PGCE Secondary

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PLEASE NOTE: All PGCE Secondary subjects are now closed for 2020/21 applications.

The PGCE Secondary programme is an innovative and intensive nine month course preparing graduates for the demands of teaching in the Secondary sector. You will be awarded a PGCE and recommended for Qualified Teacher Status, enabling you to teach in schools on completion of the course.

The course is organised in partnership with schools around Kent and Medway where you will spend 24 out of the 36 weeks teaching in two different schools.

Subjects you can train to teach in are: 

  • Art & Design 
  • Computing 
  • English 
  • Geography
  • History 
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages 
  • Music 
  • Physical Education 
  • Religious Education
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences 
The programme is for people who want to become qualified teachers.

The PGCE Secondary programme comprises of three modules:

  • Subject Pedagogy
  • Professional Practice
  • Research and Enquiry in Professional Educational Practice.

However, the programme is designed to ensure learning in professional practice and the academic study are complementary, and so all modules are informed by and inform practice. PGCE student teachers will be placed in two schools for a mixture of blocked time and serial (e.g. one day a week) time adding up to meet the current Government requirement for a minimum 120 days in school.

Subject Pedagogy

This module involves work in studying key concepts that underpin the various curricula and syllabi for you subject. The sessions allow discussion of different pedagogies and allow reflection on differing school approaches to the subject.

Professional Practice

This module contains the Teaching Practice element of the programme. The module is spent in schools working alongside qualified teachers, teaching your subject to pupils, whilst considering their progress within the setting.

Research and Enquiry in Professional Educational Practice

In this module you will have the opportunity to choose to research one of the following six aspects of education to help develop your personal philosophy of teaching, whatever your specialist subject area: 

Cosmopolitanism and Global Citizenship; Cross-curricular Learning and Epistemic Insight; Sustainability and Participation in Education; Enriching learning through Research Informed Practice; Faith and Education: Preparing to teach in faith schools or Professional Development for Teachers.

If you are studying for the PGCE Physical Education with EBacc Subject the following will apply:

Trainees are required to undertake additional training in an EBacc subject (English, English literature, Maths, History, Geography, Science or Languages) alongside their main specialism of PE, so that they are capable of teaching this priority area in school. You are required to have a minimum of grade C at A Level in your chosen EBacc subject. PE with EBacc will require trainees to demonstrate the Teachers' Standards in PE only, whilst receiving training in an EBacc subject. Trainees who successfully complete their training will be awarded QTS in PE only and not the 'with' EBacc subject. 

Upon successful completion of the programme you can teach in schools all over the world as a qualified teacher. 

Across the PGCE year there is an equivalent of 12 weeks of taught input which take place, in the main, at university on the Canterbury Campus.

The teaching on these days will be a mixture of seminar and workshop activity.

There will also be a small number of lecture inputs.

Across the PGCE year there is the equivalent of 24 weeks spent in school.

Student teachers will learn in a variety of ways in school, including from experienced mentors, through observing others and through experience. There is also a degree of individual support for learning offered in this programme provided by mentors in school and the university tutors.

Tutors and mentors who lead the learning on this programme are all qualified teachers.

Changes to the professional skills tests

The Government have announced that the Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy will no longer be an entry requirement for applicants to initial teacher training applying to start from September 2020 entry. The tests will be replaced with a new system where trainees will demonstrate competence against a set of fundamental maths and English skills by the end of their training.

At Christ Church we will offer tools for trainees to track their current competence and self-study activities to support trainees in updating any gaps in their knowledge. In order to begin to assist trainees in identifying any gaps, short English and maths activities will be embedded into our interview process.


2020/21 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  £9,250 £13,000
Part-time  £4,625/year  N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.  The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding year on year fee increases.  Students studying FULL PGCE courses may be eligible to apply to Student Finance for a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan. You can find out more on our fees and funding web pages.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here


Generous, tax-free funding is available to the best graduates training in a range of subjects. 

You do not need to apply for a bursary – if you are accepted on to a non-salaried postgraduate course and meet the eligibility criteria you will receive information on the bursary prior to your enrolment on the course.


If you have the potential to be an inspirational teacher and are passionate about your subject you could apply for a scholarship to support your training.

Scholarships of up to £28,000 are awarded to the most gifted trainees in a range of areas and in partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations.

Subject scholarships are available in:

  • Physics
  • Computing
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • Languages
  • Maths

View the Department of Education’s Get into Teaching pages to see details about the bursaries and scholarships available.

20% PGCE Alumni Discount

Christ Church Alumni are being offered a 20% Alumni Discount on a range of PGCEs starting in 2020-21 if they are fully self-funding their course and are not in receipt of a Department of Education bursary, or professional subject association scholarship. 

Please refer to the terms and conditions on our Teacher Education Funding page

Free DBS Check and Equivalency Tests

If you have an offer of a place to study a PGCE (primary or secondary) in 2020-21, Christ Church will fund your DBS Check and Equivalency Tests. 

Please refer to the terms and conditions on our Teacher Education Funding page

Loans and other funding

With or without a bursary or scholarship, you could receive a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to help fund your teacher training year. Alternatively, you could earn a salary while you train.

Visit GOV.UK and use the student finance calculator to estimate student loans and extra funding that may be available, e.g. if you’re disabled or have children.

Students will be assessed via academic assignments and assessment of their teaching.

Students will submit an academic assignment for 20 credits at Master’s Level (Level 7) in each of the three modules. The assessment varies for each submission and will include both written elements and presentations.

You can exit the PGCE courses with one of two awards.

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is awarded to those students who gain less than 40 Level 7 credits, but who pass all modules, gaining 60 or 40 Level 6 credits. If students achieve 40 or 60 Level 7 credits and pass all the modules, they will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). All students completing a PGCE will also be recommended for QTS.

We welcome candidates with experience in business and industry, particularly where this work has enhanced your knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject you wish to teach.

Offers of a place on the course are conditional, subject to successful completion of the Occupational Health Clearance and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

PLEASE NOTE: All PGCE Secondary subjects are now closed for 2020/21 applications.

Details of how to apply for September 2021 will appear here in due course. 

“What I love most about the course is that what you learn during university sessions is linked to what you do on your school placements. Tutors use their own experiences, it isn’t just theory we are taught but we’re learning from their knowledge of being teachers. They have a lot of expertise and show their own love of teaching. 
Thiebault Pastor, PGCE Secondary (French with Spanish) 

“It’s an amazing university, it’s very friendly and you get loads of support. My lecturer is amazing and enthusiastic, and he really makes you think about how you can use what he says in school the next week.   

It's really nice to come together with the School Direct students we’re like a big languages family. It’s a real mixture of people and ages, and works really well as we’ve all experienced different things.” 
Helen Genders, PGCE Secondary (French with Spanish) 

“I chose Christ Church because I knew people that studied PGCEs here and all had good things to say about it. The application process was really good, Christ Church were really supportive throughout the whole interview process, and they really wanted me to do my best. 

 I’m really enjoying my first school placement and I‘d take a job there if I could, it’s a really good fit for me. I could see myself going abroad after teaching in the UK, the seven to 14 pathway will give me the flexibility to yo-yo between the two areas of education. More specifically, Curriculum Studies I know I will use for the rest of my career.” 
Hugh Scott, PGCE 7–14 Years 

“It is not just the support you get from the staff at Christ Church but also from your peers. Someone might have heard something in a school and it gets passed on, you can relate it to your own teaching and your own life. 

I really like the physical side of sessions. With music, everyone is doing something, there isn’t a single lesson that doesn’t involve singing, dancing or playing. We take it in turns to run a half hour mini-lesson. We then take these activities into school and use them with the kids.”
Eleanor German, PGCE Secondary (Music)  

Freddie Ryder, PGCE 11–18 (Religious Education)

Before coming to Christ Church I completed my undergraduate studies in philosophy. I never really had any specific career path in mind. I had always opted to study what I enjoyed rather than what I thought would be most useful down the line.  

In my roles as a student guide and schools’ ambassador I got involved with paid as well as voluntary work with school children and young people. I found both of my roles really rewarding, so doing a PGCE became the logical thing to do.  

The PGCE was a challenging yet richly rewarding course, it gave me a deep understanding of how to teach as well as the theoretical underpinning principles. The course taught me that teaching is so much more than simple knowledge transfer and it gave me the ability to teach confidently, effectively and engagingly.  

I now work as Director of Studies managing teams of teachers on short courses across Europe, and teach in the UK for various institutions. I also mentor undergraduate and postgraduate university students. When I’m not teaching I dabble in small business, property and the stock market.  

In the spotlight: 

What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a teacher? 

I would certainly recommend the teaching profession to anyone considering it. There are so many different routes and options available other than simply working in mainstream school.  

What’s the best thing about teaching? 

Teaching is so rewarding for both the teacher and learner. There is no better feeling than when the ‘penny drops’ and a student understands a concept thanks to you. It is great to do something that makes a difference and has such a positive impact on students and society. 

Chloe Barrett, PGCE 14–19 (Leisure and Tourism)

After graduating from university in 2011, I spent some time travelling around Australia and America. When I wasn’t travelling, I had two jobs working as a sales assistant and then got a job as a teaching assistant in a secondary school.  

Teaching had been something I had been considering for a few years, and when I was in America I had the opportunity to teach which I really enjoyed. I then decided to try and get a job in a school as a teaching assistant to get some experience and help me decide whether to apply for a PGCE.  

I had looked at doing a PGCE when I first left university and Christ Church was always my first choice. I picked to study a vocational subject, travel and tourism, and therefore felt Christ Church suited my needs best.  

The course helped me, as it prepared me to find employment. I was offered my first teaching position in a secondary school before I even finished my PGCE, which was excellent. I spent two years working in a secondary school teaching travel and tourism and geography, which I loved. I now work at a college teaching travel and tourism, cabin crew and aviation operations.  

In the spotlight: 

What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a teacher? 

Teaching can be hard work but it’s incredibly rewarding. If you like a challenge and want to make a difference to young people then you should definitely consider teaching. Since becoming a teacher, I’ve not only helped make a difference to the lives of young people but I have learned so much along the way.  

What’s the best thing about teaching? 

The best thing about teaching is that every day is different and it’s so rewarding to see students engaged and be proud of a piece of work that they have produced. It’s also incredibly humbling to see students growing up and progressing onto their chosen pathways, which I have helped inspire them to do.  


Fact file

UCAS course code

  • W1X1 Art & Design
  • 2BSJ Computing
  • 2243 English
  • F8X1 Geography
  • V1X1 History
  • G1X1 Mathematics
  • R1X1 MFL (French)
  • RX11 MFL (French with German)
  • RXD1 MFL (French with Spanish)
  • RX21 MFL (German with French)
  • 2VSV MFL (German with Spanish)
  • R4X1 MFL (Spanish)
  • RX41 MFL (Spanish with French)
  • 2VTK MFL (Spanish with German)
  • W3X1 Music
  • C6XC Physical Education
  • 38XC Physical Education with EBacc subject
  • 2CQ9 Religious Education
  • CX11 Sciences (Biology)
  • F2X1 Sciences (Chemistry)
  • F3X2 Sciences (Physics)
  • 3F8K Social Sciences

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

    • For all subject areas, a good honours degree (2:2 or above) in a subject related to the subject you wish to teach or, in some exceptional cases, an unrelated degree if you have extensive employment in industry in the relevant subject area;
    • English and maths at GCSE (grade C or above) or equivalent for Secondary;
    • Successful completion of the Occupational Health Clearance and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

    You will need to be committed to becoming the best teacher you can be.

    If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.




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Last edited: 21/09/2020 16:29:00