About the course
We run different pathways within our Primary PGCE programme and applicants should apply to the pathway(s) they are interested in. Our Primary with English course trains you to become a primary classroom teacher but also provides an additional strand in primary english education to help prepare you to become a future curriculum coordinator in english.
Term 1 begins with two weeks of preliminary school experience. This leads into the university-based course. You will spend two weeks in November in your first placement school to begin your classroom practice.
Term 2 is spent in your first placement school with three seminar days held at the University.
Term 3 is spent in your second school placement with two seminar days held at the University.
The four components:
- Curriculum studies - This includes preparation for teaching the core subjects (English, Mathematics, and Science) and the subjects of Art, Computing, D&T, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Music, PE, and RE, delivered in shorter practical courses. These courses cater for trainees whose previous experiences may vary widely and give a substantial introduction to teaching these subjects.
- Educational and Professional Studies - This component is designed to enable critical reflection on children’s learning and development, pedagogy, diversity, and teachers’ roles and responsibilities in multi-professional contexts. This component includes one summative assignment worth 30 Masters level credits.
- School experience - Central to the course is the developing your ability to meet the DfE’s Teachers’ Standards which trainees must demonstrate in order to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). School-based tutors and mentors are responsible for your learning & development and receive well-designed training. You initially work with groups of children, before taking on more responsibility for planning and independently teaching whole classes. You will have two main placements offering contrasting environments.
- Pathway module (English) - The English pathway will prepare you to use creative approaches and resources to interest and motivate children as you teach across the curriculum. This will include ways of using poetry, drama, stories and children’s literature. It is taught through seminars and workshops with a significant element of directed collaborative group work and self-study. As well as giving you a solid grounding in practical classroom ideas, you will have the opportunity to execute and evaluate your own classroom research. It includes one summative assignment worth 30 Masters-level credits.
The PGCE interview day comprises various elements, all designed so that you can showcase (and so we can assess) your skills, attributes and subject knowledge.
We notify all interviewees ahead of time what will be expected of them on interview day, so you have plenty of time to prepare. Primary and secondary interviewees attend on the same day and activities in the morning are conducted in mixed subject groups. The day is divided up as follows:
- A welcome talk so you can find out about the structure of the programme, including school placements and the taught course
- A short written task in which you can demonstrate your subject knowledge and understanding of current issues in education
- A document check so you can bring with you your certificates (you will be told what to bring)
- A short presentation in which you present a teaching idea using an artefact of your choice
- A short discussion about a filmed lesson which encourages you to explore your own, and others’, ideas about good teaching
- A one-to-one interview with an Admissions Tutor. This is where pathway tutors will discuss your application, your suitability for teaching and your subject knowledge. This is also an opportunity to learn about the particular course you are applying for
The interview day is designed to give you a flavour of the PGCE programme. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day. You should allow a full day for the interview.
How school placements work
You will be working within at least two schools during the course and all of our partner schools have specially trained mentors who will assist you in learning to teach. These colleagues are essential to your development as a teacher and will help you to develop both classroom skills and reflective and evaluative strategies. Together with schools, we will provide you with opportunities, training and support.
The University of Exeter currently has partnership agreements with over 250 schools across most parts of the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset).
Every effort is made to take into consideration your personal circumstances and preferences when allocating your placements. Trainees generally live in and around Exeter for the Autumn term, and then move to the area their placements will be in. Once on placement, there are 5 seminar days on campus throughout the year, offering the opportunity to share experiences and good practice. You can claim a contribution towards expenses for these days if you are living away from Exeter.
Our accommodation office can offer advice regarding finding accommodation for the Autumn term. Many trainees will be placed further afield than Exeter for the whole of their school-based work, and will need to find accommodation in that area. Once registered, we provide an accommodation database, which lists many accommodation options previously used by our trainees. Many trainees live together during their time on placement and some live with school staff.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
You may be eligible for a loan while you study.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
For information on Government loans and training bursaries, please visit the Student Finance England and Get into Teaching websites.
The University of Exeter offers a £520 bursary to all UK students studying for a PGCE with us in 2019/20, whose household income is £25,000 or less. There is no separate application procedure for this bursary. Instead, we make an assessment using the household income information you provide to Student Finance England (you must make sure you give consent for details of your SfE application to be shared with the University of Exeter). This consent to share is requested during the application for financial support, but can be given at any time throughout the year by contacting SfE.
For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages
We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree. We expect to take students with at least A-level English (grade B), preferably degree level. Students without A-level English can apply if they can show relevant experience in language/literacy fields, eg, teaching TEFL/ psychology/drama.
Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C/4. Please note that although the DfE requirement is a grade C/4, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B/5 or above in Mathematics and English and a grade C/4 in Science.
We are looking for candidates with a strong English background (including drama, theatre and World Literature) who see themselves as the subject leaders of the future.
Most successful applicants have a 2:1 or above. If however, you have a 2:2 or different academic background, equivalent to degree level, you are welcome to make an application through UCAS for consideration or contact our PGCE Admissions team for more information.
In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, passes in both professional skills tests and a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and DBS enhanced disclosure.
Although not essential it would be advantageous to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location and give the relevant training location code.
||University of Exeter (Exeter Campuses)
||PGCE Admissions Office, Northcote House, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, DEVON EX4 4QJ
Advice and support
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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