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PGCE Secondary Chemistry with QTS

Course Description

This stimulating and demanding 36-week course will provide you with the skills and experience you need to teach Chemistry across the full 11-18 secondary age range, specialising in Chemistry, with complementary courses in Physics and Biology. You will learn to make your knowledge accessible and interesting to students by implementing a range of teaching approaches and techniques for managing activities in the classroom.

The PGCE Secondary programme refreshes and extends students’ subject knowledge and provides them with the opportunity to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and make a difference to young people’s lives and ambitions.

The programme is divided into university and school/college-based sections. The 12-week university-based section is taught by highly respected staff with extensive experience of secondary school provision.

Our tutors will introduce students to various aspects of teaching, including lesson planning, resource preparation and selection, teaching approaches for examination courses, class management and control, and assessment of attainment.

Trainees will spend the other 24 weeks gaining Professional Teaching Experience (PTE) on two placements at our established partner schools/colleges located across the South Wales region from Pembrokeshire to Monmouthshire. On both these placements, an experienced teacher will act as mentor and will keep in close contact with university tutors to ensure the smooth development of the trainee’s teaching competences. Placements will be available in either English or Welsh-medium secondary schools.

The programme involves four written assignments, while the PTE will be assessed through teaching observations by both experienced placement mentors and university tutors against the QTS.

Entry Criteria

You will be expected to hold a good honours degree (2:2minimum) and be a graduat of a university, polytechnic or college of higher education approved by the University of Wales. If you wish to teach in Secondary schools then your degree should be closely linked to the subject that you wish to teach.

For the September 2015 entry all PGCE applicants in Wales will need a B grade at GCSE in English and Mathematics and if you intend to follow your course through the medium of Welsh, a C grade in Welsh.

If you hold a C grade in GCSE English Language or Mathematics and are successful in other aspects of the selection process you will be given the opportunity to sit an equivalency test. If you are successful and you accept your place to study with us then you can start your programme as planned. Attendance at the workshops prior to the test is a compulsory part of the equivalency testing programme.

What are GCSE Equivalency Tests?

Successful completion of a GCSE equivalency test will enable you to proceed on to a PGCE course if you do not hold a GCSE B grade in English or Maths, the test is only available to students that have gained a grade C at GCSE level.

If you hold a C grade in GCSE English Language or Mathematics and are successful in other aspects of the selection process you will be given the opportunity to sit an equivalency test. If you successfully complete your equivalency test and you accept your place to study with SWWCTE then you can start your PGCE programme as planned.

Will I get any support before the test?

Yes. You are required to attend a one day workshop which is designed to help prepare you for the test with face-to-face support. On the day of your test you will also attend a half day workshop in the morning. In addition to our face-to-face workshops, we recommend that you consult one or more of the following revision resources:

BBC Bitesize (Welsh)

BBC Bitesize (English)


GCSE Mathematics Revision Video (Welsh) by Gareth Evans, Ysgol y Creuddyn available on http://www.hwb.wales.gov.uk

GCSE Mathematics Revision booklets (available in Welsh and English) from bookshops, Amazon and WJEC (http://www.wjec.co.uk)


BBC Bitesize (English)


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

(Student Profile)

Robert Abraham

2014 PGCE Chemistry graduate Robert Abraham says: “Science is a key aspect of everyday life and therefore understanding of this subject is vital to modern life.” He describes spending time in the classroom with pupils on teaching placements as the highlight of the course. He has received support from both his university tutor and school mentor to help him negotiate the course. “Both my mentors have been vital in getting me this far.”

Robert has also gained experience of being involved in a school parents’ evening, providing him with “a good insight into pupil’s home life”. His other main extra-curricular activity is slightly more unusual, but has proved equally beneficial. “I have run a martial arts class, which allowed me to develop a closer relationship with pupils. - Robert Abraham, PGCE Chemistry


Entry Requirements

To undertake one of our PGCE Secondary courses, you will require: • a good degree (usually a 2.2 or better) where at least 50% of the modules relate to the curriculum subject • at least a B grade (or equivalent) in GCSE English and Mathematics • at least a C grade in GCSE Welsh if you intend to study through the medium of Welsh. The University is offering free equivalency tests in both Maths and English to all 2015 applicants who satisfy the other entry requirements for their course.

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