Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Secondary English



This course is available in Clearing.

Course overview

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year, full-time qualification that will prepare you to be a subject-specialist English secondary-school teacher working with pupils aged 11 to 16 and beyond.

Our course will develop your theoretical and practical understanding of secondary education and its contemporary issues, and will enable you to meet current professional standards as a practising teacher for this course. 60 of the 120 credits will be at Masters degree level.

Throughout your studies you will explore the different ways in which pupils and young people learn, and how you can support this process. You will examine the importance of professional values as well as classroom organisation and management. Key themes integral to your studies will include working with parents and other professionals, creativity, equality, inclusion and ICT.

In particular, this course will focus on developing the pedagogical understanding and professional knowledge you need to teach your specialist subject (English) to 11 to 16 year-olds, and will include practical tasks and activities that can be completed with pupils.

We will provide you with opportunities to reflect on strategies for learning and teaching and to develop your subject knowledge, as well as to consider national policies and initiatives.

Primarily concerned with meeting the professional standards required by the appropriate bodies, this course is also about supporting you in developing the abilities and confidence to become an inspired and inspiring teacher.

Module guide

Core modules
  • Initial School Experience

    This module provides an initial experience of teaching and learning in a secondary school environment. It focuses on the development of professional practice skills: planning, preparation, delivery and evaluation in a practical context, with the support of an experienced mentor. You will also have the opportunity to observe shadow and interact with a range of professionals.

  • Qualifying School Experience

    This module develops the confidence and competence to lead learning and meet the professional standards to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. As with the Initial School Experience module, the skills for teaching are developed with the support of an experienced mentor, and there will again be opportunities to observe, shadow and interact with a range of professionals. There will also be preparation for the induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.

  • Theories, Themes And Issues In Education

    This module focuses on integrating current key theories, themes and issues in education (e.g. behaviour, inclusion and assessment) with current practice in schools, and so addresses professional development as a critically reflective teacher. The module also explores the theories and principles of teaching and learning, the derivation and design of the curriculum and the role of schools and education within the wider community.

  • Knowledge And Pedagogy

    This module provides the opportunity to develop a philosophy for teaching the subject both discretely and in a cross-curricular context. It looks at how to organise specialist subject knowledge so as to provide access, progress and assessment for the benefit of the children and young people. It also develops the wider understanding of what is involved in being a specialist subject teacher.

  • Curriculum And Pedagogy

    This module provides the opportunity to evaluate subject knowledge and teaching skills, and then develop an identified area. This is done through research, discussion, practical experience and teaching, and careful reflection. The specific area for development is identified from subject knowledge audits and is further discussed with the university tutor and school-based mentor.

Note: Whereas all subject courses follow the same modules, these are each taught in subject specific groups. The only exception is Theories, Themes and Issues which is taught through formal lectures and in mixed subject discussion groups.


You will be assessed on your practical teaching ability through a series of formal observations during the year. These are carried out by your placement schools and are moderated by Anglia Ruskin tutors. Academic assignments will enable you to develop your own subject knowledge and to become familiar with the literature and research around teaching your subject. In addition, you will keep a professional development portfolio to provide evidence that you have met the standards for qualifying to teach.

Hours of study

This is a full-time, intensive course, involving private study, research and full-day school placements (possibly also involving evening commitments at school).


We have a select number of specialist rooms including: 1 dedicated Science Laboratory; 2 dedicated Art Rooms; 1 room equipped for Design and Technology; 2 collaborative ICT Learning Suites; and a fully-resourced gym.

Special features

You'll be able to participate in educational visits to relevant settings.

Professional recognition

On completion of the course, we recommend you for Qualified Teacher Status. This is then confirmed by the General Teaching Council for England. Provided all elements of the course have been successfully achieved, you'll be awarded Qualified Teacher Status to teach Secondary students from the ages of 11 to 16.

Work placements

You'll undertake two school placements, where you'll be supported by a supervisor from our University and a school-based mentor. Additionally, you'll complete an alternative placement in an appropriate educational setting. You'll also spend some time in a primary school in order to appreciate teaching and learning, prior to secondary education.

You'll be advised of your school experience placement as soon as possible after the start of the academic year. Our Partnership Office will contact you for details of your term-time address before the start of the course. Every endeavour will be made to find a school placement within a reasonable distance of where you live. You should, however, be prepared to travel up to 35 miles where necessary. Your journey may take up to 1˝ hours.

Associated careers

After graduating, you will ideally be equipped to enter the teaching profession as a secondary school English teacher.
Main requirements:
  • A First Degree, with Honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2). A minimum of 50% of the content must be in a relevant subject area
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths
  • To receive an offer of a place on this course you must be successful at interview
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure will also be required
  • A satisfactory Occupational Health clearance will also be required
  • Work experience in a secondary school is desirable.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Please note
Our university will accept the GCSE Equivalency Testing in English, Mathematics and Science from However, applicants are advised to contact Anglia Ruskin if they have any queries before undertaking an equivalency test or submitting their application to seek verification.


We expect you to have thoroughly researched the role of a secondary school teacher. Recent (within the last 12 months) experience in a UK state secondary classroom is recommended. Due to the highly competitive nature of the application process you'll need to be very clear in your personal statement and interview why you want to become a teacher, the skills involved and what you can bring to the profession. In line with government requirements, ideally candidates should have passed the literacy and numeracy skills tests prior to interview. If not, then these would be a condition of any offer.

Booked holiday arrangements

Anglia Ruskin will not permit teacher training students to take holidays outside the identified holiday dates. You're advised to cancel previously arranged holidays.

Short listing

Short listing is where your application is assessed to ensure your qualifications meet our entry requirements and your personal statement is relevant. From this assessment a judgement is reached on suitability to be interviewed. Non attendance at an arranged interview, without prior explanation, may result in your application being withdrawn.


If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to attend an interview at our University. This interview will comprise of a talk about the course, a written assessment, a subject specific task, a group task, an individual presentation (to the interview panel) and an individual interview. The interview is a crucial part of the application process and it is important to attend, if you choose not to attend an interview it is essential to inform us as this will allow another suitable candidate to be interviewed.

You will be expected to bring your original educational certificates and also identification documentation in order for an enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), disclosure to be progressed.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

An enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure is a check with police forces and local authorities in the UK to ascertain whether or not you are suitable to work with certain groups of vulnerable people. These checks are required to be carried out on all prospective students to ensure the safety of our client group. Further information on DBS disclosure will be sent out with offer letters to successful applicants.

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

Given the sensitive nature of the role of the teacher, and the vital importance of personality and character within the profession, all international candidates will be required to attend an interview in the UK (at Chelmsford), in the same way that EU candidates are. It must be understood that an invitation to attend an interview is not an automatic guarantee of a place on the course.

How to apply



12 months

Teaching times*

This is a full-time,
intensive course involving private study, research and full-day school placements (possibly also involving evening commitments at school).

Available starts


Fees & funding


Health, Social Care & Education



Contact us

UK and EU applicants:International applicants:


* Teaching days are subject to change each academic year. Timings are also dependent on any optional modules you chose and are for guidance, so we advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around course times.

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