Primary (2013 entry)

PGCE (PG), 1 year full time

Applications for 2013 entry are now closed.

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Subject overview

Education at Sussex was ranked 11th in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 85 per cent of research was rated as internationally recognised or higher. Education was awarded a very high grade in the latest QAA Review of Education. 

Experienced social science researchers are involved in teaching core degrees. 

We offer innovative interdisciplinary teaching and research with social work. Education faculty research interests also intersect with anthropology, development studies, gender studies, international relations and sociology. 

Our Initial Teacher Education courses are highly valued by local school partnerships and our provision was graded 'good' by an Ofsted inspection in 2010.   

Initial Teacher Education 

Our Initial Teacher Education partnership is proud to offer a range of high-quality professional and academic training courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), including the established PGCE and School Direct training routes. Our courses are strengthened by the involvement of local schools in the selection, training and assessment of beginning teachers. The result of this long-standing relationship is that our trainees receive excellent support – from schools offering professional placements, from the experienced teachers who act as mentors and from dedicated University tutors who offer models of successful pedagogy. We believe that all teachers benefit from engagement in evidence-based practice, reflection on research and ongoing professional development. Visit Department of Education: Initial Teacher Education.

Programme outline

Our partnership offers a one-year, full time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), providing both an academic award at Masters level and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The course aims to empower beginning teachers to develop the professional knowledge, skills and characteristics required to become a successful qualified teacher. While the PGCE is offered as a distinct route to QTS, School Direct trainees in partnership schools also have the opportunity to follow the same course and receive the same award. 

Assessment

All teachers are prepared to meet, and are regularly assessed against, the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2012), achievement of which is recognised by the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

In preparation for QTS, teachers prepare a portfolio of evidence, which charts progress over the academic year and includes evidence of lesson observations, engagement with professional development and self-designed teaching and learning materials. 

The PGCE is the first year of the School of Education and Social Work’s Master of Education (MEd). Successful completion of the PGCE enables Newly Qualified Teachers to progress with up to 90 Masters-level credits on to the part-time second year of this postgraduate degree.

At all stages, assessment is shared between school-based professionals and University tutors.  

Timetable

The PGCE runs on a full-time basis from September until late June. Winter and spring vacations are fixed by the term dates of partnership schools. Over the course of the academic year (190 working days), trainees undertake two periods of professional practice (a minimum of 120 working days) in two different schools. Initially, trainees benefit from a serial placement where the working week is divided between four days in school and a day of reflection at the University. Towards the end of the course, trainees are challenged to approximate a full teachers’ timetable during a block placement.

PGCE award levels

All trainee teachers register on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education and are assessed at Masters level. Successful students will obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) 

Qualified Teacher Status is awarded to teachers who meet the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2012) by the end of their training. 

Further details are provided by the Department for Education (DfE).

PGCE fees and financial support

The current fee for a PGCE is £9,000. Student loans are available to cover tuition fees in full. Most trainee teachers can borrow up to £9,000. A maintenance loan of up to £5,500 is also available to help with accommodation and other living costs. Trainee teachers may also be eligible for an annual means-tested grant of up to £3,250. 

In addition, home/EU trainee teachers are currently able to draw on a tax-free non-repayable training bursary of up to £20,000. Bursary amounts depend upon degree classification and subject or phase specialisation. In addition scholarships of £25000 are offered to graduates in Physics and Mathematics by professional bodies.

Further details are provided by the Department for Education (DfE) who review the nature of financial support annually.

If you are offered a place on any of our ITE courses, you will be sent all the information you need on how to apply for any of the above-mentioned loans, grants or bursaries.

How to apply for an ITE course

You should apply online through UCAS Teacher Training. Please do not apply directly to Sussex. 

You must provide an appropriate written reference on your application form, which should be an academic reference if you are at university or college. If you finished your studies in the last five years, your principal referee should be a tutor or lecturer who can comment on your academic achievements and your personal qualities. 

No candidate will be offered a place without being interviewed. Interviews serve not only as a selection device, but also as an opportunity for further explanation and questions. Unfortunately, we are unable to reimburse travel and other expenses incurred in attending for an interview.

Trainees with disabilities

We welcome applications from students with disabilities. For further information, contact us:

School of Education and Social Work, 
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 873238 
F +44 (0)1273 678411 
E eswadmissions@sussex.ac.uk 
Department of Education

Working with children

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional on both a medical and a criminal record check. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions (including fee) on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure are issued with offer letters. 

Mental and physical fitness to teach

All trainees must be screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University’s Occupational Health Department. A charge is made for the service.

School Direct

The University works in partnership with over 75 local schools to provide school-led teacher training, known as School Direct. The exact nature of this training route varies depending on school preferences. For instance, some schools offer School Direct (salaried) where trainees are employed as unqualified teachers and benefit from a bespoke training programme, whereas others adopt the same training and assessment as the PGCE. All routes lead to QTS. For places and details of partnership offers, visit Department of Education: Initial Teacher Education

Withdrawal of offer

The University will make all reasonable efforts to provide the course as set out here. However, it may be obliged to withdraw an offer if it cannot obtain sufficient placements for the professional practice component of the degree, where trainees are placed in a school within a 50-mile radius of the University or of the student’s home.

Refer to Terms and conditions and further information for more details. This information may be revised as a result of changes to Government regulations and recommendations. 

2014 modules

Please note that these are the core modules and options (subject to availability) for students starting in the academic year 2014.

Back to module list

Curriculum Studies 1: Applying Professional Knowledge

30 credits
All year teaching, year 1

This module develops your understanding of your subject curriculum, lesson planning and critical reflection on your own practice. During this time you will design and teach your own unit of work (UoW) and then critically evaluate its planning and impact in your placement school.

Teaching on this module is delivered though Curriculum Studies at university and in school-based application in your teaching. However, your wider professional knowledge and understanding is inextricably linked and elements of the Professional Studies lecture programme, incorporated in the Professional Knowledge for Schools module are both relevant and essential. Consequently, theory, knowledge and understanding are integrated with practice, with that which is learned at university being applied in the classroom, having been carefully planned, executed and then fully evaluated.

These themes are then followed up and developed in Curriculum Studies by tutors who provide the subject specific contexts. The mode of delivery in Curriculum Studies is through workshops, lecture style inputs from tutors and other subject experts, and seminars. You will be introduced to current curriculum developments, initiatives and professional issues in your subject discipline. Study Direct forums provide opportunities for you to explore issues and ideas with tutors and in peer learning situations. Tutorials also allow you to present your ideas for your assignment and receive feedback.

An understanding of the curriculum and the frameworks in which subject knowledge is organised and delivered (National Curriculum, GCSE & A level specifications, etc) will be key requirements, along with the associated modes of assessment for learning. This module directly links to Curriculum Studies 1: Understanding Professional Knowledge where you will have prepared a literature review which is intended to inform your pedagogy and design of your own unit of work. Curriculum Studies 2 will be integrated into both university and school-based learning. The assignment of 5000 words is based around a unit of work. Its purpose is to develop strategies for effective short and medium term planning and to strengthen the process of evaluation and reflection. As such this assignment offers you the opportunity to make progress towards a number of Standards for QTS.

For the assignment, you will consult with your curriculum tutor and appropriate school based tutor to identify an appropriate topic in your specialist curriculum area (KS two, KS three, KS four or Post 16) to plan and develop into a unit of work responding to the specific needs of pupils in your placement school. The unit of work itself should be designed so that it could be taught over a period of approximately six hours pupil contact time as a norm. The unit of work should be taught in part or in full during the spring term and issues arising from its teaching fully evaluated.

Professional Knowledge for Schools

30 credits
Autumn & spring teaching, year 1

You will focus on developing and auditing your professional knowledge and reflecting critically upon how this has emerged from academic study, your own classroom experiences and investigations and your work with other professional practioners. Central to this process will be the your ability to organise the evidence you need to demonstrate QTS, understand how scholarship and research has informed your development and identify on going targets for professional development.

One of your key targets will be reflection upon your own understanding in their curriculum area. This will require regular audits of subject knowledge and the identification of strengths and needs in relation to the TDA standards for QTS, particularly Section two - Professional Knowledge and Understanding. Gaps in subject knowledge will become a focus for personal research and the presentation of new curriculum knowledge will be key requirement as will an understanding of the frameworks in which that knowledge is organised and delivered as part of the school curriculum (National Curriculum, GCSE & A level specifications, etc) and the associated modes of assessment for learning.

You will also be introduced to current developments, initiatives and professional issues in education and critically reflect upon the intersection between theoretical positions, your own classroom practice and observations and the guidance offered by experienced professionals. Such professional studies are likely to include the following (amongst others): classroom and behaviour management; ICT in education; child protection; diversity in education; assessment for learning; special educational needs (SEN); child development; citizenship in the curriculum; how children learn: learning styles and strategies; personal, social and health education; role of parents and carers; equal opportunities; multiple and emotional intelligences; post-16 education; cross-curricular issues; literacy and numeracy across the curriculum; and English as an Additional Language.

Professional knowledge will be developed within the context of current research, reviews, primary sources, and other source materials and pedagogy in specialist subjects, as well as recent inspection findings and government reports. Professional Knowledge for Schools will be an integral part of both university and school-based learning.

Professional Practice 1

15 credits
Autumn & spring teaching, year 1

In this course, you will be given the opportunity to develop and apply your knowledge and understanding in a phase/subject specialism in a school and classroom context. This is a current statutory requirement for Initial Teacher Training (TDA, 2007). You will be working towards the standards for Qualified Teacher Status in your professional practice.

The course will include the following: an induction week programme, providing an introduction to school policies and procedures; opportunities to observe experienced practitioners in your specialist subject/phase; one hour of dedicated mentor time per week, focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogy; regular professional studies seminars organised by the school's professional tutor; phased introduction to teaching, including a negotiated timetable of classes across KS two, three, four and Post 16 (where appropriate), amounting to a total of 12 hours (eight hours classroom teaching and four hours other professional duties); one formal observation once a week by the mentor or designated other teacher in the department, with written and oral feedback; where required, one observation by the school's professional tutor, with written and oral feedback; one or two observations by the university curriculum tutor, with written and oral feedback; access to school resources, including ICT; opportunities to take part in wider school life, eg trips, clubs, tutor groups, parents' evenings; time to reflect critically on this experience, plan lessons and prepare resources.

Professional Practice 2

15 credits
Spring teaching, year 1

In this module, you will be given the opportunity to develop and apply your knowledge and understanding in a phase/subject specialism in a school and classroom context. This is a current statutory requirement for Initial Teacher Training (TDA, 2007). You will be working towards the standards for Qualified Teacher Status in your professional practice.

The module will include the following: an induction week programme, providing an introduction to school policies and procedures; opportunities to observe experienced practitioners in the your specialist subject/phase; one hour of dedicated mentor time per week, focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogy; regular professional studies seminars organised by the school's professional tutor; phased introduction to teaching, including a negotiated timetable of classes across KS two, three, four and Post 16 (where appropriate), amounting to a total of 12 hours (eight hours classroom teaching and four hours other professional duties); one formal observation once a week by the mentor or designated other teacher in the department, with written and oral feedback; where required, one observation by the school's professional tutor, with written and oral feedback; one or two observations by the university curriculum tutor, with written and oral feedback; access to school resources, including ICT; opportunities to take part in wider school life, eg trips, clubs, tutor groups and parents' evenings.

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Entry requirements

UK entrance requirements and application details

In order to qualify for admission to the PGCE degree, you must be a graduate of an approved institution of Higher Education or validating body from a course that is recognised as being equivalent to at least a second-class undergraduate honours degree. You must also have passed GCSE (or equivalent) in English, Mathematics and a science subject with at least grade C in each.

All PGCE applications are submitted via the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) and not direct to the University of Sussex. Please apply online via the GTTR website. You must provide an appropriate written reference on your application form, which should be an academic reference if you are at university or college. If you finished your studies in the last five years, your principal referee should be a tutor or lecturer who can comment on your academic achievements and your personal qualities. If you finished your studies more than five years ago, your principal referee should be a responsible person who knows you well enough to write with authority about you, such as an employer.

No candidate will be offered a place without being interviewed. Interviews serve not only as a selection device, but also as an opportunity for further explanation and questions. Unfortunately, we are unable to reimburse travel and other expenses incurred in attending for an interview.

All candidates offered a place must also pass a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and a mental and physical fitness check. A charge applies for both these checks.

Overseas entrance requirements

Please refer to column B on the Overseas qualifications.

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications table, contact the University.
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section. Internet TOEFL with 95 overall, with at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.

For more information, refer to English language requirements.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

Home UK/EU students: £9,0001
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £9,0002
Overseas students: £13,0003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.

To find out about your fee status, living expenses and other costs, visit further financial information.

Funding

The funding sources listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

To find out more about funding and part-time work, visit further financial information.

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2013/14. For general information, refer to Funding.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

The research interests and areas of supervisory expertise of our faculty are listed below. For more information about the research conducted in the Department of Education, including information about the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER), Centre for Inquiry and Research in Cognition, Learning and Teaching (CIRCLETS) and Centre for International Education (CIE), visit the Department of Education 

Childhood and youth studies

Professor Robin Banerjee Social and emotional development of pupils, self-conscious cognition and emotion, self-presentational behaviour.

Dr Janet Boddy Parents and families, parent and child health and well-being, parenting and family support, children in or at the edges of care, social pedagogy, cross-national research.

Professor Suzy Braye Social work practice and the law, policy implementation and professional practice, community care provision. 

Dr Rachel Burr Social work, child rights, international aid, international social work, ethnographic-based research methods, Vietnam. 

Dr Anne-Meike Fechter Indonesia, South East Asia; corporate expatriates, transnationalism, development practitioners.

Cath Holmström Admissions and selection for social work education, experiences of younger students on qualifying social work courses. 

Barry Luckock Social policy and social work with children, social work practice and education, adoption, fostering and permanency planning. 

Dr Tish Marrable Children with ‘additional needs’, interprofessional working and professional supervision in integrated teams. 

Professor Rachel Thomson Childhood and youth studies, young people’s transitions to adulthood, sexuality and sex education.

Dr Jo Westbrook Learning to read, comprehension, wider reading, teacher education in the UK and developing countries, action research.

Dr Benjamin Zeitlyn Access to education, dropout, development, migration, transnationalism, childhoods, ethnic minorities, Islam.

Initial teacher education

Dr Andrew Chandler-Grevatt Science education: teaching and learning, progression of key concepts in science.

Duncan Mackrill Music education, ePortfolios, technology in music education, transition, spirituality in music education.

Dr John Parry Education for sustainable development, role of ICT within citizenship, experiential learning, special educational needs.

Robert Rosenthal Development of professional learning communities, school improvement, the role of trainees in developing in-school research culture, Geography in the school curriculum.

Simon Thompson Teachers’ professional knowledge, Initial Teacher Education in the UK, history of education.

Dr Jo Westbrook Learning to read, comprehension, wider reading, teacher education in the UK and developing countries, action research. 

International education and development

Dr Kwame Akyeampong Global, regional and national analysis of teacher education and impact on learning, curriculum and assessment reforms, impact evaluation of education interventions and programmes in low-income countries.

Dr Mairead Dunne Sociological education studies of quality, equity and identity in the UK and low-income countries, curriculum practices.

Dr Naureen Durrani Teacher education, curriculum and textbooks, mathematics education, schooling and identity construction and South Asia.

Professor Valerie Hey Feminist theory, postmodern methodologies, ethnography, identity, affects, social difference, gender.

Professor Keith Lewin Educational planning, economics and finance of education, access and equity in education and development, teacher education, science and technology education policy in developing countries, educational aid and project evaluation.

Professor Colleen McLaughlin Head of the Department of Education. Action and practitioner research; educational reform; vulnerable children, counselling and care; sexuality education, including HIV/AIDS; school-university partnerships for reform and research.

Professor Louise Morley Sociology of Higher Education, national and international Higher Education policy, widening participation, identity.

Dr Mario Novelli Education and conflict, global governance of education, education and globalisation, foreign aid and education. 

Dr Ricardo Sabates Education and social outcomes, links between education and health, education and crime, adult education.

Dr Yusuf Sayed Education assessment and rights, quality, education governance and leadership, education financing, international aid.

Dr Jo Westbrook Learning to read, comprehension, wider reading, teacher education in the UK and developing countries, action research. 

Dr Benjamin Zeitlyn Access to education, dropout, development, migration, transnationalism, childhoods, ethnic minorities, Islam.

Teaching and learning in UK schools and related education contexts

Dr Sarah Aynsley 14-19 education and training, transition from further to Higher Education, qualitative approaches and practitioner research.

Dr Louise Gazeley Social and educational (dis)advantage, education policy, exclusion from school, teacher education.

Professor Valerie Hey Feminist theory, postmodern methodologies, ethnography, identity, affects, social difference, gender.

Professor Colleen McLaughlin Head of the Department of Education. Action and practitioner research; educational reform; vulnerable children, counselling and care; sexuality education, including HIV/AIDS; school-university partnerships for reform and research.

Professor Louise Morley Sociology of Higher Education, national and international Higher Education policy, widening participation, identity.

Dr John Pryor Educational ethnography, international and intercultural education, identity and equity, pedagogy and formative assessment.

Dr Julia Sutherland The use of collaborative talk to develop secondary pupils’ higher cognitive thinking.

Dr Jo Westbrook Learning to read, comprehension, wider reading, teacher education in the UK and developing countries, action research. 

 

 

 

 

 

Careers and profiles

Both the PGCE and GTP offer a direct progression route on to the Master of Education (MEd). Successful candidates can transfer up to 90 M-level credits on to the MEd. Most of our graduates go on to work as qualified teachers in either primary or secondary schools, or sixth-form colleges.

Andy's career perspective

Dr Andy Chandler-Grevatt

‘I was a full-time teacher of secondary science when I started the Doctor of Education (EdD) at Sussex. I was becoming increasingly interested in how children learn and how we assess them, and I felt I needed to dig deeper to uncover more evidence about the practice of science teaching and assessment.

‘The doctorate changed everything for me. It widened my horizons from beyond my own classroom practice to teaching, learning and assessment on a national and international level. I started to interrogate theory, policy and practice in a way I never had before. It was challenging, exciting and daunting at times, but, as a group, my coursemates and I inspired and encouraged each other.

‘The EdD opened doors for me. As a teacher, it helped improve my practice and I was invited to teach on the teacher-training programme and I’m now a teaching fellow at the University. I’m recognised as an expert in school-based science assessment, which has opened up national and international consultancy roles (including working as an advisor to the Ministry of Education in Kazakhstan!), and I’m working for a major publisher, developing education resources for schools.’ 

Dr Andy Chandler-Grevatt
Tutorial Fellow and EdD student, University of Sussex

Lin's career perspective

Dr Lin Phillips

‘I was an experienced headteacher newly arrived at a struggling inner-London primary school when I was accepted onto the Doctor of Education (EdD) course at Sussex.

‘It was clear that fundamental change was needed at my new school and I realised that, to bring this about, I needed information beyond all the usual strategies and documents that bombard a headteacher. I chose Sussex because of the reputation of its research degrees – a doctorate from Sussex carries weight and people recognise it. 

‘With the help of the EdD, I was able to think innovatively and get the sort of deeper understanding that can’t be gained on the job. The course has given me a powerful knowledge base, the courage to stand out, and to go against the grain when necessary.

‘My school is now in the top 5 for value-added in mainstream education and was recently judged by Her Majesty's Inspector to have made 'outstanding progress in mathematics'. That is down to the EdD. 

‘On a personal level, my doctorate has also had a huge impact. It’s enabled me to build my reputation as a leader in maths education and has brought me further opportunities above and beyond my headship. I can see how my doctorate has opened many doors for my future, both financially and professionally.’

Dr Lin Phillips
Tutorial Fellow and EdD student, University of Sussex

For more information, visit Careers and alumni.

School and contacts

School of Education and Social Work

The School of Education and Social Work combines two very strong departments with excellent reputations, and serves the needs of its students as well as those of the wider community.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Admissions:
Graduate Teacher Training Registry,
Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ, UK
T 
+44 (0)8714 680469
Graduate Teacher Training Registry

For further PGCE subject information or details of employment-based routes into teaching, contact:
T +44 (0)1273 873238 
F +44 (0)1273 678411
E iteadmissions@sussex.ac.uk
Department of Education 

For more information, contact:
School of Education and Social Work, 
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 873238 
F +44 (0)1273 678411 
E eswadmissions@sussex.ac.uk 
Department of Education  

Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions

You’re welcome to attend one of our Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions. These are held in the spring and summer terms and enable you to find out more about postgraduate study and the opportunities Sussex has to offer.

Visit Discover Postgraduate study to book your place.

Other ways to visit Sussex

We run weekly guided campus tours every Wednesday afternoon, year round. Book a place online at Visit us and Open Days.

You are also welcome to visit the University independently without any pre-arrangement.

Terms and conditions