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Course content

This course is designated 11-16 with post- 16 enhancement. This means that you will be trained to teach your [specialist subject] and will be assessed against the Teachers' Standards at KS3 and KS4 across the 11-16 age range .Your timetable at school will include teaching at KS3 and KS4. In addition to this you will have a post-16 experience. The majority of trainees are placed in an 11-18 school for one of their periods of school based training and will be involved in planning, teaching and assisting in KS5 lessons. For the minority, who are not placed in an 11-18 school a four day placement will be organised in a post-16 setting. You will also be supported in preparing to teach at KS5 through the subject knowledge and pedagogy sessions at the University. You will not be assessed against the Teachers' Standards at K5.

The current shortage of English teachers makes this a great choice of subject to teach at secondary-school level and beyond. You may also be eligible for a tax free bursary.

During the course you

  • deepen your subject knowledge and skills
  • learn to use relevant literature, research and educational theories relating to teaching English and the wider curriculum
  • become a successful teacher of pupils at all levels of ability
  • develop a wide range of interactive and engaging teaching strategies
  • develop your classroom management and behaviour management skills
  • use a variety of techniques for monitoring pupils' progress
  • learn about the wider role of teachers in school
  • learn about the way schools and the education system function
  • apply your skills and knowledge in a school context
  • develop your evaluation and critical reflection skills
  • meet the teacher's standards for personal development

Specialist speakers are invited in throughout the year to enhance the learning experience. Guests cover a range of topics including the teaching of Shakespeare, poetry, creativity and grammar.

With our PGCE you complete two contrasting placements in 11–16, 11–18 or post-16 settings. This allows you to experience the full progression from Key Stages 3 to 5. In total you spend around 120 days on placement. While on placement you benefit from excellent support and mentoring from a university-trained mentor. We have placement links with over 600 schools and other institutions.

During the course you can choose to complete either the PGCE or the professional graduate certificate in education (ProfGCE). Both qualifications achieve QTS but the PGCE also gives you 60 masters level credits, which you can use towards a masters degree.

Course structure


  • developing and reflecting on professional practice in education
  • learning and teaching in context in English
  • programme of preparation and mentoring in preparation for your placements
  • two continuous blocks of time on teaching practice, totalling around 120 days in placement schools, colleges or other educational institutions (may require travel)


  • research projects
  • individual and group work
  • presentations and reports
  • preparing teaching materials and plans
  • teaching practice


We have a superb record for graduate employment. Over 96% per cent of our PGCE graduates are teaching or in further study within six months of graduating.

After completing this course, you are able to teach English in a range of settings, such as 11 - 16 and 11 - 18.

Many students gain employment in the region, thanks to our excellent links with over 600 placement partners. About a third of our students accept a job where they did a placement — and since you complete two placements, that increases your chances of being offered a job at a place you already know.

Visit the Secondary English PGCE page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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