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Secondary PGCE

Student teaching practice

The PGCE at Cambridge is second to none! An inspirational course that both challenges and develops your skills as a teacher. It's one of most fantastic years of your life and prepares you for the joys and challenges of teaching.

PGCE Virtual Open Event 2022

Come and discover for yourself what makes the Cambridge course different

Are you thinking about training as a teacher in academic year 2022/23 – or maybe just interested in what teacher education at Cambridge is all about?

Join us on 24 May at 5pm for a virtual open event which will introduce the Cambridge PGCE. The University provides outstanding courses in both the Primary and Secondary age ranges and is renowned for its personalised, innovative and high-quality approach to teacher education. Our trainees come from a wide mix of backgrounds, places and previous educational settings – but they all share our commitment to providing excellence to the UK state maintained school sector. They are also always in high demand and many quickly go on to leadership roles as their careers develop.

Come and discover for yourself what makes the Cambridge course different.

Sign up for the virtual event

We look forward to meeting you!

Important notice on blended learning for all 2021/22 courses

Given the unpredictability of health, safety and travel restrictions over the 2021/22 academic year, students enrolled in courses at the Faculty of Education should expect some form of blended learning.

The Faculty will continue to follow guidance published by the University and by the Government. The specific nature of blended learning will be course-dependent, and may be subject to changes in line with guidance.

...the Cambridge PGCE course gave us a lot of variety and choice when it came to our teaching practice.

...specialist guest speakers from all over the UK gave us a great variety of subject knowledge.

Course overview

There are three integrated aspects to our secondary courses which prepares trainees to teach across the whole 11-19 age range, Subject Studies, Professional Studies and Professional Placements.

Students on geography subject study

Subject Studies

This focuses on the curriculum, principles and practice of teaching your specific subject (please see the right-hand menu for the subjects we offer).

You will acquire teaching skills that are specific to your subject, learn how your subject is framed by the requirements of the curriculum, and look at different methods of teaching it. In the first term, trainees generally spend two days a week working in their subject groups.

Faculty Lecturer

Professional Studies

The General Professional Role of the Teacher (Professional Studies) course is concerned with those aspects of teaching which are generic and relevant to all subjects. The course is taught in the faculty through a series of lectures and workshops, and in Partnership schools through seminars. Some of the areas covered are:

  • the assessment of pupil learning
  • inclusive special educational needs
  • equal opportunities: social inclusion
  • gender
  • language in the classroom and across the curriculum
  • teaching without disruption and behaviour for learning
  • parental engagement
  • health education, drugs education, sex education
  • citizenship education
  • the role of the pastoral tutor
  • children, teachers, parents and the law

Classroom activity

Professional Placements

Trainees spend at least 120 days of the course in Partnership schools, undertaking four block placements (in a minimum of three different schools).

Trainees have the opportunity to work together with experienced mentors to develop their own practical teaching skills and competence. Trainees initially work together in the classroom with other trainees and their subject mentor, before gradually taking on more responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses, and to gain experience of many of the important tasks and responsibilities teachers take on outside the classroom, such as pastoral care and parents' evenings.

In the final placement there is also the opportunity for trainee involvement in a wider range of school activities: for instance, curriculum development and evaluation within their specialist subject(s); work experience and other activities related to careers education and economic and industrial understanding; fieldwork related to environmental education; and other similar activities which seek to extend the experience and education of pupils beyond the conventional classroom context.


We are outstanding

Our current Oftsed report rates the Faculty of Education teacher training as outstanding.

We are the number one teacher training provider in England in the 2017 Good Teacher Training Guide.