Secondary Art and Design

Study options



Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
9 Months
Start date:
9 September 2024

Use our amazing art facilities

You’ll also work with specialists in different artistic fields

Hands-on training

You’ll spend at least 120 days working in two local secondary schools

Become part of our Institute of Education

Our staff are research-active and experts in school support

Champion creativity in the classroom and help pupils discover their artistic talents. Whether your passion is for fashion, sculptures or illustrations, you can inspire the next generation. Our Secondary Art and Design PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) will equip you with strategies to become a confident and successful teacher across KS3 and KS4.

You’ll spend time in local schools, plan engaging lessons, cover behaviour management techniques and discover how pupils learn. On campus, we’ll help you reflect on your teaching from a subject-specific perspective and give you one-to-one support.

But you’ll get far more than just a teacher training qualification with us. As part of our Institute of Education, you’ll have access to the latest research on what works in the classroom and other evidence-based approaches.

On the PGCE, you will have hands-on experience on placement. As well as teaching pupils, you’ll have the chance to get them involved in our poetry and visual arts project. It will culminate in the students’ creative work – such as photographs, drawings or paintings - being showcased in an anthology.

From getting the most out of your induction to tips on teaching your first lesson, your personal tutor will be there to support you every step of the way. We have also developed a close partnership with school-based mentors for your placements.

At University, you can tap into the expertise of our staff in different artistic disciplines. And for our curriculum workshops, you’ll be able to use our specialist facilities, covering areas such as ceramics, printmaking and mixed media.

We also have links with education departments in leading regional art galleries and museums, opening up lots of opportunities for our trainees.

After you pass your PGCE, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). But the support doesn’t stop there - we’ll even offer you a mock interview in a school to prepare you for job applications.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: PGCE Secondary Art and Design

Work placements

At Staffordshire University, we have partner schools in the Midlands and North West. As well as close links with those in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire, we work with schools in Derbyshire, Shropshire and Birmingham.

We will always aim to arrange placements within 40 minutes of where you live.

Course content

Our Secondary Art & Design PGCE lasts for one academic year, from September until the end of July. This school-led course includes an induction to prepare you for your placement and weekly face-to-face sessions at the University to develop your knowledge of the curriculum and subject-specific pedagogy. You will also undertake 20 Intensive Training and Practice (ITaP) days focused on foundational areas of learning to further develop your practice in the classroom.

To give you experience in the classroom, you’ll spend at least 120 days working in two local secondary schools as well as visiting a local primary school. But, don’t worry, you won’t have the pressure of teaching an entire lesson straight away.

Your training will begin with observing a teacher and helping with group work. Then you’ll share the classes with the teacher and work towards teaching lessons independently.

Alongside teaching, you’ll join in with day-to-day life at the school. Each school has a professional mentor to help you understand the ethos, pastoral care systems, legal and social framework, and supporting services.

You’ll also have weekly meetings with your subject or class mentor to help you prepare for teaching, review lessons, and develop your subject knowledge.

Curriculum workshops are a key element of your course. These are delivered in our specialist facilities by dedicated Art and Design lecturers and teachers, allowing you to experience a range of practical work in key specialisms such as ceramics, printmaking, drawing, mixed media, and in working with education departments in leading regional galleries which have included The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Airspace Gallery, Middleport Pottery Museum, Wavemaker and the West Midlands bridge organisation for Arts Council England, Arts Connect.


Why study a PGCE at Staffordshire University?

Why study a PGCE at Staffordshire University?


Find out more about the benefits of studying a PGCE at Staffordshire University

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Entry requirements

You can apply for this course via Please click on this link to start your application.

For this course, you need an Honours Degree with a 2:2 classification in Art and Design or a related subject and a GCSE grade C/4 or above in both English Language and Mathematics, we also expect you to be confident in technology.

After you apply, we’ll arrange a selection interview. During the interview process we will assess your subject knowledge and personal qualities, such as communication skills, resilience for teaching, and how easy you’ll find it to relate to secondary age students.

If you accept a formal offer, you’ll need to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and you’ll need clearance to work with children (Enhanced DBS).

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.



Art and Design workshops

Our workshop facilities include 3D (wood, metal and plastics), digital imaging, surface decoration, and ceramics.

Craft workshops

You'll also be able to use our craft workshops that are brimming with top-notch equipment, including laser cutting facilities, screen-printing, letterpress and experimental print, photography and digital processing.


We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


With a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you’ll be ready to teach in schools across England.

Most of our graduates secure their first teaching position while on the PGCE, with many of them securing roles within our partnership schools.

After you’ve completed this course, you can join our Masters in Education. Your PGCE gives you Masters credits which means you’ll be fast tracked and can complete this course by the end of your second year of teaching.

Teaching and assessment


When you’re not on placement, we’ll help you reflect on your experiences, exchange ideas and overcome challenges. You’ll also:

  • Learn in small groups
  • Use roleplay to develop your knowledge of the secondary curriculum
  • Discuss ideas and challenges you face in group and individual tutorials
  • Reflect on your placement experiences

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your lectures wherever you are.


Assessment for your PGCE involves portfolio work, assignments, and observed classroom practice. We’ll often ask you to reflect on approaches you’ve used in the classroom and their effectiveness. 

You’ll also be regularly observed by your school-based mentor and university tutor. Working with your placement schools, we’ll identify areas of professional practice that you find challenging.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do. We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

Independent learning

You’ll complete assignments, portfolio work, and projects to expand your understanding of teaching and learning. You’ll also need to set aside time for lesson planning and marking.

While on placement, you might be expected to attend events such as parents’ evenings, extra-curricular activities, and after-school clubs.


For the course starting on 9 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for PGCE-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per course £16,750 per course
Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

If you accept a place with us, we’ll cover the cost of your Enhanced DBS check. You’ll also receive Level 1 Safeguarding training during induction week.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

You can apply to the Student Loans Company (SLC) for the following support:

  • Tuition Fee Loan – To cover the cost of your tuition fees.
  • Maintenance Loan – To support you with living costs such as food, accommodation and travel.

For more information and how to apply visit

Scholarships and additional funding

You may also be eligible for a Staffordshire University bursary when you choose to study one of our postgraduate Education courses. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page find out more.

Our students

I have been a freelance illustrator for nearly 20 years and my clients included Moynat, Coutts Bank, CBRE, Leica, VOGUE. I chose to study this course at Staffs because of the reputation of the university, the impressive links with regional educational institutions and the outstanding tutoring available.

I am fascinated by all the aspects of the Art and Design field and wanted to share this passion with students; therefore, it was an obvious choice for me. It’s a demanding but equally rewarding and exciting course. I feel ‘Proud To Be Staffs!’ 

Anna Goncharenko

Secondary Art and Design PGCE

This course was outstanding. The course structure and support throughout from lecturers helped me achieve my goal of becoming a teacher. This has now set me on a journey to becoming an outstanding teacher though the skills and knowledge I have gained.

Lee Taylor

Secondary Art and Design PGCE

Completing my PGCE at Staffordshire University was the best decision I have ever made. 

Throughout the course we were all supported and received the best education and training. Each subject cohort was given the opportunity to attend specific CPD workshops so we could develop our skills further and as an Art and Design student this was important. We attended photoshop, sewing and clay workshops as well as many others so when we were teaching, we felt confident with a range of materials.

We could contact our university mentors at any point, and they would get back to us promptly and if we had any issues, they supported us throughout.

Alex Fitzgerald

Secondary Art and Design PGCE

I completed two placements during my PGCE year at two very different schools in Meir & Stafford. I was very nervous about attending both placements but once I was there I didn’t want to leave. I made great connections with staff and students that made me 100% sure that teaching was what I definitely wanted to do. I developed skills in using different art materials I hadn’t used in a long time (since GCSE) which helped me to show students how to use them. 

I was fortunate enough to be offered a job at my second placement school and currently completing my NQT year.

Alexandra Robinson

Secondary Art and Design PGCE


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus PGCE Full-time 9 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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