PGCE Secondary

Secondary - PGCE

Secondary PGCE

Course Overview

Next Open Events:
PGCE Secondary Open Event
Wed 17th October
Cyncoed Campus
2 - 4:30pm 

Postgraduate Information Event 
Wed 24th Oct
Cyncoed Campus
2 - 4:30pm

If you are a graduate with a passion for your specialist subject and a desire to inspire young people, this course is for youThe PGCE Secondary Education programme is a one year course that leads to the award of qualified teacher status.  The course aims to prepare student teachers to be highly-skilled, confident, critically reflective and innovative practitioners who are committed to life-long professional learning and the education of young people.   

The course provides professional training for graduates who wish to teach the following subject areas:

  • Art and Design ​

  • Biology with Science

  • Chemistry with Science

  • Design & Technology (specialising in Resistant Materials & Systems or Food & Textiles)

  • Drama​

  • ​English 

  • Geography

  • History 

  • Information Communications Technology & Computing

  • Mathematics 

  • Modern Foreign Languages​ (Specialising in either French, French and Spanish, or French and German. Limited French/Italian placements and also limited Spanish or German only placements are available.)

  • Music

  • Physical Education 

  • Physics with Science​

  • Religious Education

  • Wel​sh​​​

To train to teach at Cardiff Metropolitan University is an exciting opportunity to learn within the Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education, the only provider in South East Wales to be accredited by the Education Workforce Council for 2019 entry. 

 The Cardiff Partnership consists of Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Oxford, Cardiff University, Central South Consortium (CSC), Education Achievement Service (EAS), City of Cardiff Council and Lead Partnership Schools and Alliances.  Together, the Cardiff Partnership collaborates to ensure that our student teachers not only achieve but seek to surpass the professional standards for QTS through high-quality professional education that is rigorously practical and intellectually challenging. Graduates will develop the values and dispositions that will enable them to be highly employable and ready to meet the demands of the classroom. 

Some of the distinctive features of the course includes:  

  • 60 credits at Masters’ level that can be ‘traded in’ towards an MA in Education. 

  • University and school experiences that train student teachers to teach the Curriculum for Wales across the full age-range of the secondary school 

  • Research-informed clinical practice where structured opportunities enable student teachers to use theory to interrogate practice and vice versa. 

  • A supportive and collaborative culture of learning 

  • School-led training days led by schools identified as leading providers of education and professional development 

  • A ‘return day’ to university and/or lead partnership schools every week to consolidate and cohere learning 

  • Opportunities for cross-phase learning with our PGCE Primary programme 

  • Person-centred enrichment opportunities to build on strengths and develop innovative, collaborative, professional learning and leadership skills. 

  • A commitment to the development of Welsh language skills of all student teachers based on their individual experience and needs 

 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'.

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​​

A total of 120 days will be undertaken in school during the PGCE Secondary year. 15 of the days will take place on Fridays in lead partner schools/alliances (LPS/A) where student teachers will be able to focus on key aspects of pedagogy delivered by leading providers of education and professional development in the primary sector.  Work-based and University-based learning experiences will be closely integrated and the structure of the programme (one day per week at university/LPS/A and four days per week on clinical practice) will facilitate this. 

The PGCE Secondary programme consists of three modules: 

Clinical Practice and Professional Accountability 1 (30 credits at level 6) 

This module is mainly school-based and takes place during the first half of the academic year.  Student teachers will be expected to team teach and independently teach for approximately 45% of the time.  The rest of the time provides opportunities for observation, research and enquiry, planning, preparation, and assessment.  This module is available through the medium of English or Welsh. 

Clinical Practice and Professional Accountability 2 (30 credits at level 6) 

This module is mainly school-based and takes place during the second half of the academic year.  Student teachers will be expected to mainly teach independently for approximately 65% of the time.  The rest of the time provides further opportunities for observation, research and enquiry, planning, preparation, and assessment.  For most student teachers, there will be an opportunity to undertake 15 days at the end of the module where they will be able to engage in enrichment activities to build on their strengths/areas for development normally linked to innovation and leadership.  The focus will be negotiated with their Mentors and University Tutors, will be bespoke to their needs, and will support them in achieving beyond the Standards for QTS as well as contributing towards their Career Entry Profile. This module is available through the medium of English or Welsh. 

Perspectives in Learning and Teaching (60 credits at level 7) 

This year-long module contains 8 major aspects: 

  • Core Studies  
  • Professional and Pedagogical Studies  
  • Areas of Learning and Experience  
  • Cross-curricular Responsibilities  
  • Subject Studies  
  • Welsh Language Development  
  • Wellbeing, including Personal Development and Planning  
  • Clinical Practice and Research Support  

This large module will draw explicitly on a range of theories, research and other intellectual resources as well as student teachers' direct experience in schools to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding about learning and teaching.  This includes aspects such as human development; the curriculum and education system; additional learning needs; use of data and assessment; and classroom management and organisation.  As well as developing knowledge about their chosen subject's curriculum and pedagogy within this module, student teachers will explore opportunities to work creatively and collaboratively across subject boundaries.  At least half of this module is available through the medium of Welsh as well as English. 

Welsh development 
All student teachers will be allocated 25 hours of direct teaching in relation to Welsh development.   

Welsh medium students will receive Gloywi Iaith sessions that will address grammatical elements of the Welsh language and student teachers will be instructed on methods linked to developing pupils' personal literacy skills and understanding of the socio-linguistic backgrounds of learners.     

Welsh learners and emerging Welsh speakers will be taught in streamed groups according to prior experience and qualification and will receive a sound introduction to the Welsh language based on their level of competency.  All will develop at least a basic level of Oracy.  

Time commitment required 
This is a full-time programme and the school-based element requires student teachers to be in school for the normal working school day as well as additional time before and after school for preparation and meetings.   A similar professional commitment is required of student teachers when undertaking the university-based element of the course.  

Learning & Teaching​

The university and school-based teaching and learning opportunities have been designed to complement one another in order to maximise student progress. The methods used emphasise and facilitate student teachers' critical development skills, and cohere around the integration of research and enquiry, practice and theory. In both University and school settings, student teachers will normally experience both tutor-led learning and self-directed methods of learning, developing increasing independence and reflection as they progress through the course.  There will be regular opportunities throughout the course for student teachers to review their personal progress with their tutors and take responsibility for planning and executing their own learning.  

In university, the learning and teaching methods used within modules may include lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, all supported via use of Cardiff Metropolitan's virtual learning environment. In many of the modules, the learning and teaching strategies that will be used will be those with the strongest research evidence of impact on student teacher learning and pupil attainment e.g. microteaching, clinical practice and feedback, metacognition and self-regulation, direct teaching and flipped learning. Where possible, workshops will be delivered in a range of cross-phase, cross-curricular and same subject domains providing plenty of opportunities for student teachers to learn from each other's varied experiences. 

During school-based learning, student teachers will be scaffolded by team teaching approaches as well as engaging in independent teaching and they will be required to take increasing responsibility for teaching a class, or classes, independently over a sustained and substantial period.  Clinical Practice will include directed time for Research and Enquiry; independent and team teaching; and planning, preparation and assessment.  In addition, student teachers will receive fifteen training days led by Lead Partnership Schools/Alliances.  During these days, a variety of teaching and learning approaches will be employed including examination of school documentation, learning rounds, video-stimulated reflective dialogue, learning walks, learning conversations with pupils or teachers and book scrutiny. 


The course includes two written assignments at level 7 that are staggered throughout the year.  Both university assignments build the capacity of student teachers to critically reflect on and evaluate pedagogy and practice whilst enhancing their ability to meet elements of the QTS Standards. In addition, the assignments are designed to develop student teachers' research knowledge and skills, affording them the opportunity to link theory to practice in a way that will impact positively on pupils, school improvement and their own professional practice.  Both Mentors in school and University Tutors will support student teachers through the completion of these assignments.  Collaboration with other student teachers will be an integral feature of one of the assignments. 

All student teachers will be assessed against the Standards for QTS and must pass all Standards to attain qualified teacher status. During the clinical practice, student teachers will receive ongoing verbal and written formative feedback as well as summative reports. As part of the course, student teachers will gather evidence in demonstrating their attainment and achievement and this will be made available to Personal Tutors so that they can monitor progress at regular intervals.

Student teachers' subject knowledge is audited at the start of the programme, followed by the production of an individual student-generated action plan to address any subject knowledge gaps, with the help of University Tutors. A range of measures are subsequently adopted to ensure that all identified gaps are addressed, including subject knowledge workshops, subject research with school-based mentors, or directed self-study. 

Given the centrality of literacy, numeracy and digital competence within the curriculum in Wales, all student teachers will also complete audits in literacy, numeracy and digital competence at the start and at the end of the programmes. Primarily, this will be to help pinpoint strengths and areas for development and to engage in study to fill the gaps in knowledge and skills.  Student teachers who might benefit from further support will receive additional support sessions.   

Employability & Careers​

Successful completion of the programme will lead to recommendation to the Education Workforce Council for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and provides opportunities for employment at the secondary level. Graduates can obtain work in schools across Wales, the UK and abroad. 

The course is designed to provide a wide range of experiences that will provide our graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to prepare them well for the world of work.  Cardiff Partnership's Lead Partnership Schools have been identified as leading providers of education and professional development in Wales and so the opportunity to learn from them and within their own environments means that career progression from student teacher to Newly Qualified Teacher should be seamless.   

For further information visit the Discover Teaching website.

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

 Professional Development: 
The programme also offers an advantage towards continuous professional development by affording 60 credits at Master's level.  These credits may be carried forward towards a full Master's qualification studied on a full or part time basis.  

For further information see MA Education (with Pathways).

Entry Requirements​

Essential Criteria for 2019 entry

All applicants will be required to apply through UCAS ITT by completing an online application form. Applications will then be assessed against the entry criteria for the relevant programme and applicants invited to attend an interview on the basis of this information. 

All applicants should:  

  • have a previous education background which provides the necessary foundation for work as a teacher in the relevant phase and subject specialism; 
  • have the aptitude, capability, and resilience to meet the required QTS outcomes by the end of their ITE programme; 
  • possess the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to become excellent practitioners; 
  • read effectively and be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English and/or Welsh;  
  • not have a criminal background which might prevent them working with children or vulnerable young people, or as an education practitioner; and have not previously been barred or excluded from teaching or working with learners (student teachers are required to arrange for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS); 

demonstrate at the interview stage as having the appropriate personal functional skills in literacy, numeracy and digital competence applicable in a professional teaching and learning context; 

demonstrate their suitability to become excellent teachers;  

meet the requirements of the Welsh Government's Education Health Standards (2004)*, confirming their health and physical capacity to undertake a teacher's responsibilities.  

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 offers an in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths to meet B grade requirements.  We also accept equivalent qualifications for the GCSE requirements, which include examinations undertaken with Equivalency Testing,  University of South Wales and the National Extension College

Guidelines on B grade GCSE equivalents (English and Mathematics) as recommended by all providers in Wales are available (or view the document in Welsh).  Cardiff Met does ask for higher entry requirements than some of the equivalent qualifications stipulated in the document, so please check Cardiff Met's requirements (or view this document in Welsh).  

Initial Degree Requirements: 

An honours degree in the chosen specialist subject or in a closely allied subject that contains a substantial proportion (at least 50%) of that specialist subject within it. 


Minimum degree classification at entry 
(All at Honours)

Physical Education1

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



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.  

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, Numeracy and Digital Competence. Tests will be completed and supervised under 'exam' conditions. The tests will be undertaken as part of the interview day. 

Applicants with additional needs who are requested to sit these tests will need to notify Cardiff Metropolitan University immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made. 

International Applicants 
For international applicants, whose first language is not English, a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall with no sub score lower than 7.0 (or equivalent qualification) will be required for admission to the programme. 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

UCAS Application Codes:
This course offers the following pathways of study and the associated 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 ​W4X1W4XX​
​English ​Q3X1Q3XX​
​ICT & Computing​G5X1IX1X​
​Modern Foreign LanguagesR9X1​R9XX​
​Physical Education​X9C6C6XX​
​​Physics with Science​F3X1F31X​
​Religious Education​369C​37F5

Information for Attending Interview​ 

Please report to the main reception at the Cyncoed Campus where a member of staff will collect you. You will need to allow for the whole day for the interview process. 

Additional information is contained in your interview letter and on the tab regarding the compulsory Tests.


Literacy Tests

Literacy Tests: 

There will be two tests

The first test will focus on 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. 

  • 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 60 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. 

  • The test will be completed electronically on the day of interview but a printable, sample copy of the paper is available in Englishor Welsh. 
  • Calculators will not be allowed but candidates will be provided with paper for jottings and notes. 
  • The test will be 30 minutes long. 
  • To prepare for the numeracy test, applicants should work through the sample paper provided. In addition, the current numeracy skills test in England, as found on the DfE website , will also serve as a useful reference tool, including Numeracy Practice Paper 2 and Numeracy Practice Paper 3. 

 Another useful resource is Tyreman, C. (2011) How to Pass the QTS Numeracy and Literacy Skills Tests: Essential Practice for the Qualified Teacher Status Skills Tests. London: Kogan Page 

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 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.  

Digital Competency Test 
Details to be provided shortly 



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 for 2019 entry?  
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 for PGCE Primary students depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Teacher Training Cymru 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 2019/20 the PGCE course will start on 2nd September 2019 (subject to change) and finishes in June 2020.  

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 'Cardiff Partnership' schools and settings will be primarily based within the regions associated with Central South Consortium and EAS. 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

Viv John: 029 2041 6502 


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

Religious Education
Viv John: 029 2041 6502

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