We have a long history of training teachers and are currently rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Our one-year programme is available in a range of secondary subjects and will lead to both a postgraduate qualification (PGCE) and qualified teacher status (QTS), enabling you to teach across the 11-19 age range. In addition, you will gain up to 60 master's-level credits that you can put towards an MSc in Education.

We work in partnership with more than 60 local schools, offering two routes into teaching - university-led and School Direct - allowing you to choose the route that suits you. Our programmes are current, challenging and innovative, and are informed by both our own extensive research in the field of education as well as current practice.

You will spend two thirds of your time on placement in at least two contrasting schools. Notably, our programme includes a short placement in a primary school, as well as offering the opportunity to gain experience in a special school. The remaining time is spent at university where you will join our diverse student community.

At Bristol you will be given a personal tutor in your specialist subject, ensuring you receive the very highest levels of both pastoral and professional support. Our strong community and student support sets us apart from other providers and is frequently commented on by both students and external inspectors.

The Chief External Examiner commented in 2018 that 'there is a very strong model of partnership that underpins the course... The PGCE tutors are excellent and use their own research and that of others to inform the content of the individual programmes within the course. The students greatly value this expertise and recognise the contribution that the University makes to their learning.'

Programme structure

There are three major components of the programme, which are strongly interrelated and are designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills you will need to pursue a successful teaching career and become a reflective practitioner.

  • Curriculum Studies looks at all aspects of how to teach your subject, including planning, teaching, assessment and classroom management.
  • Educational and Professional Studies focuses on working in classrooms and schools and on the broader context of teaching today.
  • School Experience placements provide opportunities for observation, practice and research in a wide variety of partnership schools.

The main subjects offered are:

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for all subject options on the PGCE Education (Secondary).

Entry requirements

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

  • at least GCSE or 'O' level at grade C or 4 (if taken after summer 2017) 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.

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.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£9,250 per year
Overseas: full-time
£23,900 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Funding for 2024/25

The Department for Education offers bursaries for eligible students. For further information please refer to their funding page.

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

Career prospects

The programme is approved by the Department for Education and leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

A large proportion of our student teachers are employed in education after completing the PGCE programme, with many finding employment in the South West. As a teacher from the University of Bristol PGCE, you will be highly valued by schools both locally and nationally; they will appreciate your thorough preparation in teaching and high level of subject knowledge.

Our 2018 Ofsted inspection report praised the standard of our newly qualified teachers who are 'exceptionally well-prepared for their first job'.

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