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    Postgraduate Certificate in Education

    School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Learn everything the qualified teacher needs to know about planning, teaching, learning, assessing, policies and processes. Our PGCE includes masters credits, which you could put towards study for an MA Applied Professional Studies in Education.
    PGDE students in classroom

    Course description

    Our graduates make great teachers. It’s that simple. The PGCE course helps you develop an understanding of research, policies and practice relating to education in general and secondary education in particular. You’ll analyse and reflect on what you learn to connect research with the classroom.

    We teach an approach to your work that will stay with you throughout your career. Our graduates are dedicated to lifelong learning, developing their professional practice, and using classroom-based research. You’ll learn everything the qualified teacher needs to know about planning, teaching, learning, assessing, policies and processes.

    Routes offered

    We offer a provider-led route plus two routes in partnership with local schools (The University of Sheffield in partnership with Sheffield Teacher Training Alliance and The University of Sheffield in partnership with Ashfield School). 

    The main differences for the two additional routes are:

    • You’ll have your two school placements in the schools within the cluster that you are attached to, rather than in any school across the partnership.
    • The schools in your cluster will have a greater input into the PGCE programme throughout the year.
    • There will be a strong possibility of securing employment within the cluster of schools that you are attached to, subject to availability and suitability.

    These two routes run alongside the provider-led PGCE and lead to the same qualification. 

    The University of Sheffield oversees these routes.

    Sheffield Teacher Training Alliance (STTA)

    Lead school: Silverdale School

    • Located in Sheffield.
    • Subjects offered are geography and mathematics.
    • STTA

    Ashfield School ITT

    • Lead school: Ashfield School
    • Located in Nottingham.
    • Subjects offered are English, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, biology, physics with maths and languages.

    Age range

    Secondary (11–19).

    Masters credits

    As well as a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status, you will qualify with 60 masters credits, which you may wish to put towards study for an MA Applied Professional Studies in Education.


    We offer teacher training for 11 to 19 year olds in English, geography, history, mathematics, languages and science.

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    The English course is a research-led, reflective and exciting course presenting a balanced approach to language and literacy development. 

    We 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.

    Course overview

    University sessions are practical and workshop based, allowing opportunities to try out teaching ideas. 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. There will be additional workshops on A Level teaching, drama and media education.

    A close relationship is maintained with the English departments of the Universities Partnership schools and there is close consultation between the PGCE tutor and the English mentor in the schools.

    What are we looking for?

    As this is an 11-19 course you will train to teach up to A Level. 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.

    You will need a degree that is predominantly English based, either in Language or Literature. If you have other related degree qualifications (such as in Law or in Journalism), we would like evidence of a strong engagement with literature and/or language-related work and that that you have read widely across a range of literature types, including Shakespeare.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    36 weeks full-time


    You’ll learn through seminars, group work, tutorials, individual consultations, practical activities.

    You’ll spend 24 of the 36 weeks in schools.


    Continuous assessment.


    We're proud to welcome a vibrant and diverse community, with students based locally, nationally and internationally. Our involvement in teacher training dates back over fifty years, preparing top graduates for their teaching career.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:2 undergraduate honours degree in one of our teaching subjects or with a strong element of a teaching subject.

    For maths, physics and physics with maths applicants, a minimum third class undergraduate honours degree is required, with at least a grade B in the relevant A Level.

    GCSE grade 4/C in English Language and Mathematics, or an equivalent qualification. Candidates without these qualifications may either take the necessary examinations in the year before the course starts or take our Entrance Test in English and/or Mathematics.

    Completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course may also be a condition of an offer of a place on the course.

    Disclosure and Barring Service, Work Health Assessment & Safeguarding Training

    As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers are required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. You'll also need to complete Safeguarding Training.

    Fee for Disclosure and Barring Service, Work Health Assessment & Safeguarding Training

    See the School of Education's web pages for details about costs.

    Entry requirements for international students

    If you want to study at the University of Sheffield, you must be able to show that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills or an equivalent qualification. Please see our English language requirements for postgraduates page for more information.

    If you are considering applying to study to be a teacher as an international student, you may find these frequently asked questions helpful.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding


    If you're a home fee paying student you might qualify for a University of Sheffield bursary.
    You can also find out about bursaries and funding on the Department for Education Get into Teaching pages.


    Apply online via DfE Apply. It's a straightfoward process and you'll get guidance to help you make a strong application.

    Apply now via DfE Apply

    Help with applying


    +44 114 222 8177

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.