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1 years


Full Time

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), one-year, full-time course leads to a PGCE (Qualified Teacher Status) with 90 Masters level credits.

The programme runs for 38 weeks and includes at least 120 days on placement in schools and 60 days spent at the University. We work in partnership with secondary schools across Norfolk and Suffolk and the course is available through both UEA or with one of our School Direct partners.

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.

Programme structure

Work based in schools is spread across extensive placements in two of our partnership schools, which are located across the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. This emphasis on practical teaching provides you with a broad range of teaching experience in different schools.

University-based sessions will be held in Norwich, a location which is widely regarded as one of the most attractive and friendly cities in Britain. The campus at the University of East Anglia is set in extensive parkland and the distinctive architecture is nationally acclaimed. For the sixth year running UEA has been ranked in the top 5 for student satisfaction among mainstream English universities.

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.

We offer 11-16 years with post-16 enhancement experience PGCE in learning to teach:

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Physical Education
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Physics with Mathematics

Please see the Course Profiles tab for further details about the subject options available.

Career opportunities

Our trainees achieve a very high success in gaining employment, with many opting to stay 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, either within their subject or with pastoral responsibilities. There may also be opportunities to become a Leading Practitioner, taking a leadership role in developing, implementing and evaluating policies and practice in the workplace - contributing to school improvement. After experience of middle management successful teachers can progress into senior leadership roles - Assistant Head Teacher, Deputy Head or Head.

UEA Open Days

Discover the University campus and find out more about both our PGCE and School Direct routes to become a secondary school teacher:

Date: Saturday 25 October 2014
Time: 11:00-11:30 (UEA campus activities open from 10:00-15:00)
Venue: Elizabeth Fry Building, room 01.08
Register your interest to attend

Date: Friday 14 November 2014
Time: 13:00-17:00 (Welcome and Subject Talks from 14:00)
Venue: Registration/Information Zone (Thomas Paine Study Centre); Welcome Talk (Lecture Theatre 3)
Register your interest to attend

We are renowned as a centre for excellence in teacher education.

The School of Education and Lifelong Learning is one of the top teacher training institutions in the United Kingdom.

Our PGCE Teacher Training Programmes have been developed in close partnership with schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. We will provide you with the academic, professional and personal skills and competencies needed to enable you to achieve the best from your future pupils.

Teaching promises you a rewarding career

Whether you have recently graduated or are thinking about a change of career - train to teach!

Teaching is a creative, challenging and invigorating profession which offers great prospects, solid support and a wide variety of activities and opportunities.

Performance reassurance

As a centre renowned for excellence in initial teacher education we have over 20 years of experience in training teachers. Our Primary and Secondary PGCE programmes in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning have been recognised as of "very high quality" (see independent Ofsted reports). Comparative quality indicators can also be viewed as published by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Further information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

PGCE Admissions Team
Telephone: +44 (0)1603 592855

Download the PGCE Prospectus | Register via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to  access the University's International section of our website.

View our course profile PDFs for:


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject: Please see below.
  • Degree Classification: 2:2 or above.
  • Special Entry Requirements: Please see below.

Entry Requirement

Candidates are required to have an appropriate degree or its equivalent*. Around 50 per cent of degree content should be the subject which you wish to teach. 

Secondary English:
We welcome applications from good honours graduates in English or related subjects that foster similar aptitudes (for example, in textual analysis or knowledge about language) as a significant proportion of the programme of study. Recent trainees have also had experience in the fields of Media Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Drama. In addition, some applicants also join the course with prior professional experience. All applicants are encouraged, where appropriate, to describe the nature of their professional experience and how it relates to the English curriculum and teaching more broadly.

Secondary Geography:
We welcome graduates from a whole variety of backgrounds and holding a Geography degree is by no means a pre-requisite for the course.

During recent years we have offered places to candidates with diverse degree backgrounds. Many of our students have degrees in related disciplines such as:

  • Environmental Science
  • Development Studies
  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Anthropology
  • Law
  • Statistics
  • Business Studies
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Social Sciences
  • Politics

Secondary History:
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.

Secondary Mathematics:
During recent years we have offered places to candidates with diverse degree backgrounds:

  • Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics
  • Accounting and Financial Analysis
  • Astronomy and Physics
  • Biomolecular Science
  • Building Services Engineering
  • Business Management
  • Business Studies
  • Business Studies and Finance
  • Computer Systems Engineering
  • Economics
  • Economics with Sport Studies
  • Engineering
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Industrial Management
  • Knowledge Extraction; Statistics and Mathematics
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics with Astronomy
  • Mathematics with Business Administration
  • Mathematics with Music
  • Mathematics with Psychology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Philosophy with Mathematics
  • Production Engineering & Management
  • Statistics

Secondary Modern Foreign Languages:
Applicants to the course should hold a BA degree (or equivalent) in languages, languages and literature, or linguistics. In addition to high level language skills, applicants should have a good knowledge of the countries and cultures where the language(s) offered are spoken. The main languages currently required by schools are French, German and Spanish although proficiency in other languages (such as Italian and Russian) will be considered if these are offered as a second language and if we have schools in which school based placements can take place. Applicants offering two languages are preferred.

Native speakers with a non-language based BA but who have relevant teaching experience are encouraged to make enquiries regarding eligibility for entry to the course.

Secondary Physical Education
You should possess a first degree in Physical Education, Sports Science or Sports Studies that includes a module mix of pedagogical, coaching or National Curriculum activity-based modules, together with a sound practical and personal competence in some, if not all of the main activity areas of the Physical Education National Curriculum. Priority will be given to applicants with a 2:1 or above. Please note: For entry to the course in September 2015, applicants will also be required to have attained a Grade C GCSE Science (or an equivalent qualification) prior to making their application.

Secondary Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Mathematics
Applicants should have a good background at degree level in one of these subjects or in a closely related area.

General Requirements

Before making your application you must have a GCSE pass at Grade C or its equivalent* in English Language and in Mathematics.

*Please note: It is up to the discretion of the individual Initial Teacher Training provider as to whether an appropriate level has been satisfactorily achieved. We therefore strongly urge candidates with equivalent qualifications to check with us that these are acceptable before making their application.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

Gaining Experience

Candidates should also ensure that on their application form they are able to demonstrate that they have gained recent experience, with children of the relevant age range, in the mainstream school environment. Secondary applicants should have experience across the secondary age range, within their chosen subject.

Additional experience can also be taken into consideration, which might include experience in areas such as TEFL teaching, classroom assistant work, training of school-leavers, or private tuition. You are advised to make clear your experience on your application.

It is important for candidates to have an understanding of and reflect on how classrooms are managed and how teaching and learning takes place within the classroom prior to interview. It is recommended that you gain at least 5 days' observational experience in the classroom environment.

There are a number of ways in which you can achieve this:

Contact Your Local School
Try contacting local schools where you live to see if you are able to arrange a time to observe some lessons. You need only to have undertaken observational experience prior to submitting your application. Please note that it is at the discretion of each school as to whether they will allow visitors into their classrooms.

University Career Schemes
Candidates who are currently studying at university may be able to participate in Teaching Schemes organised by the Careers Service. For example, UEA offers Student Mentoring through the Student Ambassador Scheme, which aims to contribute towards raising the aspirations of year 9 school students, particularly those from backgrounds with no family history of further or higher education. Mentors provide students with academic and personal development support through mentoring sessions, educational activities and visits to UEA. Please contact Lucy Nottingham, Outreach Officer, Recruitment and Outreach Department for further information.

Knowledge of the National Curriculum, Key Contacts and Useful Links

Applications are considered on an individual basis and being able to demonstrate a strong level of knowledge about the National Curriculum and current issues affecting teaching is advantageous. These educational links will provide you with some useful points of contact to help to get you started!

Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)

PROTECTION OF CHILDREN: Disclosure of Criminal Background for Those with Access to Children All applicants who have been offered a place to study the PGCE course will be required to obtain a fresh Enhanced DBS Check. The Enhanced Disclosure will be used to assess suitability for the PGCE course and entry to the teaching profession. The information provided may be discussed with the Children's Services Department or Education Authority with whom practical placements may be taken. General information about this process can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service Website.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date. Other tests such as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English are also accepted by the university. Please check with the Admissions Office for further details including the scores or grades required.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Fees for the PGCE programme will be £9,000 for entry in September 2015, subject to approval from OFFA.

Maintenance grants (UK Students Only)

If you are normally resident in England you may be entitled to receive a Maintenance Grant. All candidates from the UK should contact Student Finance England or tel: 0845 300 5090 for full information on Maintenance Grants.

EU and International students are advised to contact the Department for Education in order to confirm what financial support may be available.

Department for Education Training Bursaries (for UK/EU Students only)

UEA PGCE course Degree classification Bursary
Physics 1st class £25,000
  2.1 £25,000
  2.2 £15,000
Chemistry, Maths, Modern Languages 1st class £25,000
  2.1 £20,000
  2.2 £15,000
Biology 1st class £15,000
  2.1 £12,000
  2.2 £10,000
Geography 1st class £12,000
  2.1 £9,000
  2.2 £4,000
English, History 1st class £9,000
  2.1 £4,000

Please contact the Department of Education website: for further details.

Training incentives

Trainee teachers in maths, chemistry and physics with a 2:1 or first are able to apply for scholarships with the relevant subject association group. Applicants for the scholarships will be subject to a competitive process. Trainees who hold the scholarship will not also be eligible for the standard Department for Education (DfE) bursary. Trainees who are not awarded a scholarship will continue to be eligible for the standard bursaries in 2015/16.

Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) will be awarding 250 scholarships worth £25,000 to the very best candidates with potential to be an inspirational secondary maths teacher and future leader who are starting unsalaried secondary mathematics initial teacher training in England in 2015/16. Each scholarship also includes IMA membership for two years. For full eligibility criteria and application details visit

Physics Teacher Training Scholarships

The Institute of Physics (IOP) will be awarding 150 scholarships worth £25,000 to the very best candidates starting PGCE or School Direct (non-salaried) physics teacher training in the 2015/16 academic year. To be considered for an IOP Scholarship you will need to have outstanding knowledge of school-level physics and the potential to become an inspirational teacher. Each scholarship also includes IOP membership and mentoring from a physics specialist to support you during your early career. Applications are now open. For the full eligibility criteria and online application form visit

Chemistry Teacher Training Scholarships

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) will be awarding scholarships worth £25,000 to the very best candidates starting PGCE or School Direct (non-salaried) chemistry teacher training in the 2015/6 academic year.  To be considered for an RSC Scholarship you will need to have outstanding knowledge of school-level chemistry and the potential to become an inspirational teacher.  Applications are now open and we encourage candidates for places on the UEA PGCE to apply.  For the full eligibility criteria and online application form visit the RSC website:

Living expenses

Approximately £7,500 living expenses will be needed to adequately support yourself.

All candidates starting the PGCE in 2015 are required to pass the professional skills tests before starting the course. More information can be found via the Department for Education website.

Candidates are required to apply via the UCAS Teacher Training (UCAS). This is the central "clearing house" which deals with all applications for PGCE courses across the country. Application forms for 2015 entry are expected to be available from the end of October 2014.

Candidates are required to supply an academic referee as their first reference if they have completed their studies in the last 5 years.

There is no specified deadline for any of our teacher training courses. However, all candidates are advised to apply as early as possible in the application cycle.

NB: You are advised to ensure that your referees are available to submit their references immediately upon request (usually electronically via UCAS Teacher Training). Your chosen institution will not receive your application until both referees has submitted their references. Please see the UCAS Teacher Training 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 Department for Education 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.

Equal opportunities

The University of East Anglia operates an equal opportunities admissions policy. We aim to ensure that no applicant receives less favourable consideration on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin or religious belief. More on equal opportunities...
See also: UEA PGCE Equal Opportunities Document

Students with a Disability (including Dyslexia)
The University welcomes students with disabilities and is working towards the provision of an inclusive environment for all its students, staff and visitors. More on disability support...

Further information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.