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Secondary English with QTS - PGCE

Course Description

The PGCE English course is a rewarding 36 week training programme which helps you to develop the skills and knowledge to succeed as a teacher of English.

English as a classroom subject is diverse and challenging. We and our school partners have high expectations of our trainees and work together to provide the support and focus to help you succeed in the classroom. This is an interesting and exciting time for English as a classroom subject. We will give you opportunities to really develop your knowledge and understanding and become part of a dynamic and important profession.

The South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study (DLHE 14/15).

Course Overview

The PGCE English course provides real opportunities for students to build and develop the skills and knowledge required to become a successful teacher of English. Working closely with our partner schools, the programme has been devised so as to support and extend our trainees in their university work and their school practice.

If you are a successful applicant, you will explore key aspects of and approaches to the teaching of English. Support will be provided in developing key aspects of subject knowledge, as well as trainees’ understanding of how to construct, prepare and assess purposeful English lessons. Provision is built in so as to ground trainees’ practice in theoretical, pedagogical and professional approaches and expectations.

The course also provides several enhancement opportunities. These include our Literacy Day event, which gives trainees the chance to present their work alongside school colleagues, advisors and literacy experts such as David Crystal, who was our keynote speaker for 2013. Other opportunities come by way of, for example, writing columns for local papers, providing peer support for students across all PGCE subjects in literacy and receiving specific training in key approaches.

Providing our trainees with the confidence and knowledge with which to explore their own practice and make informed decisions about teaching and learning is central to our approach. We encourage and support our trainees in developing their exploration of their own practice as teachers of English.

Key Features

The PGCE course is challenging, but motivating and invigorating, combining practical strategies and skills with academic enquiry and theory. The course is split between university and professional teaching practice, with approximately 12 weeks and occasional days and 24 weeks split between two placements.

The weeks at University are designed in such a way that you experience lead lectures both with your own subject area and with students from different subject areas in order to have an insight about how a particular issue relates to different specialist subjects. These may be given by University Staff or by guest lecturers with specialist expertise.

The PGCE English course has a long established record of close partnership working with a wide range of schools across South Wales. The employment rate of our students is excellent and many of our students continue to be involved in the course by way of mentoring, delivering sessions or continuing their study through our CPD programmes.

Our programme is the largest provider of Secondary PGCE training in Wales and we have long-standing relationships with our partner schools. Many of our partnership mentors teach sessions on our course, providing our trainees with a clear insight into current initiatives and approaches.

The breadth and depth of experience within the English team also gives trainees opportunities to develop their expertise in key aspects of English teaching. Our trainees have opportunities to explore areas of specialist interest, which are built into the course.

Within the newly designed course, if you are achieving your QTS early it is envisaged that, should you wish to take the opportunity, you can arrange a fortnight placement at an establishment of your choice within the Secondary or 14-19 sector.

This will enable you to gain some experience in a specialist area that you may wish to pursue. It could include special needs schools, independent schools and training establishments. This opportunity is likely to increase your experience and employability.

Career Opportunities

The South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study (DLHE 14/15).

Many school and college departments, both locally and nationally, are staffed with several of our teachers and many of our trainees have gone on to forge successful teaching careers at strategic, professional and management levels at home and abroad.

Our PGCE graduates usually remain in close touch with us as they make their careers in the teaching profession and they often become Subject Mentors on the programme. This creates a very strong, sustainable professional network of teachers which is a rich source of continuing professional development.

Recently our PGCE English graduates have gone on to work as Secondary teachers in many independent and state schools in Wales, England and abroad including (but not limited) to: Greenhill School (Tenby), St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School (Cardiff), Whitchurch High School (Cardiff), Bishop Gore Comprehensive School (Swansea), Bishopston Comprehensive (Swansea), The Howard School (Gillingham), Treorchy Comprehensive School (Rhondda), Ysgol y Strade (Llanelli), Christ College Brecon (Brecon), Whitecross Hereford High School (Hereford), Loxford School of Science and Technology (London), Stanwell School (Penarth), Bishop Vaughan Catholic High School (Swansea), Llanishen High School (Cardiff).

Visit the Secondary English with QTS - PGCE page on the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Matthew Merry

My English teachers in school were always enthusiastic and passionate about the subject and that rubbed off on me. I have found the tutors on the course to be really caring and supportive and the teachers at my placement have made me feel at home too.


Entry Requirements

Good GCSE and A level qualifications related to English are generally expected. The normal minimum entry requirement to the programme is a minimum second class honours degree in English or a closely related subject.

Last Updated

08 March 2017

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