About the course
The Sussex Schools Partnership Music PGCE course is offered as a 1 year full-time programme or for 2 years part time.
Successful candidates will be awarded Qualified
Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits allowing progress onto our Part-time Masters in Education for newly qualified teachers.
An identity as 'musician in the classroom' and the ability to facilitate creative music-making are fundamental attributes of a successful Music teacher. During the Music PGCE Course you will consider your pivotal role as a musician bringing together music from in and outside the classroom, build on your existing skills and develop subject knowledge in unfamiliar areas. Whether your background is western classical, pop, world or music technology you will broaden your horizons to new styles and genres.
The course is highly interactive and delivered through seminars, discussion, tutorials and practical workshops such as singing, improvisation, composing and world music. Imaginative workshops, develop your confidence and expertise in approaches to GCSE and A level, creative teaching and learning strategies, and directing extra-curricular musical activities.
We incorporate 'hands on' music technology sessions to develop skills and consider how technology can be effectively integrated in the classroom.
The Sussex course brings together education theory and practice encouraging you to critically reflect on approaches to learning and teaching. Excellent teachers from our partnership schools are seconded to the tutor team and contribute additional currency to teaching and trainee support.
The course starts with a full-time three week induction course on our campus during September to prepare you for starting your school placement. Full-time candidates spend Monday to Thursday each week training in one of our partnership schools and attending the University Campus on Fridays for lectures, workshops and seminars with our team of experienced subject tutors. Part-time candidates attend the university on Fridays and train for two days a week in school in year 1 and three days in year 2.
Over the year you will be placed in two different schools and will be required to pass both placements. Additional assessments are via a Masters level essay submitted in late February and an innovative Viva style Masters level exit interview at the end of the course.
The course benefits from the presence of the acclaimed Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA), a world class inter disciplinary arts space in an iconic grade 11 listed building on the campus.
Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to a selection day either on the University campus or in one of our partnership schools.
At a Sussex selection day candidates would usually expect to;
- Listen to a talk giving further information about the course with an opportunity to ask questions
- Have an individual interview with a Sussex tutor and an experienced teacher from a partner school
- Deliver a short pre-prepared classroom type teaching task or presentation
- Present your degree, GCSE Maths and English certificates (and Science for Primary and KS2/3) and Photo ID for checking
- Complete some paperwork including our Suitability for Teaching Declaration
Showing an awareness the curriculum and school life is part of the selection process so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.
How school placements work
Our Full-time Course
You will undertake two periods of Professional Practice in two contrasting schools over the academic year September to June, training to teach in Key Stage 3 (11-14) and Key Stage 4 (14-16) with enhancement opportunities at Key Stage 5 (16-18).
Placement 1: End of September to February halfterm. Trainees benefit from a serial placement where the working week is divided between four days in school and a day of reflection and training at the University on Fridays. This ensures a weekly focus on theory and pedagogy as well as practice.
Placement 2: February Halfterm to May halfterm in a contrasting school. There are fewer University days to give you experience of working a 5 day school week.
Our Part-time Course
Year One: 2 days* a week in school and Fridays at the University
Year Two 3 days* a week in a second contrasting school and occasional University days. Towards the end of your course you will undertake a full-time 5 week teaching block.
- Days of the week individually negociated to suit both school and trainee.
Our longstanding and historic partnership with around 300 schools across East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London Fringes helps us secure placements where our trainees will thrive and be well exceptionally supported. We invest a lot of time in carefully arranging the most appropriate school for each individual in our cohorts.
Your Sussex tutor will personally select your two school placements based on a combination of factors; the practicalities such as living location and transport needs but also on personality, subject knowledge level and previous experiences and using our in depth knowledge of the features of schools within our partnership.
We are also proud to offer an innovative optional training strand in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) which includes enhanced training opportunities and a bespoke Placement 2 in a local partnership special school. This strand would suit any trainee interested in working in a SEND environment.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
- An undergraduate degree 2:2 Music or Music Technology and enthusiasm for your chosen subject. You may be considered if you have a degree in another subject but would need to demonstrate a good understanding of music theory and music history and your musicianship. You must also have at least an A level (or equivalent qualification) in Music.
English and Maths GCSE at grade C or above (pre-2017), Grade 5 or above (post-2017), or equivalent qualifications.
We are are looking for;
- A passion for music and an interest and involvement with the subject beyond your degree as a practicing, active musician
- Knowledge and understanding of music and awareness of how it is taught in UK secondary schools.
- Effective communication skills and good organisational skills
- Awareness of current educational developments and issues
- Experience with young people and commitment to developing individuals
- The ability to evaluate practice and to address your weaknesses
- Initiative, flexibility and responsiveness to change
- A sense of responsibility
- The ability to work in a team.
We also require the following
- Working with children: You must not be excluded from working with children, as a result of a criminal record or other reason. The Disclosure and Barring Service provides access to records held nationwide through its disclosure
service. All trainees must obtain successful DBS clearance before starting an initial teacher-training programme.
- Health requirements: All trainees must be screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University's Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme.
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 – select the relevant location name on the application form.
||Essex House 4, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9QQ
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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