Affinity Teaching School Alliance (Somerset)
French (3DQB)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Exeter
Financial support
Scholarship, bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
20 November 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

School Direct@Exeter features all of the elements of a traditional University based PGCE but has the additional benefit of providing trainees with more time in school.

Trainees following this programme become part of the school community from day 1. They join their lead placement school at the start of term and are inducted into the school alongside other new members of staff. This time in school provides trainees with an invaluable experience. They get inducted into the culture and ethos of the school and get to know the schools’ routines and expectations ensuring that they hit the ground running when they start their main school based learning in the Spring Term.

During this initial phase trainees also undertake their cross phase placements and have taught sessions alongside other School Direct trainees.

Autumn Term:

Trainees are based in their lead school for the first week before joining other School Direct trainees at The Castle School for taught sessions aimed at familiarising them with both the Teachers’ Standards and the Exeter Model for ITE. They then join the University PGCE programme when it starts, normally the third week in September. Trainees return to their lead school for a two week placement in November.

Spring Term:

Trainees are based in their lead school where they are supported by both experienced and dedicated teachers and their University Visiting Tutor (UVT). During this time they will also attend three seminar days at the University.

Summer Term:

The 6 week placement provides the trainee with a fantastic opportunity to compare and contrast different approaches to all aspects of teaching and other wider areas of work that teachers are involved in. Trainees will also have the opportunity to attend two further seminar days at the University.

Whilst on placement trainees will have twelve contact hours a week of classroom-based work.



Masters level (30 credits) 6000 summative assignment (Autumn Term)


Masters level (30 credits) 6000 summative assignment (Spring Term)


Interview process

All applications are screened initially by the University of Exeter Admissions department to check suitability for the programme. Suitable applicants will then be contacted by the Affinity Teaching School Alliance and invited to attend an interview.

At interview applicants will have an opportunity to have a tour of the school and meet with the key individuals who will be involved in training them. As part of the interview process applicants will be ask to deliver a short activity to a group of students and will also undertake a formal interview. Interviews will be conducted by the School Direct programme lead and a subject specialist. In some instances a member of the University Graduate School of Education may also be invited to the interview.

How school placements work

Trainees following the School Direct route into teaching are able to express a preference as to which of our partner schools they would like to be based in. This provides trainees with the opportunity to train close to home. Whilst most of our trainees are placed at The Castle School, the lead school within the alliance we also offering placements in either our Wellington and Taunton based schools. Our diverse and extensive partnership of schools ensures that we can tailor our placements to meet the needs of our trainees. This can also include offering trainees an enriched experience of post 16 teaching.

Trainees spend the Autumn and Summer Terms in their lead school and have their contrasting placement during the Spring Term. In addition to this they will also have a one week cross phase placement. Trainees who are not based in an 11- 18 setting for one of their placements will also be provided with a one week post 16 experience.

All placements, including cross phase and post 16 are organised for trainees.


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £17,600

Financial support

You could be eligible for either:

  • a scholarship of £28,000
  • a bursary of £26,000

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in French or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Financial support from the training provider

You could be eligible for either:

•a scholarship of £28,000

•a bursary of £26,000

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in French or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



Applicants are normally expected to have a good Honours degree in French (minimum 2:2) or equivalent e.g. Final Diploma of Institute of Linguists. French native speakers should hold a qualification equivalent to a UK degree (minimum 2:2) in any subject, usually with a minimum of 3 years of study at a Higher Education. An OU degree or other degree in a subject other than a foreign language may be acceptable if you can show at interview that residence abroad/other relevant experience has developed appropriate competence in the language.

Passes at GCSE in English and Mathematics at Grade C/4 required.

Personal qualities

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about teaching young people and who are driven by a desire to see every child succeed. Applicants should have a genuine love of their subject, they must be willing to learn and have the confidence to take risks. All trainees will need to possess resilience and above all they must be prepared to be reflective and learn from their experiences.

Our trainees need to demonstrate that they have the potential to become outstanding teachers who are committed to teaching and to developing their own careers.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, passes in both professional skills tests, a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and a satisfactory DBS enhanced disclosure.

Although not essential it would be an advantage to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

The ‘Qualifications’ section describes our standard offer. However, if you have a different academic background, equivalent to degree level, you are welcome to make an application through UCAS for consideration or contact the University's PGCE Admissions team( for more information.

About the training provider

The Castle School is the lead school for Affinity Teaching School Alliance

We teach over 1,200 students aged 11-16 at our extensive campus off Wellington Road, where we foster a supportive, family atmosphere and a strong sense of belonging for every student. Our aim is for every child to achieve, participate and belong, and this is at the heart of everything we do at The Castle School. Rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, we have been for some years now not only at the top of the performance tables in Somerset but in the top 5% of schools nationally for academic achievements.

We believe in the absolute moral responsibility we have for equipping students with the best possible exam results; we know that this opens doors for students and equips them with outstanding attitudes and a strong moral foundation. Equally important is nurturing every student’s potential beyond the curriculum through the huge range of enrichment available and we aim that every child participates in enrichment activities. This success is not simply the result of the outstanding teaching at The Castle School, but the strong family ethos and sense of belonging that we engender.

We are very, very lucky to have exceptional staff here at The Castle School. All staff are very focused on student achievement and the relationships between students and staff are outstanding. There is a very welcoming and cheerful staffroom and a great atmosphere in staff briefings, which are usually characterised by good humour.

About the accredited body

Exeter University are leaders in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), graded as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted ( and ranked 3rd amongst university providers of ITE in the Good Teacher Training Guide (2017). Ofsted praised University of Exeter-trained teachers for their ‘high levels of professionalism; drive, resilience and an ability to manage themselves independently’; meaning our NQTs make rapid progress in their careers as new teachers and gain confidence in teaching children with a diverse range of needs. The 2017 inspection of ITE programmes praised the contribution of Exeter’s trainees and NQTs teaching children in the region and nationally.

Training with disabilities and other needs

As all of our programmes are accredited by the University of Exeter if you declared a disability, specific learning difficulty or mental health difficulties on your UCAS application form, the University’s AccessAbility team will contact you before the start of your course to ask you to complete a prospective student questionnaire.

Once registered with AccessAbility/Wellbeing Services the University will, where appropriate, draw up an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to ensure that any required adjustments are made.

You can find out more about Individual Learning Plans here: Physical Health, Disability or Learning Difficulty: Mental Health Condition:

Contact details

01823 274073
The Castle School
Wellington Road


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