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Our PGCE Secondary English course offers you the opportunity to train to teach English within a Secondary School setting.

  • This programme is rated 'outstanding' by the government (OFSTED)
  • Gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 Master’s degree credits
  • There are EAL and SEND specialist tutors to support in these key areas of Secondary English Teaching.
  • Links with Gothic Literature specialists who deliver subject knowledge sessions to support delivery at KS3 and KS4.
  • Visiting lecturers in creativity and spoken word poetry.

Why study Secondary English?

Applicants will be assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A Level teaching are also included in the programme as appropriate.

The course covers all aspects of English, with an emphasis on practical activities for use in school. There is a strong emphasis on planning for the whole ability range to ensure that all pupils are able to make progress with a focus on the impact of literacy, EAL and SEN on Secondary English teaching and learning.

The experienced English tutors work in close partnership with trainees and the placement schools.

Why St Mary's?

If you wish to study for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies you will be able to complete several of the modules during your PGCE year. This certificate is often a requirement for teaching in a Catholic school.

Our partnership schools offer a rich and diverse training programme for our trainees. We work with partner schools throughout the London area. During your placements, you will be guided from working with small groups of pupils alongside a subject teacher towards taking responsibility for whole classes.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Our PGCE programmes include Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 Master’s degree credits. A large part of the programme is spent in assessed school placements that our School Partnership team will arrange for you, based on your home residential address.

QTS is required to teach in all state-maintained schools in England.

Ofsted Outstanding

We are Outstanding!

Following our inspection in 2019, we are delighted to announce that Ofsted have graded St Mary’s University as ‘outstanding’ in all areas of teacher training. Read more...

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

English PGCE applicants are expected to have a good degree in English (2:2 or above) or a related subject.

Please note: interviews for all 2021 PGCE programmes will be conducted online and recorded.

Additional requirement information

  • Your degree should have a significant proportion of the subject you wish to teach. Subject knowledge enhancement courses may be set as a condition in some cases, particularly when the degree is not clearly ‘in line’ with the subject you are applying to.
  • GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics at level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) or above or equivalent. GCSE English (or equivalence) must be in place at application. GCSE equivalents are offered by St Mary's University.
  • By the end of your teacher training programme you will have to demonstrate that you are competent in functional English and mathematics. This is a Department for Education requirement.
  • Two appropriate references (from an academic tutor or line manager) supporting your suitability for teaching. All references should be from a professional email address.
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Original certification (or certified copies) of all qualifications will be required as evidence.
  • Physical and mental fitness to teach.

School observation

At St Mary's, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning can be really insightful and informative.

Your training is most likely to take place in mixed, state comprehensive school environments. If you are choosing to complete some school observation as part of making an informed decision about teaching then we would encourage you to do so in a similar school setting.

Coronavirus addendum

It is proving extremely difficult for some individuals to get school experience due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. However, it is still extremely important that you demonstrate the steps that you have taken to make a fully informed decision about entering teacher training within your application. With this in mind, you may want to review some of the government's resources as part of the process:

Irish applicants

Make sure to check our information for candidates applying from Northern Ireland and Ireland.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

The gov.uk website has a 'Get into teaching' guide for overseas students.

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email apply@stmarys.ac.uk.

Course content

Modules

  • Reflective Overview Option
  • General Professional Studies Core
  • English: Subject Specialism Core
  • School Experience One (Foundation) Core
  • School Experience Two (Development) Core
  • School Experience Three (Consolidation) Core
  • Effective Teaching and Learning Option
  • Supporting Learning Core
  • Investigating Teaching and Learning Core

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

The quality of the provision at St Mary’s is valued by our trainees and schools, resulting in high levels (over 70%) of NQT employment in our partnership schools. Employment rates following the PGCE course are consistently over 90% in teaching roles.

On the programme you will study two Master's' modules leading to 60 credits at postgraduate level. You will have the opportunity to further your postgraduate studies in your career as these credits are transferable.

At the end of the PGCE course, you will have the opportunity to complete a three-week placement in a special education setting. This is highly valued by trainee teachers to broaden their understanding of specific learning needs for some learners.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

The course tutors use a variety of teaching and learning approaches, including lectures, workshop sessions, collaborative and small-group work, paired work, practical activities, with positive use of technology, individual and group student presentations and some self-supported study.

A number of external cross-curricular visits - such as field trips and visits to museums - also take place.

This range of strategies both caters for a range of preferred learning styles and provides good teaching role models for trainees.

Assessment methods

Trainees are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status by successfully meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE). Continuous assessment throughout the programme will determine success.

Master's level assignments complement the work in schools and assist in meeting the Teachers’ Standards. These assignments aim to encourage you to be thoughtful and reflective, but also reinforce the evidence-based nature of the course assessment.

Self-assessment is also recognised as a valuable perspective in the evaluation of both school and university-based work.

Other assessments are used to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge.  This is done through a range of methods:

  • Self-assessment
  • Presentations
  • Micro-teaching
  • Essays
  • Practical sessions
  • Lesson observations

Assessment is on-going and against the Teachers’ Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2021

  • Home: £9,250*
  • International: 12,950
Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Funding

If you are a UK or EU student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount is based on the highest previous qualification that you have attained to date.

Information about financing your studies can be found within the Fees & Funding section.

Alumni discount

A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our undergraduate and postgraduate alumni planning to study a PGCE.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact pgcesecondary@stmarys.ac.uk.

Facilities

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Further information