PGCE Education (Secondary)

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Awards available PGCE
Programme length One year full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

The Graduate School of Education is an Ofsted Outstanding Provider and offers a one-year programme for graduates, leading to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Each year we train approximately 200 students to teach in secondary schools. We work in partnership with approximately 70 local schools and colleges; student teachers spend two-thirds of their PGCE year on placement in at least two schools. 

The Graduate School of Education also works with three 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. 

In its February 2011 report, Ofsted stated that the University recruited students with "suitable attributes to develop into very effective teachers who are easily employed both locally and further afield". Successful completion of this programme will give students 60 credit points at Master's level.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Please note that the total cost of this programme is the same as the cost of an undergraduate degree, which is currently set at £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees are likely to increase each subsequent year from 2017 and these increases will be in line with UK Government policy. Should the undergraduate fee increase in future, the PGCE fee will also increase.

Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

The NCTL offers bursaries for UK/EU students. 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 fees and funding website for further information.

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

Programme structure

The programme lasts a minimum of 36 weeks and starts in early September. The structure can be thought of in terms of three major, interrelated components:

  • Curriculum Studies (main subject specialism)
  • Educational and Professional Studies
  • School Experience

The main subjects we offer are:

  • 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.

Applicants to the PGCE at Bristol are recommended to 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. Early application is advised as places may fill quickly.

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

  • 44% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 36% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 19% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% 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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