PGCE entry requirements

You need to meet our general entry requirements, as well as any additional requirements for the specific programme you are applying for.

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General entry requirements

PGCE (Primary) programmes

You'll need:

  • to meet our fitness to train requirements
  • a GCSE Grade C or above (or recognised equivalents) in English Language, Mathematics, and a science subject (including Combined Science).
  • an undergraduate honours degree, usually a 2:1 or above, from a university in the United Kingdom. Ideally, this degree will be related to primary education. It could, for example, be in English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Music, PE, Child Development, Educational Studies or Early Childhood Education. 

The PGCE (Primary) is also open to you if you have an A-level in one of these subjects in addition to a degree or you studied one of these subjects as part of your degree.

PGCE (Secondary) programmes

You'll need:

  • to meet our fitness to train requirements
  • a GCSE Grade C or above (or recognised equivalents) in English Language, and Mathematics.
  • an undergraduate honours degree, usually 2:2 or above, from a university in the United Kingdom. Ideally, your degree would be related to your chosen programme, or you would have studied the subject as part of your degree.

We regret that these tests may not be used to overlook recent failure in GCSE examinations, and that you can only take the tests once. You cannot take the Goldsmiths English test if you are applying to study English, or the Goldsmiths Mathematics test if you are applying to study Mathematics.

Unsure of what GCSE equivalencies are required for your programme? Take a look at our handy list.

As well as UK qualifications, we accept many equivalent overseas qualifications. To check to see if your qualifications are of an equivalent standard to the UK academic entry requirements for the PGCE programme we recommend that you contact UK NARIC.

Once we receive your PGCE application from UCAS Teacher Training, if any of your qualifications are unclear then we will automatically contact you by email for further information.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

If you do not have a first degree awarded by a generally recognised institution in the UK, please note that the award of the PGCE and QTS does not in itself confer graduate status for the purposes of salary. Salaries in such cases are determined by employing authorities and not by the College or by the relevant government department. 

PGCE (Primary with Modern Languages)

  • a degree that includes an appropriate element of French, German or Spanish or an A-level (or equivalent) in French, German or Spanish (normally at Grade C or above).

You may also be accepted if you don't have a formal qualification, but can demonstrate the ability to communicate well in both spoken and written French, German or Spanish.

PGCE (Secondary) Art & Design

  • a degree in a related subject, such as fine/visual art, graphic design, illustration, architecture, filmmaking, animation, ceramics or textiles.
  • the ability to demonstrate drawing skills.

PGCE (Secondary) Design & Technology 

  • a degree in a subject related to Design and Technology, such as theatre design, product design, graphics, silversmithing, or architecture

In some special cases, an unrelated degree may be acceptable if you have worked in a field related to Design and Technology. Each year the programme contains a good mixture of graduates with a broad spread of specialist expertise, and we welcome applicants with experience of working in business and industry.

PGCE (Secondary) Drama 

  • a degree in a related subject, such as Drama, Theatre Studies or English

You are expected to be a practitioner in your own right with experience in the theatre industry. If you would like to discuss this before application please contact Amanda Kipling.

PGCE (Secondary) English

  • a first degree in English Literature or Language, English/Media Studies or Linguistics.

PGCE (Secondary) Mathematics

  • a degree in Mathematics or a related subject that has a substantial amount of maths

Some applicants may be referred to a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. For more information about Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses, please visit the government guidance page.

PGCE (Secondary) Modern Languages

  • at least part of your degree should be in French, German or Spanish
  • some knowledge of one of the other languages, ideally as a subsidiary subject in your degree or at A-level, but GCSE or O-level is a help as a starting point.

The requirement to have some grasp of two of the three languages (French, German or Spanish) is because most of the partnership schools used for teaching practice find it easier to timetable lessons if you have two languages, even if one is at a basic level and there are many more posts requiring two languages, even if the second language is only offered at beginners’ level, than for just one language.

In terms of long-term career prospects, most heads of department have two languages in order to be able to advise/lead the rest of the department.

If you were educated in France, Germany, Spain, or another country where one of these languages is spoken, you must have a degree from a university there.

This does not have to be a degree in the language, but usually it should be in a subject that requires writing clear, grammatically accurate coursework/assignments/dissertations. A degree in English from such a country is also acceptable since it requires translation and good, grammatical understanding.

We do take a very limited number of students with only French, Spanish or German. If you only speak one of these languages, we advise you to apply early as there are very few of these places. If you have no second language, or only a limited knowledge, we expect you to make every effort to develop this before the programme starts (eg. through evening classes, courses, holidays abroad or self-study).

If you have lived outside the UK and have not worked in a British school (for example as a Foreign Language Assistant), it is very helpful if you arrange to visit a secondary school for a day to observe lessons before you submit your application. You can then refer to this visit on your application form.

PGCE (Secondary) Science Education

  • a degree in the science that you wish to teach

If you have done a degree that goes across the sciences then 50% of your degree must comprise of the science subject you wish to study. Psychology may be acceptable depending on the modules you have chosen during your degree and your A-level qualifications.

If your degree does not have the 50% required in your chosen science you can still submit an application as you may still be able to gain a place subject to completing a subject enhancement course (mainly for Chemistry and Physics).

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