University of Cambridge English (Q3X1)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

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
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023
Website
http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/pgce/

Contents

Course summary

The course is built upon principles of inclusion and equality of opportunity in teaching and learning for all students whatever their potential and achievements. Trainees are encouraged to foster their own and their students’ creativity through an enthusiastic commitment to adventurousness, exploration and systematic hard work within and beyond the classroom. Trainees are also encouraged to develop an attitude of critical enquiry and see themselves as teachers who research their classrooms so that they make informed choices in all that they do. The course therefore provides a stimulating introduction to current theory and practice in the teaching of English.

The Faculty-based work is closely linked to a programme of classroom experience in local comprehensive schools, both state maintained schools and academies. In their school-based work, trainees are mentored by experienced subject teachers. Both in the Faculty and in schools, trainees are encouraged to explore a wide range of creative and systematic approaches to teaching and learning. The course covers all aspects of the National Curriculum for English including speaking and listening, reading and writing; drama; language study; literature from different historical periods, cultures and traditions; non-literary texts; media and moving image texts; the use of information and communication technology. In addition, trainees learn about teaching English within 14-19 courses, including GCSE and A level English Language, English Literature and Creative Writing. The course also addresses areas of enrichment such as extra-curricular activities, museum and gallery education and learning in out-of-school contexts such as the nearby botanic garden and other sites of local historical interest.

Trainees learn a variety of teaching methods including whole class teaching, structured group work and individual or pair work. There is a strong emphasis on active learning through discussion, presentations, peer-tutoring, research, independent study and writing. Throughout the course, trainees study different methods of assessment and how they support classroom learning, lesson planning and teaching. In seminars and workshops, the integral relationship between educational theory and teaching methodology is explored. Trainees reflect critically on their experiences as learners and teachers in regular meetings with their subject mentors in schools and develop a rationale for their classroom practice.

There is an emphasis on encouraging trainees’ own creativity in producing poetry, short stories, plays and videos. Twice a year, the group meets to share and perform creative pieces that trainees have either written or made themselves or produced with their students in school.

School placements

Trainees spend at least 120 days of the course in Partnership schools, undertaking four block placements (in a minimum of three different schools), across the entire 11-18 age range.

Trainees have the opportunity to work together with experienced mentors to develop their own practical teaching skills and competence. Trainees initially work together in the classroom with other trainees and their subject mentor, before gradually taking on more responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses, and to gain experience of many of the important tasks and responsibilities teachers take on outside the classroom, such as pastoral care and parents’ evenings.

In the final placement there is also the opportunity for trainee involvement in a wider range of school activities: for instance, curriculum development and evaluation within their specialist subject(s); work experience and other activities related to careers education and economic and industrial understanding; fieldwork related to environmental education; and other similar activities which seek to extend the experience and education of pupils beyond the conventional classroom context.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in English or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

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

We will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We will not consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test.

Personal qualities

The English course is for people who have a strong interest in learning to teach all aspects of the subject including literature, language, literacy, media and drama.

  • A desire to teach and enthuse young people
  • Commitment to state education
  • Strong subject-based academic background
  • Good communication skills
  • Experience working with young people
  • Flexibility and humour
  • Energy, perseverance and stamina
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to learn and act on advice

Other requirements

Applicants are not required to have prior school experience as long as they have relevant experience with children in other capacities.

However, we do recommend that you spend some time in school to help you decide if teaching is right for you. We look for evidence of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, working with children and young people. You should consider how you might demonstrate this in your personal statement and be prepared to discuss during an interview.

If you are unable to arrange school observation in the current circumstances, please reflect very carefully on your own schooling instead.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

About the training provider

The Faculty of Education provides high quality courses in both the Primary and Secondary age-range. Our trainees are always in demand from headteachers and many of our ex-trainees go on to positions of school leadership very quickly.

We consistently receive outstanding feedback from our trainees on course evaluations. We are delighted to be ranked as the number one teacher training provider in England in the 2017 Good Teacher Training Guide.

School colleagues are involved in all aspects of the course from interviewing through to Faculty course teaching.

Our outstanding benefits are:

  • Well-established and diverse school partnerships
  • Exceptional employment rates
  • The stimulation of being a part of a group of high-attaining future leaders in education
  • Expert staff - experienced teachers and research active subject specialists in the Faculty
  • An intellectual and social hub to live in, comprising College life in the dynamic city of Cambridge

The PGCE courses are assessed at Masters level and trainees who successfully complete all examined elements of the Cambridge PGCE course can apply to undertake the part-time Master of Education (MEd) in just one year.

Interview process

We expect most interviews to take place in person at the Faculty of Education. Interviews last approximately half a day.

There are generally 5 candidates on each panel, with two interviewers, and the interview is a mixture of group activities/discussion and individual tasks, including a written task.

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate their subject knowledge and language capabilities both verbally and in writing.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

The Faculty is committed to equal opportunities for all and to the provision of support for students with a disability and aims to ensure that no present or prospective student receives less favourable treatment than another on grounds of any condition or status not directly affecting study or work.

The University’s Disability Resource Centre works with the Faculty to provide support to trainees throughout the PGCE course.

Contact this training provider

Email
pgce-admissions@educ.cam.ac.uk
Telephone
01223 767674
Website
http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/pgce/
Address
Faculty of Education
184 Hills Road
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB2 8PQ

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

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