Secondary - PGCE


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:

  • Art and Design ​

  • Biology with Science 

  • Chemistry with Science

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

  • Drama​ 

  • ​English 

  • History  

  • ICT & 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 - no vacancies

  • Physics with Science​

  • Wel​sh​​​

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'.

Financial incentives and training grants are currently available for certain pathways depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Teacher Training Cymru website for further details:​. 

Please note this course starts on 4th September 2017.

Please note that it is very likely that Standards for Qualified Teacher Status will change in June 2017 to be implemented for programmes starting in September 2017. 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.

PGCE Events

Taster days are available for those wanting to study a PGCE in a high or medium secondary priority subject. 
Subjects: Chemistry, DT, ICT, Mathematics, MFL, Physics and Welsh (Students studying for a PGCE in these subjects will be awarded training bursaries by the Welsh Government.)

During these half day event you will have an introduction to secondary teaching and the opportunity to observe a secondary lesson. See our Postgraduate Events page for further details.

​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 Teacher Training and Education in Wales website at:​

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Essential Criteria for 2017 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.

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. Please note, if you are taking a GCSE equivalent qualification, do not choose the option 'Equivalent' on the UTT ap​plication as this suggests you are applying to sit an internal test with Cardiff Met which we do not offer, you will need to select 'Other'.

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 and with the University of South Wales. ​

Please click here for guidelines on B grade GCSE equivalents (English and Mathematics) as recommended by all providers in Wales. For further guidance on what Cardiff Met accepts please click here.

Criminal Records Check:

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

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:

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 (Sec) Art and Design: W1X1
PGCE (Sec) Biology with Science: C1X1
PGCE (Sec) Chemistry with Science: F1X1
PGCE (Sec) Design & Technology: W9X1
PGCE (Sec) Drama and Theatre Studies: W4X1
PGCE (Sec) English: Q3X1
PGCE (Sec) History: V1X1
PGCE (Sec) ICT & Computing: G5X1
PGCE (Sec) Mathematics: G1X1
PGCE (Sec) Modern Foreign Languages: R9X1*
PGCE (Sec) Music: W3X1
PGCE (Sec) Physical Education: X9C6
PGCE (Sec) Physics with Science: F3X1
PGCE (Sec) Welsh: Q5X1

PGCE (Sec) Art and Design (Welsh Medium): W1XX
PGCE (Sec) Biology with Science (Welsh Medium): C1XX
PGCE (Sec) Chemistry with Science (Welsh Medium): F1XX
PGCE (Sec) Design & Technology (Welsh Medium):​ W92X​
PGCE (Sec) Drama and Theatre Studies (Welsh Medium): W4XX
PGCE (Sec) English (Welsh Medium): Q3XX​
PGCE (Sec) History (Welsh Medium): V1XX
PGCE (Sec) ICT & Computing (Welsh Medium): IX1X​
PGCE (Sec) Mathematics (Welsh Medium): ​G11X
PGCE (Sec) Modern Foreign Languages (Welsh Medium): R9XX
PGCE (Sec) Music (Welsh Medium): W3XX
PGCE (Sec) Physical Education (Welsh Medium): C6XX​
PGCE (Sec) Physics with Science (Welsh Medium): F31X​
PGCE (Sec) Welsh (Welsh Medium): Q5X1​

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 requested to sit these tests will need to notify Cardiff Metropolitan University immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Due to the high number of applications received for this programme, applicants who do not meet the entry criteria listed above cannot be considered. Any queries on any aspect of the information detailed should contact the Admissions Unit.​

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 Art and Design
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 complete two brief written tasks. For native speakers of the target language, these will be completed in English.
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.


English Medium Applicants

Literacy Test

There will be two tests for postgraduate applicants:

The first will test 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 will test 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.

Welsh Medium Applicants

Applicants who wish to train for the Welsh medium sector should indicate this choice clearly on their applications. 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.

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. ​

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Education
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
One year full-time.

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 Teacher Training Cymru 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
Robert Griffin. 029 2041 6572


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

Bethan Jones: 029 2020 5893

Marian Sweet: 029 2020 1147

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