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Teacher Training – University of Exeter

University of Exeter

Secondary Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, and Spanish) PGCE

We offer PGCE Modern Foreign Language (MFL) courses in:

  • French (with German or Spanish)
  • German (with French or Spanish)
  • Spanish (with French or German)

Our aim is to develop specialist linguists, who are keen and  eager both to bring to life the languages and cultures, which they themselves love and to nurture a life-long interest in language learning in their pupils.

The course enables you to explore the opportunities and challenges that face both teachers and learners of modern languages in Britain today, the strategies for language acquisition skills and the need for intercultural understanding within the European dimension.

The University-based term offers the opportunity to engage with up-to-date research in languages education and provides a solid grounding in the approaches to language teaching, which puts emphasis on communication and language as structure, as recommended in the National Curriculum. This part of the course will include interactive, practical workshops and seminars, peer teaching and assessment, subject specific seminars, small group work and discussions. We shall help you to develop into a reflective practitioner, constantly thinking about and improving your teaching expertise. Equally we shall support you in polishing up any rusty language skills and in acquiring the necessary practical teaching skills, underpinned by research and accepted good practice, so that you can enter your teaching placements with confidence. The school-based terms are spent in dynamic modern languages departments of a wide range of schools across the South West.

Trainees in French, German and Spanish should have a second language (even if only at beginners' level) as this will help with the provision of placements, as well as finding a teaching post . However candidates offering only one language are encouraged to apply for a place on the course. If successful, applicants will be eligible for Subject Knowledge Enhancement funding from the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) for a second MFL, as a condition of the offer. Provision is made for trainees to develop their competence in this additional language during the course.

Additional provision for Primary and Post-16
This course will prepare trainees to teach in secondary education (Key Stage 3 & 4), with additional training in how to teach languages in the post-16 sector and in the primary phase.

This provision supports trainees in teaching MFL across key stages with the aim of raising standards in the transition phase from primary to secondary schooling and from secondary to post-16 provision.

The programme lasts 36 weeks and consists of University-based studies and school-based work.

Entry requirements

Trainees in French, German and Spanish must have a second language (even if only at beginners' level) as this will help with the provision of placements, as well as finding a teaching post . However candidates offering only one language are encouraged to still apply for a place on the course. If successful, and as a condition of their offer, applicants without a second modern language will be directed to apply for Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) funding from the DfE to complete an SKE course in a second language course prior to the PGCE course starting. Therefore it is essential to submit an early application to allow time for this. As part of the offer, the Subject Leader will provide information on appropriate courses to attend.

Applicants are normally expected to have a good Honours degree (minimum of a 2.2) in at least one of the languages (French, German or Spanish). Other qualifications of degree level equivalence will also be considered.

Course modules

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 French/German/Spanish 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 French/German/Spanish in the secondary school, and to enable them to meet the Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (DfES 2002). 

Assessment methods

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.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 36 Weeks
PGCE Full-time £ 16,500 (Whole course) International 36 Weeks

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