Department of Education


Course Leader: Rowlie Darby

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the University to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Classics. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a Classics PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach at Key Stages 3 and 4 (11-16 years) with enhancement opportunities in the Post-16 A level Classics curriculum. This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Depending on prior academic study or experience, candidates will teach a mixture of ancient languages (Latin and/or Greek) and ‘humanities’ based classics such as Classical Civilisations and/or Ancient History which explore the history and literature of the ancient world. Regardless of specialisation or route, all successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Classics teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

Any study of the ancient world offers learners a unique opportunity to understand ourselves, our ancestors and our culture. Our partnership believes that introducing young people to the men and women of the classical past helps us understand not only their experiences, languages and beliefs, but also the ways in which they continue to inform and shape the way we see our own world. By dealing with the sparse and fragmented nature of historical and literacy sources challenges pupils to engage in the process of enquiry, analysis and debate. As a school subject, Classics is growing in popularity and offers schools and pupils a rich, exciting and challenging addition to the school curriculum.

Our teacher education in Classics provides carefully structured, professional learning opportunities which will enable you to critically and effectively progress in planning, teaching and assessing successful Classics teaching and learning in schools. Together, university teacher educators and excellent classroom practitioners share their enthusiasm and professional knowledge to give you opportunities to focus on how best to engage, enthuse and enlighten your pupils in their understandings of the past.

Building on successful and engaging practice in Classics teaching in schools, you are encouraged to take an active role in your own professional learning by developing secure knowledge of the curriculum whilst recognising how your pupils make sense of the classical world and its language from Key Stage 3 through to A level. University and school-based sessions draw on local and national expertise, offering perspectives and strategies on a range of different teaching issues, from accessing original historical sources at local and national museums and archives, to engaging pupils in the sensitive, controversial and emotive nature of life experiences in ancient Rome and Greece.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Classics teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the University and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences. Those studying the Classics ITE course opt to specialise in an ancient language, or take History as a secondary subject.

Over the course of the acdemic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by a specialist who will act as a mentor, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teacher's Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing three academic assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must meet the partnership's established entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education. Additionally, given the significant competition for those applying for a place on this Initial Teacher Education course specifically, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong knowledge and understanding of Classics, and a sound awareness of how the subject is currently taught within Secondary state schools
  • A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in Classics or a related discipline. Candidates with degrees in Archaeology or History will need to demonstrate that they have a strong foundation in Classics, eg. an A level in Classical Civilization or Latin/Greek. Those without a Classics (or related) degree will need to undertake a Masters degree before applying.

Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is part of our interview process, so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.

All candidates offered a place on a teacher training course will be required to satisfactorily complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check), including a check of all cautions and warnings as well as convictions, before their place can be confirmed. The University will pay the costs of this check on your behalf.

How to apply

Applications for all Initial Teacher Education courses are made online via the Government's Department for Education website.


See the PGCE & School Direct Trainee Funding, Fees & Bursaries: 2022 [PDF 489.92KB] and the Funding your training page on the Department for Education's website for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. 


See full details of the Secondary Classics PGCE course at Sussex on the Prospectus.

General enquiries about any ITE course, including application queries, should be directed to the ITE admissions team:

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader: