PGCE Secondary English – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

PGCE Secondary English


Initial Teacher Education

PGCE Secondary English
School of Education
Campus or location
Sion Hill
Course length
One year full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: Q3X1
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

You’ll need to be well suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically.

See 'What we look for in potential students' for more information.

Train to be a teacher through our Ofsted Outstanding-rated PGCE Secondary English.

  • Learn from staff who are experts in a range of educational theories – in an institution that has been training outstanding teachers for over 70 years.
  • Become a knowledgeable and resilient education professional who has developed your own resources, techniques and individual teaching style.
  • What you’ll learn has been co-created with our partner schools to meet their needs, placing you in an excellent position for future employment.

Skilled teachers make a difference to the lives of those they teach. This teacher training course is designed to enable you to become a qualified, passionate teacher of English in Secondary schools.

We encourage you to embrace the professional qualities and attributes that successful teachers need, including:

  • the ability to inspire, engage and motivate learners in your subject
  • a commitment to inclusion and your pupils’ wellbeing
  • impeccable personal and professional conduct, and
  • the ability to reflect on your own progress and continue to develop.

With our support, you’ll become an empathetic and skilled teaching professional who is responsive to the needs of all pupils. You’ll have a positive impact on those you teach – from the beginning of your training within schools.

Share your passion for English

Learn how to inspire, engage and motivate learners in English by creating classrooms full of rich and meaningful exchanges with language and literature. Become familiar with teaching methods that promote pupils' independence and pride, and encourage them to feel excited and challenged by the possibilities that English brings in shaping their lives.

In subject sessions we work together to explore key aspects of this core subject, focusing on ways to inspire a love of learning through dialogue, engaging activities and deep subject knowledge. We aim to create energised and enthused practitioners who consistently reflect on their practice to develop and improve. More, we aim to support the next generation of active professionals who will engage with, and make valuable contributions to, their subject communities.

Subject sessions are led not only by academic staff but a range of experts from the English teaching world. You’ll critically engage with research and learn a range of practical skills, including how to create a positive and supportive learning environment. You’ll develop strategies to help pupils overcome barriers to learning English.

What you'll learn


Explore the fundamentals of teaching through an integrated programme that encompasses both university and school-based training.

You’ll develop your understanding and practice through these core components:

  • Subject and curriculum knowledge
  • Behaviour management
  • Assessment of pupils
  • Planning for learning
  • Adaptive teaching and inclusion
  • Professional behaviours and responsibilities
  • How pupils learn
  • Pupil health and wellbeing

We’ll revisit these components to enable you to gain, apply and refine your knowledge and skills throughout the year.

Course structure

The PGCE Secondary programme covers all subjects and is studied full-time over one academic year.

Your first school placement begins with familiarisation, where you observe your Training Mentors teaching the classes that you will eventually take over. You’ll teach parts of lessons before assuming responsibility for them. You’ll also learn about the curriculum in your subject, how schools work and how pupils make progress.

Throughout your training you’ll be supported by your Academic Tutor, who is a specialist in your subject. Your Academic Tutor nurtures and develops you as an individual and a professional, while working closely with your Training Mentors and Lead Trainers to provide vital support.

Your PGCE Secondary journey culminates in you developing independence and your own identity as a teacher. You’ll create your own resources, style and techniques for teaching, and build the confidence you need to bring your subject to life.

Throughout the year, you'll track and reflect on your experiences and gain evidence of your suitability to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

How will I be taught?

Learn through doing – gain practical teaching experience (planning, assessment and the impact of these on pupils’ progress) during your placements in schools. Explore the professional role of a teacher, including safeguarding, working with colleagues and parents, taking responsibility for a tutor group, and extracurricular activities. Your Academic Tutor and Training Mentor will model good practice and provide regular feedback on your progress.

You’ll also learn through seminars, lectures and talks delivered by expert practitioners, with follow up question and answer sessions. You’ll be guided to reflect on your own progress and set targets, to read widely and to develop English subject knowledge. You’ll also learn from your peers – discussing what you’ve learned and sharing ideas with other BSTs as you develop your own identity as a teacher.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the programme, you’ll gather examples of practice to reflect your progress at each of the four review points during the course.

Your Training Mentor will observe you regularly during school training, and provide personalised feedback to enable you to succeed as a teacher.

You’ll write reflective reviews; these are designed to help you further your knowledge and skills and to become a reflective practitioner.

Your subject knowledge and fundamental skills in Maths and English will be monitored throughout the programme.

You’ll also submit two subject-focused assignments at Level 7 to gain 60 Master’s-level credits and demonstrate the critical and academic knowledge you’ve gained in your subject.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

  • The curriculum in English. My emerging identity as a subject specialist teacher of English.
  • Adaptive Teaching (Inclusion in your secondary subject)
  • QTS - Secondary
  • Subject Knowledge: English



As a graduate of our PGCE with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you can begin your teaching career right away.

During the course, we offer support with applications and interviews so that you can give your teaching career the best possible start.

As an Early Career Teacher, you’ll be supported by your new employing school for a further two years, after which you might work to become a Head of Department, Assistant Head, Deputy or Headteacher, or take on a more pastoral role such as Head of Year.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a Bath Spa Teacher, you'll learn in a variety of locations within our wide partnership, both at the University and in schools.

Your main campus will be Sion Hill. Teaching will take place in rooms equipped with relevant texts, equipment, training materials, and electronic resources.


You'll have access to a range of facilities, including our Libraries.

Open access computer facilities are available. The University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Minerva) provides remote access to a wide range of resources.

Bursaries and scholarships

You may be eligible for a teaching bursary or scholarship when training to teach. Please use the table below to check which subjects offer bursaries and scholarships.

This information is set by the Department for Education (DfE) and is subject to terms and conditions. For more guidance please refer to the DfE bursaries and scholarships webpage.

Figures are for courses starting in the 2023/24 academic year.

Biology £20,000  
Chemistry £27,000 £29,000
Computing £27,000 £29,000
Design and Technology £20,000  
English £15,000  
Geography £25,000  


(French,German and Spanish only)

£25,000 £27,000
Maths £27,000 £29,000
Physics £27,000 £29,000

This information was accurate at the time of writing; please check the DfE website for the most up to date information.


Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time
Course fees
2023/24 entry £9,250
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024
2026/27 entry Published Jan 2025
International students full time
Course fees
2023/24 entry £15,050
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024
2026/27 entry Published Jan 2025

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Teachers are role models for their pupils and must act with integrity at all times, while having the highest expectations of themselves and their pupils. They forge positive professional relationships and engage with wider communities.

You’ll need to be suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically. We look for committed individuals with a professional approach and an exceptional work ethic. We value strong communication skills, adaptability and emotional resilience. Having a true passion for your subject will give you the edge.

In your application, you should detail why you want to work with children and young people, and what experience, if any, you have of this.

Academic requirements

In order to apply you'll need to have completed, or be in the final year of a UK degree (or an equivalent qualification). You’re required to have a good honours degree or above, with at least 50% English, such as English Language, English Literature, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Theatre or Media Studies. Joint degrees must have a text-based second subject. Together with this, you need a good English A-Level.

You'll also need GCSE passes at grade 4/C or above (or recognised equivalents) in English and Mathematics. In addition, for some Secondary programmes you are also required to have an A-level in the subject.

Non-academic requirements

All teacher training applicants are required to complete a number of compulsory assessments before they’re permitted to enrol onto their course. These assessments include an interview and compliance checks including: Enhanced DBS, Prohibition from Teaching, Self-Declaration and Fitness to Train to Teach questionnaire. You may also need to enrol in a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.


How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page to apply through the Department for Education's application system. If you need more guidance, please head to our how to apply webpages.


Once your application has been received and assessed, and if it is successful in making it to the next stage of the application process, you'll be invited to attend an interview (these are currently held online). At the interview, we'll assess your suitability and passion for teaching. The interview will include a short teaching exercise and a discussion of educational issues. We'll ask you about your experience to-date of working with children and young people.

Contact us

PGCE Admissions Officer: 

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