PGCE Secondary Physical Education


Initial Teacher Education

Key facts

PGCE Secondary Physical Education
Institute for Education
Campus or location
Newton Park, Culverhay and partner schools
Course length
One year full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: X9C6
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.

Become a secondary PE teacher through our Ofsted Outstanding rated programme.

  • The fastest growing GCSE subject in terms of the numbers of schools and pupils who opt to take it.
  • Delivered primarily in a local school which the university has very strong links with.
  • Opportunities to learn how to plan, teach and assess the post-16 age range.

Excellent teachers make a difference to the lives and futures of the people they teach. Developed in partnership with schools, this Ofsted Outstanding rated programme will support you to become an innovative and inspiring PE teacher.

Our full-time programmes last for approximately 40 weeks; you’ll spend about two thirds of this time in a school or educational setting. Throughout the programme there is a dynamic relationship between your training in the University and your training in schools.

“The course was well structured and knowledge was developed in all areas of the new and old curriculum along with experience of GCSE and A-Level PE.”

Rebecca Hill, PGCE Secondary PE graduate

What you'll learn


You’ll develop knowledge and practical skills in dance, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, games and outdoor and adventurous activities and take part in a variety of practical sessions in specific activities which are included within the typical school PE curriculum. In addition to this, you’ll take an accredited First Aid course and opportunities will be provided to take part in some coaching and officiating courses which will be organised within the local schools partnership.

Alongside practical work you’ll develop knowledge and understanding of pupils' physical and motor development and expectations in fundamental motor skills. You’ll also gain a comprehensive knowledge of Programmes of Study and Level Descriptors in the National Curriculum Orders for PE, including progression from Key Stage 2.

In addition, you’ll develop an understanding of progression in PE and how Level Descriptors and Core Tasks can be used for target setting and monitoring progress. Knowledge of the specifications for public examination courses at GCSE, AS/A2 level, GNVQ and other post-16 courses will also be promoted.

University training

Within this one year programme you’ll have a combination of University based activities, which cover the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching PE, and school based phases. These school phases are in two main blocks with a six week phase from November until the Christmas break and a longer second phase commencing in February until June.

School training

You’ll undertake additional school phases, in accordance with the PGCE Secondary Programme Structure and Content, which will build on and reinforce the school based education. You’ll plan, teach and assess PE lessons across the full range of subject activities, taking into account health and safety factors and pupils' physical and motor development.

You’ll spend time in school in specific PE departments and also in schools developing your professional values and practice when considering the general roles and duties which are required for all teachers within the secondary sector.

Residential course and building subject knowledge

At the start of the programme there is a week long residential course which deals with the area of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. This is followed by a further week of courses to boost your subject knowledge covering other activity areas within the PE National Curriculum.

How will I be assessed?

A personalised process of continuous assessment ensures that learning is appropriate and effective. Assessment takes account of both the programme experience and the school or setting and includes researching developing practice through assignment tasks. Support is provided to develop a rigorous evidence-based account of your educational journey.

Assessment in all of the PGCE programmes is designed to be progressive and to assist you in the provision of evidence to support your achievement against the Standards for QTS.

PGCE programmes are assessed in University, school or other settings.

The evidence base includes:

  • Formally assessed assignments;
  • Professional dialogue in progress reviews;
  • The Professional Learning and Practice portfolio;
  • School phase reports and observations;
  • Professional development activities;
  • Subject knowledge tests and tasks (where appropriate).

Five Progress Review Points are held each year. These assessment points review your attainment, professional learning and SMART target setting.

How will I be taught?

Learning and teaching in PGCE programmes takes place through a combination of the following methods:

  • tutorials at key points across the year;
  • lectures, seminars and workshops;
  • group activities: presentation; group discussion; role play and collaborative working;
  • independent learning;
  • peer support;
  • developing professional learning and practice in schools and settings;
  • blended learning employing electronic resources, including the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Minerva);
  • observation of teachers’ practice, including other Bath Spa Teachers’ practice;
  • professional development activities undertaken in University and school or other settings.



All PGCE courses culminate in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This enables qualified Bath Spa Teachers to apply for a wider range of teaching posts and other education based employment.

This PGCE programme produces high calibre teachers with the relevant skills, knowledge, understanding and experiences necessary to enter a career in teaching.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a Bath Spa Teacher you'll learn in a variety of locations. Sometimes you'll be on one of our campuses, other times you'll study at one of our Partner Schools.

University teaching takes place in rooms equipped with relevant texts, equipment, training materials and electronic resources.


You'll have access to a range of facilities including Newton Park Library and Commons.

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


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £9,250
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £12,900
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

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. You’ll need to be organised, flexible and unflappable, as well as being able to communicate, interact and relate well to everyone. When entering the teaching profession, having strong emotional resilience and a sense of humour will give you the edge.

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 minimum 2.2 honours degree in Sports Studies, Sports Science or PE.

You'll also need GCSE passes at grade 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

We recommend that you gain some experience within a secondary school, especially one that has obtained any national governing body coaching awards.

All applicants are subject to a number of checks designed to maintain the integrity of the teaching profession. You'll be required to attend an interview, complete Professional Skills Tests and undergo DBS checks. You may also need to enrol on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Secondary PGCE Admissions Officer: teaching@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk