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Secondary Education Modern Foreign Languages

If you have a passion for modern languages and want to become a teacher of French, German or Spanish our course in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) will prepare you to plan and deliver motivating lessons and will provide opportunities to begin to develop your teaching of sixth-form pupils.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education Secondary Education offers initial teacher education to develop reflective teachers who will be introduced to the theory and practice of modern language teaching that will enable you to examine a variety of approaches that underpin effective teaching, learning and assessment. Our aim is to develop competent, reflective and professionally aware teachers, who can respond positively to the individual learning needs of young people in school. Alongside the development of your own subject knowledge, you will develop an awareness of how children learn a language and how, as a teacher, you can help pupils to develop their language skills.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This Modern Foreign Languages route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

Entry requirements

A first honours degree (a 2.2 degree or higher), or equivalent qualification.

If successful at interview you may be required to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course which is designed for ITT (Initial Teacher Training) candidates to gain the depth of knowledge needed to train to teach in this subject.

GCSE grade 4 (previously grade C) or above in English and Mathematics or equivalent. Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations and be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted, if you unsure please contact our Admissions Department for clarification. You will be required to provide evidence of your original GCSE qualifications.

We accept the following UK qualifications as meeting the English GCSE requirements:

  • University of London Examinations and Assessment Council: Certificate of attainment in English at level 4 or above
  • RSA: Stage III (advanced) in English
  • University of Cambridge English for speakers of other languages
  • Business English certificate (higher)
  • Certificate of English language skills (higher)
  • International English language testing system (IELTS) (band score 6 or above)

If you do not have one of these qualifications you must pass the university entrance test in English. Arrangements for taking this test can be made after your application is received.
You should have recent experience of teaching and learning in secondary school or sixth form contexts either through paid employment in school/college or through voluntary work/ observation OR be in the process of arranging to gain this.

You will be required to provide evidence of your original qualifications.

Language requirements

  • You will have confident command of at least one of French, German or Spanish, normally acquired through a sustained period of study or work abroad.
  • Native speakers of French, German or Spanish must have a very high level of written and spoken competence in English.
  • Applicants who have a joint degree in languages and business e.g. French and Marketing, German and business or Spanish and tourism management, and who can demonstrate the above levels of linguistic competence in at least one foreign language are also welcome to apply.
  • Many of our trainees have a second language at a similar or lower level to their first foreign language. Whilst this is advantageous it is not essential.

Interview and selection

Once your application has been considered by subject staff, your suitability is individually assessed. If you appear suitable, you will be offered an interview where you are required to sit a short subject specific interview/audit.

The main purpose of the interview is to:

  • explore your subject strengths and areas for development
  • assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • arrange a partnership school visit as necessary
  • answer all of your questions

Please view further information regarding interview information

Pre-entry Professional Skills Tests

Applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses which begin after 2013/14 are required to have passed the skills tests before the start of the course.

You will not be eligible to register and take the tests until after you have submitted an application for an ITT programme through UCAS Teacher Training.

Find out more about Professional Skills Tests and the support we offer.

Please note that: Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching.

Clearance checks

If you have been successful at interview and been given a conditional offer, you will need to complete a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, a medical declaration clearance and a prohibition check prior to starting the course.

Course modules

Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different schools across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.

Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers

All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style. You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development

Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other the science routes.

Typical modules may include:

  • Study of the principles of effective teaching and learning in MFL
  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Study of the impact of a range of assessment strategies on pupils’ learning and progression
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of ICT in the teaching of your subject
  • Classroom-based enquiry into a specific aspect of teaching and learning MFL

PGCE: programme structure

  • Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
  • The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
  • 120 days (24 weeks) of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.

We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.


These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2018/9. Fees are for the academic year only, any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

Fees at Partner Colleges are not yet available.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 1 Years
PGCE Full-time £ 11,700 (Whole course) International 1 Years

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