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PGCE Secondary with Physical Education


Would you like to teach Physical Education at secondary level?

Ideally you'll have studied Sports Science or a related discipline.

Become a qualified Secondary Years teacher with Warwick. Our course will recommend you on completion for Newly Qualified Teacher Status to work with 11-18-year-olds. You'll become a confident teacher and make a real difference to young children’s development and life chances.

Note: Our Secondary PGCE courses will open to applications in October 2020. You can also explore live vacancies from October 2020.

  • 98% of our graduates who wanted to pursue teaching gained employment upon completion last year.
  • You’ll be taught and supported by highly experienced tutors, practitioners, and mentors.
  • We're nationally known for the quality of our training, and our work's based on a partnership with over 500 local schools in Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.


Entry requirements
A minimum of a 2:2 degree


Course duration
12 months


Ofsted Outstanding
Reliable teaching

A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is usually a one-year teacher training course.

It offers a mixture of academic and practical learning, and it's the first step for graduates in the development of a teaching career. It provides a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a requirement to teach in the state school system as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), along with the academic qualification of a PGCE.

Which route will you take?

University-Led (core)

If you feel passionate about teaching and would like a programme offering placements in contrasting settings across a range of Key Stages then this may be the best option for you. You will spend 120 days in schools, teaching your subject to pupils aged 11-18, with approximately 35 days spent at Warwick. This route offers a more gradual introduction to teaching and the two placements are of comparable length. You'll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans and bursaries.

School Direct Training

If you would rather be immersed in the classroom environment and school culture, consider the School Direct route where you'll spend the majority of the year based in a single school. This course offers a shorter placement of one half-term in a complementary setting. The taught programme is approximately 35 days; you’ll spend the remainder of your time in school. You'll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans or bursaries.

School Direct Salaried

The salaried route provides an employment-based option. It's ideal for graduates with extensive work experience, who have worked in a school or similar setting for some time. You won’t be eligible for any bursaries or scholarships but you will receive a salary while you train.

There’s lots to take in when you think about becoming a teacher.

That’s why we ensure that support is available whenever you need it, in an environment that gives you the space to think. As well as the personal tutor that will support you throughout the time you’re at Warwick, you can rely upon the friendship and guidance from your fellow trainees.

Through your studies here, you'll learn new skills and knowledge. You'll be able to adapt and respond to changes in settings and national educational contexts. You'll take responsibility for your ongoing professional development in preparation for future leadership. You'll complete placements in a variety of settings and schools.

  • Gain practical teaching experience in contrasting school settings
  • Build your confidence and help you to reflect on and evaluate your professional practice
  • Become an authority on the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations
  • Grow confident in the latest technologies and develop multimedia resources
  • Learn to teach phonics, early reading, writing, and early mathematics, as well as foundation subjects
  • Assess pupils effectively, promoting pupil progress across the curriculum, and manage their behaviour to create a strong learning environment
  • Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your teaching career

Find out more about what we offer you.

Course structure

In order to develop expertise in your chosen area, you'll take three core modules. They're all designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills you'll need in your successful teaching career:

Subject Studies

You'll learn all aspects of how to teach your subject, including planning, teaching, assessment and classroom management. You'll take part in subject seminars and workshops, Subject Hubs of Excellence, and complete academic assignments.

Professional Studies

You'll learn about working in classrooms and schools, and the broader context of teaching today, covering how to teach, plan, deal with behaviour, assess work, safeguard and reflect.

Professional Practice

You'll take placements with opportunities for observation, practice and investigation in partner schools, through your school placement, observation, visits from the University Teeaching Fellow, and a half-termly assessment. You'll also complete a portfolio (PDP).


Teaching is delivered by a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. You’ll also attend specialist conferences where external providers deliver workshops in their specialist areas. You’ll receive a high level of support for both pastoral and academic needs.

Time spent at Warwick will focus on exploring the links between educational theory and practice. Lead lectures will introduce a key concept and theory, with seminars then enabling you to apply this new knowledge to your own practice. You’ll understand the IT skills and programs available to help you inspire pupils and do your job effectively.

You’ll be committed to promoting the educational achievements of all pupils, and have a deep respect for their diverse cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. You’ll be equipped with a secure subject knowledge base, and the ability to plan and teach in order to maximise pupil development. You’ll also gain the ability to assess, record and monitor the outcomes of learning, and have an understanding of the critically important processes of reflection.


You’ll be assessed in the following ways. All assignments are submitted in electronic form. Your tutors will give you formal feedback identifying the strengths of the academic piece, and offer any advice for future work:

Subject Studies (PG1) M Level

A series of assessments focussing on both educational theory and issues in your specialist subject (1 x 1500 word formative essay, and 1 x 4000-word essay, 1 x Academic Poster)

Reflective Practice (PG2) M Level

A reflective case study on an area of educational practice in your placement school(s) supported by a literature review (1 x 5000-word essay)

Professional Practice H Level

Meeting the Teachers’ Standards at a Good or Outstanding level (Regular observations by mentors and Teaching Fellows; Tutorials; Professional Digital Portfolio, Viva Voce)

What are placements like?

In school, you will directly observe pupils as they learn and teachers as they teach, as well as trying out ideas in practice in classrooms for yourself. The course is designed to ensure that your experience in schools complements and builds on what is addressed at the University.


    This route has two extended Professional Practice placements in contrasting settings (1 term and 2 terms respectively). This ensures a varied and balanced experience of teaching in different schools, which will prove invaluable to those who wish to experience working in different contexts before qualifying. You'll also get a five-day placement in a Primary school.

    School-Led (School Direct Training & Salaried)

    This route offers trainees an extended Professional Practice placement in one main school (called a “Base School”), supplemented by an additional placement (half a term) in a contrasting school. This ensures a varied and balanced experience of teaching in different settings, whilst allowing you to contribute significantly to the life of your Base School. If you choose to follow the salaried route you may have to plan and assess classes independently. You'll also get a five-day placement in a Primary school.


    You must have graduated, or be about to graduate, from a UK Higher Educational Institute or equivalent, with a 2:2 or above honours degree. If you’re applying from overseas, you can see our equivalent overseas qualifications which we accept, and you may wish to see our International Applicants page too.


    You need at least Grade C in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. The new grading system for those receiving their results for GCSE Maths and English was adopted in 2017. The grading system is now 9-1, with Grade 9 awarded to those students in the very top tier. The New Grade 4 is considered equivalent to the Old Grade C within the new grading system.

    If you’re applying from overseas, you can find information about equivalent qualifications in Mathematics and English Language online


    The interview process will provide appropriate assurance of numeracy and literacy skills, the format of this is yet to be determined following the announcement from the Department for Education regarding the changes to the previous Professional Skills Test system.

    In terms of general skills, we expect you to be a proactive person who's confident with the age group you want to teach. You'll be skilled at developing personal relationships, working well as part of a team, and being adaptive to changes. You’ll also be able to critically reflect on your own teaching and learning. Find out more about our expectations of teachers.

     You must provide the following documentation:

    If you graduated in the last two years, you’ll need to provide an academic reference. It can take a while to complete and submit a reference, so the sooner you get in touch with them, the better – you might want to send them a description of the course and what you’d like to get out of it to make it easier. UCAS have more guidance about references here.

    You will need ORIGINAL copies of all your qualifications (not copies). If you don’t have these any more, you can obtain a Certified Statement of Results instead, but these can take some time to retrieve from exam boards and you may need to pay a fee: read more here.

     Classroom experience

    Although it is not a requirement for entry, we strongly recommend that you have some experience in mainstream UK schools (Key Stage 1 and 2) before applying. Whilst not compulsory, this experience will give you a flavour for your potential future career, and will help you write your application. Find out how to gain school experience.

     Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKEs)

    An SKE course is ideal if you don't have enough specific subject knowledge to begin certain courses. It's designed to help you gain in-depth knowledge needed to train in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography, Languages, Mathematics or Physics. Please make sure you state in your UCAS application that you are interested in doing an SKE. Find out more about taking an SKE course

     Please note, we run safeguarding checks on every successful offer-holder

    We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, enrolled trainees and offer holders to share this commitment. The successful completion of an enhanced DBS check to confirm your suitability for the profession is a condition of any offer to study on a PGCE course within CTE. Disclosure does not automatically make you ineligible to enrol onto a PGCE course, each application will be considered on a case by case basis. Please read our DBS guidelines for applicants, including DBS guidelines for applicants with previous convictions.

    What's the employment rate after graduation?

    Our current employment rate is 96%, of those students who responded to our employability survey and wanted to purse a career in teaching.

    What's the potential career progression?

    Upon completing this course you'll be recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS) and gain 90 credits at Master's level. This allows you to fast-track to stage two of our Master's degree, quickly progressing your professional development. If you choose to complete a different Master's, you can still use 60 credits towards your course.

    Career progression may be through a specialist curriculum or pastoral role, or by moving into management. Teachers may become heads of Key Stages or coordinators of a cross-curricular area, such as special needs or careers education, as well as subject or professional mentors for trainee teachers on placement

    Applications are now closed for the 2020-21 PGCE cohort.

    Applications are usually open between October - June.

    Once you have your course choice, references and certificates, you will...

    Apply through UCAS Teacher Training

    School Direct

    Search for UoW vacancies

    Please note: On UCAS, when applying for the University-Led PGCE, you need to select the University of Warwick. If you are applying for a School Direct route, you select the name of the school accredited by the University Of Warwick.

    We recommend that if you wish to gain your qualification through the University of Warwick, you select your UCAS options as University of Warwick University-led (Core) and one of the schools affiliated with us (School Direct). You can find out more about our partner schools here.

    UCAS codes

    Selection Process

    If your application is successful, you will be invited to a Selection Day. This may involve a presentation from staff, a teaching exercise, a written exercise, and an individual Interview. Don’t worry for now though, we’ll give you more guidance when you’re invited. The day gives us a chance to find out a bit more about you, but crucially it’s also your opportunity to meet us find out more about the course, and see if it’s the right one for you.

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