This course prepares graduates to teach in secondary schools. As well as gaining a PGCE, students are assessed against the national standards in order to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
A detailed exploration of literacy as a social practice ensures that graduates move beyond the minimum requirements of the Initial Teacher Training National Curriculum. The course, in content and methodology, highlights the importance of literature and drama in language, literacy and learning. Graduates are able, as they enter the profession, to contribute to innovative approaches in teaching English.
The opportunity to undertake masters level study within the course facilitates progression to an MA Education award after completion of the PGCE.
The course comprises four strands: subject study/subject education, education studies, placements and professional development.
The subject study/subject education strand builds upon existing subject expertise and provides students with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the specialist subject in the secondary school context, allowing them to formulate their own rationale for teaching. Students consider pedagogical issues within curriculum development, and the learning and teaching strategies pertinent to the specialist subject, regularly reflecting upon, analysing, recording and evaluating their own learning experience. Students have the opportunity to develop a creative and constructively critical approach towards innovation within their specialism, and the capacity to improve practice.
The Education Studies strand is common to all subject routes of the course and takes place both at the university and while on placement as a means of enabling students to develop practical competences supported by relevant, analytical skills.
Teaching under supervision, on placement, occupies approximately two-thirds of the course. The university works in partnership with schools and colleges to provide a high quality programme of support ensuring a sound relationship between theory and practice. There are two placements in two different schools/colleges with the opportunity to visit further schools/colleges as part of the 'Peer Observation' programme.
Professional Development is linked explicitly to all strands of the course and is designed to enable students to evaluate critically and reflect upon their learning in order to make improvements. Students are expected to gather and justify evidence of their achievements on a regular basis and, in the light of this, develop and implement improvement plans.
Career prospects are excellent: most gain their first teaching posts in secondary schools as soon as they qualify.