University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Secondary Education (Languages)

Languages teachers need to be enthusiastic, resourceful, innovative and imaginative in order to create an exciting environment for language learning. They need to respond to a wide range of needs and motivations, building learners´ confidence and enabling them to enjoy the experience of learning about other cultures.

The PGDE Languages course is designed to enable its student teachers to respond to this challenge. It also takes account of the local and national policy contexts, encouraging an awareness of the many opportunities which exist to support language teaching and learning.

Our aim is to train teachers who are reflective practitioners, and the academic masters-level work on the course fosters a deeper understanding and critical stance in relation to language pedagogy and teaching and learning in secondary schools.

Course Overview

Applicants will specialize in two languages from French, German and Spanish and it is common for applicants to have a main and support language. The main language is the language you studied at degree level in conjunction with a sustained period abroad in the target language country; this is the language you will teach on the course to A-Level. The support language may be a language you took to A-Level yourself and it will provide the basis for you to teach to at least KS3.

Alongside this and subject to school availability, it may be possible to offer very limited places for Japanese, Chinese, Russian or Urdu plus one other language from French, German or Spanish. Please contact the course coordinator before applying.

The Languages element of the PGDE is designed to give student teachers the confidence and skills they will need as beginning teachers in secondary schools. The course brings together theory, practice and research, to explore methods and strategies appropriate to the range of teaching situations likely to be met in an all-ability school. The importance of using the language for genuine communication is underlined, and we believe that language learning should be stimulating and relevant.

University tutors work closely with partnership schools to ensure that student teachers can observe experienced teachers, develop their own teaching styles and arrive at a greater understanding of how children learn languages. In addition to periods of block school experience, other school visits are organised and student teachers can also take part in the activities of The Association for Language Learning (ALL).

Entry requirements

As this is an 11-19 course we are preparing students to teach up to A-level and we will normally take into account the balance of your degree content and your profile of GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and results to assess your suitability for the programme.

Most applicants will have studied one or both languages as a major part of their degree and we expect a total of at least three months´ residence in an appropriate country. Native speakers may have a degree in another subject. They will, however, need to demonstrate an adequate level of spoken and written English. It is desirable for applicants to have spent time in a secondary school in the United Kingdom either working, volunteering or as a visitor and to have spent some time with the Languages department in particular.

Assessment methods

There are no written examinations on the PGDE. Instead, progress is monitored by a system of continuous assessment. This takes account of your achievements in the four main areas of the course:

  • Curriculum Work
  • School Experience
  • Educational & Professional Studies
  • Enrichment or Enhancement Experience

School based assessment takes place continuously through the course, whilst Masters assessment is through written assignments, presentation and portfolios. Details of assessment procedures are set out in course handbooks, and you can discuss them with your university tutors and your AUM and AUT in school.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGDE Full time September 2019 £ 9,250 per Academic year (Home/EU) Months
PGDE Full time September 2019 £ 16,800 per Academic year (International) Months

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