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Why train to teach at Worcester?

If you’re enthusiastic about your specialist subject, our Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education courses can help you teach the next generation. We offer a dynamic partnership with the placement schools in the region and our employability statistics are a credit to the empathetic, passionate, and highly skilled teachers we produce.

Our PGCEs engage your ability to motivate others to explore and understand the world through your role as a subject specialist secondary teacher. Expert tutors will challenge and support you to achieve the very highest levels of subject knowledge against the Teachers' Standards and academic achievement.

Whichever specialist subject you choose, you'll be taught in small seminar groups and will discover academic and classroom strategies as well as receiving support from your Personal Academic Tutor.



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It’s not too late to apply for a PGCE

You can still apply for a PGCE. Don't be tempted to rush an application together as fast as you can, you still want to make sure that your application is as good as possible.

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Ofsted has rated us as "Outstanding" in training Primary and Secondary Teachers 2023.

The University of Worcester’s education of future primary and secondary teachers has been given the highest possible grade with inspectors stating that, along with its partners, the University creates “a learning community that places children at the heart of everyone’s endeavours”.

Find out more

Key features

  • 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
  • The course lasts for 10 months and you may be eligible for an excellent tax free training bursary

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

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full details of entry requirements, but most specialisms ask for:

Academic requirements

  • 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.
  • All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (formerly grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English Language or English Literature, Mathematics and Science (applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer an equivalency test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: 

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this.  You may already be part of the DBS update service. Find out about the update service here. As part of the DBS process you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • 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.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Other information

To help you prepare for your interview you can expect questions covering the following:

  • the subject knowledge required for teaching the subject curriculum in school
  • your ability to critically reflect on your prior experiences in relation to your future development as a teacher
  • your understanding of the UK education system and the wider role of a teacher
  • how you have overcome challenges in your life and shown resilience
  • how you plan to meet the academic and teaching demands of the course.

In addition, we are looking for enthusiasm, commitment, and potential. Clear verbal and written communication skills are integral to this which you will have an opportunity to demonstrate throughout the interview.

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential.
  • Interviews will be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE Secondary should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

Course content

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.

Enhancement activities

You may select one Enhancement Activity (EA). There are currently seven EAs available: SEND, Teenage Mental Health, Education in Climate Emergency (ECE), Citizenship & PSHE, EAL, Technology Enhanced Learning and Second Subject.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

This EA gives you the opportunity to think further about the principles and practice of successful teaching of students with ‘special educational needs’. This EA will include a 2-day placement in a Special School setting arranged by the University.

Teenage Mental Health

This EA will help you to identify and understand poor mental health in your students and the factors which impact on both good and poor mental health.  You will learn reliable strategies to help yourself and the students in your classroom to cultivate well-being. 

Education in Climate Emergency

This EA will give you the opportunity to explore the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required to support teachers, learners and school communities in our time of climate crisis.

Citizenship and PSHE

This EA provides a real opportunity to explore some of the principles which underpin effective citizenship and PSHE education and put some of these principles into practice.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

This EA will introduce you to EAL learners and give you some insight into the way languages are learnt. It will also give you practical advice on supporting EAL learners in mainstream classrooms, and provide a closer look at the language in the curriculum and the demands this places on EAL learners.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

This EA provides the opportunity to use and assess these electronic resources in a subject-specific context to enhance the learning process for the pupils.

Careers Education

This EA sees trainees exploring the importance of careers education before giving them the resources, experience and confidence to make a difference to the lives of pupils in their own subjects and beyond.

The Aspiring Leaders is an additional EA that will be run towards the end of the course. You will be invited to apply during the PGCE course.

This EA will give you the opportunity to understand how schools are run and your role within the school. Trainees who choose this EA have an opportunity to gain a greater insight into the difference between the academic and pastoral roles within schools by speaking to experienced staff about the differences.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

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 Business with Economics 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

Contact time

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

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • peer group activities
  • seminars
  • directed reading
  • independent research
  • directed study
  • presentations
  • tutorials
  • fieldwork

Teaching staff

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 course is assessed in two strands:

• Professional practice

• Subject studies

The programme aims to train you to meet the Teachers’ Standards (2013) for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Two assignments provide the opportunity to gain 60 credits at Master’s level. The course is taught in an holistic fashion with constant re-visiting of themes, topics and skills.

The modules are:

Module 1: Developing Learning and Teaching

This module builds on taught sessions in the autumn/winter terms and school experience. This culminates in Assignment A that is submitted in January and is assessment at Masters’ level.

Module 2: 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 culminates in Assignment B in the summer term that is marked at Masters’ level.

Plus a professional portfolio which provides evidence of meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE 2013)

This portfolio focuses on your school experience.

The overall PGCE course is assessed as pass or fail and requires you to pass all three components.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


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 graduates have made a huge difference in the field of education."

Catriona Robinson, Head of School

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Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2023/24 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2023/24 will be £15,800 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 have a disability.

Some courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

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.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Not sure about your subject knowledge?

Build up or refresh your existing knowledge with a Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course programme before the course.

Subjects offered
Biology, Chemistry, Computing*, Design & Technology (Food), English, French*, German*, Maths*, Physics, Religious Education, Spanish*

*All delivered by external providers. All other SKE courses are delivered by the University of Worcester

Find out about the bursary.

Register your interest

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How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply now

Applications for PGCE courses, both Primary and Secondary, should be made online through the government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website for detailed information on how to apply for a PGCE.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Secondary PGCE Office