skip to primary navigation skip to content

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.

...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.