A new way to become a teacher

If you aspire to become a teacher, now is your opportunity with the new flexible Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from The Open University in Wales in conjunction with the Welsh Government, Regional Consortia and schools across Wales.

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Teacher at front of classroom

Study a PGCE with The Open University

To become a teacher you need to complete a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Our new two-year PGCE course will allow you to achieve QTS for either primary or secondary school level and can be studied in either English or Welsh.

These innovative routes into teaching blend online academic study with essential practical experience within schools, in a format that works for you. There are two routes available:

  • Salaried route If you already work at a school as a teaching assistant or in a non-teaching role, you can apply for your school to sponsor your study. You’ll need to get agreement from your school to apply for this route. You will study for your PGCE around your existing school duties as part of your full-time employment in a school and your costs of study are covered by a training grant from the Welsh Government. You can still apply for the salaried route if you don’t work in a school, but you’ll need to have a school willing to sponsor you, which we could help you find.
  • Part-time route – If you don’t work in a school, or the salaried route isn’t right for you, there is a part-time option available. It’s ideal if you want to study your PGCE around your current job or other life commitments. This route can be self-funded or you can apply for a student loan and part-time maintenance grants to help with the costs.
Children sitting with teacher

How will the flexible PGCE be taught?

Both routes include a mix of online and face-to-face sessions with mentors and practice tutors. They also include 120 days of practical experience across two schools:

  • Salaried route – you’ll be employed full time in a school in a non-qualified teacher capacity across the two years, while also completing your academic studies.
  • Part-time route – this offers a degree of flexibility within the first year, allowing you to undertake a placement part-time in a school alongside your existing commitments. The second year features two 30-day practical placements.

How to apply

If you’d like to apply for the secondary level PGCE with Science, Maths or Welsh starting in October 2020 across either route, please download an application form and email it to Wales-PGCE@open.ac.uk. Guidance notes on how to complete the form can be also be downloaded.

For salaried students with a sponsor school, you must include your endorsement letter with your application. The endorsement letter template must also be used. Failure to include your endorsement letter means that we cannot progress your application

Please note that applications for primary (salaried and part time) for October 2020 start have now closed. Secondary applications for October 2020 (salaried without a sponsor school) will close at 17:00 on Sunday 23rd August. Secondary applications for October 2020 (part-time and salaried with a sponsor school) will close at 17:00 on Friday 4 September 2020.

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Your questions answered

What’s it like to study with the OU?
You’ll be able to study at home, in school, or on the move. You’ll use our Virtual Learning Environment to access module content such as textbooks, video and audio, and recorded tutorials. It's also where you'll be able to interact with tutors and other students via online forums.

Will I have support?
Although the PGCE with The Open University involves distance learning, there is lots of support available. You’ll be allocated a Curriculum Tutor who’ll be a specialist in your chosen field, and an in-school mentor who’ll provide support and practical advice.

Plus, you’ll be able to speak to our dedicated Student Support Team who can give you help and guidance throughout your studies. You’ll never be on your own.

What qualifications do I need?
You must already hold a degree to register for the PGCE. If you want to become a secondary school teacher your degree must contain a significant proportion of the subject you want to teach.

You'll need to have at least a Grade B in Mathematics or Mathematics-Numeracy at GSCE (or equivalent) level. And at least a GCSE Grade B (or equivalent) in one of the following:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Welsh Language
  • Welsh Literature. 
If you hold an equivalent to a Grade B (GCSE or equivalent) in either English Literature or Welsh Literature, a minimum of a Grade C (GCSE or equivalent) must be achieved in the corresponding GCSE examination in English or Welsh Language.

If you want to become a primary school teacher, you must also have a Grade C or above in Science at GCSE level (or equivalent).

Due to current exceptional circumstances, for October 2020 entry only, Grade C (GCSE or equivalent) in Mathematics or English Language may be accepted. Students would be required to achieve the necessary Grade B (GCSE or equivalent) during the programme or will be required to withdraw from the course.

Find out more

For full details read our frequently asked questions document or visit our website.

Visit our School Partnerships page to find out how your school can become a PGCE partner school.