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PGCE Programme

Course Description


Based on the University’s St Luke’s campus we are leaders in Initial Teacher Education. Consistently graded Outstanding by OFSTED, and ranked amongst the top three university providers of initial teacher training in the Good Teacher Training Guide.

Why study PGCE at the University of Exeter?

* 6th in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research in Education (REF2014) and influencer of national education policy

* Ranked 3rd amongst university providers of initial teacher training in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017

* Consistently recognised by Ofsted and the National College for Teaching & Leadership as an outstanding provider of Primary and Secondary initial teacher education

* Excellent graduate employment statistics, with 93 per cent of PGCE trainees who achieved QTS in the 2013-14 cohort securing a teaching post within a year of completion

* Very high student satisfaction with 93 per cent of our former trainees rating our provision of training as good or very good (NQT survey 2014)

* Partnership arrangements with over 250 schools

Fantastic choice of PGCE programmes making Exeter one of the 10 largest PGCE providers in the UK
A leader in the provision of phonics training and the South West Centre for the Cambridge Primary Review Network
Home to one of the largest education libraries in the UK

Programme Structure

The University modules are designed to give you experience of all the subjects you will be expected to teach for your specified age range.

The Primary Programme

If you are applying to the Primary programme you can specify a specialist subject from the options shown below. We also offer ‘Primary Teaching and Learning’, which is a generalist route. Specialist studies is a real advantage when beginning your career as a teacher and is unique to the Exeter Primary PGCE programme.

Specialist subjects available for ages 5-11 are:
• English
• Humanities
• Mathematics
• Science
• Primary Teaching and Learning
• Upper Primary Art

These specialisms prepare our trainees to become curriculum coordinators, a distinct advantage as they begin their career in teaching. Applicants therefore need to specify their chosen specialism and entry requires sufficient subject knowledge in that subject area. Find out more about these specialisms on our website http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/pgce/primarypgce/specialisms/

The Secondary Programme

The Exeter Secondary PGCE programme trains you to teach the 11-18 age range. All coursework is designed to provide engaging and varied opportunities for you to develop the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to achieve Qualified Teacher Status ( QTS).

Dependent upon your degree subject, you can choose to teach; Find out more about these specialisms at the website http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/pgce/secondarypgce/.

- English
- History
- Mathematics
- Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish)
- Physical Education
- Religious Education
- Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology with Psychology)

Find out more about these specialisms at the website http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/pgce/secondarypgce/.

Visit the PGCE Programme page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Eleni Konstantinou

I found out about the programme via a really descriptive presentation on the University’s website. My specific interest is in dance, which the University of Exeter is one of few UK institutions to offer in relation to Education.

Visits to schools and arts centres helped me gain experiences of current educational practices in dance and arts in general. I also had the chance to see how theoretical ideas about dance and arts education are turned into practice through a practical module of the course.

The programme fitted perfectly with both my personal interest in dance and my undergraduate studies in Primary Education. The tutors’ academic knowledge and friendly approach motivates you to work harder and learn more, and the programme structure has given me the chance to engage with all of the arts and widen my knowledge in drama, art and music as well.

(Student Profile)

Sarah Smith

St Luke's is unlike any other University campus. After studying at Exeter as an undergraduate, it was natural to carry on the amazing experience and when combined with the outstanding course it made the choice easy!

The splitting up of the terms, into course and placement, gives a clear focus in the training, allowing you to build friendships that are invaluable in supporting you throughout the year. The Masters-level credits enable you to gain a deeper understanding of education, which helps development in the classroom.

(Student Profile)

Katie Austin

I did my research and Exeter continuously came out on top. I liked the way the programme was structured, particularly having the first term in University.

I choose to undertake the PGCE route into teaching as it was the route I knew the most about. I didn’t have much school experience prior to the PGCE so I didn’t want to jump straight into a school based programme.
The Exeter PGCE is a nurturing programme, I felt it built up my confidence well so I felt ready and prepared when I went to my first placement.

During my two years here, I have taken on more responsibly in the department and across the whole school for promoting STEM. I will also be a PST for an Exeter student this year.

The lecturers and placement teachers are all supportive and friendly, I also made some good friends whilst on the course that I have kept in touch with after finishing.

(Student Profile)

Penny Hackworthy

As a mature student and having made my life in Exeter, it made sense to apply locally. Exeter University’s reputation within education spoke for itself and I felt it would enable to me to secure a job locally also.

The specialism in science enabled me to develop in the role of a subject coordinator also. The collaborative model, with students supporting those with other specialisms, modelled how successful schools operate and it was good experience. I felt the balance of University based work and school placements was crucial and the pedagogy that I developed, through high quality lecturing, has supported me throughout the changes in education since graduation.

The design of the course enables independence however during your placement the support from the university is constant and regular visits and good training for the school tutors and mentors mean the schools naturally develop you in line with Exeter’s model.

I would recommend the Exeter PGCE programme without reservation. For people who want to experience being at University, who may have not known at 17 or 18 that they wanted to teach, and who have a relevant undergraduate degree, it is a sound choice.

(Student Profile)

Bob Ayres

I really valued having 2 very different school placements. It helps me to maintain perspective if you know how other schools operate. I’ve kept the link with one of the schools and have returned for visits, as a strong network of teachers and schools is so useful in improving your own individual and school practice.

Exeter is renowned for it’s high quality teacher training courses. The PGCE course offered was one of the few in the country and merged Psychology and Science teaching so was perfect for my circumstances/qualifications. It was also an ideal location for me as I lived in the South West already so there was minimal impact on my living arrangement as I could commute to university and school placements.

The programme had excellent course material and support from tutors/staff – both subject specific and pedagogical. I really valued the university phase which included much more training around pedagogy than I expected to receive but was it something that I quickly realised I needed.

There was a very good student network which helped during the course as many students were placed in schools with only a few trainees so the ability to still communicate with other trainee teachers from your course was essential.

The Exeter PGCE programme provides an excellent base prior to gaining QTS as they balance the theory of pedagogy in the university phase with school experience very well. It also bodes well to have a PGCE from Exeter University listed on your CV!


Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Please see our website for full details. View Website

Course Fees

See our web site for more information (click on "Finance") View Website

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