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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

PGCE Secondary (1 year)

Our PGCE Secondary programmes are designed and taught jointly by the Southampton Education School (SEdS) in partnership with over 125 schools across the region in seven different subject areas, and has a very good track record of moving successful trainees into employment, locally and beyond.

The majority of our PGCE courses for the Academic Year 2020/21 are now closed. We are still accepting applications for PE. Interviews are being held remotely, using Microsoft Teams. We look forward to hearing from you! PGCE applications for the Academic Year 2021/22 will open in October 2020.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for PGCE Secondary at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about PGCE Secondary and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. Visit our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

The Southampton University-based Secondary PGCE course at Southampton provides an excellent route into teaching. The course has consistently been rated highly by former trainees, and has been successful in a series of recent Ofsted inspections. Two thirds of the PGCE is spent in two school placements, starting in October, under the guidance of curriculum mentors who are all experienced classroom teachers. One third is spent in university, under the guidance of curriculum tutors, who all have extensive school teaching experience. The subject areas available cover a broad range of National Curriculum subjects: you can find out more about individual subjects from the links below:

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2021/22 entrants

Subjects available

For a full list of teacher training courses click here.

Open Evenings

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Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

If you have an A level in either mathematics or a science, but a degree in a different subject, you could still train to teach one of the priority subjects, mathematics or physics. We are also offering a SKE for those wishing to train to teach Computer Science. The SKE element gives you the extra depth of subject knowledge - plus the bonus of some classroom experience - before joining the main PGCE programme (Provider Led or School Direct) the following September. You may also receive a bursary for the SKE (under current rules - this may be subject to change).

To Apply

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


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 general information on PGCE programmes, 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.

For enquiries about a particular subject, contact the subject programme tutor. Details are given on each subject page, listed above.

Programme Structure


University-based classes are on the Highfield Campus (B32/B34), while placements are in our partner schools in Southampton and the surrounding area.

Key Facts

As of June 2014, employment rates of teachers completing the course was on average 90% - English, Geography and History with 100%.

Teacher with pupils

Teacher Training Open Evening

Find out more about our range of teacher training courses and speak directly with expert staff members

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Useful Downloads

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Other teaching options

School Direct is a new school-led path to gaining qualified teacher status (QTS). Find out more about School Direct.


As a graduate in any discipline, you can gain QTS in a year for Key Stages 1 and 2. Find out more about Primary PGCE.

For those graduates wishing to teach in colleges or the FE Learning and Skills sector we now offer a PGCE - FE.

Typical entry requirements

Typical GCSE entry requirements for PGCE Secondary
GCSECurrently, you must have GCSE passes at grade C 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.

Prior classroom experience is not a requirement of your application nor will it be a condition of your offer should you not have any and you are successful at interview. Historically, strong applicants, who demonstrate an understanding of the role of a classroom teacher, are frequently informed by time spent in a secondary school classroom, so we recommend you to consider arranging some time in the classroom. Other areas of relevant experience may also support your application (e.g. coaching, playgroups, voluntary work overseas).


At interview applicants will be required to do a short presentation, undertake a written task and be formally interviewed.

Undergraduate degree

Prospective candidates will have good knowledge of the subject, from a first degree award. The normal expectation is that students will have at least 50% of their first degree in their chosen subject. Please see individual subject areas for their particular application requirements.

Selection process

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, one year, course starts in early September and continues through to the end of June, with breaks over Christmas and Easter. The course itself is designed to cover all aspects of teaching.

There are two main university phases and two school placements during the year, and you attend training days at the university every Friday. Prior to the first placement the emphasis is on understanding how to teach the key concepts and processes in your subject, as well as learning about planning, behaviour management, the use of ICT, and the development of literacy and numeracy within your subject. The second university phase deepens your understanding of teaching by exploring issues such as teaching diversity, controversial topics, the 14-19 curriculum, and inclusion.

During the course you will work in two different schools, supported and guided by mentors. Assessment is based chiefly on your ability to teach; it also includes three major assignments and several short tasks. You will receive thorough preparation for all these, which are designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of effective teaching and learning.

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

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Secondary Education (including School Direct Training Trainees)PGCE2019Full-time£9,250£18,104
View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore 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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc).
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentField equipment and materials (only applicable to Science and Geography modules): A number of essential items will be provided to you e.g. field notebook(s), compass-clinometer, geological hammer, steel tape measure, map case, pocket lens (x 10), safety helmet, safety goggles, bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid, as appropriate. However, you will need provide yourselves with a ruler, a pair of compasses, set squares, protractor, pencils (including coloured), eraser, calculator, penknife. These can be purchased from any source.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials (only applicable to Science modules): All materials will be provided to you at no additional cost. However, you will need provide yourselves with such items as a ruler, a pair of compasses, set squares, protractor, pencils (including coloured), eraser, calculator, penknife. These can be purchased from any source.
EquipmentComputer discs (only applicable to Computer Science modules): Generally equipment required will be supplied by the University. Students are expected to have access to a personal computer/device and usual devices such as memory sticks etc.
ClothingLab coats (only applicable for Science modules): The University/School placements will provide.
ClothingFieldcourse clothing (Only applicable for Science and Geography modules): You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending fieldcourses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
ClothingUniforms: Smart, formal clothing is expected to be worn on school placements.
Printing and copyingAssignments are to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy, such as copies of pupil work. Photocopying and printing costs incurred in school placements are paid by the school. There are limits on the amount of copying and printing that can be done by any individual in most schools. Students need to take this into account when deciding what to print.
PlacementsTravel costs: Trainees are expected to pay for the cost of getting to and from each school placement.
PlacementsDisclosure and Barring Certificates or Clearance: Trainees are expected to pay for a DBS check, unless they have a portable DBS, or a current DBS issued by the University of Southampton, already in place.
OtherOptional visits: If any visit is offered as an optional visit, then trainees are expected to bear the full cost.
OtherParking costs: Trainees are expected to bear any parking costs themselves.

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 during the programme. This ensures that your progress is reviewed regularly and you are aware of how well you are doing. Short, subject-based tasks will help you to develop an insight into effective teaching. In addition:

  • You must demonstrate that your teaching is suitable to meet the Teachers' Standards in order to gain QTS. (visit the DfE website for details). This is measured in schools, through your own accumulation of evidence based on your time spent in school and university learning. You are assessed and graded on your performance as a teacher.
  • You successfully complete three major assignments, Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 linked to your curriculum area and based on aspects of subject teaching, and Assignment 3, 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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