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I would recommend the Exeter PGCE because you work with well-informed lecturers, especially when you choose a specialism. They know what they’re talking about and when they have a passion for the subject they pass it onto you easily.

Chilufya Kasomo, PGCE Primary English graduate

PGCE Primary with English

'A word after a word after a word is power' - Margaret Atwood

Trainees following the Primary English pathway will learn to teach across the primary curriculum and will take an additional specialist module in primary English.

The Primary PGCE English pathway seeks candidates who are passionate about improving children's life choices through literacy. English is not only a core National Curriculum subject but it is also a medium for learning in all subjects through reading, writing, speaking and listening. All Primary schools place a strong emphasis on the systematic teaching of literacy.

The course will prepare you to use creative approaches and resources to interest and motivate children as you teach across the curriculum. This will include ways of using poetry, drama, stories and children’s literature. The course is taught mainly through seminars and workshops with a significant element of directed collaborative group work and self-study. A trip to London (including visits to Shakespeare’s Globe and Tower Hamlets schools) in the spring term puts a strong emphasis on learning outside of the classroom and on teaching children with English as an additional language.

We are looking for candidates with a strong English background (including drama, theatre and World Literature) who see themselves as the subject leaders of the future. As well as giving you a solid grounding in practical classroom ideas, the course gives you the opportunity to execute and evaluate your own classroom research, for submission with an accompanying resource pack. The course places a strong emphasis on the social capital of individuals, with many opportunities for peer tutoring and volunteering in extra-curricular projects. 

The course is tutored by Anthony Wilson and Anita Wood. Having taught in London schools for several years, both are passionate about enriching trainees' experiences of diverse contexts. We have strong personal and research interests in EAL, drama, poetry and creative literacy pedagogies. Anthony Wilson's recent books include Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury) and Lifesaving Poems (Bloodaxe). 

The course has a lively Facebook page in which past and present English specialists share and exchange news, resources and ideas.

The Primary PGCE English pathway enjoys a 75%+ success rate for securing a first post before the end of the course.

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you for interview.

We provide unrivalled opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Teaching Model. The programme runs over three terms with each term providing progressively more school-based work training.

By learning on campus for most of the first term you access the tools to rapidly build professional knowledge to underpin your work in school placements. The taught element is made up of timetabled seminars, lectures and self-directed study. You will be asked to work individually and as part of small and larger groups.

Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn 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 particular development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.

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

You will be supported in developing the full range of teaching skills and effective reflection that you will need in your first teaching post as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

The PGCE is a Masters level programme and once you have achieved QTS, you can continue your studies during your first year of teaching and work towards achieving a Masters in Education.

What are we looking for in an applicant?

We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree. We expect to take students with at least A level English (grade B), preferably degree level. Students without A level English can apply if they can show relevant experience in language/literacy fields, eg, teaching TEFL/ psychology/drama.

Applicants should have at least two weeks’ experience in a state primary school within the last year.

Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C. Please note that although the NCTL requirement is a grade C, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B or above in Mathematics and English and a grade C in Science.

Further information

Read more about entry requirements and how to apply.

All applications for entry to our PGCE programmes must be made through UCAS Teacher Training and application forms are available online through the UCAS websiteApplications for 2018 – 2019 can be made once UCAS opens, usually in late October and you are encouraged to apply early as many courses are filling up quickly.

An academic reference is required from any institution of Higher Education that you have attended within the last five years. Please note: if an academic reference is not submitted then this will cause a delay in the processing of your application.

For further details on the application process, please see our Interview Policy.

We recommend you: 

  • apply as early as possible;
  • choose your referees early and explain to them that a promptly returned UCAS Teacher Training reference could make all the difference;
  • practice the Professional Skills Tests early (see sta.education.gov.uk); use support materials if you need to improve your performance and use one of your three chances to take each test early, to strengthen your candidacy. You can access the practice tests before you apply, but you can’t take the actual tests until you have applied.

Deferred entry

We do not consider requests for deferred entry either at application stage or after an offer has been made. Any applicant who can no longer take up a place offered to them will need to reapply in the following year and will need to go through the full interview process again.

Applicants who will be overseas during the recruitment cycle

If you will be outside the UK during the recruitment cycle for your proposed year of entry, you should make contact with the Admissions Office to discuss this.

Academic staff

  • All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers, senior managers or OFSTED inspectors. They also lead and innovate, developing the latest ideas in teacher education, leading research, writing textbooks, leading subject networks and advising government.
  • Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education, and will support you during your course and beyond.

Course leaders

The course is tutored by Dr Anthony Wilson and Anita Wood. Having taught in London schools for several years, both are passionate about enriching trainees' experiences of diverse contexts. We have strong personal and research interests in EAL, drama, poetry and creative literacy pedagogies. 

Dr Anthony Wilson has a national profile in the field of research on poetry pedagogy.

A published poet, he has worked as a writer in schools and has long-standing associations with the Poetry Society, the Poetry Archive and the Arvon Foundation. He is also a trainer for the Poetry Society’s poetry class scheme.

His research interests include poetry pedagogy, children’s creative writing and creative approaches to literacy teaching.

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

  • UK/EU: £9,250 full-time
  • Channel Islands/Isle of Man: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £16,500 full-time

A variety of attractive financial support packages are available.  Find out more here.