Music PGCE

This one year programme leads to a PGCE, recommendation for QTS and 60 credits at Master's level.

Programme overview

Our programme has an excellent reputation both locally and nationally. Our graduates are competitive candidates and are sought after as first appointments by local schools.

We will support you to enhance your music and teaching skills and teach to the National Curriculum. You'll also have opportunities to teach within extra-curricular and community ventures.

You will also train in the use of ICT for musical learning and gain experience working with students in special schools.

"Music for all" is at the heart of all work.

What you will learn

The latest research and developments are driving forces in your teacher education. You'll also explore the unique contribution that music can have on a child's development.

We will prepare you to work within the National Curriculum for Music and to teach exam specifications including:

  • GCSE
  • A-level
  • B-Tech.

You'll learn strategies and methods to engage students and to stimulate creative music making.

The programme will also develop your reflective and analytical skills, useful in teaching and beyond.

Music technology

We provide workshops to develop your music ICT skills. These workshops are designed for beginners and for those with considerable experience.

You’ll undertake individual and group sequencing and recording work and learn ways that technology can support musical learning in classrooms.

There are also opportunities to learn how new technologies support students with special needs and disabilities to make music

The technology support was great ā€“ Iā€™d never used Cubase, Logic before. Excellent help to teaching and how to apply to own teaching practice.

PGCE graduate

Experiences in school


The programme starts with two weeks in a primary school of your choice. This work allows you to understand the child's experience before they go into secondary school.

Placement one

During the first term, you begin with preliminary visits to a secondary school. These visits will help prepare you for a period of approximately 5 weeks in that school.

Placement two

In the spring term, you will be on placement in a different secondary school. This placement will last the duration of the spring term.

Placement three

You will have another placement in the third term, possibly in a different school again.


You will benefit greatly from having your placements spread across different schools. They will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • compare and contrast your experiences
  • face different challenges and achieve different triumphs
  • see different teaching styles
  • learn how you can adapt to different situations.

By the end of your third teaching placement, you will have developed into a confident teacher with your own teaching style.

We will support you throughout your teaching experiences and you have a mentor in school. These specially trained teachers are committed to developing your practice in the classroom.


There are many practical activities on offer including workshops on conducting, steel band, gamelan and singing. In the summer term, you'll also have the opportunity to develop skills in teaching drama. 

There are also a variety of school-based projects. These could include:

  • sequencing and recording with key stage three classes
  • music concerts
  • music trips
  • arts evenings
  • school productions
  • annual workshop with 2 national charities for students with special needs or disabilities.

You’ll also take active roles in community ventures. Previous events include a music hub instrumental workshop and a concert for primary school children across Bristol. Previous events include a music hub instrumental workshop and a concert for primary school children across Bristol

There’s also an opportunity to spend time in special schools working with students with additional needs or disabilities. You’ll have the chance to experience music making with new technological instruments in this setting.

As well as these teaching and learning opportunities, you'll also have an opportunity to take part in the Green Apple scheme

Why Bristol

The most recent external examiner report noted the following as some of the outstanding features of the course:

  • outstanding leadership by the subject coordinator
  • outstanding mentoring from school staff 
  • the quality of students’ teaching and coursework
  • exemplary pastoral support for students
  • academic and professional support
  • high level of student satisfaction with the course.

What our students say

I have learned so much in ten months! I feel as prepared as I can be for school next year.

PGCE graduate

I loved sharing learning experiences and ideas. This was extremely valuable: learning from others.

PGCE graduate

I have loved this year ā€“ best PGCE in the country!

PGCE graduate

Who this programme is for

You’ll be studying with a group of peers who share a passion for music and want to support each other. Some will be graduates of music or performing art degrees, others will be professionals with extensive experience of music, or music education.

Experience in practical music making is highly desirable but we also accept entrants with composition or music technology as a main musical strength.

All applicants must be able to read musical notation (both bass and treble clef).

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

More contact details


Find out about available funding to help you get into teaching

Your tutors

The tutor for music is Dr Marina Gall.

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