevant to the subject you will teach.  

If you've got a 2:2, you'll need an A level in either English Literature or English Language at grade B or higher. If you have a relevant drama or media degree, you'll need an A or B in English Literature or English Language at A level.

GCSE requirements

Before making your application you must have a GCSE pass at Grade C or its equivalent* in English Language and in Mathematics.

*Please note: It is up to the discretion of the individual Initial Teacher Training provider as to whether an appropriate level has been satisfactorily achieved. We therefore strongly urge candidates with equivalent qualifications to check with us that these are acceptable before making their application.

Pre-Application classroom experience

Candidates should also ensure that on their application form they are able to demonstrate that they have gained recent experience, with children of the relevant age range, in the mainstream school environment. Secondary applicants should have experience across the secondary age range, within their chosen subject.

Additional experience can also be taken into consideration, this might include experience in areas such as TEFL teaching, classroom assistant work, training of school-leavers, or private tuition. You are advised to make clear your experience on your application.

It is important for candidates to have an understanding of and reflect on how classrooms are managed and how teaching and learning takes place within the classroom prior to interview. It is recommended that you gain at least 5 days' observational experience in the classroom environment. Applicants should observe and reflect on how the teacher:

  • Starts the lesson
  • Structures the lesson
  • Makes use of different teaching strategies and styles
  • Involves pupils in the lesson
  • Manages behaviour
  • Works with pupils at different levels of ability and/or specific needs
  • Involves support staff
  • Makes use of technology and other resources
  • Closes the lesson.

There are a number of ways in which classroom experience can be achieved:

Contact Your Local School
Try contacting local schools where you live to see if you are able to arrange a time to observe some lessons. You need only to have undertaken observational experience prior to submitting your application. Please note that it is at the discretion of each school as to whether they will allow visitors into their classrooms.

University Career Schemes
Candidates who are currently studying at university may be able to participate in Teaching Schemes organised by the Careers Service. For example, UEA offers Student Mentoring through the Student Ambassador Scheme, which aims to contribute towards raising the aspirations of year 9 school students, particularly those from backgrounds with no family history of further or higher education. Mentors provide students with academic and personal development support through mentoring sessions, educational activities and visits to UEA. Please contact outreach@uea.ac.uk for further information.

Knowledge of the National Curriculum, key contacts and useful links

Applications are considered on an individual basis and being able to demonstrate a strong level of knowledge about the National Curriculum and current issues affecting teaching is advantageous. These educational links will provide you with some useful points of contact to help to get you started.

Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

Disclosure of Criminal Background for Those with Access to Children
All applicants for the PGCE course will be required to obtain an EnhancedCriminal Records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The enhanced disclosure will be used to assess suitability for the programme and information provided may be discussed with the external members of the School's Safeguarding Sub-Committees. Candidates are responsible for payment of the DBS fee. General information about this process can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service Website.

Satisfactory Health Check

You will need to demonstrate your fitness to teach by completing an Occupational Health Questionnaire Form.  You will need to return it to the Occupational Health Service at UEA. This will give us information about any special needs you may have, and enable us to assess whether the University and placement areas will be able to provide support. It is therefore, in your interest to provide full answers to the questions.

Students for whom English is a Foreign Language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date. Other tests such as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English are also accepted by the university. Please check with the Admissions Office for further details including the scores or grades required.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

PGCE Admissions Team
Email: edu.pgce.admiss@uea.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

Skills tests

All candidates starting the PGCE are required to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process before starting the course.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Fees for the PGCE programme will be £9,250 for Home/EU students and £19,000 for International students for entry in September 2018.

Maintenance grants (UK Students Only)

If you are normally resident in England you may be entitled to receive a Maintenance Grant. All candidates from the UK should contact Student Finance England or tel: 0845 300 5090 for full information on Maintenance Grants.

Department for Education Training Bursaries (UK/EU Students) 2018/19

Please contact the Department for Education for information on Bursaries and Funding, including terms and conditions.  

Living expenses

Approximately £9,135 living expenses will be needed to adequately support yourself.

How to Apply

Making your application

Candidates are required to apply via the UCAS Teacher Training (UCAS). This is the central "clearing house" which deals with all applications for PGCE courses across the country. There is no specified deadline for any of our teacher training courses. However, all candidates are advised to apply as early as possible in the application cycle.

Referees

You are advised to ensure that your referees are available to submit their references immediately upon request (usually electronically via UCAS Teacher Training). Your chosen institution will not receive your application until both referees has submitted their references. Please see the UCAS Teacher Training Referee Guidance for information on selection. NB: Candidates are required to supply an academic referee as their first reference if they have completed their studies in the last 5 years.

Preparing your application

Candidates are encouraged to prepare thoroughly. Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with our PGCE Teacher Training Prospectus and the information available from the Department for Education and related educational establishments. These sources will help you to gain knowledge of the current issues facing teaching, specifically in the subject area for which you are applying. During interview you will be expected to be able to answer questions about these issues, and what has prompted your desire to choose teaching as a career.

Candidates are normally chosen on the basis of their application form, references and an interview.

Equal opportunities

The University of East Anglia operates an equal opportunities admissions policy. We aim to ensure that no applicant receives less favourable consideration on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin or religious belief. More on equal opportunities...

See also: UEA PGCE Equal Opportunities Document

Students with a Disability (including Dyslexia)
The University welcomes students with disabilities and is working towards the provision of an inclusive environment for all its students, staff and visitors. More on disability support.

Further information

To request further information and to be kept up to date with news and events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

PGCE Admissions Office
Email: edu.pgce.admiss@uea.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515