University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Modern Languages (French) (R1X1)

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

Financial support
Scholarships or bursaries, as well as 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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The Secondary PGCE forms a practical and theoretical introduction to teaching, providing student teachers with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach secondary age children, including where possible at post-sixteen. The strong emphasis of the course is on learning from experience through reflection and enquiry. This process of reflective enquiry underpins the development of teaching skills and forms the basis for the written work submitted as part of the Masters Level element of the programme. An understanding of the relationship between practice and theory, underpins the PGCE. This provides a firm practical and theoretical foundation for the professional journey towards becoming an outstanding practitioner.

We offer the following Secondary PGCE subject courses, which are supported by our Professional Studies Programme:

  • English
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • French
  • French with German
  • French with Spanish
  • German with French
  • Spanish with French
  • (We may also be able to provide places for those wishing to study Mandarin with French, German or Spanish and Spanish with German)
  • Science with Biology Specialism
  • Science with Chemistry Specialism
  • Science with Physics Specialism

You will undertake 60 credits of Master’s-Level credits over three course modules which are rooted in school while being rooted in classroom practice and aligned with research and theory. Each module assignment is worth 20 credits. They work to complement your school experiences - enhancing outcomes and your professional development.

You will graduate with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) if you meet the Teachers’ Standards through your practical engagement in school, which will include PGCE on successful completion of the module assignments.


The course starts early September and continues until June. The course structure follows school term dates not university semesters. All school and university sessions, including individual and small group progress check interviews, some of which will take place in school holidays, are compulsory and full attendance is expected.

  • Subject days, to develop your understanding of your subject pedagogy.
  • Progress days, to develop your understanding of the research and theory underpinning pedagogy and the wider aspects of schools and education.
  • Conferences based on key aspects of Professional Practice.
  • 1:1 and small group tutorials.

Assessment is a mixture of academic assignments for the modules and successful completion of your teaching practice placement, evidenced through a series of Reports and the completion of a Professional Portfolio and Evidence Log.

School placements

You will spend at least two thirds of the PGCE on school placements. The first placement runs from September to December and the second placement runs from January to June. Alongside having a teaching timetable, placements include periods of observation in preparation for teaching practice. Your placements allow school and university staff to supervise your progress towards Qualified Teacher Status, to guide you in the planning, preparation and reflection process of the programme and support the completion of your M Level assignments.

Newcastle University has positive and long-standing relationships with partnership schools across the North East; currently we are working with approximately 80 schools. This helps us to provide you with a range of experiences across a range of contexts and where possible trainees will have two contrasting school placements. When planning for school placements the university endeavour to take into your personal circumstances into consideration.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

At least 50% of your degree should be in the subject that you intend to teach. We may accept closely related degree subjects.

Your degree subject should be in modern languages with French 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.

Personal qualities

Teaching can be an immensely enjoyable profession when students commit themselves whole-heartedly to the endeavour to become a great teacher. It takes effort and requires stamina and resilience with exemplary professionalism and personal commitment. You will need to be proactive and take advantage of opportunities offered and seek others. We are therefore looking for students who are prepared to offer this level of commitment, who are flexible, able to adapt quickly to changing and challenging circumstances and genuinely want to work with young people.

Other requirements

It is desirable for you to have spent time working and/or observing in a UK secondary classroom before applying. Experience is advantageous as it will inform your application and any later performance in the selection process.

Fees and financial support

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

Please check with Newcastle University website for details of fees and other funding.

Financial support from the training provider

Please check with Newcastle University website for details of fees and other funding.

About the training provider

The PGCE Team pride ourselves on providing our students with an excellent standard of education, training and practical teaching experience. Newcastle University consistently delivers outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes, for our students and were given a ‘judgement of Confidence by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). We also pride ourselves on personal support we give to our students and you will have full access to the extensive services of the ‘Student Support Service’.

Newcastle University has a reputation for world-class research (16th in the UK) and the PGCE team work closely with our colleagues to ensure our subject and professional programmes are research led and well informed.

Our PGCE programme, rated Good by Ofsted in 2017, provides rigorous academic and school training. University and school-based components are integrated so that learning is relevant to your practice and development as a confident and capable teacher. To support you, you will have access to a wide range of study facilities, including all relevant course materials, a well-stocked Education Resource Centre and the comprehensive facilities of the University. You will also have full access to the extensive services of the ‘Student Support Service’.

Interview process

Under Department for Education regulations, the University is unable to offer places on its PGCE courses without a selection process that includes a personal interview. Based on your application form including references you may be offered an interview, which will be conducted by a subject specialist.

The selection procedure consists of:

  • A presentation by the interviewer outlining the course;
  • An opportunity to discuss the course and expectations;
  • An individual OR group presentation;
  • A written task, relevant to teaching;
  • A subject-related (GCSE/A-level) exam question or questions;
  • An individual interview.

A baseline assessment of your literacy and numeracy skills will be conducted both as part of the selection process and pre-course, this will be used to inform us of your particular strengths, and areas for development that we will support you with during the PGCE. In common with ALL initial teacher training providers, by the end of the course, you will need to show competency in both numeracy and literacy in line with the DfE guidance.

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 PGCE Team welcome applications from students with disabilities. Advice, information and guidance is available from the University Student Support Services, who liaise with us over students’ support requirements, and may liaise with external agencies where appropriate. Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) is a non-means tested grant available to U.K. disabled students who are applying for, or are attending, a course of Higher Education. There are specific eligibility conditions related to residence in the UK, which have to be met to qualify for this funding. DSA allowance covers some additional study-related costs that students will incur because of a disability, ongoing medical condition or mental health condition. Extra costs may include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper or travel costs. If you are invited to an interview for PGCE is often a good opportunity to arrange to meet with one of the Disability Advisers, to talk about your support requirements.

Contact this training provider

0191 208 6017
Level 3
King's Gate
Newcastle upon Tyne

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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