Initial Teacher Education (Teacher Training)

Following the Ofsted inspection in February 2011, the Bristol PGCE was awarded 'Outstanding Provider Status'.

The School of Education works in partnership with local schools, colleges and academies to deliver two programmes in secondary teacher training – Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and School Direct

Each of these programmes helps teachers to become inspiring and outstanding subject practitioners in a wide range of schools, as well as preparing them for leadership roles in the future. Our partnerships, which integrate training and education in school and university, contribute to ongoing school improvement and raising pupil attainment.

We welcome applications from graduates with a wide range of experience and backgrounds, and about two-thirds of our students are graduates from universities other than Bristol.

Key aims

All Initial Teacher Education partnerships with the University of Bristol aim to develop teachers to become inspiring and outstanding subject practitioners in a wide range of schools and to prepare them for leadership roles in the future.

Our partnerships, which integrate training and education in school and university are committed to contributing to ongoing school improvement and to raising pupil attainment.

Key principles

In order to achieve our aims, the work of our partnerships is based around supporting the development of critically reflective practitioners. Our perspective on learning is that the education of teachers has three clearly identifiable phases: induction, assimilation and extension. To support this overarching framework, we have clear partnership values which underpin our work:

  • School and university staff work in close collaboration on an agreed, integrated, coherent programme which supports our aims.
  • We develop teachers who are excellent subject specialists.
  • We develop teachers who are potential leaders in the profession.
  • We expect our teachers to go beyond understanding the context of one school or locality.
  • We develop teachers who use reflection to develop commitment to their own teacher identity.
  • We value the role that research plays in training and educating teachers because it enables teachers to see ‘the bigger picture’, work in different contexts and integrate research and practice.
  • We believe in doing and using research to underpin teacher education at all levels.
  • We consider it vital that teachers study for an academic qualification (ie, PGCE) as well as Qualified Teacher Status.
  • We consider the ITE year as the beginning of the professional learning that teachers will continue throughout their careers.
  • We value collaborative learning and working with different people in different contexts.

Key entry requirements

We need a minimum of a 2:2 degree in a subject related to the one you wish to teach. You also need a minimum of Maths and English GCSE at Grade C or above (grade 4 or above from summer 2017 onwards).

We do accept overseas qualifications but you would need to get confirmation through NARIC that these are equivalent to British qualifications. Equivalences for the most common overseas qualifications we deal with can be found at: ‌Updated GCSE equivalents (Office document, 54kB).

All candidates must have passed the Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests before starting the course. Tests slots can be booked on the skills tests booking site

All candidates need to be interviewed, in person, in Bristol. We do not conduct interviews via Skype.

In addition to the academic qualifications listed above, applicants should be familiar with our Competence standards (PDF, 112kB), which are based on the Department for Education’s Teachers' Standards (PDF, 180kB)

Applying for ITE

What candidates want to know when applying for ITE.

Open Evening, Train To Teach Roadshow, School Taster Days

The School of Education is holding an Open Evening on 1st November for those interested in Teacher Training at the University of Bristol. There is no charge, but registration is required. Further information is available from Eventbrite

Representatives from the School of Education will be at the Train to Teach roadshows in Bath in November and February. Further details are available: Train To Teach events (PDF, 652kB)

Taster days are an ideal opportunity to spend time in a state secondary school, gaining invaluable experience to strengthen your PGCE / School Direct application. Taster days at schools local to Bristol include: 

Excalibur is holding School Experience Days from October to January. Please see further details on their flyer: Excalibur Experience Days (PDF, 397kB)

North Somerset Teaching Alliance will be holding School Taster Days monthly from October to June. Further details will be available shortly.

St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School holds a series of Taster Days from October to June.  Details are available on their flyer: BROI Teacher Taster Days (Office document, 242kB)

Contact us

Initial Teacher Education (PGCE and School Direct) Office
Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4492

School of Education 
University of Bristol 
35 Berkeley Square 
Bristol, BS8 1JA

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