Course information

Teacher Training Code



1 year full-time

Course overview

This programme encourages an interactive teaching approach that builds confidence, develops understanding of how the language system works and leads to purposeful language use. It provides you with the tools to make the study of language stimulating for the full range of learners.

Why study PGCE (Secondary) Modern Languages at Goldsmiths?

  • Choose between French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Pathways. (Availability of Arabic and Mandarin places depends on available placements; we advise that you apply early to avoid disappointment)

  • You’ll work with young people from a wide range of backgrounds, aptitudes and needs. This is challenging as well as exciting, and the programme offers a gradual and supportive introduction to the classroom. You'll spend time in subject-specific groups, looking at issues and resources particular to their languages.

  • We'll help you to understand what constitutes ‘good practice’ in teaching.

  • We encourage students to develop a second or third teaching language, and we build in opportunities for you to teach each other. 

  • You’ll have the opportunity to use stories, songs, drama, multimedia, and artworks in your practice.

  • Learn how to develop engaging content and teaching strategies. You’ll have the chance to work with Primary PGCE colleagues to look at the implication of teaching languages in primary schools on policy and pedagogy.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Faris Sanhaji.

What you’ll study

In the Autumn Term, College-based sessions complement school-based work by covering issues raised in lesson planning – eg. speaking skills, group work, or using ICT. The sessions are based on workshop-type activities, but offer the opportunity to reflect on the underlying teaching principles.

They also allow you to follow up General Professional Studies by exploring equal opportunities, classroom management, Every Child Matters and Inclusion.

For the Spring and Summer Terms, you move to a second school and take on more responsibility for teaching classes; you may also continue to team-teach with your mentor in school.

Your university tutor and mentor share responsibility for assessing your teaching practice, and help you identify your strengths and work on any weaknesses.

You also work with your mentor on a curriculum development project in which you explore a current initiative in language teaching, devising teaching materials and trying them out in the classroom.

You complete one formal subject assignment during the year. This includes a review of current language teaching methodologies and how they have developed, as well as a focus on a particular issue related to current classroom practice.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

How to apply

You apply for this PGCE through the Department for Education’s Apply for Teacher Training website. More information about the process can be found on the Get into Teaching website.

Please take a look at the information on applying, including the specific qualifications or experience you need for this course.

There's no closing date for primary or secondary applications, but we advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.

Learning & teaching

A range of teaching methods are employed across the PGCE programmes, including:

  • Taught subject sessions
  • Taught General Professional Study sessions
  • Practical workshops
  • Core lectures
  • Group tutorials/seminars
  • Individual tutorials
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Supported self-study

As with the other PGCE courses, you’ll be given the opportunity to work with children in a wide range of contexts. These might include focused interventions with individuals or groups, or larger scale events for the community.

Course requirements

You'll need:

  • to meet our fitness to train requirements
  • a GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English and Mathematics. Please note, we can only accept some UK and international GCSE equivalent qualifications.Please view our list of accepted UK GCSE equivalencies. If you have a non-UK qualification that you believe is GCSE equivalent, you must check this with the Admissions team.
  • an undergraduate honours degree, at 2:2 or above from a university in the United Kingdom or an international equivalent that includes an appropriate element of French, German, Spanish or Mandarin or an A-level (or equivalent) in French, German, Spanish or Mandarin (normally at Grade C or above).
  • For European languages, 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. This requirement does not apply to Mandarin students.

The requirement for European language teachers 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 in your personal statement.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £20160

Get into Teaching Funding

The Department for Education offers tax-free scholarships and bursaries to trainees on eligible PGCE programmes. Bursary amounts vary depending on your previous qualifications and the subject in which you're training to teach.

For more information about PGCE funding visit the Get into Teaching website.

Please note: These bursaries are not controlled by Goldsmiths and are subject to change.

If your fees are not listed here, please contact the Fees Office - fees (

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries for prospective students, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.