This PGCE is designed for the Curriculum for Wales and supports the reform agenda for the professional learning of teachers.
You can follow one of two routes: the salaried route or the part-time route. Both routes include the same modules and are a mix of online and face-to-face sessions with mentors and practice tutors.
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’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.
If you are a career changer, and do not currently work in a school, you can still apply for the salaried route, in one of our secondary shortage subjects. You will need to find a secondary school willing to endorse you, which we can help you find through one of our many partner schools in Wales.
Find out more about the Salaried route.
If you are a career-changer and want to become a teacher but don’t work in a school, or the salaried route isn’t right for you, there is a part-time option available. 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 your current a part time job or other life commitments. You will need to consider how you will commit to 2-3 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.
Find out more about the Part-time route.
What will I study?
Both routes comprise two modules. The first module is 60 credits at level 6 (undergraduate) and the second module is 60 credits at level 7 (postgraduate).
Both modules are compulsory, and you study them in the order specified, starting in October.
To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:
Each module involves academic study through online seminars led by your curriculum tutor; a period of school experience; and submitting a portfolio of evidence that includes responses to academic tasks and reports from your school experience. From the start of your studies, you will engage with the medium of Welsh in a school context, building on your level at the start of the PGCE.
All students will be supported to develop their Welsh language skills, which is key in delivering the new Curriculum for Wales.
You’ll move from familiarisation to consolidation of your learning in PGCE 1 and 2 to autonomy of teaching practice in PGCE 3. As you move through the modules, your understanding of the theories and concepts will progress. Your practical experience and assessments will prepare you for your next module and help you progress towards meeting the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership in Wales.
Teaching across the modules will be through a series of practice-focused strands. You’ll develop skills from the following:
- Understanding learners
- Planning for learning
- Professional practice
Academic theory will be combined with substantial, supported experience in schools.
Salaried students will undertake practical experience at the same time as studying. Part-time students will undertake their practical experience after completing their academic study in each module. School placements will be available in Welsh medium and English medium schools.
You’ll work with your mentor, and school staff members to take on increasing teaching responsibility. You’ll move from classroom support, and planning and teaching of single lessons to planning and teaching of a sequence of lessons in PGCE 1 and 2 to responsibility for planning, resourcing and solo teaching a range of lessons in PGCE 3.
Whether you’re on the salaried or part-time route, you’ll undertake an individual classroom research project in PGCE 3. For students on the part-time route, you’ll need to complete 60 full days of teaching experience, 30 of which must be undertaken in a block (five days a week over six consecutive school weeks).
Mentors will support you throughout your school experience. They’ll mediate and facilitate regular school-based tasks, which feed into your studies.