A new way to become a teacher

If you aspire to become a teacher, now is your opportunity with the new 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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Study a PGCE with The Open University

To become a teacher you need to achieve a degree or PGCE leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Our two-year PGCE course will allow you to achieve QTS for either primary or secondary school level and can be studied anywhere in Wales 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 mainstream state school as a teaching assistant or in a non-teaching role, you can apply for your school to endorse your study. Your school must apply to become a partner school and provide you with an endorsement letter, as they will pay your salary. 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. If you want to become a secondary school teacher and don’t currently work in a school, you can still apply for the salaried route in secondary shortage subjects only, but you’ll need to have a secondary school willing to endorse you, which we could help you find.
  • Part-time route – If you’ve always wanted to become a teacher and the salaried route isn’t right for you, there is a part-time option available. If you're a career changer, or have parental or caring responsibilities, then our part-time route could help you achieve a greater work-life balance whilst you train. This route offers some flexibility as you’ll study towards your PGCE, and gain part-time practical teaching experience in a school, while working around a part-time job or other life commitments. You will need to commit to two to three days practice learning and approximately 16 hours of study per week throughout the programme.  This route can be self-funded or you can apply for a student loan and part-time maintenance grants to help with the costs.

What can I study?

We currently offer the following age phases or subjects:

  • Salaried Route – Primary, Secondary Maths, Science, Welsh and English. 
  • Part-time Route – Primary, Secondary Maths, Science, Welsh, English, English with Drama, English with Media Studies. 

How will the 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 route offers some flexibility as you can gain part-time practical teaching experience in a school alongside your other commitments. Across the two years, you’ll have 120 days of school placements; 60 days per year. In the second year, half of your school placements (30 days) must be completed in a continuous block.

How to apply

Applications dates for 2022/2023 are shown below:

PathwayOpening date for 2022Closing date for 20221
Primary salaried (with an endorsing school)31 October 2021Closed
Primary part time231 October 2021Closed
Secondary salaried (with or without an endorsing school)31 October 2021Closed
Secondary part time31 October 2021Closed

1Please note we reserve the right to close applications sooner if places are filled. There are a limited number of places available and demand for the primary part-time route in particular is very high. It is in your best interest to make an application to the route of your choice at the earliest opportunity. We regret that we cannot accept applications made after the closing date. Due to the high demand for places, entry onto the Primary Part Time programme may be limited to the reserve list. 

2For Primary Part-Time Applicants: Please note that due to extremely high demand for places, entry to our part-time programme is limited to applicants who possess a 2:2 or above at degree level, and who require a maximum of 1 GCSE equivalency test at point of application.

To apply for our programme, please complete this application form. To help you complete the form we have produced some guidance notes

For salaried students, your school must apply to become a partner school and send an endorsement letter to Wales-PGCE@open.ac.uk when you make your application. The endorsement letter template must be used. Failure to include your endorsement letter means that we cannot progress your application.

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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 practice learning activities. 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 full UK honours degree or equivalent 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. The exception for this is Welsh, whereby you can apply with any degree, providing you are a fluent Welsh speaker.

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

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Welsh First 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 First 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). 

For 2022/2023 entry: Grade C (GCSE or equivalent) in Mathematics or English Language may be accepted. Students would be required to achieve the necessary Grade B (via an equivalency test) during the programme or will be required to withdraw from the course.

Find out more

We have a number of resources available to answer any questions you may have: 

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