Department of Education

PGCE

Welcome

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education course offers you the opportunity to train to teach the secondary age group in one of the leading educational establishments in the country. The University of Oxford’s Department of Education has a long history in initial teacher education, dating back to 1892.

The department works in partnership with over 37 secondary comprehensive schools in Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties, with most being within 30 miles of Oxford.

We work on an internship model (the Oxford Internship Scheme) which recognises the different roles of university and schools in teacher education and the need for a truly collaborative partnership. Such collaboration involves joint responsibility within the partnership for the planning, delivery and assessment of the programme.

All of our PGCE programmes run on a full-time basis for one academic year.

In addition to being awarded the PGCE qualification, successful students are also recommended for Qualified Teacher Status, which indicates that they have met the requirements of the Government’s Teachers’ Standards.

 

We’re running virtual PGCE Open Evenings! Applicants will be invited to a tailored online event with no more than 10 participants, including the admissions team and a University tutor from the relevant PGCE subject. The date and start time will be confirmed in due course but it will be held before Christmas 2020. To register your interest send your name and subject to pgce.admissions@education.ox.ac.uk before 12:00 (midday) on Friday 6th November 2020.

The course

We offer the PGCE in the following subject areas:

English
Geography
History
Mathematics
Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish, Mandarin)
Religious Education
Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

The course structure

The course begins with an orientation experience in September in both a primary and secondary school of your choice.

This is followed by the first week in the University of Oxford’s Department of Education. The rest of the autumn term is made up of ‘joint weeks’ with days spent in the University and days in school. You will be attached to the same school for the majority of the year, which makes it possible for you to get to know teachers and pupils in the school and to understand the school’s policies and practices.

The spring term consists primarily of school experience and for the summer term, interns move to a second school so that they have the opportunity to consolidate and extend their understanding and experience of learning and teaching.

This course structure reflects the internship model in that it is designed to:

  • enable interns to become fully integrated into one school over a long period
  • enable interns to learn about their own teaching in the context of the wider school, rather than focusing initially on their own classroom and only later widening their view
  • allow schools to offer coherent and challenging professional development programmes over the course of the long placement, and in the short placement focus on preparation for continuing professional development
  • enable school-based tutors to see interns’ development from the start of the course to a position of competence
  • offer interns the opportunity to encounter a new school context at a time of the course when they are ready to make critical comparisons.
Components of the PGCE course
  • Curriculum (subject related) work.
  • Professional Development Programme.

Curriculum work includes a range of activities related to the teaching of a specific subject in the secondary school. These activities include seminars and workshops in the University, as well as collaborative teaching, solo teaching, observation and discussion in school. The activities are aimed at giving interns competence in teaching their subject, the opportunity to develop a range of teaching strategies, an understanding of wider issues affecting the teaching of those subjects within the whole school curriculum. The work in each subject is organised by the Curriculum Tutor and school mentor for that subject. Part of the work in each subject area is planned for all interns, and part develops from the progress of individual interns.

An experienced teacher (or mentor) co-ordinates the subject related classroom based activities of the intern. The mentor provides guidance and support and, as the year goes by, judges when and how to increase an intern’s experience and responsibilities. The school based mentor liaises with the Curriculum Tutor from the University to plan tasks and activities for the interns.

Interns complete three written assignments related to their subject teaching. These all involve school based investigation and the critical analysis of relevant research and professional literature.

The professional development programme (PDP) involves a range of activities related to important educational issues. These activities include lectures in the University, weekly seminars in school and an assignment focused on a specific aspect of schooling of the interns’ own choice. These activities are aimed at giving interns an understanding of whole-school and cross-curricular issues, and an appreciation of the contribution which they can make to developing these issues through teaching their own subjects.

The Professional Tutor responsible for interns at the school co-ordinates school based activities related to general educational issues, called the school professional development programme.
Some aspects of the PDP are planned and organised for all interns by university tutors, who take responsibility for particular issues. The detailed programme for the interns in each school, however, is organised by the Professional Tutor and General Tutor for that school.

Optional classes are open to all interns. These currently include:

  • Additional learning needs
  • Citizenship
  • Drama
  • Education in developing countries
  • Learners, learning and evidence
  • Mindfulness
  • Voice care
Assessment

The PGCE at Oxford is assessed as an M level course (in line with the National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education). Successful completion of the three examined assignments at Masters level carries the award of 60 M level credits (which may be built upon later to achieve a full MSc degree in Learning and Teaching). Those who pass the assignments at Honours level can be awarded a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (provided that their practice also meets the Teachers’ Standards).

Partnership Schools

The department works in partnership with a wide range of schools and education settings both in terms of their intake populations and geographical location. Such a wide and diverse partnership gives students opportunities to compare and contrast policy and practice in different schools through undertaking placements in these demographically and geographically diverse locations.

Every PGCE student will have the opportunity to work in two of the 39 partnership schools which are located in Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties.

School placements are allocated by University tutors, taking into account a school’s capacity for subject specialisms; individual circumstances (e.g. childcare, disabilities); residential location; transport and a student’s training/development plan.

All students are expected to travel regularly between their home, the department, and their partnership schools. Transport to these venues is the responsibility of the student.

Bursaries

UK Government Teacher Training Bursaries & Scholarships 2021/22

To be eligible for a teacher training bursary or scholarship you will need to:

  1. Accept an offer to study the PGCE in one of the subjects listed in the table below. Unfortunately funding is not available for all of the PGCE subjects offered by the University of Oxford.
  2. Evidence a Bachelor Honours degree graded at a 2:2, 2:1 or First, and/or a higher qualification such as a Masters or PhD. International qualifications viewed as comparable to qualifications taken within the UK are accepted. In order for the University of Oxford to formally recognise any overseas qualification you must present a Statement of Comparability from UK NARIC. Students in this position should contact Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500, as a teacher training applicant you can obtain the Statement of Comparability for free (this usually costs £49.50 plus VAT).
  3. You must be entitled to support under the Student Finance England criteria. Residents of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will need to be entitled for support as set out by your country’s student finance body (Student Finance Wales, Student Awards Agency Scotland or Student Finance NI). Following an announcement by the Universities Minister on 23 June 2020 EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22. The University awaits clarification on the status of EU nationals who are granted Settled Status and of EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefiting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Note: To be considered for a scholarship, students will need to submit an additional application to the relevant institution following their acceptance onto the PGCE at the University of Oxford.

 

Subject Bursary Scholarship
Biology £7,000 N/A
Chemistry £24,000 £26,000 – Royal Society of Chemistry
Mathematics £24,000 £26,000 – Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
Modern Foreign Languages £10,000 N/A
Physics £24,000 £26,000 – Institute of Physics

 

Students cannot receive a bursary and a scholarship. Both the bursary and scholarship are tax-free and are paid directly into your UK bank account whilst you study. All students are given an application form once an offer to study the PGCE at the University of Oxford has been accepted.

Brasenose Graduate Opportunities Scholarship

Oxford’s Department of Education and Brasenose College are committed to attracting the very best candidates for Taught Master’s degrees, irrespective of their background or ability to pay. Black teachers are underrepresented in UK schools, particularly at senior levels, and the proportion of highly qualified Black students in Education Studies at Oxford is lower than across the rest of the UK. The Brasenose Graduate Opportunities Scholarship is open to PGCE offer holders with Home fee status who identify as either: Black African, Black Caribbean, Black Other or Mixed/multiple, including Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other. The maximum value of this award is £25,000 which is intended to cover the full course fee plus a stipend. The award will be reduced if the recipient is also in receipt of a PGCE scholarship or bursary or equivalent. There is no additional application process, but your PGCE application must be received by the University of Oxford by Thursday 1st April 2021. For full details please click here.

Oxford Bursary

If you are a Home or Republic of Ireland student from a lower-income household, you may be eligible to receive an annual non-repayable Oxford Bursary to help with living costs. The amount of bursary you get will depend on your household income, including the total value of any tax-free teacher training bursary or scholarship. Please visit the Oxford Bursaries webpage for more details.

 

FAQs

When do applications open?

Applications for September 2021 entry open on Tuesday 13th October 2020. Apply through the UCAS Teacher Training website.

When do applications close?

There are no formal application deadlines for the PGCE at the University of Oxford. The University tutors continually review new applications until spaces for each subject are filled. When a subject is closed to new applications it will be removed as an option on the UCAS Teacher Training website. If you meet our entry requirements we encourage you to submit your competitive application as soon as possible.

Are you running any events?

We’re running virtual PGCE Open Evenings! Applicants will be invited to a tailored online event with no more than 10 participants, including the admissions team and a University tutor from the relevant PGCE subject. The date and start time will be confirmed in due course but it will be held before Christmas 2020. To register your interest send your name and subject to pgce.admissions@education.ox.ac.uk before 12:00 (midday) on Friday 6th November 2020.

How do I apply?

Apply through the UCAS Teacher Training website.

I have applied; when will I receive a response?

From the date that you complete your UCAS application (including references) the institutions have up to 40 working days to: review your application, invite you to any interview and process any offer. The 40 working day time-frame (sometimes called your Reject By Default date) is fixed and individual providers, including Oxford, cannot extend it. The 40 working day period is occasionally extended by UCAS, for example at Christmas and Easter.

Do you offer distance learning?

The PGCE is a full-time course requiring attendance at the University and in school for placements. It is not possible to take this course through distance learning.

Will I be required to travel for my interview?

If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to interview. All of our interviews for this admissions cycle will be held online, detailed instructions will be provided. Our interviews are typically conducted by a University tutor from your subject area and a mentor; an experienced teacher from one of our partnership schools.

What degree class do I need?

Applications are welcome from candidates with a 2:2 classification or higher. In all cases we review both your academic history and your attitudes towards teaching. Consequently we would also encourage applications from those who have extensive UK school experience and a 3rd class classification.

Do I need to complete school experience?

Candidates are encouraged to spend at least one day of observation in a non-selective, state funded UK secondary school prior to making an application. If, however, you cannot complete this observation then you are still able to submit an application through UCAS Teacher Training. All candidates are also encouraged to spend at least one day of observation in a non-selective, state funded UK secondary school prior to an interview. If, however, you cannot complete this observation then you are still encouraged to attend the interview. Although strongly encouraged, school experience is not a condition for the Oxford PGCE.

Is there a residency requirement?

All PGCE students are normally expected to live within 25 miles of Oxford’s city centre. If you are moving to Oxford for the first time we suggest that you seek accommodation as centrally as possible, because you will then have access to more public transport options and thus can be considered for placements within more partnership schools. As the PGCE works with schools across Oxfordshire and in neighbouring counties we can consider requests to be excused from this requirement, but this is not guaranteed.

What accommodation is available?

Accommodation is not guaranteed for any student, but there are plenty of options to explore. Colleges and the Graduate Accommodation Office offer a wide range including non en-suite single rooms and private flats. Once an offer has been accepted PGCE students can simultaneously apply for college and Graduate accommodation. If you have childcare responsibilities then advice is available from Childcare Services.

How are partnership schools allocated?

School places are decided by the University department, but are informed by student’s: home location, professional preferences, caring responsibilities and disabilities. Throughout the PGCE students experience two partnership schools, when your second school placement is decided the University department also consider your experience so far on the course and the developmental priorities that have emerged. It is important to note that not every school will offer a training place for every subject and that a place at a particular partnership school cannot be guaranteed.

How do I select my college?

All PGCE interns are guaranteed a college place. Upon accepting your offer to study you can select your preferred colleges from a list of available institutions, or you can choose to not state a preference. Many PGCE students approach their college for accommodation and/or car parking facilities.

Do you accept qualifications from outside of the UK?

International qualifications viewed as comparable to qualifications taken within the UK are accepted for the PGCE. In order for the University of Oxford to formally recognise any overseas qualification you must present a Statement of Comparability from UK NARIC. Students in this position should contact Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500. As an applicant for teacher training you can obtain the Statement of Comparability for free (this usually costs £49.50 plus VAT).

Can I be considered for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course?

We do set SKEs as conditions of offers. SKE courses give students the opportunity to improve their knowledge before the PGCE starts. We typically set SKE courses where students have been outside of formal education for a significant period, or when they have studied a subject related to the area that they wish to complete a PGCE in. If invited to interview there will be an opportunity to have a tailored conversation about your SKE options with the panel.

Due to the UK government’s Spending Review, SKE courses for candidates starting Initial Teacher Training courses in 2021/22 will not be available at the start of the recruitment cycle from 1 October 2020. Following completion of the Spending Review the UK government will confirm the approach to SKE funding.

In response, the University of Oxford will continue to consider students for SKE courses whilst the Spending Review is conducted. If a SKE is set as part of your offer we will make a distinction between those who need to complete the SKE and those who would benefit from completing a SKE. For those who need a SKE, it will be set as a formal condition and you will be asked to complete a course regardless of the conclusion of the Spending Review. For those who would benefit from completing a SKE, we will add this request as part of your initial offer but will not initially set it as a formal condition. Once the Spending Review has concluded and the details around fees and funding are known we will review the recommended SKE courses on a case by case basis.

Do you accept international students?

Around two thirds of Oxford’s graduate students are international, and international students are welcome to apply for Oxford’s PGCE. Although not a condition of an application or of an interview, experience within a state-funded UK secondary school is highly recommended. If this is not possible then observing elements of UK teaching outside of the UK (for example, International GCSE lessons) is also highly relevant. Although strongly encouraged school experience is not a condition for the Oxford PGCE. International qualifications viewed as comparable to qualifications taken within the UK are accepted for the PGCE. In order for the University of Oxford to formally recognise overseas qualification the student must present a Statement of Comparability from UK NARIC. Students in this position should contact Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500. As an applicant for teacher training you can obtain the Statement of Comparability for free (this usually costs £49.50 plus VAT).

What about the coronavirus?

During the Covid-19 pandemic we prioritised the safety of our students and staff. For example, our in-person classes are taught in socially-distanced classrooms, and the University offers its own testing service. While we hope we will not need to do so again, in the spring we removed our PGCE students from partnership schools before the national lockdown. Nevertheless, 98% of students were examined and passed the PGCE with QTS.

Many aspects of our PGCE (such as in-person teaching, school placements, an integrated learning experience and the Enhanced Learning Opportunity with SEND focus) continue with 93% of the 2019/20 cohort describing our PGCE as Excellent or Good.

As the situation evolves it is hard to discuss the precise measures that will be in place for September 2021. If you have any questions then please get in touch.

Contact

Couldn’t find your answers under our FAQ section?

Please direct all enquiries to our PGCE Office and a member of the administrative team will be happy to assist you.

Phone: +44 (0)1865 274020 or 274058
Email: pgce.admissions@education.ox.ac.uk

If you would like to request a free copy of our PGCE course prospectus please send your name and postal address to pgce.admissions@education.ox.ac.uk

  • English

    UCAS course code Q3X1

    The PGCE Internship programme in English is designed to prepare you to teach the subject in comprehensive schools. It aims to help you make the complex transition from having been a successful student of English in higher education to becoming a successful school teacher.

    The English programme has been developed with colleagues from our partnership schools and is based upon the following core principles:

    • the view that the creative, imaginative and expressive aspects of the subject have a key role in pupils’ learning
    • the view that English teachers should write for pleasure, read widely for enjoyment and participate in cultural events in their school and in the wider community
    • the view that English teachers should share their experiences as writers, readers, speakers and listeners with their pupils
    • the understanding that writing is a practice that covers a wide range of processes, functions, rhetorical situations, and categories of discourse
    • a broad view of what constitutes text and the understanding that technological innovation can change both what is considered as text, how text is prepared and how it may be interpreted
    • the importance of literature in the development and understanding of human cultures and in personal, social and ethical development
    • the importance of diversity in reading practices and the value of a range of interpretative approaches to texts
    • an understanding of the English language at word, sentence and text level
      recognition and respect for varieties of language and languages
    • a belief that English, as a subject, involves the development of social relationships and collaborative work
    • the inter-relationship of speaking, listening, reading and writing

    In addition, the programme covers the key professional skills of:

    • lesson and course planning and preparation;
    • assessment, recording and reporting;
    • responding to individual learning needs;
    • classroom and behaviour management.

    English teaching in England is subject to continuous change and development. The Internship English programme is intended to enable beginning teachers to meet the challenges of change confidently and creatively.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    We look for applicants with a good degree in English or a degree in another subject that involves textual study together with further degree-level work (through the Open University, for example) in English. We of course welcome applications from those with degrees in English Language or Linguistics as well as in English Literature.

    If you think Oxford isn’t for people like you – talk to us! More than three quarters of our interns have degrees from outside Oxbridge.

  • Geography

    UCAS course code F8X1

    Learning to become a geography teacher at Oxford is challenging, stimulating, very rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. The subject naturally lends itself to a huge range of student learning activities, both in the classroom and in the field, and most interns find this diversity one of its attractions.

    The main aims of the geography course are to provide the foundations for you to become an inspiring and effective geography teacher of young people who now find themselves living in a fast-changing world, and to quickly become innovative leaders in the field.

    Central to the course is the basic tenant that all young people, regardless of social class, race, ethnicity, gender or ability can learn and enjoy geography, and that geography, as a discipline, has a significant contribution to make to the broader aims of education.

    The idea of ‘subject’ is central to the design of the course and we encourage you to engage critically with ongoing policy and academic debates about what kinds of geographies are fit for a 21st century education system.

    It follows that, by the end of the course, you should:

    • be competent in the skills of teaching geography, as specified in the Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status
    • understand the contribution that you as a geography teacher can make to the education of pupils in the widest sense
    • be able to take responsibility for your continuing professional development

    The course consists of an integrated programme of lesson observations, school-based activities, teaching and reflection in school and university workshops, lectures, tutorials and fieldwork. In school you will begin by working with teachers and small groups of pupils. As your confidence grows, you will plan and teach lessons with a class teacher and with other interns, sometimes working with a group of pupils, sometimes with a whole class.

    In the University, you will work with the other geography interns, and with the geography education tutors. You will be expected to read and to think about teaching in a critical and theoretical way, taking account of your own ideas about the sort of teacher you would like to be.

    You will be able to make a real difference to pupils, fostering their learning of the important issues which shape the future.

    All geography interns gain fieldwork experience in their schools and during a weekend residential course at a Field Studies Council Centre; the practicalities of organising such trips are explored in departmental sessions.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    We welcome applications from candidates who have not studied Geography but have completed a degree in a related area, such as Geology. Applications from those who may need to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course are also welcome. If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of your degree then please contact the PGCE Office.

  • History

    UCAS course code V1X1

    We are committed to enabling you to teach history in rigorous ways while taking account of the learners’ needs, desires and dispositions, across a range of different contexts. Our course is based on a strong set of partnerships built over a long period of time with local schools.  This partnership extends to include visits to local museums, a local case study and visits to a number of London schools to explore EAL and diversity issues. We have a real passion for history and young people and are looking for candidates that share this passion. Our course looks to support successful history teaching based on the use of engaging and rigorous historical enquiries that link substantive historical knowledge with critical historical thinking.

    Course development evolves in response to feedback from all PGCE partners, combining insights from up to date research with the perspectives of PGCE students and their mentors. The course integrates teaching experience in partner secondary schools with practical university-based workshops and helps you develop teaching skills and a critical understanding of learning and teaching across a range of different contexts.

    The curriculum programme is organised around six broad themes:

    • exploring your preconceptions about the nature of history and about effective teaching and learning
    • the context of history teaching today, including the nature of the history curriculum itself (Key Stage 3, GCSE and post-16), the relationship between history and citizenship education and the wider professional context of teachers’ work
    • managing history classrooms
    • planning for learning – exploring the range of decisions that you need to make in planning for single lessons and longer schemes of work, examining the range of goals and activities possible, and the ways in which you can select and tailor your objectives and learning tasks to ensure that all pupils are engaged and can make progress
    • carrying out your plans
    • evaluation: of both your own teaching and the pupils’ learning in history

    In school you will be involved in all aspects of a teacher’s role. You will observe experienced teachers, and discuss your observations and your own developing ideas and practice with them; you will plan and teach collaboratively, and design and develop resources for that teaching. You will work both with individuals and small groups of pupils, as well, of course, as taking responsibility for teaching history to whole classes. In the university you will work with other history interns in seminars and workshops using a wide variety of approaches intended to develop your own repertoire and understanding of effective teaching and learning strategies, informed by both practical and research-based, theoretical perspectives. One key aspect of the PGCE programme is the space to share knowledge and understanding of the variety of contexts.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    We welcome applications from candidates who have not studied History but have completed a degree in a related area, such as Law or Sociology. If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of your degree then please contact the PGCE Office.

  • Mathematics

    UCAS course code G1X1

    The aim of the Mathematics course is to help you to become an effective secondary school teacher of mathematics. To help you achieve this goal, we teach you through a variety of styles, paces, approaches and presentations in the hope that you will use a similar variety when you teach. Learning mathematics can be challenging. It requires concentration, and can feel like hard work, but it also has the ability to surprise, and to give a sense of achievement and enjoyment. Learning to be a teacher will be all of these things too. Teaching on the PGCE course is strongly informed by the mathematics education research which takes place in the Department, some of which is undertaken collaboratively with partner schools. Course tutors are active researchers and experienced in writing for teacher trainees and practising teachers of mathematics.

    Objectives of the course
    • to provide mathematical experiences on which you can reflect as a learner, and relate these to planning for teaching
    • to offer insights into children’s learning and, through recognition of their particular conceptions, to help you plan your teaching accordingly
    • to provide skills and experiences in planning, teaching and managing effective lessons through which learners can gain mathematical knowledge, awareness and understanding
    • to help you to reflect on and analyse your teaching, and make decisions about how to modify and adapt it to be more effective for students’ learning
    • to introduce you to a range of resources, research and theoretical perspectives on which to base your growth as a teacher
    • to enable you to develop skills and experience in ICT that will support your teaching and its management
    Main themes of the course
    • Developing reflective teaching (DRT): in which you think about your practice in a professional, developmental manner
    • Learners’ mathematical development (LMD): in which you think about mathematics and lessons from the point of view of how learners think
    • Teaching and learning a topic (TLT): in which you learn how to structure mathematical knowledge so that your teaching is effective
    • Planning and management (PM): in which you look at planning and managing lessons, classrooms, professional work and yourself.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    If you are committed to teaching mathematics in state comprehensive schools, can demonstrate your commitment to working with children in schools through voluntary work or other experience, have a good degree (a 2:2 or above) in mathematics or a mathematics-related subject, such as engineering or economics, and can provide an excellent academic or work reference, you are encouraged to apply. Applications from those who may need to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course are also welcome. If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of your degree then please contact the PGCE Office.

  • Modern Foreign Languages

    The University of Oxford offers a PGCE in:

    • French – UCAS course code R1X1
    • French with German – UCAS course code RX11
    • German with French – UCAS course code RX21
    • French with Spanish – UCAS course code RXD1
    • Spanish with French – UCAS course code 38RT
    • European Language with Mandarin – UCAS course code 357L

    (Please note that the European language must be French, German or Spanish and you must also have a working knowledge of French)

    The Modern Languages PGCE course, which offers a wide variety of learning opportunities, is designed and implemented jointly by colleagues in schools and the university working in close partnership. It is not our aim to prescribe particular approaches to teaching Modern Languages, but rather to enable you to draw on the full range of different sources available to you for your own professional learning – and in so doing to develop a clear and reasoned understanding of the sort of teacher that you want to become.  Tutors on the course, who have many years of classroom teaching experience as well as teacher training experience, will guide you and support you in this exciting but challenging process.

    Our course will help you to become an effective and confident teacher by providing you with the following:

    • the ability to draw on your own experiences of language learning in a positive and reflective manner;
    • the ability to observe other practitioners in the classroom and to understand their decision making;
    • insight into theories and findings from research into Second Language Acquisition, helping you to understand how adolescents learn a foreign language in a classroom setting;
    • opportunities to learn from school students themselves about their experiences of language learning and the barriers they encounter;
    • opportunities to learn from, and share good practice with, other beginning teachers working in different school contexts;
    • practical advice on: the preparation, teaching and evaluation of languages lessons; how to assess and monitor students’ progress; promoting positive behaviour for learning; and responding to the diverse needs of individual students;
    • opportunities to try out and systematically evaluate a range of teaching approaches in a range of classrooms over an extended period of time;
    • many ideas for using and adapting a range of foreign language materials in the classroom.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations

    Applicants who are not native speakers of the main foreign language they are offering are required to hold a degree in which 50% or more of the topics studied relate to the main language.  Ideally, they should also hold at least an A level (or equivalent) in any other foreign language offered. For example, a native speaker of English applying for the ‘French with German’ PGCE option might hold a degree in French and an A level in German. We also welcome applications from graduates who are native speakers of the target language.  In this case, their degree does not have to be in the main foreign language itself.  Native speakers offering a second language should hold an A level (or equivalent) in that additional language.

    We are happy to receive applications from graduates who speak all of the foreign languages we offer.  Although you would need to apply for one of the course options listed above, we would try where possible to give you opportunities to work with learners of all the languages you offer.

  • Religious Education

    UCAS course code V6X1

    The course places a high degree of importance to understanding the role of religion in wider cultural, social, political and scientific contexts; and its cross-curricular significance in schools. Thus the course will also enhance subject knowledge and its classroom application through cross-curricular links between religion and other subjects. Through such cross-curricular approaches, we stress not only intellectual and critical engagement but creative and imaginative teaching and learning for pupils and students in religious education. Therefore we will not expect knowledge across all traditions and will instead begin the process of enhancing this subject knowledge and its classroom applications.

    • The Secondary PGCE in Religious Education at Oxford places a strong emphasis upon developing knowledge of Christianity and the other principal world religions represented in Britain – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism – so as to inform classroom practice.
    • Subject knowledge is developed in University based sessions, with visits to, and guest speakers from, religious communities.
    • The course also benefits from the wider context of Theology and the Study of Religion at Oxford, including the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and the OxfordCentre for Islamic Studies.
    • Emphasis is also placed on religion across the curriculum, notably religion and the arts / literature, religion and history, religion and politics, religion and science.
    • Encouraging a variety of approaches to teaching and learning inreligious education, the course also benefits from external visits to places of national cultural significance such as the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Imperial War Museum and the National Gallery, London, amongst many others.
    • A variety of teaching methods are used during the University based sessions including formal lectures and seminars, discussions and debates, workshops and tutorials.
    • Additional training is offered on National Curriculum Citizenship, along with expertise at the interface of education, security and intelligence studies.
    • Curriculum Studies in Religious Education is underpinned by close partnership with Religious Education Departments in a range of Oxford schools.

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    We welcome applications from candidates who have studied Religious Studies, Theology or Biblical Studies. We also encourage applications from those who have studied a related area, such as Sociology, Philosophy or Politics however these applicants should make it clear in application how their degree includes significant elements of the study of religion. If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of your degree then please contact the PGCE Office. There are various ways in which aspiring RE teachers can develop their subject knowledge prior the start of the PGCE course. For example, they can investigate Open University modules in the study of religion or through an on-line RE subject knowledge ‘booster’ course in conjunction with Culham St Gabriel’s (visit the Teach RE website). RE Online offers information about degrees and qualifications relevant to teaching RE.

  • Science

    UCAS course codes:   Biology C1X1           Chemistry F1X1          Physics F3X1

    The teaching of the sciences in schools is normally organised within a single Science department or faculty to which teachers from the different sciences contribute their respective expertise Such a structure is reflected in the Oxford Department which, while actively recruiting for trainee teachers of the separate sciences – biology, chemistry and physics – works as a co-ordinated team of scientists.

    The course aims to produce high quality teachers of the sciences across the 11-19 age range who will not only become competent teachers but will quickly become innovative leaders in their field. Interns will gain expertise in the different strategies for teaching science, and will get insights into the way that pupils learn across the whole range of attainments, aptitudes and pupil differences. There are opportunities to prepare science lessons, in particular, by trying out practical work both here in the Department as well as in school.

    Interns will learn how to turn their own subject knowledge into a form that can be appreciated by pupils and will think critically about the aims and practicalities of teaching science in schools. To attain these goals, interns work with each other, the University tutors and their mentors in schools as adult learners, motivated to take responsibility for their own learning. The learning is structured through workshops, seminars, discussions, focussed assignments, school-based activities and sympathetic, expert, supervision and support. There are opportunities to prepare science lessons, in particular, by trying out practical work both here in the Department as well as in school. Between them the six science tutors cover such subjects as biology, chemistry, physics, earth and environmental sciences and IT. All have extensive experience of teaching and are involved in curriculum developments and research in science education at national and international level.

    Rather than attempt to train all interns to teach in a particular way, we aim to build on your existing strengths – as good scientists and as mature, autonomous, motivated personalities – to help you teach in the way most suited to you and your school students.

    Aims of the course
    • To develop as a professional
    • To explore your pre-conceptions about science and teaching science, and draw on your teaching experiences in a positive and reflective way
    • To have opportunities to use research and academic study to inform your thinking and practice
    • learn how you can plan lessons which take account of how students learn science, so that you can  develop their scientific understanding and investigative skills
    • To organise and manage school science lessons which are safe and secure learning environments
    • To contribute to students’ understanding of science in society, citizenship and development of literacy and mathematical skills

    Assessment of your progress and achievements are jointly carried out by your schools and the university, and you take part in informal and formal discussions about this. Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

    We welcome applications from candidates who have not studied Biology, Chemistry or Physics but have completed a degree in a related area, such as Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Science, Materials or Zoology. Applications from those who may need to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course are also welcome. If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of your degree then please contact the PGCE Office.

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