The post primary PGCE is a one year, full-time programme that prepares students for a career in teaching.
The closing date for this course is 31st January 2019.
On successful completion of initial teacher education student teachers will be able to evidence their competence and be awarded the Post Graduate Certificate in Education allowing them to register with the General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland. They will also accrue 60 CATS points towards a Master’s degree in Education. In total the PGCE is worth 120 points ( 60 at Master’s level 7 and 60 at Post graduate level 6).
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About this course
In this section
“The Northern Ireland Curriculum aims to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives.” The overall aim of our PGCE programme at Ulster is to support this aim and to foster the development of pedagogical competences in the following three areas: - Professional Values and Practice; Professional Knowledge and Understanding and Professional Skills and Application. To achieve these aims the PGCE post-primary programme at Ulster University prepares student teachers to be competent in the following: - the ability to plan, teach and assess worthwhile learning activities in their subject area(s) in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland for the 11-18 age group; - the acquisition of the knowledge, understanding and skills that are essential for the promotion of learning among pupils; - to assume responsibility for developing as competent reflective practitioners, able to monitor and evaluate their teaching performance; - to realise a commitment to on-going personal and professional development in pursuit of sustained pupil learning and school improvement. Student teachers on the PGCE will evidence their competence through achieving the following objectives: - by demonstrating a critical understanding of the Northern Ireland Curriculum and of National Curriculum requirements; -by demonstrating a knowledge of their subject and its contribution to the area of study and to the “Big Picture” of the curriculum at Key Stages 3 & 4 with its objectives of: a) developing the young person as an individual; b) developing the young person as a contributor to society and c) developing the young person as a contributor to the economy and the environment. The successful completion of the PGCE also requires the student to: recognise and take account of those factors which influence curriculum planning in a particular school context; understand how children learn and appreciate the social, moral, psychological and cultural factors which affect educational attainment; plan, teach and evaluate lessons, units and schemes of work organise and manage classes effectively; use a range of teaching and learning methodologies supported by resources for pupils of all ability levels, including those with special educational needs; recognise the need for continuity, progression and differentiation in pupils' learning; assessment for learning and assessment of learning; assessing, recording and reporting pupil achievement; develop pupils' language and numeracy skills through the teaching of their subject; promote skills of problem solving, decision making, presentation, teamwork, leadership and independent learning; develop pupils' personal and interpersonal skills; promote fairness and equality of opportunity; build and sustain good relationships with both pupils and staff; work co-operatively with colleagues and other student teachers and contribute to school wide activities; develop skills and confidence in Information Communications Technology (ICT) and emerging technologies for both personal and professional use.
This is a programme of professional training of teachers for the teaching profession. Attendance therefore is compulsory for all activities, modules and components of the course. Students are required to attend all classes and course activities including placement in school.
- September 2019
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
a.English and Mathematics (GCSE grade C or equivalent). Please note that the Level 2 Essential Skills - Application of Number is not deemed an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
b. An Honours degree in physical education, sports science or sports studies (or another sports related degree that is at least 50% vocationally relevant to physical education). In the case of a combined Honours degree at least 50% shall be in the specialist subject. (N.B. The normal minimum offer standard is a 2:2 Honours).
c. Applicants for PGCE Physical Education should provide evidence of having worked with children and young people in a school setting for at least twenty four weeks.
d. Applicants for the post-primary pathway also require:
1. Two supportive references.
2. Medical certificate of satisfactory health.
3. Applicants will be scrutinised by Access NI and must also satisfy the University and the Department of Education that nothing would prohibit them from working with children.
4.The application form will be examined for spelling, punctuation and use of English and general quality of presentation.
5. Applicants appearing to fulfil the above requirements will be shortlisted and invited to attend Stage 1 of the selection process (Practical Teach Assessment). Applicants are invited to teach a ten minute lesson to a group of KS3 pupils. Those applicants who are successful at Stage 1 will be invited to attend Stage 2 (verbal interview). Those applicants who are successful at Stage 2 will be offered a place on this course, provided they meet all criteria above.
6. Applicants who are deemed suitable but for whom an immediate place is not available will be placed on a waiting list and offered a place if another applicant declines his/her place.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Formal lectures are a core activity in teaching the Professional Studies generic component of all modules being the most effective way of teaching large classes. Interactive delivery of lectures is promoted through the use of presentation software. Videos, tape recordings and the use of emerging technologies are also used to illustrate lectures. Access is provided to lecture notes which are posted on the PGCE's Virtual Learning Environment site. b) Practical classes are fundamental to the study of pedagogy and the delivery of taught material in the main subject area. As outlined in the module descriptors, students engage in a diverse range of practical classes including work done in ICT labs. All practical classes are designed to develop core teaching skills and to link subject pedagogy to research and professional development. Health and Safety procedures in the classroom are emphasised in practical classes. c) Seminars are used not only to extend the lecture topics but also equip students with the skills to seek relevant research material and to present the material as a lucid exposition and argument within a given time frame. With the increasing amount of information available on the internet, the knowledge and skills to select appropriate, educationally sound material are vital to all potential teachers. Students are also afforded the opportunity to make both individual and group presentations. d) Tutorials are used to support students who need help with their studies. Tutorial time is built into the weekly university programme and the post lesson discussion led by the university tutor and class teacher are in the nature of tutorials. e) Group work is an important element of the learning regimen in the School. It is used to help students integrate learning from a variety of sources, to provide opportunities to apply knowledge or case studies for class and seminar work. Role-playing and micro-teaching has also been used to stimulate student participation in classroom discussion. f) Problem based learning. In order to gain experience of integrating the professional themes covered in each semester in the general lectures, towards the end of each university based teaching phase students are asked to engage in a problem-based learning activity. These take place in mixed seminar groupings and each group is given time to work collaboratively without direct supervision. g) Course work assignments are an essential part of the teaching and learning strategy as it encourages students to be independent learners. Assignments take a variety of forms and are used to encourage students to read the education literature underpinning lectures, integrate and apply knowledge and improve writing skills. Assignments include structured essays, literature reviews, case studies, word-limited reports, poster presentations and the practical ICT Portfolio. It is expected that all students should be able to write a fully referenced educational/curriculum studies paper as evidenced by the School- Based Projects at Master’s level. Evidence of achievement at Level 7 is sought through the quality of students’ written assignments, designated at that level. In preparation, in subject sessions, seminars and through group problem-based learning activities students are encouraged to engage with, and evaluate, professional discourse on key educational issues. They are also introduced to the tools of enquiry necessary to collect appropriate evidence to evaluate their practice. Within assignments there must be evidence of an investigative approach informed by a critical review of literature with the framing of appropriate questions related to educational issues. Students are expected to take cognisance of educational research, synthesise its outcomes and use it both to present higher order thinking and to inform and improve their practice. Assignments should reflect the professional discourse encountered in taught sessions and in literature. They should also critique aspects of their practice in a systematic and critical way in the light of this literature. Thus, the course fosters an understanding of the role of the critically reflective practitioner. The PGCE requires the successful student to demonstrate a high level of application of theory within all written assignments. For all level 7 assignments, extended reading lists are provided that require students to underpin their writing by drawing on refereed journal articles and research data. The assignments all require the student to evidence a sophisticated level of critical reflection and the ability to synthesise a broad range of research literature and to link it appropriately to their own practice. To support the student the PGCE course offers a range of lectures and seminars in developing academic writing skills at master’s level. The PGCE is a competency based model and as such the award is based on evidence of holistic student competence and in accordance of the professional standards for teachers ( GTCNI, 2007). The PGCE course is fully cognisant of the Ulster University Qualifications and Credit Framework and successful completion of the PGCE the student will be awarded 120 credit points ( 60 at level 7 and 60 at level 6).
Exemptions and transferability
There are no exemptions recognised for entry to this course and it is not possible to transfer from other courses. Access to the PGCE is by the successful completion of the application and interview process.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
The PGCE is an internationally recognised programme for Initial Teacher Education leading directly to a career in teaching. The post primary PGCE is for those who wish to teach the 11-19 age range.
Work placement / study abroad
There are two school placements during the year, both in Northern Ireland schools. The first is generally in a non-selective Post-Primary school, beginning towards the end of October and lasting for around 11 weeks. A second placement, also of around 11 weeks, is generally in a selective Post-Primary (Grammar) School, beginning around late March. Placements are arranged by the University from a list provided by you, as far as possible, and may be close to your home rather than the University if that is more convenient. They cannot be in a school that you have attended, nor one with which you have close contact, perhaps by having a relative on the teaching staff.
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
The closing date for this course is 31st January 2019.
Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.
PLEASE NOTE: As the University has gone paper-light, all correspondence with regard to the Selection process will be sent to the email address which you supply on your application form, it is therefore imperative that this is an up to date address.
If you’re studying towards a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) course you’ll be eligible to apply for the full financial supportincluding Maintenance Loan, Maintenance/Special Support Grant and Tuition Fee Loan. This is regardless of whether you already have another degree.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Scholarships, awards and prizes
There are a range of subject based prizes and awards associated with the PGCE. We also have two student prizes awarded by The General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland.
Additional mandatory costs
Successful applicants must apply for AccessNI clearance (£33) and complete an Occupational Health Check (£35) and are responsible for costs associated with these applications. Students must also attend an Induction Field Trip, with a cost of £75 per student.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
"The Physical Education PGCE is an informative, progressive and challenging course aiming to develop the future teachers of the subject. Throughout the year my cohort and I performed numerous practical teaching sessions, developed our content knowledge across Key Stage 3 and examination P.E., and were exposed to many sports and activities that we may face in the teaching profession. The year is a demanding one, however the course tutor continually supported each student individually, whilst constantly enthusing and challenging us to improve our practice. I thoroughly recommend this course; the standard of teaching and support are second to none, and I believe it has been crucial to enable me to enter the teaching profession as a knowledgable, experienced and enthusiastic teacher of Physical Education. "
Mark McDowell - PGCE PE student 2015/16
"The PGCE this year was truly one of the best years I've had in education. It has been both challenging and rewarding, all at the same time providing me with numerous opportunities for a career in the teaching profession and helping me make new professional friends along the way. Time management is key within this course and luckily I had no issues with this, however if you found yourself having difficulties there are faultless support networks from both your peers and course director. Lecturers and tutors were available at all times whether it was face to face or a phone call and they were happy to help where needed. The PGCE has provided me with the knowledge, skills, confidence and teaching practice that have enabled me to secure my first teaching post, beginning in September."
Aimee McAtamney - 2015/16