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Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English) PGCE

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The PGCE English at King's gives trainees practical and theoretical ideas on the teaching of English as well as modelling ways in which English can be taught in the classroom. Trainees benefit from the college’s unique location on the South Bank and are encouraged to visit the nearby Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and the Saison Poetry Library. The course is led by an experienced team of English educators with a reputation for excellence in their training methods.

Key Benefits

  • PGCE courses at King’s are rated Outstanding by Ofsted. One reason is the strong research base which informs the course. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated second in the UK (REF, 2014).

  • Excellent links to cultural institutions such as the Globe and the National Theatre that expand learning beyond the confines of the classroom

  • A working partnership with a broad range of up to 150 schools in London and beyond, providing unique opportunities to learn how to teach a diverse mix of students.

  • At the conclusion of their PGCE course in July 2020 87% of our trainees had been employed as NQTs at schools in the UK and abroad.
  • Two assessed pieces of coursework give you 60 Master’s-level credits – a third of an MA – which puts you well on the way to a Master’s degree in your chosen profession. 

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 37 weeks, FT, from September to end of June

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 120 / ECTS 60 credits

Programme accreditations Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is the accreditation which enables individuals to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales, recognising the attainment of a formal set of skills and qualities candidates require to be effective teachers

Course leaders Dr Bethan Marshall

Further details

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department School of Education, Communication & Society



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Course detail


The PGCE English that consists of four required modules and two blocks of teaching experience based in secondary schools within London and Greater London. You will complete the course within ten months, studying September to June. You must take modules totalling 120 credits to meet the requirements of the qualification.

You’ll engage in education, pedagogy and professional studies sessions and curriculum workshops. These will take place in both university and school settings and will develop your expertise in general educational and professional issues, as well as subject pedagogy.

You’ll gain the skills and understanding to take up positions in schools as a teacher of your subject with the potential to contribute fully to the life of the school. The course carries the Accreditation of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

School Direct Route: The School Direct teacher training route is composed of a partnership between King’s College London and a lead school. Students apply to the lead school for admission to the course. The academic components of the course are delivered by King’s College London whilst the secondary school teaching experience is organised by the lead school.

Course purpose

For those wishing to train as teachers of pupils aged 11-18 in English. Our course will lead to the DfE Standards for QTS which are assessed through teaching practice observation, portfolios and written assignments.

Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

You can typically expect:

  • the equivalent of over 50 days of academic sessions at King’s (typically three hours in the morning and/or afternoon spread throughout the academic year)

  • approximately 120 days of teaching placement.* This includes a short period of placement in a primary school (typically four days at the start of the year)

  • a number of one-to-one tutorials totaling five to seven sessions across the year

  • two visits from a tutor whilst on placement to observe lessons and monitor progress

  • regular** meetings with a mentor, who will be a member of staff at your placement school, whilst on placement

  • written feedback on all credit-bearing assignments within four weeks of the deadline.

*This 120-day figure represents the standard number of placement days. In certain cases, following assessment by course tutors and mentors, students may be required to undertake a greater number of placement days to demonstrate their ability to meet the Teacher Standards.

**Typically, each trainee will have a meeting with their mentor during each week they are on placement. In certain circumstances the frequency may vary.

The types of learning commitment encompassed within the course vary depending on modules. For this course one credit represents the equivalent of 10 hours of learning and engagement. The breakdown below gives you an idea of the likely workload you can expect:

Professional Practice in Education (45-credit module)

This module covers the teaching practice that students carry out in secondary schools. As such, much of the time commitment is dedicated to teaching and planning lessons. The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies: 



Self-study/assignment work 

14 contact hours (seminars/tutorials designed to evaluate teaching performance and provide feedback). 

200-220 hours of teaching (this includes time teaching by oneself and ‘team teaching’ in groups). 

216 hours to include lesson planning, observing lessons, marking pupils work. 


School Data (15-credit module) 


Self-study/assignment work 

10 contact hours. 

140 hours. 


Studying Policy & Professional Practice (30-credit module) 


Self-study/assignment work 

25.5 contact hours. 

274.5 hours of self-study. 


Focused Pedagogical Studies (30-credit module) 


Self-study/assignment work 

200 contact hours. 

100 hours. 



  • The 45-credit honours-level module will be assessed by a combination of a written portfolio (equivalent to 8,000 words) and assessment of your teaching practice against the Teaching Standards as set out by the government’s Department for Education. Progress in meeting the teaching standards will be monitored through three progress reports that will be completed by staff at the placement school.
  • The 30-credit master’s-level modules will each be assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment heavily based on in-school research that trainees undertakes.
  • The 15-credit honours-level module will be assessed by an assignment focusing on data collection methods in the school environment.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect.


Lectures and seminars are primarily taught at the King’s College London Waterloo Campus. 

Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught. 

Students undertake teaching placements in secondary schools selected by their lead school. Whilst every effort is made to place PGCE trainees in local schools, due to the changing nature of initial teacher education and limited availability of placements in certain subject areas, trainees should be prepared to travel to their placement schools throughout the Greater London area and beyond. 

Students also organise their own short placement at a state primary school. Further information on this short placement is provided in the offer holder pack and during the course. 


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules, and students on this course take modules totalling 120 credits.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on this course page for updates. 

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

  • Professional Practice in Education (45 credits)
  • School Data (15 credits)
  • Studying Policy & Professional Practice (30 credits)
  • Focused Pedagogical Studies (30 credits)
Optional Modules
There are no optional modules offered as a part of this course.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Entry requirements
Minimum requirements  

Our PGCE programmes all require a minimum of a bachelor's degree with at least 2:2 honours (or overseas equivalent). A variety of subjects will be acceptable:

  • Single honours English or joint honours (with English as half)

  • Academic theatre studies degrees (but candidates have to make up the gaps in subject knowledge during the course of the year)

  • Communications, media or linguistic degrees, depending on what the degree entailed (in particular, any substantial amount of textual examination).

Those candidates whose first degree is not in English will need to demonstrate significant literature subject knowledge within their application.

In addition all candidates will require:

  • knowledge and understanding of the subject you intend to teach. GCSE grade C or above (or an equivalent qualification) in English language and mathematics. Applicants without these English or mathematics qualifications at the time they apply may be considered, but they must obtain them, or pass an equivalent test approved by King's, before the course starts.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

All applications should be made through the UCAS Teacher training application system, where you will need to register an account.

Before you can be offered a place on a PGCE programme, you will need to attend an in-person interview, usually within 40 days of your application submission date. Please ensure that you will be able to attend an interview during this time and are able to keep a full day free. Further information on PGCE interviews can be found here on the UCAS website.

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (criminal conviction check) and Occupational Health check are required for the teacher training programmes. There is a fee of £46.55 for the DBS check.

If you have any queries on the application process, please see UCAS’ Frequently Asked Questions.

Personal statement and supporting information

When you apply you will be asked to give us details of your educational background and to provide a personal statement. We will be looking for evidence that your knowledge of English literature is both broad and deep. 

Some evidence of working with young people, as a Teaching Assistant, Student Ambassador, youth worker etc will help your application. We are looking for applicants who are able to work closely and effectively with other teachers and who can inspire young people to bring out the best in themselves. As such, good communication skills and a confident and caring personality are an advantage.

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please check UCAS Teacher Training for programme availability.

Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £9,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £19,800 per year (021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: n/a
  • Part time overseas fees: n/a

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books, if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Course packs, which are a vital part of your learning at King's and normally contain extracts from books and other useful documents that will inform your study.
  • DBS checks or equivalent criminal conviction disclosure checks 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Travel costs in getting to and from placement schools
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

The majority of trainees go into teaching or other areas of education; many become heads of departments or members of senior management teams; some take up careers in educational administration in the advisory or inspection services.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

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