About this course
Gain the knowledge and skills to be a fully qualified English teacher on this PGCE Secondary course at the University of Southampton. You’ll divide your time between school placements and the University as you develop the theory and techniques to teach the subject to all secondary school pupils. With this qualification you'll be able to work in academy, state-maintained, independent and special schools in England and Wales.
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course will prepare you to teach young people aged 11 to 16 within the UK’s National Curriculum for English framework (Key Stages 3 and 4).
There will also be opportunities to learn about teaching students aged 16 to 19.
You’ll build on your existing knowledge of English language and literature and learn the most effective methods for helping young people to:
- become fluent readers and writers
- improve their vocabulary and use of grammar
- understand and enjoy English literature
- explain, listen and debate
Your training will also teach you essential skills such as:
- managing the classroom
- monitoring and assessing pupils
- teaching inclusively
You'll spend at least 120 days in placement schools in the Southampton area, where you’ll observe lessons and work with small groups of pupils before gradually being introduced to whole-class teaching. You’ll have the support of a school-based mentor throughout your placements.
The rest of your time will be spent at the University, where we'll prepare you for your placements, evaluate your school-based work, and develop subject-specific skills and good practice.
The course has a strong practical focus but we’ll also encourage you to develop your own theoretical and philosophical approach to teaching English.
Your course leader is Kate Freeth, Director of Initial Teacher Education within Southampton Education School, and an experienced secondary school teacher. Her areas of interest include literacy and learning, and special educational needs. Read Kate Freeth's staff profile to find out more about her work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
- a 2:2 degree (UK honours degree or equivalent) in English or a related subject
- GCSEs (minimum grade 4/C) in English language and maths
If you don't have the required GCSEs we'll ask you at the offer stage to take equivalency tests. You'll need to cover the cost of the tests yourself.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Secondary school classroom experience may strengthen your application.
Before applying, you should read the UK National Curriculum for English and the standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
We do not accept IELTS in lieu of the English Language GCSE requirement
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time course. You’ll study from September to June, with breaks at Christmas and Easter.
Find out more about University key dates.
You’ll divide your time between the University and 2 placement schools.
The course consists of 4 compulsory modules. We assess 3 of them at master’s level, 1 at undergraduate level. You’ll need to pass the 3 master’s-level modules to gain your PGCE award.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
The outcomes of this module will comprise: - A literature review which presents and synthesises the available knowledge within the selected area under investigation. This module is compulsory as it enables students to develop their teaching within their...
The outcomes of this module will comprise: a) a written summary including research findings, a discussion in relation to literature and conclusion with implications for classroom practice b) an 'intervention' which outlines how the student will plac...
Students elect to follow a particular issue from a suite of options presented on an annual basis by staff in Education. The outcomes of the module are for the student to make an oral presentation on their investigations using technology where appropriate.
This module consists of a Portfolio of Evidence from Teaching across all Placement Schools/Colleges. It is assessed against the Teachers’ Standards and is used to evidence that QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) has been met by the Trainee Teacher.
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- workshops and seminars
- group activities
- directed study
- independent study and research
- conference days
- guest speakers
We’ll assess you using:
- written assignments
- a presentation
- a portfolio
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
You’ll have the support of a school-based mentor during your practice placements.
Successfully completing this course will give you Qualified Teacher Status in addition to your PGCE award. This means you'll be able to work in academy, state-maintained, independent and special schools in England and Wales.
We have high employment rates from our PGCE Secondary courses, with many trainees going on to work in our partnership schools.
If you choose to continue your studies, the credits you build up from your master’s-level modules can be put towards a future master’s degree qualification.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £22,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Funding, bursaries and scholarships for teacher training
There is a variety of government funding available for teacher training, including bursaries, scholarships and other financial support.
Find out more and check your eligibility on the Department for Education website.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
You must apply for this course on GOV.UK. You’ll need to create an account in order to submit your application.
Places are very limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
Expected application closure dates
Although we expect to close applications for this course on Friday 7 July 2023 (11:59pm, UK time), they may close sooner if all places have been filled.
Visit GOV.UK for the latest information on PGCE course availability.
GOV.UK processes applications for this course. When you apply, they’ll give you details of any supporting information or documents you’ll need to supply.
Academic and employment history
We require all applicants to provide a full breakdown of their previous employment and academic study, including career breaks, from age 16 (GCSE) up to the point of their DFE application.
You'll need to provide copies of your original academic qualifications, for example GCSE, A Level and degree, during the application process.
If you join the course, you will also need to provide your original documents in person during induction. Please allow enough time to order replacement certificates if you no longer have your originals.
We will only accept certificates or a final official Statement of Results from the awarding body. We do not accept Candidate Statement of Provisional results and we are also unable to accept letters from educational establishments/schools or colleges as confirmation of results. For evidence of undergraduate education, we will accept a certificate and/or official transcript.
What happens after you apply
After applying through GOV.UK you’ll hear from us by email. We have 40 days to respond, but most applicants hear back much sooner.
If you get through to the next stage we’ll invite you to an interview with tutors, where we’ll assess your suitability for training and teaching. We’ll also ask you to give a short presentation and carry out a written task.
We’ll then decide whether to offer you a conditional place. The decision will be uploaded to your GOV.UK application within 5 working days.
All offers are conditional on enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and health checks. You will need to pay for these checks.
If you have spent time outside of the UK, you will also need to obtain criminal record checks from the countries you have lived in.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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