University of Bristol

Secondary Education (Music)

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).

Music Education at Bristol aims to prepare you for the realities of teaching music in secondary schools, and to help you to develop into a reflective, innovative, and flexible music teacher. We will explore the unique contribution that music can make to a child's development by both in the context of the National Curriculum and examination requirements and, vitally in music, the wider and extended curriculum. The programme aims to develop reflective and analytical skills as well as providing practical experience in planning effective lessons and learning strategies. This includes:

  • opportunities to develop your subject knowledge and skills further, including exploring a wide range of music that may be unfamiliar to you;
  • high level tuition at professional and masters level with leading subject specialists;
  • equipping you with a wide variety of strategies to engage, motivate and challenge students in music lessons;
  • consideration of the vital importance of the extended curriculum and its relationship to what happens in the classroom;
  • high quality school placements;
  • collaborative working with strong practitioners in partner schools;
  • working in a variety of schools, both individually and as a group, and comparing and contrasting those experiences;
  • involvement in professional subject-based networks, locally, nationally and internationally.

Whilst we provide strong personalised support, within University sessions, there is an emphasis on collaborative working with other student teachers who will have a range of musical expertise and interests, and work and technological experience. We provide numerous opportunities for engagement in practical activities which develop your music and pedagogy skills, including steel band, conducting, singing and gamelan workshops.

In order to model best practice in relating school activities to ‘real world’ music we offer opportunities for you to extend your classroom skills and to become involved in a variety of school-based projects, which include sequencing and recording work with key stage three classes; broad school activities such as music concerts and trips; whole school events, for example, arts evenings and school productions; and community ventures which, in 2017, will include a music hub instrumental workshop, and concert, for primary school children from a range of Bristol schools.

Recognising the importance of technology in 21st-century music, we also provide workshops in which you develop your own music ICT skills, and grow in awareness of ways in which technology can support musical learning in classrooms. This happens within individual and group sequencing and recording work, which is suited to both beginners and to those with considerable personal experience of music technology. There are also opportunities to learn more about ways in which new technologies are used to support student with special needs /disabilities to make music: we annually run PGCE workshop in collaboration with a 2 national charities that specialise in this area, and individuals are also able to spend time in special schools, experiencing music making with these new technological instruments.

Entry requirements

We need a minimum of a 2:2 degree in a subject related to the one you wish to teach. 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.

This course provides an exciting prospect for students from a range of undergraduate music/performing arts courses to come together to develop their skills in teaching and supporting learning. We also welcome applications from entrants without a music degree but who have extensive music/music education experience. Experience in practical music making is highly desirable but we also accept entrants with composition or music technology as their main musical strength. The ability to read musical notation (both bass and treble clef) is a requirement.


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, Graduate School of Education
School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA
Telephone number: 
+44 (0) 117 331 4103