Modern Foreign Languages PGCE

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

What you will learn

This programme will give you the experience and knowledge to develop and enhance your teaching skills and your language skills.

Dedicated training in the use of ICT is also part of the programme so you can use different teaching methods in the classroom.

You’ll also develop an insight into the language learning process, allowing you to teach a range of abilities effectively.

How you will learn

Strong emphasis is on collaboration and teamwork. You’ll be able to develop your language skills through auditing, peer to peer support and dedicated workshops.

Workshops are conducted in your target language and the content of lectures and seminars is regularly updated to remain aligned to the latest research and policy.

Experiences in school


There will be a short primary school experience during the PGCE year. 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 shorter placement 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.


The programme will provide you with many opportunities, such as studying additional languages. This could include:

  • Italian to GCSE level
  • Latin (module in the summer)

Why study at Bristol

Our programme is an intensive and rigorous one. We want to send you out as a confident professional who is equipped to meet the challenges of the languages classroom.

The balance of challenge and support on the course was commented on by our most recent Ofsted report which noted ‘outstanding outcomes are closely linked to the quality of training’.

Following the course, our graduates have an excellent opportunity for gaining employment. Our employment rates are very high with many of our student teachers securing jobs in schools around Bristol and the south-west area. 

In last summer's’ evaluations 96% of MFL students rated the overall quality of their training as Very Good or Good.

What our students say

Read our blog to find out more about what our students have said over the years.

This course is hard work, but it is the most rewarding thing that I have done in my life so far. The time spent in university is fast-paced and jam-packed, but you’re never bored!

PGCE graduate

"I have found this course thoroughly supportive, interesting and very creative! The year has flown by but I have enjoyed every minute and I recommend this course to anyone wanting to become an MFL teacher."

PGCE graduate

Applying for the programme

You should normally have two foreign languages. Only one needs to be to final degree level or equivalent. We may also consider applications from candidates who can evidence that they have native or near native competence in French, German or Spanish.

We also accept applications if you are a native speaker of your target language, regardless of what you have studied as a degree.

Most places are for combinations of French, Spanish and German. This is because these are the main subjects taught in UK schools.

There are a few places available for:

  • French with Italian
  • or German with Italian
  • or single linguists, mainly those offering French.

Contact us

Initial Teacher Education (PGCE and Lead Partner) Office

Phone: +44 (0) 117 455 9223 We are partly working remotely and recommend that you contact us by email in the first instance

School of Education 

University of Bristol 
35 Berkeley Square 
Bristol, BS8 1JA

Apply to study at Bristol


Find out about available funding to help you get into teaching

Your tutors

The tutors for Modern Foreign Languages are Mrs Carmen Meira-GarciaMrs Helen Aberdeen and Ms Ruth Bailey.

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