Secondary - PGCE 

Course Overview

The PGCE Secondary programme provides a professional training for graduates who wish to teach the subject areas listed below in schools. To find out more about the individual pathways and to see whether any financial incentives/training grants are currently available, please click on the relevant subject links (clicking on a link will open a new window or open the relevant word document).

Course Content

The programme is mainly school based in line with government requirements with 24 out of 36 weeks spent in partnership schools, where student teachers work with a subject specialist (the subject mentor) and a senior member of the school staff (the senior mentor). The university based modules comprise of initial professional development and curriculum studies in the subject in which the student teacher is specialising.

Welsh medium school placements are available within all subject pathways in Cardiff Met's PGCE Secondary programme. Apart from the PGCE Welsh programme, all subject areas are taught through the medium of English, but all school placements and a significant element of the professional development on the programme can be undertaken through the medium of Welsh. Welsh language support is given to students wishing to teach through the medium of Welsh to enhance their language skills.

Employability & Careers

The PGCE Secondary programme provides student teachers with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), 60 credits at Masters level and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It provides opportunities for employment at the secondary level.

Entry Requirements

Essential Criteria

Applicants must be graduates (or equivalent) in their teaching subject, or have followed a degree course of which that subject constitutes a major part.

Applicants must have GCSE passes (or equivalent) in English Language and mathematics at Grade B or above. For Physical Education only, applicants must also have GCSE Science at grade C or above. Applicants who have achieved a C or above in English Language and mathematics on application will be considered for interview. Students studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade C or above in Welsh (first language). Applicants will need to have made arrangements to resit the GCSEs in order to obtain a B grade and indicate this on the UCAS Teacher Training application. If successful at interview, applicants will be offered a place subject to the B attainment. A list of acceptable equivalencies are currently under review and will be made available on our website once confirmed.

2014 Entry Requirements:


Minimum degree classification at entry
(All at Honours)



Applicants who meet the essential criteria for courses which lead to QTS at Cardiff Metropolitan will be required to sit Pre Entry tests in Literacy and Numeracy, click the 'Tests' tab to find out more. Tests will be completed and supervised under 'exam' conditions. The tests will be undertaken as part of the interview day.

Please click here for further details on B grade GCSE equivalents (English and mathematics).

Applicants with additional needs who are requested to sit these tests will need to notify Admissions immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Entry is also subject to a satisfactory health check and satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at

Please note you must apply for this course through UCAS - Teacher Training - not on a Cardiff Met application form



Literacy Test

There will be two tests for postgraduate applicants:

  • The first will test spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. This test will be completed electronically on the day of interview but a printable, sample copy of the paper is available here. This test will be 30 minutes long.
  • To prepare for the first literacy test, applicants should work through the sample paper provided. In addition, the current literacy skills test in England, as found on the DfE website, will also serve as a useful reference tool as the tests are similar in content.

Another useful resource is: Johnson, J. (2012) Passing the Literacy Skills Test (Achieving QTS) 3rd edn. Exeter: Learning Matters, ISBN 9780857258793.

  • The second will test comprehension skills as well as assessing potential at Master's level and will be a critique of a journal article. You will be asked to critically analyse the article's content in the light of your own personal learning and reflect upon its implications for your chosen school setting in approximately 300 words. This second test will be 45 minutes long.

The task will assess the ability to:

  • analyse, critically reflect and/or explain/persuade;
  • locate information and synthesise material with an eye for detail and awareness of appropriate context/style/form;
  • express ideas and information clearly, precisely and accurately;
  • write appropriately for the intended audience and purpose, engaging the interest of the reader;
  • write for the intended audience and purpose using an academic style where appropriate;
  • select and prioritise information to construct a coherent argument;
  • use a variety of accurately punctuated sentence and paragraph structures to control progression, matching style to audience and purpose;
  • use and spell accurately a wide range of appropriate, ambitious vocabulary to convey precise meaning.

Numeracy Test

There will be one numeracy test which focuses on the functional mathematics which teachers need in their professional role.

Welsh medium applicants
Applicants who wish to train for the Welsh medium sector should indicate this choice clearly on their applications. You will be placed in Welsh medium schools and some of the university provision is through the medium of Welsh.

During the interview procedure you will be assessed on your ability in both English and Welsh.

Literacy Tests

  • All applicants will complete the first literacy test in English (see above for further details)
  • Welsh medium applicants will also complete a literacy skills test in Welsh (15 mins.) which requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of Welsh grammar. In preparation for this test we recommend that you look at the sample paper provided here and refer to the following useful text:

Breese, N., Clement, B. (2011) Seren Iaith. Ceredigion: Atebol Cyfyngedig. ISBN 978-1-907004-85-8 (£5.99) The following sections will be most useful: Chwilio'r gwallau 1 pp.6-105 and pp.166-197

  • All applicants will complete the second literacy test as above (English and Welsh versions provided) and Welsh medium applicants can choose whether to critique this article in Welsh or English.
  • Welsh medium applicants will also be expected to write a short passage (approx 150 words) in Welsh if you choose to critique the article in English, or vice-versa, in order to assess your written ability in both languages.

Numeracy Test

English and Welsh versions of the question paper will be provided. Applicants can choose to answer in either language.

Key Facts

Campus: Cyncoed

School: Cardiff School of Education

Course Length: One year full-time

PGCE Application Code:
This course offers the following pathways of study and the following PGCE application code should be used on your UCAS - Teacher Training application form:

PGCE (Sec) Art and Design: W1X1
PGCE (Sec) Biology with Science: C1X1
PGCE (Sec) Chemistry with Science: F1X1
PGCE (Sec) Design & Technology: W9X1
PGCE (Sec) Drama: W4X1
PGCE (Sec) English: Q3X1
PGCE (Sec) History: V1X1
PGCE (Sec) ICT: G5X1
PGCE (Sec) Mathematics: G1X1
PGCE (Sec) Modern Foreign Languages: R9X1*
PGCE (Sec) Music: W3X1
PGCE (Sec) Physical Education: X9C6
PGCE (Sec) Physics with Science: F3X1
PGCE (Sec) Welsh: Q5X1

*Please not that for PGCE (Sec) Modern Foreign Languages, both German and Spanish linguists need to be able to teach French to Key Stage 4 (minimum requirement).

Applicants are required to indicate within their personal statement if they wish for their interview to be conducted through the medium of Welsh.

Student teachers will be assessed both on practical teaching and academic assignments. The latter is assessed at Masters level and affords student teachers 60 credits at 'M' level. A pass is required for both school and university based modules. Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of student teachers' competence against statutory standards. There is no formal end of programme examination. Successful completion of the course will lead to the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and recommendation to the General Teaching Council for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Selection Procedure:
Selection for this course is on the basis of an application form through UCAS - Teacher Training followed by interview.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made via UCAS - Teacher Training. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Incentive Grants
Incentive grants are available subject to degree classification and subject specialism. Please see the Teacher Training and Education in Wales website for further information.

Fee Information:
For up to date information visit our website at, email: or call 029 2041 6086.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

Art and Design:
Robert Griffin. 029 2041 6572

Mitch Winfield: 029 2041 6535

Design & Technology:
Jason Davies: 029 2041 6556

Arlene Pryce: 029 2041 6526

Dr Sian Rhiannon Williams: 029 2041 6527

Jason Davies: 029 2041 6556

Steve McCarthy: 029 2041 6564

Modern Foreign Languages:
Craig Howard: 029 2041 6552

Viv John: 029 2041 6502

Physical Education:
Sally Bethell: 029 2041 6071

Bethan Jones: 029 2041 5893

Marian Sweet: 029 2020 1147

See Also:
Cardiff School of Education Website

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