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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

PGCE Mathematics (1 year)

The Mathematics Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course  prepares you to teach the subject to all ages and abilities in the secondary school system (KS3 and KS4). The central aim of the course is to produce confident, competent and professional teachers of Mathematics with a good grasp of effective approaches to teaching, and the enthusiasm and skill to help pupils understand, enjoy and apply their mathematics.

Introducing your course

Do you enjoy mathematics and have a passion to help young people enjoy it too? Through a combination of specialist input, tasks and activities, and supported school placements, our secondary mathematics PGCE will prepare you to teaching young people aged 11-16. Our PGCE Secondary course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach mathematics across the 11-16 age range

Candidates should note that the majority of schools in the Southampton partnership serve 11-16 cohorts but opportunities are available to suitably qualified trainees to gain post-16 experience in schools offering the 11-18 range. You should also note that Qualified Teacher Status is awarded for the 11-16 age range, but our trainees are regularly appointed to posts in the 11-18 sector for their NQT year.

The course aims to prepare students to teach mathematics within the framework of the National Curriculum and beyond. Attention is focused on communicating mathematics, on current issues in mathematics education today and how these are reflected in schools.

Opportunities are given for critical consideration of the nature and process of learning mathematics and the consequences of this for classroom teaching and learning. In a combined effort from the University and our partnership schools to develop your subject knowledge in mathematics through a range of approaches, we offer workshops, seminars, lectures and micro-teaching activities, independent and group research, together with a critical view of the practical implications of the wide range of teaching resources currently available; published schemes, worksheets, calculators and software packages.


  • To help you become aware of the place of Mathematics in Britain’s schools.
  • To prepare for planning, teaching and assessing pupils' learning within the National Curriculum and, more broadly, the Secondary Curriculum.
  • To encourage you to think critically about the nature and processes of subject teaching and learning.
  • To enable you to explore a range of teaching styles and methods, to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses in order to develop your own methodology and set of teaching skills.
  • To support you in your personal and professional development, to work with pupils and colleagues in our partner schools and beyond.

To Apply

Applications are made centrally online through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT), rather than direct to the University. You can also monitor the progress of your application from this site.

Before applying, you should read the National Curriculum for Mathematics and the Teachers' Standards. You should also ensure that you will meet the criteria set out under Entry Requirements.


On successful completion, you will have gained not only your PGCE, but have attained Qualified Teacher Status. This is the accreditation that enables you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales


For further information on this programme, email the ITE office or telephone: 023 8059 2413. You can find general information on teaching as a career, including the criteria for QTS, on the Department for Education website.

Programme tutor: Ros Hyde

Key Facts

The Southampton Education School works in partnership with a total of over 100 local schools and colleges across the region.

The course at Southampton provides you with a very firm foundation for your teaching career. We have high employment rates from the course and many trainees are actually employed in our partnership schools.

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Typical entry requirements

Typical GCSE entry requirements for PGCE Mathematics
GCSECurrently, you must have GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. This is a government requirement, and 'equivalent qualifications' are as designated by the PGCE admissions team (IELTS qualifications are not considered equivalent). If your qualifications are not considered to be appropriate, we can offer GCSE equivalent tests in English and Maths. There will be a charge of £50 for each of these and they are not deemed to be transferable. If you are currently studying for a qualification in a required subject, any place offered would be conditional on a successful outcome, or the successful outcome of a Southampton University Equivalency test. If you have Access or other qualifications, please provide full details of subjects and level.

To apply direct for the one-year PGCE course, you will need either a mathematics degree or a degree with substantial mathematics content, for example engineering or similar.

If you have a good A level in mathematics but minimal or no mathematics content in your degree, you will need to take Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) prior to the PGCE. For further advice please contact the PGCE mathematics team.

Selection process

You will be selected for interview based on the following criteria:

  • your application shows that you have appropriate subject knowledge
  • it shows that experience has been gained in a school/college or working with young people
  • it is well written and persuasive.

You will enhance your interview rating if, prior to interview, you have already observed some teaching and learning in a Mathematics classroom in a secondary school, and had a discussion with classroom teachers.

At interview candidates are asked to:

  • do a brief presentation on an aspect of mathematics teaching which they find interesting, suitable for 14-16 year olds
  • complete some GCSE examination questions across the range of topics

The following selection criteria will be applied at interview

  • good subject knowledge and/or ability to learn further
  • good knowledge of educational issues and a strong sense of the professional demands
  • good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicateeffectively (oral and written)

A good academic reference must also be provided from your most recent university or college or from an employer (where you have been away from studying for some time).

All places offered will be conditional on enhanced DBS and health checks.

Please note, applicants cannot be registered on any other course from September of the year of entry (this includes PhDs and Masters degrees).

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Mathematics is an intensive one year course.

Two-thirds of your time will be spent in schools (minimum of 120 days) with the remainder spent at the University with a full programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will spend time in real classrooms during your school experience. You will gradually be introduced into whole class teaching; initially it is likely that you will observe lessons and work with small groups of pupils. The expectation though is that you will quickly develop the skills and confidence to work with whole classes, with the support of your school-based mentor.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course feesExplore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Trainees are assessed formatively and summatively across the course. This ensures that progress is reviewed regularly and you are aware of the progress being made against the Teachers' Standards. There are informal activities that need to be completed, and are important in developing a deeper insight into effective teaching.

Besides completion of all subject based tasks there are two elements common to all trainees in order to complete the course successfully.

  • All trainees have to demonstrate that their teaching is suitable to meet the Teachers' Standards in order to gain QTS. This is measured in concert with schools through your own accumulation of evidence based on your time spent in school and university learning. You are reviewed, assessed and ultimately graded on your performance as a teacher.
  • Everyone must pass three major assignments, Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 linked to their curriculum area, and Assignment 3 based on your choice of Special Study. Assignments 1 and 2 are based on aspects of subject teaching, whereas Assignment 3 is based around a study of a whole school issue

These assignments are marked at Masters level and if successful in all three, trainees will be awarded the Post-graduate Certificate in Education, as well as 60 credits towards a Master’s degree. This course also leads to QTS, qualifying you to teach in school.

Study locations

EEE Building

Highfield Campus, Southampton Education School (B32, B34)

The Southampton Education School is based on the Highfield Campus, in ...Find out more

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