Secondary English

Study options



Key facts

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

Help lead English projects

Your pupils will have the chance to get their poetry published

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

Bring your passion for language and literature into the classroom and help young people become enthusiastic readers with our Secondary English PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education).

Whether delving into poetry, exploring characters in novels or getting pupils to craft their own creative writing, you’ll open up the world of books for them. Our Secondary English PGCE 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’ll get hands-on experience on placement and will discover creative ways to teach English, with guidance from our experienced staff. You’ll also draw on newspapers, advertising and film.

And to help you explore drama, trainees get to visit the New Vic Theatre and take part in Shakespeare-inspired activities.

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.

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 pieces being published in an anthology.

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 English

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 English 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.

James Moore - Changing careers to teaching

James Moore - Changing careers to teaching


BA (Hons) English and Secondary English PGCE graduate James talks about his desire to change careers and what inspired him to choose teaching.

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Entry requirements

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

We also offer this course via our Lead Partner, The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub:

The Apply code for The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub is D629 (Mathematics) and English (P278).

For this course, you need an Honours Degree with a 2:2 classification in English 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).

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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This course requires IELTs 7 with no less than 6.5 in any band for students whose first language is not English.

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.




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 English 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.


You'll be taught by staff who have a range of academic and industry experience. 

Rebecca Sherratt

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Education

I am extremely passionate about developing English education in the local area, with a particular interest in creativity in the secondary English classroom.

Rebecca's profile


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

Tuition fees for PGCE-Full-time, Stoke-on-Trent campus
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 be eligible for a bursary or scholarship when training to teach. These are tax-free amounts of money you receive to train in certain subjects. You do not need to pay them back.

Your bursary or scholarship will be paid in a minimum of 10 equal monthly instalments over the duration of your course by your teacher training provider.

Postgraduate teaching bursaries and scholarships are only available for certain secondary subjects. You cannot receive both a teaching bursary and a scholarship.

You must be eligible for student finance to receive a bursary or scholarship (unless you’re training to teach physics or languages).

You cannot receive a scholarship or bursary if your teacher training course is salaried.

For more information and how to apply visit

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 to find out more.

Our students

The group sizes were definitely one of the strengths of the course.

Staffordshire University was an attractive option to start my teaching career because of the local links with schools as well as the staff who are committed to developing and honing your skills and abilities. 

The group sizes were definitely one of the strengths of the course: they were small enough for us to become a support system for one another, as well as our subject staff – nothing was too much trouble. 

The placements were well organised and the support from the University in making sure that we were being treated appropriately and fairly from our placements was essential in growing us as teachers. 

Elysia Carr

PGCE Secondary English

The whole experience was very positive and I look forward to working with Staffs Uni again next year.

I have been a mentor for Staffs Uni for the first time this year. We had a fantastic trainee, who I feel myself very lucky to have mentored. Staffs Uni offer brilliant support to both mentor and trainee; showing how much they really care about and believe in the opportunities that these roles present. Training for the mentor was great, as well as the ongoing support that was there if needed.

As well as this, it offers the mentor an opportunity to reflect on their own practices and then to impart this knowledge to allow the trainee to progress further; an invaluable experience.

Zoe Martin Priest

Cheslyn Hay School


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus PGCE Full-time, Stoke-on-Trent campus 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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