The University of Portsmouth’s PGCE Initial Teacher Training Secondary in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) is a one-year, full-time course for graduates who wish to train as secondary school language teachers or a two year part time course. It is run by the University’s School of Education and Sociology and offers the opportunity of undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with 60 credits towards a Master’s degree).
Modern Foreign Languages is a foundation subject of the secondary curriculum at Key Stage 3 and an entitlement at Key Stage 4. On the PGCE course you will learn, not only about issues related to MFL teaching, but also about developing an understanding of educational issues pertaining to teaching and learning, classroom interaction, the school curriculum and the school and society. As well as learning to become a competent classroom practitioner, you will learn to make important decisions and recognise the need for reflection and evaluation.
The course is designed to enable you to become a capable and confident teacher at secondary level. Abilities to teach the National Curriculum and General Certificate of Secondary Education in languages and encourage learning will be developed alongside the skills and understanding required of effective teachers according to the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework and by the Teachers’ Standards.
Mode of study
One-year full-time course or two year part time course.
The MFL course integrates theory with practice and two-thirds of your time will be spent in a school, where you will be working closely with expert colleagues such as mentors and other school staff.
Throughout the year you will be engaged in considering a range of subjects including:
subject knowledge enhancement in the classroom
research into the pedagogy and psychology of learning MFL
special needs and inclusion
You will spend an increasing amount of time teaching in school as the course progresses. The emphasis throughout will be on helping you gain progressively more confidence and competence in order to attain an increasing level of responsibility in the classroom.
School-based work is an important part of our PGCE Programme and all of our partner schools have specially trained mentors who assist students in learning to teach. This mentoring programme is essential in the development of new teachers and will be a valuable asset in your training as you gain hands on experience of practising your new skills in actual classroom environments.
An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.
A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, with a minimum of 50% content in an appropriate modern foreign language. Alternatively, native speakers require excellent communication skills in English. A second language to A level (or equivalent standard) in French, German or Spanish is recommended. Applicants offering only one foreign language are able to complete a short intensive Enhancement Course in French in order to achieve sufficient competence to teach a second language accurately and confidently at secondary level to at least Key Stage 3.
Your degree subject should be in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) 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.
All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.
We’re a university with ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ reviews from Ofsted for our teacher training programmes, and more than 90 percent of our graduates use their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to move into employment as teachers. Our strong network of partnership schools gives you great links to schools in the area for teaching experience and future careers– 60 percent of our employed graduates, on recent numbers, are teaching in our partner schools.
“It has been particularly rewarding to see how my own developments in both confidence and ability have had such a positive impact on my pupils’ progress.” Rosanna Day, PGCE (English) graduate
We hold our interviews in Portsmouth. You will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge and experience of your subject and the school system. We will send you an audit form to help you think about how your subject knowledge fits with the curriculum you want to teach, and how you might fill any gaps.
You’ll also be tested on reading and writing, take part in a group discussion, and will be asked to prepare a ‘microteaching’ lesson: ten minutes of teaching on a subject, skill or interest of your choice that you’ll deliver to your fellow applicants on the day.
We’ll be looking at all aspects of the application process – application form, academic reference, and the elements of the interview day – in order to get the fullest picture of you. We’re hoping to see that you’ve got the personal and intellectual qualities to be a teacher, and that you can meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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
We regularly recruit trainee teachers with a declared disability or special need, and work with them to deliver the right support and guidance they need to become outstanding teachers. Through our extensive partnerships with local schools, we’ve also successfully matched many trainees with schools who can offer them the appropriate at-work support.
University of Portsmouth St George's Building, 141 High Street, Portsmouth Hampshire PO1 2HY
Support and advice
For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training 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
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).
Find out about the different
ways to train
if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.