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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry to the PGCE programme is conditional on:

  • Graduate or equivalent status
  • The relevance of an Honours degree content to the chosen specialist subject(s)
    (current University of Exeter students are allowed to take up to 30 credits outside of their degree programme, some of which may strengthen an application for a PGCE)
  • For those applying to Secondary:  passes at GCSE in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or equivalent (or for GCSEs taken from Summer 2017 onwards, grade 4 or above).
  • For those applying to Primary: passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above or equivalent (or for GCSEs taken from Summer 2017 onwards, grade 4 or above) if you are applying for Primary. Please note: although the DfE minimum requirement is a grade C/grade 4 at GCSE, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B/grade 5 or above for Mathematics and English and a grade C/grade 4 or above for Science for the Primary programme.
  • If you do not have the required pass at grade C/grade 4 in either GCSE English, Mathematics or Science, and are not able to gain this qualification before the start of the course, we will accept a Grade 4 pass in the English, Mathematics and Science 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)
  • Selection based on the information provided on the DfE Apply application
  • Selection based on a successful interview
  • A medical report which is deemed satisfactory
  • A completed Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check which is deemed satisfactory by the University

Note:  It is the University of Exeter's policy that the level 2 certificate in Adult Literacy or Numeracy is not acceptable as an equivalent to GCSE English/Mathematics. Also see the list of qualifications that are deemed to be equivalent to GCSE by the University for PGCE entry

Please note the above criteria are the national minimum entry requirements to be considered for a PGCE course - please see individual subject pages for further information on additional subject-specific criteria for University of Exeter PGCE Primary and Secondary courses.

Are you an undergraduate at the University of Exeter?  If so, find out if you're eligible for a guaranteed PGCE interview.

Pre-Initial Teacher Education Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses (SKE)

It is not unusual to receive applications from individuals who we believe would make excellent teachers, but who have insufficient subject knowledge to go directly onto one of our Secondary PGCE programmes. For such applicants, the Department for Education (DfE) offers a range of pre-initial teacher training subject preparation courses. 

SKE courses range from 8 weeks to 28 weeks long and your interviewer will decide if you need to complete an SKE course before you start and will also decide what length the SKE should be.  It is therefore important to plan ahead as your place on a PGCE programme may be conditional upon completing a SKE course prior to starting the PGCE.

Places on a SKE course will only be offered to those candidates with a conditional ITE place. For more information go to the Department for Education's dedicated page to see which subjects SKE courses are available for or contact the relevant University of Exeter PGCE subject tutor.

The Department for Education has introduced an overseas qualification service, available through the Get into Teaching Line.

The service includes:

  • An initial verbal check to advise candidates on what their qualifications are equivalent to (guidance only).
  • A written NARIC statement of comparability, paid for on behalf of the candidate (if required) and only available once a candidate has applied to ITT

The verbal check is a candidate-based advice service; the aim is to provide guidance on a candidate’s eligibility prior to applying. Final decisions on candidate eligibility still lie with providers prior to commencement of ITT.

We encourage you to use this service prior to submitting an application by calling the Get into Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.

You can also register for advice and support from the Department for Education on their website:

Terms and conditions

All students will be required as a condition of enrolment to abide by, and to submit to the procedures of, the University's Regulations for Students, as amended from time to time.