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The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield

Secondary Education (English) - PGCE

The University of Sheffield PGDE English course is a research-led, reflective and exciting course presenting a balanced approach to language and literacy development. It thoroughly prepares student teachers for working with the Key Stage 3 and 4 National Curriculum and post-16 English provision, nurturing critical inquiry. Student teachers are encouraged to respond critically and creatively to curricular and other legislation.

The overall aim of the course is not only to be as practical as possible in providing for the needs of the beginning teacher, but also to encourage critical reflection which will enable teachers to develop their own rationale for English in school.

Fiction, drama, poetry, media and cultural studies, as well as elements of language study, are all given an important place on the course. There is an emphasis on academic reading and critical enquiry, as well as upon practical experience in the classroom; student teachers frequently share the benefits of their experiences and research with their peers in both formal and informal situations.

Entry requirements

As this is an 11-19 course we are preparing students to teach up to A-level and we will normally take into account the balance of your degree content and your profile of GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and results to assess your suitability for the programme.

We are generally looking for students whose degrees are predominantly English based, either in Language or Literature. Where candidates have a degree in Linguistics or Language, we like them to be able to demonstrate that they have read widely and with enjoyment across a range of literature types including Shakespeare. Even where candidates degrees have not covered the full spectrum of literature, a willingness to engage with the canon of English literature is very important. Moreover, knowledge of English Language or linguistics is highly desirable, but not essential, for those who have taken Literature degrees. We also, however, take student teachers with other related degree qualifications (such as in Law or in Journalism), but we are careful to find evidence within the degrees taken, or in students’ further studies, of a strong engagement with literature and/or language related work.

Course modules

University-based sessions are practical and workshop based, allowing opportunities to try out teaching ideas. The emphasis of early work on the course is on enabling student teachers to cope with all the aspects of English which they will meet on their first School Experience. Student teachers will be asked to study children´s fiction, poetry and Shakespeare in order to discuss ways of presenting them in class and to read children´s writing in order to decide how to respond to it positively. Student teachers will also be guided in how to plan and present lessons, to set work and assess it, and will be shown how to organise and manage small-group learning. There will be additional workshops on A level teaching, drama and media education.

A close relationship is maintained with the English Departments of the University Partnership schools. Each student teacher will be placed in two of these schools, one on each School Experience. There is close consultation between the PGDE tutor and the English mentor in the schools concerned on existing and changing patterns of English teaching.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full time £ 9,250 (Academic year) Home/EU 12 Months
PGCE Full time £ 12,000 (Academic year) International 12 Months

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