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Teacher Training

PGCE Secondary Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) French, German and Spanish - 2024 entry

Please note: The below is for 2024 entries. Click here for 2023 entries.
UCAS code French R1X1
German R2X1
Spanish R4XC
Duration 1 year
Entry year 2023
Campus St Luke's Campus
Discipline Secondary Modern Foreign Languages

Course leader: Dinah Warren
Web: Enquire online

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree – other qualifications and experience may be accepted.

Contextual offers


  • Explore the opportunities and challenges that face teachers and learners of modern foreign languages in Britain today, the strategies for language acquisition and the need for strong intercultural understanding
  • Develop your confidence, competence and independence as a teacher with the unique Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education which progressively increases your school-based teaching over three terms
  • You will join a supportive community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and research and will support you during your course and beyond
  • Work as a classroom teacher within two schools, where you will be supported by expert mentors and University tutors
  • Achieving the PGCE provides 60 M-level credits alongside your Qualified Teacher Status. You can continue your studies following the PGCE and work towards a Masters in Education

View 2023 Entry

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Open days and visiting us


Programme Director: Dinah Warren

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

100% of our Education research has internationally excellent impact

Based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021*

Top 125 in the world for Education

The Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

Rated Ofsted outstanding in all areas

Diverse placement opportunities across the region

Entry requirements

PGCE students must have an honours degree and GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C/4 or equivalent. A satisfactory medical assessment and DBS enhanced check are also requirements for entry to this programme.

Typically, successful applicants have a 2:2 degree or above in their chosen language (French, German or Spanish). Other qualifications of degree level equivalence will be considered, e.g. Final Diploma of Institute or Linguists. Native speakers should hold a qualification (in any subject area) equivalent to a UK degree at a minimum of a 2.2.

Trainees should have a second language in French, German or Spanish (even if only at beginners' level) as this will help with the provision of placements, as well as finding a teaching post. However, applicants with only one language are encouraged to still apply for a place on the course.  If successful, and as a condition of their offer, applicants without a second language will be directed to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in a second language course prior to the PGCE course starting.  

For applicants without the required GCSE pass at grade C/grade 4, we accept a Grade 4 pass in the English and Mathematics equivalency tests offered by A Star Equivalency and (please do contact the PGCE Admissions team for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test). See full list of accepted English/Maths equivalent qualifications.

We want all potentially excellent teachers to have the opportunity to train. If your qualification profile does not fit the norm, please do contact us.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Course content

You will explore teaching methods that bring your chosen languages and culture to life within the four walls of the classroom. Using the most up-to-date research you will develop a solid grounding in the approaches to language learning which puts an emphasis on communication and language as structure as recommended in the National Curriculum.  

You’ll also develop the fundamentals of teaching such as behaviour management, assessment, lesson planning, inclusive teaching, and working with the school community and parents. We’ll support you to become a reflective and confident teacher who is able to assess your own achievements and professional development requirements. 

While on placements, you will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice whilst being supported by a Lead Mentor who provides expert subject-specific feedback and support, and your Reflective Mentor who supports you in developing your reflective and critical thinking about your own teaching and learning. 

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this course based on recent teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The programme has three fully integrated components:

Secondary Education and Professional Studies Module

The Professional Studies component introduces you to key educational ideas and principles within a range of educational contexts. The module is followed throughout the year with both University and school-based elements and is concerned with classroom issues, whole school issues and the role of education in the wider society.

Secondary Professional Learning Module

Central to school-based work is the development of your ability to meet the standards of professional competence which trainees must demonstrate in order to meet national standards for the award of QTS.

Then choose your specialism:

The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of French in the secondary school, and to enable them to achieve QTS.

The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of German in the secondary school, and to enable them to achieve QTS.

The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of Spanish in the secondary school, and to enable them achieve QTS.

Teaching and research

Timetable overview

Our unique approach to Initial Teacher Education is praised by Ofsted and provides fantastic opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education. The programme runs over three terms and provides a carefully phased development of trainees’ independence as teachers. You will be assessed through University and school-based assignments; there are no formal exams.

Term 1 Term 1 begins with two weeks of school experience in which trainees are supported and guided to gain insights into school practices which they will use in the weeks following. This leads into the University based course which focuses on professional development, specialist subject knowledge, pedagogy and teaching skills. Two weeks of this term will be spent in your first placement school as part of the Beginning Practice phase of your training.
Term 2 Term 2 is spent in your first school placement with three seminar days held at the University. At the end of the term, you visit your second school placement for a short induction period.
Term 3 Term 3 is spent in your second school placement with two seminar days held at the University.

Learning and assessment

In the first term of the PGCE year, based at the University, we will draw on your experiences, video material, whole group discussion, small group work, paired work, lectures, peer teaching and peer and self-evaluation to help you prepare for your school-based work in the following two terms. You will also complete two academic assignments during the year, in which you will explore aspects of learning and teaching languages in depth. You will be assessed through University and school-based assignments; there are no formal exams.

Second language

Having a second language will help with the school-based placements and as such provision is made for students to develop competence in German, Spanish or French as a second language.

Vibrant community

By learning on campus for most of the first term you have access to the tools needed to rapidly build professional knowledge and confidence ready for your work in school placements. You also benefit from the opportunity to build friendships and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and will support you during your course and beyond. We carry out a detailed skills audit with every trainee so we understand your development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.

Facilities and support

During placements Exeter trainees benefit from the focused support of two School-based Tutors: a Lead Mentor who works as an expert partner, and a Reflective Mentor who develops and challenges your thinking about teaching in ways that can be used to enhance performance.

Campus-based modules are taught at the School of Education at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter, which offers an excellent range of specialist facilities and the UK’s largest Education library. 

Research-led teaching

All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers. They also lead and innovate: our tutors have written textbooks for trainee teachers and school pupils, advised government, led subject networks and are active educational researchers

The PGCE team’s current research interests lie in the areas of history and literacy, the impact that trainee teachers’ subject knowledge has on pupils’ learning in the classroom and how to personalise learning effectively.

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The PGCE provides excellent grounding for a long career within education, whether you aspire to become an outstanding classroom practitioner, school leader, or specialist in a specific area of education, the opportunities are broad.  

Career support

Careers support including skills training, internships, jobs vacancies, employment fairs and other events is available through the Career Zone.

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