Apply for a PGCE Course!!


Thinking about teaching? Well, read on. This might just be your way into education!

PGCE English

Graded as outstanding by Ofsted – January 2011

The PGCE English course at the University of Manchester prepares trainees to teach Secondary English in the UK, including the National Curriculum, GCSE and AS/A Level. It also encompasses Drama, Media and Information and Communication Technology. We use the expertise of colleagues from partnership schools to complement the teaching of university sessions.

The course philosophy is to use collaborative learning and formative teaching to prepare trainees who can help their students to become independent thinkers and users of language.

We use a wide range of teaching methods, including seminars, group discussion, practical workshops, trainee-led presentations, peer assessment and trainee peer observations of lessons to enable trainees to participate actively in their own development as teachers.

We encourage trainees to use similarly active and well-principled approaches in their own school and college classrooms.

We give trainees a significant amount of responsibility to develop their own teaching style, set targets for themselves, take their own initiatives and evaluate their own work in planning, teaching and assessing.

Course content

Working with some of our partnership schools and colleges, trainees learn how to organise lessons and schemes of work, assess effectively, teach reading, speaking and listening and writing, develop students’ understanding of language, teach classic literary texts, including Shakespeare, and to use Drama, Media and Information and Communication Technology in English teaching.

In placement schools and colleges trainees observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced English teacher who acts as a mentor. Mentors observe some of the lessons trainees teach and help them to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment and improve their teaching skills.

The university-based elements of the course are taught by tutors with expertise in teaching in schools and colleges and examining KS4/GCSE and AS/A Level English.

Course Leader: John Keen

The PGCE Secondary course, including English, was identified by Ofsted (January 2011) as an ‘Outstanding’ provider of teacher training with particular strengths as follows:

The high quality and enthusiasm of trainees, many of whom are imaginative and creative in their approach to teaching.

The selection process, which recruits trainees with the qualities required to complete the course successfully and to gain employment.

Mentors in placement schools have high levels of expertise and are very supportive of the partnership.

The strong systems for evaluating provision, which include a clear focus on maintaining the highest standards.

Trainees’ attainment is outstanding overall. Trainees are enthusiastic and focus very clearly on improving their practice: they have high aspirations and are determined to succeed.

Outstanding communication across the partnership.

A strong team of university staff, many of whom are nationally recognised experts in their fields, provides excellent support for trainees’ academic work and personal needs.

University tutors frequently model good practice, based on high levels of expertise and understanding of current practice.

Particular strengths of the PGCE English course included the following:
An average retention rate of 95% over recent years for the English cohort.

Trainee-led sessions [which] help to ensure that the course is personalised, flexible and responsive to need.

The introduction of joint lesson observations by trainees. Peer assessment by trainees of each other’s work.

(Inspection report: University of Manchester, 21 January 2011)

Admissions Policy for PGCE English

In addition to the general requirements for secondary PGCE, criteria for interview for the PGCE English course at the University of Manchester are as follows. Applicants must achieve 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  1. 1a.  At A2 level, a minimum of 260 UCAS points counting the best three A2s not including General Studies, including a Grade A or B for English (English Literature, English Language or English Language and Literature) OR
  2. 1b.  An equivalent level of attainment in AVCE, Scottish Highers, Irish Highers, US High School Diploma or other relevant national 16+ qualification OR
  3. 1c.  AQAA-recognisedAccessqualification.Standardsrequiredforinterviewareasfollows:
    1. (i)  Pass the full Access course (or gain the full Access certificate) with a Distinction or a Merit in English plus a Distinction or a Merit in each of the other two subjects OR
    2. (ii)  Pass the Access certificate with at least 22 credits at Level 3 including 6 credits in English (Literature or Language) OR
    3. (iii)  PassthefullAccesscertificatewiththemaximumnumberofcreditsachievableatLevel3on the Access course taken by the applicant, including 6 credits in English (Literature or Language).
  4. 1d.  In cases where national educational systems do not require 16+ qualifications for entry to honours degree programmes, consideration of applications will be based on the applicant’s degree and evidence of commitment to secondary English teaching.Applicants should state their level of attainment for 16+ qualification on the GTTR application form. In some cases, additional information from applicants regarding 16+ qualifications may be required.
  1. A 2/2, 2/1 or 1st class honours degree with a minimum of 50% English content (English Literature, English Language or Linguistics) and reasonable coverage of the National Curriculum for English.
  2. Evidence of commitment to secondary English teaching; for example visiting a secondary English department or providing evidence of professional reading about English teaching.
  3. A satisfactory academic reference, preferably from the applicant’s first degree tutor.

International entry requirements: For overseas equivalency checks please contact the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)

Application requirements: To apply for a PGCE course at the University of Manchester you must apply through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). Please visit the GTTR website for further details ( Applications or CVs sent directly to the University will not be considered.

Fees and Bursaries

For information on the financial support currently available for Postgraduate Teacher Training, please go to: provider/funding-allocations/bursary_guidance.pdf

For further details please visit our website:


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