PGCE Education (Secondary)

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Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PGCE
Programme length One year full-time
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Dependent on allocation set by the NCTL
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

The Graduate School of Education is an OFSTED 'Outstanding Provider' and offers a one year programme for graduates leading to the award of PGCE. It caters each year for approximately 200 student teachers training to teach in secondary schools and works in partnership with approximately 70 local schools and colleges; student teachers spend two-thirds of the PGCE year on placement in at least two schools. 

The Graduate School of Education is also working with two local school alliances supporting School Direct - non-salaried (with PGCE).  We welcome applications from graduates with a wide range of experience and backgrounds. Usually two-thirds of our students are graduates of universities other than Bristol. The programme is approved by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). In its February 2011 report, OFSTED commented that we recruit students who have the "suitable attributes to develop into very effective teachers who are easily employed both locally and further afield". 

Successful completion of PG Certificate in Education will give students 60 credit points at Masters level.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

The NCTL offers bursaries for UK/EU students; for further details please see The University offers a bursary for UK and EU students; this may be liable to change in line with the NCTL bursary. Please see the Graduate School website for further information.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme is a minimum of 36 weeks in duration and starts in early September. Its structure may be most conveniently described in terms of three major components, though the timetable and approach underline the intention that they are strongly interrelated. These are:

  • Curriculum Studies - main subject specialism
  • Educational and Professional Studies
  • School Experience

Main Subjects

The main subjects offered are:

  • Citizenship
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian in specific combinations only)
  • Music
  • Religious Education
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Entry requirements

Prior to admission to the programme, all students are required by the Department for Education to have:

  • at least GCSE or 'O' level at grade C or an equivalent overseas qualification in English and Mathematics;
  • a degree (with a 2:2 or above) or an equivalent qualification in a subject relevant to the proposed main teaching subject.

It would be helpful if applicants to the PGCE at Bristol could book their Skills Tests as soon as they have made their UCAS Teacher Training application and confirm the date of the tests to us.  Candidates will be at an advantage if they have passed the tests by the time they are interviewed.

NB: Equivalence tests for GCSEs will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Such applications will be assessed and reviewed by the Subject Tutor, Programme Director and PGCE Administration Manager

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


The programme is approved by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Application deadline:

The application cycle will open in November each year. We welcome applications throughout the year but early application is advised.

All applications are made online through UCAS Teacher Training at Tel: 0871 468 0469

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 25% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 35% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 30% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 10% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Student Services Office Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4492 Email:

Graduate School of Education
35 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1JA


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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