Taught course

PGCE Secondary - English

Durham University · School of Education

Entry requirements

At UCAS you can apply for this course using the following code: Q3X1

  • The equivalent of a UK 2:2 honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of English or a closely related subject. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 (or C) or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved by the time of application. If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC (ecctis.co.uk/naric/)

    Your interpersonal qualities and your potential to achieve professional skills relating to the Teachers' Standards will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to an interview. The interview process will involve an individual interview with a pre-prepared presentation element and a series of tasks designed to illustrate your potential to meet the Teachers' Standards by the end of the course.

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply will be provided.

If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Caroline Emery, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check.

Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our Students must be applied for through Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.

Months of entry


Course content

From lesson planning to learning environment, motivation to behaviour management, the PGCE Secondary – English equips you to become an effective and innovative English teacher with the skills to inspire a love of language in the next generation. The PGCE is accredited by the DfE, and upon successful completion you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The course introduces you to the range and scope of English as a curriculum subject across the 11-16 age range. It aims to develop your subject knowledge and pedagogical skills as you examine the techniques used to make the study of English accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment.

The School of Education is internationally recognised for research and the learning themes of the PGCE are underpinned by ongoing research within the School. Using a blend of online and face-to-face learning you will be introduced to key Initial Teacher Education (ITE) themes such as behaviour management, assessment, SEND and inclusion, before moving on to English-specific themes. You will also have access to up-to-date, relevant materials to support you as a developing teacher.

The course offers a strong practical focus. Starting in one of our partner schools, you will be mentored by experienced English teachers as you build the knowledge and strategies you will draw on during your teaching placement. You will spend a substantial part of the year (120 days minimum) in school, bringing together the theory and application elements of the curriculum.

Please note that the course does not run to standard university terms. It is delivered full-time, starting in early September and continues over 10 months.

Course Structure

Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum – Generic Issues in School Based Education provides a critical understanding of models of teaching and learning and the theories that underpin these models. You will explore: research evidence for effective teaching and learning in the classroom; the teacher as reflective practitioner; teaching for understanding; creative dimensions of teaching and learning and; the teacher as an active researcher.

Self Directed Study –Subject Specific Issues in School Based Education uses research strategies learned on the course to examine a topic or issue of professional interest, deepening your knowledge and understanding of the area. This module draws together elements from other areas of the course and makes connections between university-based and professional school-based experiences.

The predominantly classroom-based Professional Issues in School Based Education fosters a critical understanding of issues related to the development of professional competence as a teacher. Areas covered include: effective teaching strategies; managing the teaching and learning environment; enhancing professional development; and creative dimensions of teaching and learning.

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,250.00 per year
International students
£22,750 per year

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCE
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details