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The PGCE programme has been designed to train teachers to practice as a subject specialist teacher for the secondary age range (11-16). Trainees are assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) across the age range. Trainees will also often gain experience of the 16-18 age range, although they will not be formally assessed in this phase.

If you have an infectious enthusiasm for mathematics and enjoy working with young people then we are looking for people just like you! The ability to interpret numbers, calculate, handle statistical information and problem solve are essential skills in everyday adult life - you could help young people acquire these skills. We need mathematics teachers who can motivate, inspire, challenge and communicate their passion for mathematics. The PGCE Secondary Mathematics course at UWE will support you in becoming a confident, competent, reflective mathematics teacher.

Course detail

The course is active and practical allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. Trainees work with young people, develop their expertise in their specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research. The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.


The course is part of the Department of Education's programme for Initial Teacher Training. Units studied are:

• Enabling Learning
• Meeting Curriculum Challenges
• Becoming a Teacher

These units are studied in both the school and the University-based parts of the course, the work on each site being complementary.

During the 36 week course you will address the various aspects of learning and teaching mathematics - how you learn and, through reflection, how young people might learn, as well as factors which may inhibit their learning. Sessions will involve you in workshops, discussion and informal lectures.

Work in schools is an integral part of the course. You will gain teaching experience in two schools where you will have opportunities to try out your ideas and further your learning skills and experience of mathematics teaching. You will work alongside teachers and student colleagues with small groups and individuals as well as engaging in whole class teaching. In each school there is a mathematics subject mentor who has primary responsibility for your day-to-day work and study. Your subject mentor will support you in your learning to teach, assess and manage classes in mathematics.

Course aims

Throughout the course you will:

• engage in interesting and challenging mathematical starting points, reflecting on your own work and the nature of mathematical activity
• consider how learning environments appropriate to learners of all abilities can be created
• focus on specific issues related to the mathematics classroom, for example, the National Curriculum, numeracy, ICT and mathematics, special educational needs, differentiation and progression, the cross-cultural nature of mathematics, pupil assessment, language, and the teaching of mathematics at post-16 level
• explore strategies for the effective management of learners and resources, including ICT, in the classroom situation
• consider different teaching and learning styles, for example whole-class interactive teaching, problem solving, practical and investigative activity
• use your ability and initiative to create starting points which enable traditional areas of mathematics to be explored in interesting ways
• critically evaluate existing resources for mathematics, including computer software
• work at enhancing your own knowledge and understanding in mathematics and ICT with respect to the National Curriculum, National Strategy, and the 14-19 curriculum, including AS/A2 level


We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. Students have three main sources of support and information from the University during the course: firstly there is the Group Tutor in their subject area, secondly each student is allocated a Personal Tutor and thirdly any student can get support on a range of issues from the Department Student Adviser.


In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of QTS.


You will spend 24 weeks on placement: a total of eight weeks in one placement during the autumn term and 16 weeks in a second placement during the spring and summer.

As well as teaching, the programme includes contact time with a Senior Professional Tutor and a Subject Mentor, directed study time and personal study time.

There is an opportunity to spend time in a primary school and some students may also visit other institutions, such as special schools or colleges of further education.

Careers / Further study

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes now include 40 credits of assessment at Master's Level (Level M). For candidates who opt not to attempt the requisite credit at Level M, a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education will be available as an alternative award.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link:


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here:

Visit the PGCE Secondary Education, Mathematics page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!





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Recipient: University of the West of England, Bristol

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