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Postgraduate study
Education and Training with Teaching English (Literacy)

Education and Training with Teaching English (Literacy)
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)


Course overview

This course specifically trains teachers wanting to teach English (literacy) in education and training sector educational settings, such as further education colleges, and adult and community settings.

Due to government changes, if you complete this award you may also be able to gain employment in a secondary school setting, particularly in the post-14 age range - subject to the completion of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS). It is ideal for graduates wishing to teach their degree subject across a range of settings in the education and training sector.

If you are following the specialist English (literacy) route an additional subject knowledge enhancement module is completed alongside the generic PGCE Education and Training modules. This module will ensure that you are fully conversant with the expectations of teaching English (literacy) within a range of education and training contexts. It will include enquiry-based learning tasks and ensure that you experience the assessment of English (literacy) from the perspective of your students to inform your practice as a teacher. This course has been developed to embed The Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training, and it combines academic study with substantial placement experience and observation of practice. The structure of this course is designed to develop your knowledge and skills to enable you to fully meet the professional standards of the sector. The one year full-time programme comprises five modules across four key strands (professional skills, research, theory and specialist knowledge). These are delivered across the year to allow understanding, skills and practical application to take place over time. The strands of the programme are delivered concurrently to ensure that you make explicit links between all aspects of your learning. The course begins with a two week intensive block of teaching that quickly provides you with core strategies and a basic understanding of learning and teaching (L&T). This ensures that you are supported to fully engage with your teaching practice placements from the outset. Following the block teaching you attend your placement setting for three days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) and attend taught/ teaching related sessions over the remaining two days per week (Thursday and Friday). You also attend one CPD session per week and additional specialist subject teaching days during the course.The exception to this pattern is when you undertake two, four-week block placements during which time you are expected to be in your placement setting for the standard working week and engage with all work related activities expected within the teaching practice setting.You also attend two full day conferences alongside trainees from across the partnership.


Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Developing Learning and Teaching

You gain a detailed overview of the core concepts underpinning learning, teaching and assessment, which is the starting point for becoming a professional teacher in the education and training sector. The module considers the roles, responsibilities and professional standards for teachers and focuses on the development of a range of practice skills, providing opportunities for trainees to engage with a variety of creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. It also focuses on the general principles and processes underpinning: the creation of positive, inclusive and effective learning environments; the development of critical reflective practice skills; the ability to manage data to support the progress of students; and, making evidence informed decisions in practice.

Enhancing Learning and Teaching

You are supported to enhance and extend approaches to learning, teaching and assessment in a variety of complex and challenging ways. You will be encouraged to underpin your learning and teaching with evidence-informed strategies and will develop the skills required to rigorously and consistently evaluate your own practice. You look beyond your own direct experience and consider a breadth and range of educational settings, and to reflect on the broader context of education for your students. You will be supported to demonstrate a depth of understanding in relation to your subject specialism and its delivery. You comprehensively and fully evidence your progression against the professional standards for the sector and develop the skills required to contribute in a meaningful way to development and CPD within educational contexts.

Evidence Informed Learning and Teaching

You research an aspect of your practice to develop pedagogic knowledge, and to explicitly link theory to practice in professional educational contexts. This module will also support the development of professional confidence and contribute to the creation of high quality student learning experiences. You develop your understanding of planning, implementing and evaluating an ethical, rigorous and credible piece of practitioner research. You are supported in becoming effective, professional and research informed practitioners, and to confidently execute and disseminate a piece of research.

Subject Specialist Knowledge English (Literacy)

You enhance your English subject specialist knowledge and skills, exploring core aspects of language, linguistics and literature. You consider core aspects of the subject area in conjunction with a range of subject specific approaches to learning, teaching and assessment that encourage you to appropriately and effectively frame learning in English for your students. You gain specific knowledge and skills required to deliver your subject specialism across ages, stages and levels, whilst ensuring that you also develop a strong understanding of the educational theories and concepts that underpin the learning and teaching of English (literacy). You consider the impact of special educational needs and disabilities on the development of literacy skills and strategies for leading the embedding of English (literacy) across the curriculum. The module will explore the ways in which English and literacy are organised, taught and managed within schools, colleges and the wider education and training sector.

Thinking in Learning and Teaching

You critically explore a variety of traditional and contemporary theories in learning, teaching and assessment. You analyse the impact of government policy, curriculum theory, and professional standards on the sector, and consider quality processes and their impact. You also explore wider perceptions of education and training, and trends within your individual teaching specialism.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Learning and teaching are central to all aspects of this course. You are a student completing a higher education qualification but also a trainee teacher who is expected to apply the knowledge and skills you acquire to your own classroom. All aspects of this course are therefore designed to support you to develop academically whilst also supporting the development of practical, professional expertise across a range of contexts.

This course is built around a clear focus on developing resilient, autonomous, reflective practitioners who will become outstanding teachers within the education and training sector. The learning and teaching strategy of this course supports that goal and aims to ensure that you:

  • are introduced to a wide variety of innovative, inspiring and creative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment;
  • take every opportunity to engage with research informed practice and to feel confident in evaluating educational research;
  • experience the active modelling of L&T strategies within your taught sessions and that you consistently engage in the collaborative evaluation of modelled practice;
  • develop a wide-ranging, independent and flexible approach to reflection, reflective practice and the linking of theory to practice;
  • acquire the skills and knowledge required to meet the professional standards of the sector, understand the changes taking place within the sector and independently pursue your own continued personal and professional development; and,
  • are made aware of current issues and changes within the education and training sector and contextualise these within education as a whole.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on your knowledge, professional skills and ability to integrate the theoretical and the practical aspects of your experience. Approaches to assessment have been designed to align with professional standards for the sector.

The overall assessment load has been carefully considered to prevent overload or the bunching of assessments whilst also ensuring that all aspects of the course remain fully integrated and your experience is a fully holistic one. Throughout the course approaches to assessment are actively modelled for and discussed with you as an essential aspect of the teacher training process

Specific assessment tasks include completing a Professional Standards Portfolio, an academic poster, observations of teaching practice, and written assessments such as writing a critical evaluation and a journal-style article. Assessments in these all modules will require anyone following the English (literacy) specialist route to focus assessments in the area of their specialist subject


Entry requirements

GCSE (or standard equivalent) in English and maths grade C (4) or above.

First degree (minimum of a 2:2). In exceptional cases prospective students who do not meet this criterion but are able to demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study may be considered for the programme.

A teaching practice placement of at least 100 hours in an appropriate context (this must be arranged by you and evidenced through a teaching practice agreement signed by the placement provider).

Able to clearly demonstrate a level 3 or equivalent ability in English (literacy). This may be through level 3 qualifications, subject knowledge enhancement courses or through the first degree subject area.

Satisfactory enhanced DBS check.

Successful completion of a formal interview that demonstrates:

  • intellectual and academic suitability for the course;
  • possession of the appropriate attitudes and values expected of a teacher working in the education and training sector;
  • the ability to communicate clearly and accurately in standard English.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Appropriate careers are in the full teaching role in learning and skills sector educational contexts. You can go on to work in a variety of professions including further education colleges and training organisations. Some students gain employment in secondary schools or higher education. Other students have taken the opportunity to further their studies on relevant continuing professional development or postgraduate study.

Work placement

You will undertake a significant teaching practice placement that will form an integral part of your training as a teacher. During placement you will receive support from a designated mentor who will provide formative feedback verbally and in writing.

Mentors receive detailed information about the course and their role and are required to undertake mentor training (this is available via face-to-face sessions, on a 1-2-1 basis or via completion of a distance training package). There is regular communication between mentors and the University- based teaching team.

During placement you will continue to be supported by tutors.


Information for international applicants


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2020/21 entry

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Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



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