We strongly recommend you read the Frequently Asked Questions before making an application to ensure you are eligible.
The entry requirements for this programme are set by Welsh Government and the Education Workforce Council and are therefore essential for all salaried and part time applicants. Some pathways within the PGCE have additional entry requirements.
For the part-time route you must have a home address in Wales. For the salaried route, you must have a home address in Wales or England and be able to complete your teaching experience in two Welsh state schools.
As a minimum, candidates must hold:
- a standard equivalent to GCSE Grade C or above in mathematics or Mathematics-Numeracy
- a standard equivalent to GCSE Grade C or above in either English Language or Welsh First Language
- a standard equivalent to GCSE Grade C or above in a science subject, if you want to teach in primary school (learners aged 4 – 11).
You may already hold a qualification which is equivalent to the GCSEs above. Please contact Wales-PGCE@open.ac.uk for advice on the qualifications we can accept as equivalent.
If you do not currently meet the GCSE (or equivalent) requirements, you will need to re-sit your GCSE to gain the required grade(s). You must have gained the required grade(s) before the programme commences, or your place will be withdrawn.
Please note these entry requirements are set by Welsh Government and are statutory.
It should still be noted that the application process is competitive, and that GCSE grades are one component of how we consider your application.
- A full UK honours degree (or equivalent). You must hold a degree with at least 50% relevance to the subject if you want to teach to become a secondary school teacher (learners aged 12 – 16). For those applicants applying to Secondary Welsh, your degree does not necessarily have to be in this area if you can demonstrate that you are a fluent language user, as consideration may be given dependant on depth of knowledge.
- Due to high demand for places, entry to our primary part-time programme is limited to applicants who possess a 2:2 or above at degree level.
- Experience working in a school environment/with young people if you want to study the salaried route. Be prepared to complete a voluntary week in school before starting the course if you want to study the part-time route.
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Wales-PGCE@open.ac.uk to discuss your requirements.
In addition, you’ll need to demonstrate the following:
- Aptitude, capability, and resilience to meet the required QTS outcomes by the end of your PGCE programme.
- Personal and intellectual qualities to become an excellent practitioner.
- You can read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English and/or Welsh.
- Personal functional skills in literacy, numeracy and digital competency applicable in a professional teaching and learning context. This will be evaluated through an assessment.
During the application process you’ll need to do the following:
- Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to show that you are not or have not previously been barred or excluded from teaching or working with learners, or have a criminal background that might prevent you from working with children or vulnerable people. Safeguarding is a legal requirement.
- Confirm you understand that you will need to complete an extended period of time in a second school.
If you’re applying for the salaried route, you must have a named employer school. You must include a supporting statement endorsed by the headteacher in your application. Applications without the school’s endorsement letter will not be accepted. If you are a career changer, for secondary subjects we can match you to one of our partner schools across Wales. You’ll also need to register with the Education Workforce Council as a Learning Support Worker before starting the programme.
You’ll also need access to a computer with internet connection.
How to apply?
Application dates will vary slightly every year and are subject to change. Application dates for October 2023 entry are shown below:
|Primary salaried (with endorsing school)
||31 October 2022
||30 April 2023
||31 October 2022
||28 February 2023
|Secondary salaried (with or without endorsing school)
||31 October 2022
||30 June 2023
||31 October 2022
||30 June 2023
1We reserve the right to close applications sooner if places are filled. There are a limited number of places available and the demand for the salaried route in particular is very high. We recommend you submit your application to the route of your choice at the earliest opportunity. We regret that we cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.
You must complete the online application form.
For salaried students with an endorsing school, they must download the endorsement letter template and you must include a completed endorsement letter with your application. Failure to include this means that we cannot progress your application.
Applicants who are applying to teach Secondary Welsh, or who wish to complete their studies through the medium of Welsh, should complete the Personal Statement section in Welsh.
As part of the selection process, and in conjunction with partnering schools, you must do the following:
- Complete the PGCE Wales application form. This will include a personal statement and references.
- Provide original copies of all your relevant qualifications (if you do not have original copies, you will need to obtain copies from your exam board or qualifying institution.)
- Take part in aptitude testing and group and individual interviews.
- Undertake a written test or tests.
- Achieve an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) score of 7 (if English is not your first language and your home country is outside the UK).
- Be prepared to complete a health check. If there are serious doubts about your fitness to practice on health grounds, you may be asked to meet with PGCE Wales staff to discuss your situation and/or undergo a medical examination.
As a salaried student, you’ll be eligible for a Welsh Government training grant to cover the cost of your study. If you are working in a secondary state school, your employer may also be eligible for support with the cost of your salary.
On the part-time route, you can apply for a student loan and part-time maintenance grants to help with the costs of this self-funded route. You may also be eligible for additional teaching incentives from Welsh Government on a pro-rata basis.
Find out about PGCE fees and funding
How long does it take?
You’ll complete the qualification in two years. PGCE 1 and 2 starts in October each year and finishes the following June. PGCE 2 starts in March and finishes in September. PGCE 3 starts in September and finishes the following June. You’ll receive your results in July. Break weeks coincide with the Welsh school holidays.
For more information about either route or how and when to apply, email Wales-PGCE@open.ac.uk.