The PGCE English Secondary Education degree will qualify you to teach English at secondary level in any state-maintained school in England and Wales.
This one year PGCE English course blends theoretical knowledge with carefully supervised teaching experience. You will attend placements in a variety of educational settings, to gain a broad understanding of the realities of teaching English in a secondary school.
Placements are an important part of the PGCE English course. During that time, you will benefit from practical learning and be supported by school-based trainers and University-based tutors.
Your progress will be assessed with written assignments, case studies and assessments of your teaching practice.
This course is a mixture of University-based learning and in-school training. The course is designed to enable you to spend 120 days in a school or other educational institution.
Immerse yourself in teaching institutions to develop professional knowledge about teaching and learning, to make judgements about the routines, skills and strategies that support effective teaching. Gain a variety of experience in a work-based learning environment to meet Professional Standards identified in Government legislation, consistently and over a sustained period of time.
Gain an introduction to research methods, focusing on school policy and practice to address the individual learning needs of pupils. Use the knowledge you have gained from your experience in a school setting where you have identified the way in which the school addresses the educational needs of a particular group of individual pupils, and show how learning is developed over time or what could be done to enhance development.
Investigate the content of subject areas taught within the curriculum. Consider the development of a variety of approaches to teach a particular subject or topic area. Formulate skillful questioning to reveal levels of pupil understanding. Examine ways of motivating pupils, including the provision of a challenging curriculum designed to foster problem solving abilities. Explore the setting of homework that is challenging, encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their own academic progress.
Undertake a piece of independent academic study related to your vocational/professional development and engage in intellectual challenge and dialogue. Develop both general and specific knowledge and skills, identifying the key skills that will enhance your ability to transfer learning to further study and to the workplace.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Our typical offer is:
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If you already hold a postgraduate qualification, please see our Applying for additional postgraduate degrees Help and Advice article.
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
You will usually need a 2:2 (or above) honours degree from a UK Higher Education institution or an equivalent qualification and be deemed suitable to train to teach by the School of Education at the University of Sunderland.
In addition to academic qualifications, you must also:
Your numeracy and literacy competency will be assessed continuously throughout the course, following the DfE’s removal of the Professional Skills Test.
If English is not your first language, you will also need International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 6.5, with at least 6.5 in writing, and no section below 6.0.
You will be assessed on your potential to learn and not your experience.
All successful applicants will be invited to an interview. Interviews start early November, so we recommend that you apply as soon as UCAS opens, in October.
Please note, applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at level 6 (HE level 3) in order to attain an equivalent single qualification.
This course is subject to revalidation to meet the requirements for Initial Teacher Training from 2024.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area), and Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme are classed as international, however, for 23/24 admission you will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the home tuition fee rate for the duration of your studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn more in our Help and Advice article.
English teachers are in short supply nationally. The Department for Education has announced training bursaries of £10,000 for trainees with a First Class degree, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or master's. See the Get into Teaching website for more details.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This degree awards Qualified Teacher Status, which means that when you graduate you’ll be qualified to teach in any state-maintained secondary school in England and Wales. Most graduates from this course go on to become a secondary school teacher
Good teachers area always in high demand. All qualified teachers will have a starting salary of at least £30,000, and this will be higher for teachers working in London. The amount you earn will then increase until you reach the top end of your pay scale, after which you can choose to progress into more senior roles, such as leading practitioner or head teacher.
The teachers’ pension scheme is also one of the most generous public sector pension schemes in the UK, one of the few guaranteed by the Government.
The University of Sunderland has partnerships with over 650 schools, colleges and other educational establishments across the North East and beyond. The course is designed to enable you to spend 120 days in a school or other educational institution. We’ll work with you to try and find you the perfect teaching placement – schools that can nurture and support your aspirations and interests, and help you become the best secondary school teacher you can be. When you’re ready to start searching for a teaching job, you will already have valuable first-hand teaching experience, as well as a wide network of professional contacts who can help you find the right career opportunities.