University of Exeter Physical Education (X9C6)

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

Financial support
Student finance 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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023
Website
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/teachertraining/

Contents

Course summary

Our Secondary Physical Education PGCE course is an 11-16 QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) course with post-16 enhancement. This means that whilst you must meet the standards for QTS within the 11-16 age range, you will also have additional experience of post-16.

The programme has three fully integrated components:

  1. Education and Professional Studies - The Education and Professional Studies component introduces you to key educational ideas and principles and provides you with opportunities to consider these in relation to your subject specialism and the wider school context. This component includes one summative assignment worth 30 Masters level credits.

  2. School Experience - Central to the course is the developing your ability to meet the DfE’s Teachers’ Standards which trainees must demonstrate in order to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). School-based mentors are responsible for your learning & development and receive well-designed training. You initially work with groups of children, before taking on more responsibility for planning and independently teaching whole classes. You will have two main placements offering contrasting environments.

  3. Specialist Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy (PE): The PGCE PE course places considerable importance on trainees collaboratively planning, teaching and reflecting critically. It includes lectures, practical/workshop-based sessions, directed study tasks, assignments and school experience to prepare trainees to inform, inspire and engage the diverse needs of young people in the 21st century. It includes one summative assignment worth 30 Masters level credits. You will develop a secure knowledge and understanding of:

  • Content: a wide variety of physical activities comprising the National Curriculum for PE including fitness, health, BTEC and GCSE and A level theory and practice
  • Pedagogy: how to transform this knowledge of activities and topics in ways that makes them comprehensible to learners
  • Learners: different types of learners (e.g. gifted & talented, SEN/D, reluctant/disengaged, EAL)
  • Learning: theories of how learners learn
  • Curriculum: the National Curriculum for PE in England.

School placements

You will work in at least two schools during the course and all of our partner schools have specially trained mentors to assist you in learning to teach. These colleagues are essential to your development as a teacher and will help you to develop both classroom skills and reflective and evaluative strategies. Together with schools, we will provide you with opportunities, training and support.

Term 1 begins with two weeks of observation in school settings. This leads into the university-based course which focuses on professional development, specialist subject knowledge, pedagogy and teaching skills. In November you will spend two weeks in your first placement school to begin your classroom practice.

Term 2 is spent in your first placement school with three university-led seminar days back on campus.

Term 3 is spent in your second placement school with two university-led seminar days back on campus.

The University of Exeter currently has partnership agreements with over 250 schools across most parts of the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset) as well as a small number of primary schools in London.

Every effort is made to take into consideration your personal circumstances and preferences when allocating your placements. Trainees generally:

  • live in Exeter for the Autumn term and then move or commute to the area their placements will be in for the Spring and Summer terms

or

  • commute to Exeter from their home for the Autumn term and then have placements nearer to their home location in the Spring and Summer terms

Our accommodation office can offer advice regarding finding accommodation in/near Exeter for the Autumn term.

Many trainees are placed further afield than Exeter for the whole of their school-based work and choose to either travel daily or find accommodation in that area. Once registered, we provide an accommodation database, which lists many accommodation options previously used by our trainees. Many trainees live together during their time on placement and some live with school staff. Others commute to their placements daily and lift sharing is encouraged.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Please check our website for guidance on additional academic requirements specific to this course such as degree subject and A level/GCSE requirements. We want all potentially excellent teachers to have the opportunity to train. If your qualification profile does not fit the norm, please do contact us.

Your degree subject should be in physical education 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’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

We accept equivalency tests from A Star Equivalency and equivalencytesting.com (please do contact the PGCE Admissions team for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test).

Personal qualities

Successful applicants will have a strong academic track record and will be able to demonstrate a passion for teaching PE. You will possess strong organisational skills, enthusiasm and resilience alongside a commitment to becoming a reflective practitioner. In addition, you will be able to build strong and effective relationships with students and professional colleagues and will have good interpersonal skills.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and DBS enhanced disclosure and satisfactory references.

Although not essential it would be advantageous to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £21,500

Note - eligibility for home fee status for applicants from EU countries has changed from 2021-22 onwards so please do check the guidance if this is relevant to you. For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages.

Financial support from the training provider

For information on Government loans and training bursaries, please visit the Student Finance England and Get into Teaching websites.

The University of Exeter offers a £530 bursary to all UK students studying for a PGCE with us, whose household income is £25,000 or less. There is no separate application procedure for this bursary. Instead, we make an assessment using the household income information you provide to Student Finance England (you must make sure you give consent for details of your SfE application to be shared with the University of Exeter). This consent to share is requested during the application for financial support, but can be given at any time throughout the year by contacting SfE.

For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages

About the training provider

We are leaders in Initial Teacher Education, consistently graded as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

We have strong partnerships with over 250 schools in the south west where you will spend two-thirds of your training year, putting into practice what you have learnt on the taught course. Our PGCE is uniquely characterised by innovative research-led teaching informed by professional practice and academic excellence. All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers, senior managers or OFSTED inspectors. They lead and innovate, developing the latest ideas in teacher education, leading research, writing textbooks, leading subject networks and advising government.

The Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education is a highly regarded model used to deliver excellent standards of education to our students in the South West.

The Model sequences learning to teach through five developmental phases:

  • Anticipating Practice
  • Beginning Practice
  • Consolidating Practice
  • Developing Independence
  • Extension and Enrichment

Trainees begin with significant scaffolding through focused teaching practice based on modelling by experts. Moving through the phases, they become increasingly independent, teaching across sequences of lessons and taking full responsibility for their classes by the Developing Independence phase. Driven by an outstanding research base, this approach enables training to be personalised for every trainee with the tools enabling bespoke support and target-setting.

Our unique approach gives you opportunities to become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and will support you during your course and beyond.

Interview process

The interview process will take place at the St Luke’s campus (online interviews may be available on request, depending on applicant circumstances). It is designed so that you can showcase, and we can assess, your skills, attributes and subject knowledge. We notify all interviewees ahead of time what will be expected of them at interview, so you have time to prepare.

Primary and secondary interviewees attend on the same day and activities in the morning are conducted in mixed groups. The day consists of:

  • A welcome talk where you can find out more about the programme
  • A visual ID and documents (e.g. certificates) check
  • A short presentation in which you present a teaching idea using a resource of your choice
  • A short written task in which you can demonstrate your understanding of teaching and learning and your ability to express your ideas concisely, clearly and using accurate written English
  • A short group discussion, based on the written task which encourages you to explore your own, and others’ ideas about good teaching
  • A one-to-one interview with an Admissions Tutor. This is where Subject Tutors will discuss your application, your suitability for teaching and your subject knowledge. This is also an opportunity to learn about the particular course you are applying for.

The day is designed to give you a flavour of the PGCE programme. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day. You should allow a full day for the interview.

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 University of Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Study Zone, Students’ Guild Advice, Student Health Centre (GP services), and the Multifaith Chaplaincy team.

For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services

PGCE trainees can access the support of a Wellbeing Services Welfare Consultant to discuss concerns, talk through options for support or understand more about how the University Wellbeing Services may be able to help.

Alongside the support described above, every PGCE trainee is assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. If the Occupational Health provider recommends any adjustments, the University’s Partnership Office will ensure you are placed in schools where these adjustments can be made, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

Contact this training provider

Email
PGCE-admissions@exeter.ac.uk
Telephone
0300 555 6060
Website
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/teachertraining/
Address
Admissions, University of Exeter
Innovation Centre
Rennes Drive
Exeter, Devon
EX4 4RN

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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