University of Bristol Modern Languages (French) (R1X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

The MFL PGCE course at Bristol offers a challenging and exciting experience which will equip you to become a highly skilled and research-aware languages teacher. The course is structured in a way which enables you to build confidence and expertise through a combination of university input and placement experience. Our students enter the water gradually – there is no ‘cliff edge’ experience!

Because of a large cohort size and the availability of specialist tutors for each of the main languages offered (French, Spanish and German), we are able to offer MFL students a wide range of opportunities to prepare them effectively for their future lives as teachers of MFL. MFL specific content is delivered by the MFL tutors and by guest speakers who are often practising teachers in our partnership schools. In the autumn term a wide range of subject specific areas are covered, including:

  • the national curriculum,

  • the requirements of GCSE and A level examinations

  • presenting new language

  • teaching grammar

  • adaptive teaching

  • using the target language in the classroom.

For a number of these topics, 90-minute lectures are followed by language specific workshops, often run in the student’s main language. In the summer term the emphasis is on encouraging students to experiment and go ‘out of the box’ with sessions on topics such as film making and drama.

Many students come to us with one main language and one which is weaker. We prioritise subject knowledge development throughout the course, asking students to track progress and set targets in their languages with the help of a working document known as a ‘subject knowledge log’. Initial targets are often set on the basis of an oral assessment carried out on the first day at university. Throughout the students’ time at university there are dedicated peer teaching sessions for language development in which students coach each other. Every year we have a number of Italian specialists on the course who deliver a GCSE course – those who wish to do so have the opportunity to sit an Italian GCSE at the end of the year, thereby gaining a useful additional qualification.

School placements

Our stable and well-established Partnership compromises approximately 65 schools. Some are in the City of Bristol itself, and others are typically within a day’s commute of Bristol (around one hour travelling) - in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset as well as a small number in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. We work with some schools in South Wales (e.g., Chepstow). The Partnership comprises a diverse range of schools and we are therefore able to offer opportunities to experience different contexts across the year, for example including schools with higher numbers of BAME and/or EAL pupils. Where appropriate, we are also able to offer experience in a special school.

You will be placed in a minimum of two schools and when making placement decisions we take account of where you live as well as doing our best to accommodate personal circumstances. We know our Partnership schools well, however, and our priority is to place you in schools where your needs will be met, where you will be well-supported and have the opportunity to thrive. The majority of student teachers are required to travel for around one hour for at least one placement.

Our programme comprises three distinct phases. During the Induction Phase (Autumn Term), you will complete a short teaching placement (5 weeks). During the Assimilation Phase (Spring Term) you will complete your main placement (typically 12 weeks) in a second school. During the Extension Phase (Summer Term), you will complete a final, shorter placement (5 weeks). Typically, this is based in the main placement school, but can often involve tailored experiences in other schools, gaining additional experience such as teaching pupils with EAL, focusing on Key Stage 5 teaching or experience in a special school. Whilst the majority of our Partnership schools teach pupils 11-18, some teach 11-16 or 16-19. Therefore, a priority when selecting placement schools is to ensure that everyone has experience of teaching across the age ranges including A level/BTEC classes.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We will accept equivalency tests but only from certain providers. Please contact us for more details.

Personal qualities

We look for applicants with passion and who want to inspire the next generation. The PGCE is demanding but we’ll support you to become a confident and successful qualified teacher. As our aim is for you to thrive and become a confident and successful teacher; we look for:

  • good subject skills
  • good understanding of the secondary curriculum
  • awareness of current effective teaching and learning in your subject
  • interest and awareness of what working with young people involves
  • commitment to the state sector
  • communication skills
  • critical analysis
  • good organisation
  • reflection
  • resilience

Other requirements

In addition to the academic entry requirements, all applicants will be subject to suitability checks. This includes a full enhanced disclosure and barring check for child workforce, as well as clearance by our Occupational Health department.

If there any concerns with either of the above, applicants will be referred to the University’s suitability panel.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £21,100

Fees for EU students will be £21100

Financial support from the training provider

You may be eligible for a bursary. Visit the ‘Get into teaching’ website to find out more:

Bursaries and Scholarships

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study - note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

In addition to teacher-training bursaries, the University of Bristol offers a small contribution to travel expenses during placements.

We have a dedicated department who can offer support and guidance on finances throughout your training year. Further information on additional sources of financial support can be found here: Financial support

About the training provider

Our Partnership offers subject-specialist training in 8 secondary subjects. We are currently rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and our programme was ranked in the Top 5 of the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017. As a designated 11-19 provider you are guaranteed experience of A level teaching as part of your programme. Our curriculum is ambitious, research-informed and carefully planned to ensure that you develop an excellent understanding of how to teach your specialist subject as well as of generic areas such as behaviour management and working with pupils with SEND.

Throughout the year, you will be supported by a subject specialist university tutor, as well as dedicated mentors in partnership schools. The support that we offer is highly praised by our student teachers, and last year, 98% of student teachers rated the quality of their training with us as good or very good.

You are also able to take advantage of being part of a research-intensive university with access to cutting edge research in areas such as neuroscience and education. As part of the University’s Green Apple Project, we encourage our student teachers to focus on ‘sustainable education’ for the future.

Typically, over 50% of those qualifying with us choose to remain in the Bristol area and many secure teaching posts within our partnership schools. Our student teachers often progress quickly in their careers, taking on roles such as subject leader and head of year. A number have gone beyond this, joining senior leadership teams.

Interview process

If the potential to be a good MFL teacher is evident in your application, we will invite you for an online interview. Interviews take place every 3-4 weeks. You will be interviewed by one or two of the University MFL tutors and, where possible, a teacher mentor from a local school.

The interview for the MFL course consists of 3 parts. Firstly, we ask candidates to undertake two practical tasks which are prepared in advance - teaching a 5-minute language lesson at beginner level and providing feedback on a piece of written work. Secondly, there is an interview lasting approximately 40 minutes; this includes some discussion in the language(s) offered, after which immediate feedback is given and specific recommendations made, such as enrolment on an SKE course. Thirdly, candidates are asked to complete a further written task in the language(s) offered which is submitted to the interviewing teacher by 5pm on the day of the interview.

International students

We can sponsor Student visas, but this is not guaranteed.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities and other needs and, within the context of University of Bristol support structures, we make reasonable adjustments to ensure that the programme is accessible to all. When a specific need is declared, offer holders are assessed by the University’s Occupational Health department and recommended to liaise with our Disability Service to ensure a Learning Support Plan can be put in place

Many lectures are audio-recorded and are made available via our VLE. When possible, lecture slides and handouts are made available to the whole cohort at least 24 hours in advance of the session. All University buildings are accessible including ramp/lift access. In cases where student teachers are required to move around the University campus to attend lectures, provision is made to support them, as appropriate. The University works closely with placement schools to ensure that needs are met whilst on teaching practice. For example, a student teacher with hearing disabilities was placed in a school that could provide carpeted classrooms

The University has a comprehensive support structure to support students with a wide range of medical conditions, including mental health. This includes support from the University Tutor, the Senior Tutor and Programme Director, Professional Services staff as well as department-based Student Welfare Advisors. If appropriate, student teachers can be referred to the University’s specialist Counselling Service or Occupational Health team. Further information on student wellbeing can be found here: Student health and wellbeing

Contact this training provider

0117 3314492
University of Bristol
School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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