Postgraduate Certificate in Education Secondary Level (11-16 years with post-16 enhancement experience)
Organiser and Tutor: Professor Terry Haydn
PGCE Course Overview
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), one-year, full-time, Secondary course prepares graduates to teach in secondary schools (age range: 11-16 years with post-16 enhancement experience). The course is assessed against 'M' Level criteria - leading to Qualified Teacher Status and 60 credits at Masters Level.
This is an interesting, often very demanding but tremendously rewarding age group to work with as pupils mature from early adolescence to adulthood. The course is designed to equip you to teach your main subject and to make an effective contribution to the work of schools beyond your subject.
The UEA partnership scheme has attracted national and international attention for its successful close inter-weaving of school and university-based work. It provides you with the opportunity to engage in the systematic study of theory and current good practice both in schools and in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at UEA. The PGCE course has received a series of excellent grades in OfSTED inspections.
The 36 week long course includes an extensive 24 weeks of placement in two of our partnership schools near, or within reasonable distance of, your home. This emphasis on practical teaching provides you with a broad range of teaching experience in different schools.
At university sessions you will discuss experiences with others on the course and learn more about the theory and practice of teaching. Expect to be involved in a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and practical workshops.
Subject Specific Information - History
The teaching of History in schools has aroused more controversy than any other National Curriculum subject. There are many views on why and how History should be taught, and you will be acquainted with all these views as part of the course.
The advent of technology such as the personal computer and the internet has also created many interesting opportunities and problems for History teachers. These issues will be explored in relation to both theory and practice, in an attempt to bring the two together in such a way as to provide a sound foundation for your development towards becoming an accomplished and effective classroom teacher.
You are encouraged to formulate your own responses to the different ideas about teaching History, through reading, discussion, observation, experience and reflection, both at the university and in schools.
Student evaluation of the course suggests that this process is interesting, challenging and enjoyable. The course has a strong practical element and teachers contribute widely, both in schools and at the university. In the university-based work, the emphasis is on workshop sessions, examining general issues of classroom practice and specific areas of concern such as the challenges of teaching less able children, sixth form teaching, teaching controversial issues and the role of information technology in the History classroom.
Qualifications and Experience
The standard of applications to the course is very high. We expect applicants to have a good honours degree in History or a combined honours degree in related disciplines (such as Archaeology, Politics, International Relations) where there is a substantial element (around 50% minimum) of courses of a historical nature.
A key question to ask yourself is whether you possess the subject knowledge that would enable you to teach the National Curriculum for History. It is advisable for all applicants to be familiar with this.
Further information is also available from the course tutor's own History PGCE web pages
We prefer applicants to have some experience of working with young people, which might include experience in areas such as TEFL teaching, classroom assistant work, training of school-leavers, or private tuition, we strongly recommend that applicants try to gain some observational experience in secondary schools. Click on the link to access further information about how you can gain school observational experience.
Recent trainees have represented a broad age range and have joined the course from extremely diverse backgrounds, sometimes changing careers and coming to us from Higher Education, Management, Computing, Marketing and Journalism.
Student Endorsements and Case Studies
One of the strengths of our course which was commented on in recent OfSTED inspections was the high quality of mentoring demonstrated by Heads of History in our partnership schools.
When students are on school placement they are assigned a mentor who is responsible for their professional development and well-being.
The following quotes are taken from recent student evaluations of their experiences:
- "This was as close to a perfect placement as one could hope for. Staff all helpful, mixture of ability classes and opportunity to try different methods..."
- "Daily brief talk with mentor in first stages of first practice was very reassuring and helpful."
- "Excellent support from all staff, greatly enhanced by being treated as part of the staff from the beginning; vital for the development of one's self-confidence. Some formal and a great deal of informal feedback - informal feedback very helpful as it allows continuous lines of communication to be formed."
- "I've had the freedom and scope to grow professionally."
- "The school is wonderful. Both subject mentor and link teacher have gone out of their way to be helpful and supportive. I feel that my time in school is largely dependent on getting on well with my mentor and being committed and organised. I am very lucky; my mentor is a wonderful person and teacher. I have been to parents' evenings and in on SEN meetings and curriculum planning sessions. I already feel part of the school."
Kashif Abbas, Stuart Sandall, Helen Williams, and Johannes Ahrenfelt are all now established teachers, having studied for their PGCE at UEA. Check out their views on the course and of life in school post-training!
Many of our trainees are appointed to teaching posts in Norfolk and Suffolk. Career opportunities within secondary teaching are now far wider and more diverse than ever before. Within a few years of beginning teaching many are able to gain promotion to leadership positions within their subject or for pastoral responsibilities. There may also be opportunities to become an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST), this allows effective classroom teachers to gain recognition for their excellence in the classroom without needing to move to more administrative positions. After experience of middle management successful teachers can progress to senior management as Senior Teacher, Deputy Head or Head.
Secondary Teaching Information Event
Our next Secondary Teaching Information Event will take place in October 2013.
In the meantime, if you have any queries, please do contact the UEA PGCE Admissions Team.
Application Procedure and Selection Process
All candidates starting the PGCE in 2013 are required to pass the professional skills tests before starting the course. More information can be found via the Teaching Agency website.
Candidates are required to apply via the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). This is the central "clearing house" which deals with all applications for PGCE courses across the country. Application forms for 2013 entry are available from October 2012.
Candidates are required to supply an academic referee as their first reference if they have completed their studies in the last 5 years.
Primary candidates are advised by the GTTR to make their application by 1st December 2012 - however please note that we will be accepting applications (through the GTTR) after this date if we have vacancies.
There is no specified deadline for Secondary candidates. However, all candidates are advised to apply as early as possible in the application cycle.
NB: You are advised to ensure that your principal referee is available to submit their reference immediately upon request (usually electronically via GTTR). Your chosen institution will not receive your application until the principal referee has submitted their reference. Please see the GTTR Referee Guidance for information on selection.
Candidates are encouraged to prepare thoroughly. Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with our PGCE Teacher Training Prospectus and the information available from the Teaching Agency and related educational establishments. These sources will help you to gain knowledge of the current issues facing teaching, specifically in the subject area for which you are applying. During interview you will be expected to be able to answer questions about these issues, and what has prompted your desire to choose teaching as a career.
Candidates are normally chosen on the basis of their application form, references and an interview.
TA Training Bursaries are available for the PGCE Secondary History course for entry in 2013.
Click on the link to access further information about Financial Information.
If you would like to discuss your application further please contact us by email: email@example.com, by telephone: +44 (0)1603 592855 or write to us:
Room 0.20, School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Admissions, Recruitment & Marketing
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ UK
Our PGCE Teacher Training Prospectus for September 2013 entry is available to download in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.
Thank you for taking the time to view this website. We hope it has given you some idea of what we have to offer and that, if you are thinking of training to be a teacher, you will consider applying to us.