PGCE Secondary

Secondary - PGCE

Secondary PGCE

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
One year full-time

Please note this course starts on 3rd September 2018 (subject to change).​

25% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses.
See if you are eligible.

Course Overview

The PGCE Secondary programme is taught from one of the largest centres of teacher education in Wales and the UK. ​It provides a professional training for graduates who wish to teach the following subject areas:

To find out more about the individual pathways please visit the UCAS Teacher Training website,​ or contact the individual pathway leader on the contact details listed under 'Contact us'.

Please note that it is very likely that Standards for Qualified Teacher Status will change in June 2018 to be implemented for programmes starting in September 2018. This is a Welsh Government directive.

For more information on how to become a teacher or further your teaching career, visit the Discover Teaching Wales website.

Please note: ITE courses in Wales have recently undergone an accreditation process by the Education Workforce Council (EWC)Cardiff Metropolitan University will continue to provide PGCE Primary and PGCE Secondary ITE courses; we will start receiving applications for both courses in October 2018.

Please refer to the EWC website for further information regarding the accreditation.

​Course Content​​

The programme is mainly school based in line with government requirements with 24 out of 36 weeks spent in partnership schools, where student teachers work with a subject specialist (the subject mentor) and a senior member of the school staff (the senior mentor). The university-based modules comprise of initial professional development and curriculum studies in the subject in which the student teacher is specialising.​

Welsh medium school placements are available within all subject pathways in Cardiff Met's PGCE Secondary programme. Apart from the PGCE Welsh programme, all subject areas are taught through the medium of English, but all school placements and a significant element of the professional development on the programme can be undertaken through the medium of Welsh.

Welsh language support is given to students wishing to teach through the medium of Welsh to enhance their language skills. All students will be given additional support to develop their Welsh language skills.

Learning & Teaching​

​A wide variety of learning and teaching strategies is used within the Programme including directed study. The latter encourages students to make use of Cardiff Met library and ICT facilities to support their own learning.

School Experience

Students will participate in the following teaching and learning situations:

  • Observation of mentors, other teachers and pupils at work and the recording of findings.
  • Collaboration with peers, with mentors, with other teachers and with tutors, in delivering parts of a lesson or a whole lesson.
  • Teaching whole-classes and groups of pupils by taking the sole responsibility for them in various formal settings. 
  • Reflection and Evaluation individually, with peers, with mentors, other teachers and tutors.
  • The University-based Programme
  • Students will participate in the following learning and teaching situations:
  • Lead Lectures or Presentations
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Directed Study 
  • Practical/Workshop Sessions
  • Blended Study
  • Much of the work in University-based sessions will be of this nature and may involve tutors and students in:
  • Adapting theory to practice
  • Engagement in the use of a variety of teaching materials;
  • Participation in a variety of teaching approaches and techniques;
  • Familiarisation with the National Curriculum and the post 16 curriculum;
  • Working individually, collaboratively and in groups;
  • Assessment and monitoring of performance;
  • Observation and recording;
  • Developing lesson and wider planning skills;
  • Individual study;
  • Use of libraries and other information systems;
  • Role play; 
  • Visits to various sites.

Contact Hours

Contact time will vary during school experience placements. Trainees will be expected in to be in school 4 days a week and many of these days will extend beyond the pupils’ timetabled teaching day. All trainees will be in university on a Monday and will have 4 hours contact time with a tutor either in subject groups or IPD groups.

Work Placements / Work Related Experience

Placement/Work-based learning forms a planned and intended part of an academic programme. It typically takes place outside the university with the support of a placement provider. Please note: all students who opt to complete a placement with children or vulnerable adults will need to hold a current DBS disclosure from Cardiff Metropolitan University. If you have a placement/work-based element to your programme, you will normally be provided with a Placement Handbook.

Programme Specific Work Placements / Work Related Experience

Student teachers gain experience in three schools. All students will visit at least one primary school. Students from all subject areas will gain substantial experience in two secondary schools.

Details concerning school experience regarding roles and responsibilities (mentors, tutors, students) and how it is structured can be found in the SEWCTET Partnership Handbook, which is also available on the university virtual learning portal.


Student teachers will be assessed both on practical teaching and academic assignments. The latter is assessed at Masters level and affords student teachers 60 credits at 'M' level. A pass is required for both school and university based modules. Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of student teachers' competence against statutory standards.

There is no formal end of programme examination.

Employability & Careers​

The PGCE Secondary programme provides student teachers with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), 60 credits at Masters level and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It provides opportunities for employment at the secondary level.

What can I expect to earn when I start teaching?
Information can be obtained from the Training and Development Agency for Schools website: and from the Discover Teaching Website.

Entry Requirements​

Essential Criteria for 2018 entry

Initial Degree Requirements:

Whilst it is expected that the content of your degree will contain a significant proportion of the subject in which you wish to train to teach, we do favourably consider applicants whose degrees are in a subject that is closely related. Your application and interview (should you be selected) will be assessed on your potential to meet the Qualified Teacher Standards relating to subject knowledge, understanding and skills, and the extent to which these can successfully underpin your practice as a teacher of a particular subject, up to and including the teaching of A level and other post-16 curricula.


Minimum degree classification at entry 
(All at Honours)

​Drama & Theatre Studies
Physical Education1

Art & Design
Design Technology
ICT & Computing
Modern Foreign Languages3
Science: Biology
Science: Chemistry
Science: Physics


 1 Applicants for PGCE PE are required to have carried out a significant amount of work experience in secondary school PE departments, ideally in a different school to the one they attended. Evidence of this should be highlighted on the UCAS application within the personal statement.
 2 Applicants for PGCE Maths will also require an A-level in Maths as well as a relevant degree.​
 3 Limited Spanish or German only placements are available and also French/Italian.

Applications may be considered for certain Secondary subjects from those who have achieved below a 2:2 Honours degree, but where higher qualifications have been attained, e.g. Masters, PhD. 

GCSE Requirements:

GCSE (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics at Grade B or above (grade 5 or above for applicants holding the newly reformed GCSEs in England). For Physical Education only, applicants must also have GCSE Science at grade C or above.

A B grade in Welsh (First Language) will be considered in combination with a C grade in English Language for entry.

Applicants who have achieved a D or above in GCSE (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics on application, will be considered for interview (grade 4 or above for applicants holding the newly reformed GCSEs in England).

Students studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade C or above in Welsh (First language).

GCSE resits:

Applicants will need to have made arrangements to resit the GCSEs in order to obtain a B grade and indicate this on the UCAS Teacher Training application. If successful at interview, applicants will be offered a place subject to the B grade attainment.

GCSE Equivalents:

Cardiff Metropolitan University will be offering an in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths to meet B grade requirements. More information can be found here. We will also accept equivalent qualifications for the GCSE requirements, which include examinations undertaken with Equivalency Testing, the University of South Wales and the National Extension College.

Please click here for guidelines on B grade GCSE equivalents (English and Mathematics) as recommended by all providers in Wales. To view this document in Welsh, click here. Cardiff Met does ask for higher entry requirements with some of the equivalent qualifications stipulated in the document, so please click here for Cardiff Met's entry requirements, or to view this document in Welsh, click here.

Criminal Records/DBS Check:

Entry is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at

Pre-Entry Tests, Interview and Selection Procedure:
Applicants who meet the essential criteria for courses which lead to QTS at Cardiff Metropolitan will be required to sit Pre-Entry tests in Literacy and Numeracy, click the 'Tests' tab to find out more. Tests will be completed and supervised under 'exam' conditions. The tests will be undertaken as part of the interview day.

Depending upon the subject pathway you apply for, the interview will comprise a one to one interview or group discussion. See ‘Interview Process’ Tab for further details.

Applicants with additional needs who are sitting these tests will need to notify Admissions immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met,  you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 7.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply

Applications for this course should be made via UCAS Teacher Training. Information in relation to the application procedure and applying can be obtained at:

For 2018 entry from March 13th onwards, the application fee to UCAS Teacher Training will be reduced from £24 to £1. Anyone that has already made an application before March 13th, will be refunded the £23 difference over the coming weeks.

UCAS Application Codes:
This course offers the following pathways of study and the following PGCE application code should be used on your UCAS - Teacher Training application form:

​PGCE Secondary Programme​English Medium Code​Welsh Medium Code
​Art & Design​W1X1W1XX​
​Biology with Science​C1X1C1XX​
​Chemistry with Science​F1X1F1XX​
​Design & Technology​W9X1W92X​
​Drama & Theatre Studies​W4X1W4XX​
​English ​Q3X1Q3XX​
​ICT & Computing​G5X1IX1X​
​Modern Foreign LanguagesR9X1​R9XX​
​Physical Education​X9C6C6XX​
​​Physics with Science​F3X1F31X​

Information for Attending Interview​ 

Please report to the main reception at the Cyncoed campus, unless otherwise instructed, 15 minutes prior to your interview where you will be collected by a member of staff. You will need to allow for the whole day for the interview process. 
Additional to the information contained in your interview letter and on the tab below regarding the compulsory Tests, the following programmes also require you to prepare for extra tasks.​

PGCE Secondary Drama
PGCE Secondary English
PGCE Secondary Maths
PGCE Secondary Modern Foreign Languages > applicants will be briefly interviewed in the foreign language and will also complete two brief written tasks in the language in which they are applying to teach.
PGCE Secondary Music
​PGCE Secondary History
PGCE Secondary PE
PGCE Secondary Science​​

Applicants are required to indicate within their personal statement if they wish for their interview to be conducted through the medium of Welsh.

If you have any queries, please contact Admissions on 029 2041 6010.


Literacy Tests

There will be two literacy tests:

The first test will focus spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. This test will be completed electronically on the day of interview but a printable, sample copy of the paper is available here.

This test will be 30 minutes long. To prepare for the first literacy test, applicants should work through the sample paper provided. In addition, the current literacy skills test in England, as found on the DfE website, will also serve as a useful reference tool as the tests are similar in content. 

Another useful resource is:
Johnson, J. (2012) Passing the Literacy Skills Test (Achieving QTS) 3rd edn. Exeter: Learning Matters, ISBN 9780857258793.

The second test will focus on comprehension skills as well as assessing potential at Master's level and will be a critique of a journal article. You will be asked to critically analyse the article's content in the light of your own personal learning and reflect upon its implications for your chosen school setting in approximately 300 words. This second test will be 45 minutes long.
The task will assess the ability to:

  • Analyse, critically reflect and/or explain/persuade;
  • Locate information and synthesise material with an eye for detail and awareness of appropriate context/style/form;
  • Express ideas and information clearly, precisely and accurately;
  • Write appropriately for the intended audience and purpose, engaging the interest of the reader;
  • Write for the intended audience and purpose using an academic style where appropriate;
  • Select and prioritise information to construct a coherent argument;
  • Use a variety of accurately punctuated sentence and paragraph structures to control progression, matching style to audience and purpose;
  • Use and spell accurately a wide range of appropriate, ambitious vocabulary to convey precise meaning.

Numeracy Test

There will be one numeracy test, which focuses on the functional mathematics which teachers need in their professional role.

Extra Information for Welsh medium applicants

Applicants who apply to train for the Welsh medium sector will be placed in Welsh medium schools and some of the university provision is through the medium of Welsh.

During the interview procedure you will be assessed on your ability in both English and Welsh.

Literacy Tests

All applicants will complete the first literacy test in English (see above for further details). 

Welsh medium applicants will also complete a literacy skills test in Welsh (15 mins.), which requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of Welsh grammar. In preparation for this test we recommend that you look at the sample paper provided here and refer to the following useful text: Breese, N., Clement, B. (2011) Seren Iaith. Ceredigion: Atebol Cyfyngedig. ISBN 978-1-907004-85-8 (£5.99) The following sections will be most useful: Chwilio'r gwallau 1 pp.6-105 and pp.166-197.

All applicants will complete the second literacy test as above (English and Welsh versions provided) and Welsh medium applicants can choose whether to critique this article in Welsh or English.

Welsh medium applicants will also be expected to write a short passage (approx 150 words) in Welsh if you choose to critique the article in English, or vice-versa, in order to assess your written ability in both languages.

Numeracy Test

English and Welsh versions of the question paper will be provided. Applicants can choose to answer in either language. ​



I don’t have GCSE grade B/grade 5** or above in English Language and Mathematics – can I still apply for the PGCE? Applicants with a grade D or above in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) will be considered for interview (grade 4 or above for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England). However, applicants will need to have made arrangements to re-sit the GCSEs (or an acceptable equivalent) in order to obtain the B grade and indicate this on the UCAS Teacher Training application. If successful at interview, applicants will be offered a place subject to the attainment of grade B. 

Does Cardiff Met offer in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths?
Cardiff Met offers an in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths. The tests are designed to meet the GCSE B grade requirements for entry into Cardiff Met ITE programmes only. 

To be eligible to sit the exams, applicants must have received an offer and replied, or intend to reply, 'Firm'. For those choosing the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) route, applicants will be permitted to sit the exams prior to offer. There is no fee attached to the equivalency exams and applicants are permitted to sit one retake, in each exam, during the year in which they apply. 

Are my qualifications acceptable?
The equivalency of overseas qualifications is determined by UK NARIC.
If you are an International student you should contact UK NARIC. If you are a Home/EU applicant please contact our Admissions team who will be able to offer further advice on your qualifications. 


Do you hold Open Days?
We hold a number of Open Events including PGCE information throughout the year. Please check our Open Days and Events page for further information.
Also, to ensure accessibility for everybody we include all relevant PGCE information on the website and you are always welcome to contact us by phone or email. 

When is the closing date for applications?
There is no set deadline for applications. Programmes will close when the course becomes full. Competition for places is extremely high for PGCE Primary and PGCE Secondary (PE) so we recommend that applications are made early in the academic year to avoid disappointment. 

Do I apply directly to Cardiff Met?
No - all applications for PGCE Primary and Secondary must be made via UCAS Teacher Training. Information in relation to the application procedure and applying can be obtained at:

Will I have to complete a Criminal Records Check?
Entry is subject to a satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at

What should I do if I am a Welsh Medium Applicant?
Applicants who wish to train for the Welsh medium sector should apply for the relevant pathway through UCAS Teacher Training. The application codes are listed above in the How to Apply section. You will be placed in Welsh medium schools and some of the university provision is through the medium of Welsh. During the interview procedure you will be assessed on your ability in both English and Welsh. 


How will I receive information about the interview?
The date of your interview can be viewed on your UCAS Track. Information will also be sent via email and by post. 

How often are interviews held? Are there specific dates?
There are no specific dates. However you will be given sufficient notice for your interview. 

What happens if I do not bring all of my certificates to the interview?
Certificates can be produced at a later date if you are successful in gaining an offer. 


How much does the PGCE course cost?
See our Fees and Finance page for further details. 

Do I get a bursary?
Financial incentives and training grants may be available depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Discover Teaching website for further details.

Is there any other funding available? 
Welsh domiciled PGCE students who choose to stay and study in Wales are also eligible to receive support from the Welsh Government in terms of the Tuition Fee Grant.
For further information about the grant and to access the relevant PN1 form please visit: 

Course Information 

When does the PGCE start and finish?
For Academic Year 2018/19, the PGCE course will start on 3rd September 2018 (subject to change) and finishe
s in June 2019. 

What days will I need to be on campus?
Friday is spent on Cyncoed campus and Monday–Thursday is spent on school placement. 

When will I find out about school based placements? Where will they be? Can I arrange my own?
The School based placement component is undertaken in our excellent range of SEWCTET partnership schools and is an integral part of the programme. You will be notified at the beginning of your programme. You cannot arrange your own placement. 

Can I defer my place?
Unfortunately, we are unable to allow deferrals on our teacher training programmes.

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Financial incentives and training grants may be available for PGCE Secondary students depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Discover Teaching website for further details.

Contact Us

For general enqui​ries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leaders:

Art and Design
Jason Davies: 029 2041 6556


Emma Thayer: 029 2041 6535

Design & Technology

Jason Davies: 029 2041 6556

Dr Judith Kneen: 029 2020 5941


Mark Williams: 029 2041 6527

ICT & Computing
Jason Davies: 029 2041 6556

Steve McCarthy: 029 2041 6564

Modern Foreign Languages
Craig Howard: 029 2041 6552 


Tom Breeze: 029 2041 6502

Physical Education
Fiona Diffey: 029 2020 5894

Kin Yu: 029 2041 6533

Dr Gina Morgan: 029 2041 7251



Full terms & conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting