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St Luke's is unlike any other University campus. After studying at Exeter as an undergraduate, it was natural to carry on the amazing experience and when combined with the outstanding course it made the choice easy!

The splitting up of the terms, into course and placement, gives a clear focus in the training, allowing you to build friendships that are invaluable in supporting you throughout the year. The masters-level credits enable you to gain a deeper understanding of education, which helps development in the classroom.

Sarah Smith, PGCE Secondary History

PGCE Secondary with History

Our Secondary History PGCE is run by a team of committed, passionate and experienced staff who offer a diverse range of expertise and genuine conviction that our approach to teacher education is the best way to develop outstanding teachers. Our staff have extensive school and university teaching experience as well as school-based leadership experience. We train you to be critical and creative subject specialists, and to become educational leaders in your own right!

The History PGCE course is concerned with theoretical and practical classroom approaches to the teaching of history. This involves examining a range of appropriate learning and teaching strategies through Key Stages 3-5 in the varied classroom situations you will encounter.  You will develop a rigorous understanding of when and where particular activities might be appropriate. The course is underpinned by the belief that history teaching is a stimulating, creative activity that gives pleasure to both teachers and pupils and educates young people to take a full and active role as citizens. The course draws heavily on current and recent research findings from both the Graduate School of Education and other researchers at the forefront of history education.

Taught by a team of lecturers, active researchers and practicing classroom teachers from across the south west, the course relates theory to practice in all elements of the National Curriculum and 14-19 History.

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.

Timetable overview

Term 1 Term 1 begins with two weeks of observation (preliminary school experience). 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.

We are leaders in Initial Teacher Education. Our unique approach to teaching PGCE is praised by OFSTED and cited as an example of best practice.

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.

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.

How am I assessed?

Through University and school-based assignments. There are no formal exams.

Students are also required to pass the Government's numeracy and literacy tests prior to the course.

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.

Secondary History Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy Module

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 History in the secondary school, and to enable them to meet the Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status. In addition, the module seeks to nurture reflective and autonomous professional practitioners who are able to identify strengths and areas for development in their subject knowledge and pedagogy, through evaluating current professional practice in relationship to developments in research and curriculum theory.

The usual entry requirement for this course is a 2:1 degree in History or a History Joint Honours degree. The course will also consider applications from those with degrees in related subjects such as Ancient History, Archaeology, International Relations or Politics.

Further information

Read more about entry requirements and how to apply.

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

Bryan Smith has considerable experience teaching History in Secondary schools in the South West and has also taught on the Teacher Development Programme and the Outstanding Teacher Programme, supporting teachers in developing their skills. His research interests are in pupils’ writing in History.

Course tutors

Course tutors are drawn from a variety of backgrounds including current and former Leaders of History Departments.

Useful links

To be added