Department of Education

Art & Design

Course Leader: Sally Dudley

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 Art. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to an Art PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Art at Key Stages 3 and 4 (11-16 years).

This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Art teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

Art education is an essential component of a balanced education for all young people. It allows for open-ended and personal learning opportunities not always available in other subject areas. It offers students the chance to develop skills and techniques, think critically, problem solve, and express their own ideas.  As a subject area it is popular and students attain high grades at GCSE across the country.

At Sussex we believe that Art education is a distinct and dynamic area of pedagogy that runs parallel to developments in the Art and Design world. Alongside your university and school placement training we offer a studio based program in order to broaden your skills so that you can meet the requirements of the National Curriculum.  This will cover a range of competences including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, photography and digital multimedia.  We will examine the varied nature of art classroom practice, taking into account national and local initiatives, as well as focusing on your own personal research projects. We also draw upon individual specialisms and share skills.

Teacher educators based in local schools share their expertise and detailed knowledge of curriculum to help you make progress with planning, resourcing, teaching and assessment.

Our University based programme offers cross curricular based competencies to compliment your subject specific practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be an Art 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, 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.

Over the course of the academic 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 an Art 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 Teachers' 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. See 'Our Entry Requirements' at the bottom of our Applying web page. Additionally you should be able to demonstrate:

  • Strong knowledge and understanding of Art and Design history and contemporary practice, and a sound awareness of how the subject is currently taught within Secondary state schools.
  • Evidence of ongoing personal practice.
  • A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in Art or Design or a related subject.

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 also our 'Applying' web page for a step-by-step process for how to apply to train to teach at Sussex.


See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.


See full details of the Secondary Art & Design 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: