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PGCE 1 and 2

Qualification dates
Start End

This is the first module in our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). It combines academic study and practice learning, assessed at undergraduate level 6. You’ll begin your PGCE by supporting classes and planning and teaching single lessons. Your academic learning will be supported by primary or subject-specific secondary online seminars.


What you will study

The PGCE is progressive: you’ll return to the same strands in each module. You’ll learn theories and concepts appropriate to your level of study. Your successful practice and assessment will enable progression to the next module, PGCE 3 (EE806) in year 2. The strands are:

  • Curriculum
  • Understanding learners
  • Planning for learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • Professional practice.

In PGCE 1 and 2, you will study each strand twice over the course of the module, each time covering different content and with different practice-related activities. You should, however, think about your commitment to the full two-year qualification rather than to each module. You’ll study the modules consecutively and there’s no expectation to break the two-year journey unless circumstances prevent you. This continuity enables you to build your knowledge and experience over an extended period.

Teaching theory will be combined with substantial, supported, practice learning in schools, enabling you to explore the relationship between theory and practice and become a confident research-informed teacher.

Entry requirements

You can only study this module as part of the PGCE (Wales). Refer to the qualification description for the PGCE entry requirements.

To gain the PGCE and be recommended for qualified teacher status, you'll have to complete the two PGCE modules, including 60 credits at postgraduate level, PGCE 3 (EE806). You should be aware of, and prepare for, taking on postgraduate level study. This will involve longer pieces of writing, research and critical reflection.

What's included

Module website with:

  • Online study materials
  • Audiovisual examples of teaching and learning practice
  • Programme guide
  • Assessment guide
  • Practice Learning Guide and Practice Learning Activities
  • Online seminars and forums for engaging with your OU curriculum tutor and other students.

We provide all materials and learning experiences in Welsh and in English. You may purchase your own copy of set books or you may access some titles as electronic versions from the OU library.

You will also have considerable support from school-based mentors, practice tutors and access to an ePortfolio.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Medwell, J., et al. Primary English: Knowledge and Understanding (9th edn) SAGE Publications £21.99 - ISBN 9781529709780 All students following the PGCE primary pathway should purchase this book.
  • Capel, S., Leask, M. & Younie, S. (eds) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience (9th edn) Routledge £29.99 - ISBN 9781032062297 All students following the PGCE secondary pathway should purchase this book.
  • Fleming, M. Starting Drama Teaching (4th Edition) Routledge £28.99 - ISBN 9781138207974 Students following the PGCE English with Drama pathway should purchase this book.
  • Davidson, J. The Media Teachers Handbook (1st Edition) Routledge £34.99 - ISBN 9780415499941 Students following the PGCE English with Media pathway should purchase this book.
  • Cremin, T. and Burnett, C. (eds) Learning to Teach in the Primary School (4th edn) Routledge £32.99 - ISBN 9781138211063 All students following the PGCE primary pathway should purchase this book.
  • Johnston-Wilder, S., Lee, C., & Pimm, D. (eds) Learning to Teach Mathematics in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience (4th edn) Routledge £32.99 - ISBN 9781138943902 All students following the PGCE secondary mathematics pathway should purchase this book. Print on demand - allow 3 weeks for receipt
  • Davison, J. & Daly, C. Learning to Teach English in the Secondary School (5th edition) Routledge £29.99 - ISBN 9781138580473 Students following the PGCE English pathway should purchase this book.
  • Toplis, R. (ed.) Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience (4th edn) Routledge £36.99 - ISBN 9780415826433 All students following the PGCE secondary science pathway should purchase this book.
  • Haylock, D. and Manning, R. Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers (6th edn) SAGE Publications £28.99 - ISBN 9781526455840 All students following the PGCE primary pathway should purchase this book.
  • Smith, S. & Conti, G. The Language Teacher Toolkit CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (KDP) £26.92 - ISBN 9781523214822 All students following the PGCE secondary Welsh pathway should purchase this book.

Teaching and assessment

Study support

You’ll be supported by a range of staff in school and from the Open University. They will work together to support your individual learning journey within the context of your schools and in relation to your prior experience, knowledge and skills.

You’ll be supported through online seminars by subject/phase specialist Open University academics and by experienced teachers in school (mentor, practice tutor, school coordinator).


Online study and practice learning activities will support you to complete academic assignments and an eportfolio of evidence. This will feed into your Professional Learning Passport (PLP) in Wales. You’ll draw together your knowledge of the theory of teaching and how it relates to your developing practice.

The tutor-marked assignment is designed to support you to relate theory to practice and demonstrate academic skills at level 6 undergraduate level.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) has two parts:

  1. Evidence of study (reflective essay-type responses to certain tasks)
  2. Your e-portfolio of evidence that will include:
  • Evidence of progress in practice against professional standards.
  • Evidence of progress in relation to your development in Welsh, literacy, numeracy and digital competence.
  • Practice learning reports.
  • Formal assessment of teaching by a practice tutor.

Passing both components of the EMA is a requirement of continuing your study on the qualification.

You can study in the medium of Welsh, in English or a combination. However, you must choose one language for assessment purposes.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying EE306 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

PGCE 1 and 2 (EE306) starts once a year – in September.

This page describes the module that will start in September 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in September 2027.

Course work includes:

1 Tutor-marked assignment (TMA)
End-of-module assessment