University of Bristol

Secondary Education (English)

The School of Education is an Ofsted 'Outstanding Provider' and offers a one year programme for graduates leading to the award of PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education).

The English programme requires enthusiasm, commitment, intellectual alacrity, imagination and a great deal of energy. Our course has an excellent reputation both locally and nationally: English PGCE graduates are sought after as first appointments by local schools and are highly competitive candidates for interviews across the country. Our students often tell us that it is the most demanding and enjoyable year of their higher education.

Central to our practice is an examination of the power and potential of literature, language and multimodal texts within the secondary school. We are keen to develop your understanding of English as a creative, arts-based subject, together with a secure understanding of literacy: how and why children learn to speak, listen, read and write, and which strategies and methods will best enable pupils to reflect a broad and incisive command and understanding of oral and textual forms of language and media which surround them. You will also be encouraged to build your confidence in drama methods and technology-enhanced education.

While we want you to become critical thinkers about the subject English in a broad sense, we also want you to be excellent teachers within the context of current practice. As we are an 11-18 provider, you can expect to be thoroughly prepared to implement the National Curriculum for English (2014) as well as relevant exam specifications at GCSE and A level. We want to support you to become reflective, innovative and flexible teachers of English who can enable pupils to learn and make progress.

Entry requirements

The majority of successful applicants to the English programme have a minimum of a 2:1 degree classification in English or a related subject. In exceptional cases, candidates with 2:2s may be accepted. We also consider candidates with degrees in other areas (e.g. History, Philosophy, Media or an Ancient/Modern Language) if they can demonstrate knowledge and expertise in aspects of English covered by the National Curriculum.

You also need a minimum of Maths and English GCSE at Grade C or above (grade 4 or above from summer 2017 onwards). All candidates must have passed the Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests before starting the course.

Course modules

At the University, we use practical classroom strategies from the outset - the 'hands-on' approach which gives you a secure sense of the craft of teaching. During the course of the programme you will be involved in workshops led by specialists from a variety of fields across the English spectrum, including (but not limited to!) professional actors from Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, child psychologist Paul Howard-Jones (from Channel 4’s The Secret Life of 4-6 Year Olds) and researcher practitioners in creativity, oracy, reading and writing.

Your school experience will be completed in four complementary placements in at least two schools. We work in close partnership with school mentors (Associate Tutors) in our placement schools who are dedicated (in both senses of the word) to offering support and advice throughout. They are committed to ensuring that your training is focused on developing your practice in the classroom and each individual's needs within it.

Assessment methods

Assessment takes place through three written assignments (or investigations), a research presentation and classroom observations.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 per Academic year (Home) 1 Years

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Key information

Campus or study location: 
School of Education, University of Bristol
PGCE Office, School of Education
School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA
Telephone number: 
+44 (0) 117 331 4103