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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Art & Design PGCE

Are you considering a career in teaching?


The full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is an intensive one-year course followed by a further year of consolidated training; the Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year. Two-thirds of your time during the PGCE year will be spent in classrooms (minimum of 120 days) with the remainder spent at the University with a full programme of workshops, seminars and tutorials.

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.

During your NQT year you will be employed to teach in a school where you will be supported by trained NQT mentors, in addition there will be training opportunities offered by the University. The School of Education has also specifically developed post- graduate courses for teachers in the early years of teaching that will allow you to turn your PGCE Masters level credits into a full Master’s award within five years.

Students at WSA

Secondary PGCE courses

All our course programmes are designed for people who aspire to become excellent teachers and who wish to combine their learning through practice in a classroom with an understanding of some of the theory that underpins effective teaching and learning. The active modelling of good practice by our tutors helps us train you to be a reflective and dynamic practitioner who is committed to promoting the learning of all pupils in your classes and to helping every youngster make progress and succeed.

Our PGCE Secondary course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach your chosen curriculum subject across the 11-18 age range. The course has two closely linked parts: School Based Experience and University Based Experience. During the course, you will spend time in two placement schools from the partnership group. Whilst in school, you will work closely with your Curriculum Mentor (who will be a member of your subject Department) and experience lesson observation, team teaching, working with small groups and teaching whole classes of pupils. University-based work is mainly subject focussed. Time spent in the University enables us to prepare you for your school experiences, evaluate your school-based work and plan ahead; and it allows you to share your experiences with other trainee teachers.

In addition, the University of Southampton is one of only a handful of teacher training institutions which offer the opportunity to gain additional qualifications such as the PSHE Association’s Chartered Teacher (NQT) Certificate and the NSPCC Child Protection award.
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 trainee teachers are regularly appointed to posts in the 11-18 sector for their Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year.

Selection for interview

All candidates also need to have GCSE’s in Mathematics and English Language at grade C or above (or the equivalent qualifications).

You will be selected for interview based on the following:

The selection criteria applied is:

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

Student at WSA

How can I prepare for my interview?

We would encourage all prospective students to spend time in a secondary school and prior to interview candidates are asked to undertake at least 1 day of observation in secondary classrooms, to discuss with tutors on the day of interview.

At interview candidates are asked to:

How will I be assessed during the PGCE course?

You will be assessed formatively and summatively throughout the course which will support you to deepen your understanding of key issues in your area. There will also be school-based work that will build on and/or extend University-based work.

During your school placements there will be monitoring of your progress and weekly target setting exercises to enable you to work on areas for development. This process will involve both your own evaluation and reflection and that of your mentor. You are also required to submit three 4,000 word assignments, one of which takes the form of a presentation. You will receive support in preparing for these assignments each of which will contribute to the Masters level nature of the course, and if all assignments are considered to be at M level, you will be awarded 60 credits towards a full Master’s degree in education. Two assignments will focus on your own subject area and the other will focus on a special study topic of your choice, on a more general teaching issue.

What can I do with my M Level credits?

You can undertake study at an advanced level and deepen your knowledge in specific subject areas without the full workload of a Master's degree. Our unique system allows you to build, over a period of time, enough credits to proceed to a dissertation, gaining a full Master's degree, at your own pace.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Skills Test

To obtain QTS, you must also pass the computer-delivered TDA QTS skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy. From Wednesday 1 October 2014, candidates will be able to book with learndirect for tests to be taken from Monday 1 December 2014 onwards. Tests can be booked via the skills test registration page: or by phoning 0300 303 9613.

How do I apply?

All applications have to be done through the UCAS and the process starts in October/November each year.

Details can be found at:

Though there is no official closing date for applications, once a subject has reached its quota of places we will have to close that particular course to further applications. We recommend that you apply as early as possible to stand the best chance of getting a place. You can visit the UCAS website at

Career Prospects

Teaching is a rewarding profession in more ways than one, offering fantastic career prospects and development opportunities. The variety of potential career paths available will enable you to enjoy all kinds of experiences, roles and responsibilities. In secondary schools, you can move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility as a head of department, faculty or pastoral group. You could then progress to a senior management position such as deputy or assistant head and, ultimately, headteacher - at which point you would have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive.

There are also opportunities for you to specialise allowing you to become a Lead Teacher, an advisor to schools and local authorities or a career education researcher. All our secondary teacher training courses have high rates of employment, for example, for over six years our History and Geography courses have had 100% employment rates with a large proportion of trainees being appointed to partnership schools.

Further Information

If you require general information on teaching, please contact the Department of Education “Get into Teaching” website here:

They will be able to provide you with information on all the routes available into teaching, financial support, subject knowledge programmes, taster courses and all other matters.

To register your interest and for more information on the application process, please email Kay May, Director of External Affairs,

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