Queen’s University Belfast PGCE

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Queen’s University Belfast PGCE

The PGCE is broadly aligned with the Northern Ireland Curriculum, training graduates to teach across the 11-18 year age range.

You will gain a postgraduate qualification and qualified teacher status (QTS). The programme combines university-based tuition, consisting of taught sessions and directed independent study, with professional placements in schools.

The PGCE is organised around three interdependent strands:

  • Professional School-based Experience – focuses on developing practical teaching competence particularly through working closely with experienced teachers during periods of school placement.
  • Subject Studies (eg English, Mathematics) – how to teach your subject.
  • Educational and Professional Studies – common aspects of teaching and the professional role of the teacher, including the Northern Ireland Curriculum, the education system, assessment and recording, theories of learning, educational disadvantage, the social context of teaching, pastoral care and child protection, general management issues, relationships with other professionals, promotion of inclusion, effective use of technologies, digital safeguarding, and, literacy and numeracy in the classroom.

Subject Specialisms

We offer the following subject specialisms:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Information Technology/Computing
  • Modern Languages (you should offer at least one of French, Irish or Spanish. German and Italian might be considered as second languages offered.)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Religious Education
  • Politics
  • Sociology

Course Structure

After enrolment in early September, you will complete a two week block experience in a primary school.
The next seven week block is devoted to university-based tuition (an induction week, taught sessions and directed independent study).
This is followed by your first eleven week period of professional placement based in a school.
At the beginning of February, you return to university-based tuition for four weeks in preparation for your second eleven week professional period in a school.
A final week of university-based tuition completes the course at the beginning of June.

Successful completion of the PGCE qualification depends on achieving satisfactory standards in both practical teaching and in course work.
The extended placements, which we arrange, are in two different schools, normally one spent in a school catering for 11 – 16 age range and
the other in an 11 – 18 age range. This ensures a varied experience of teaching in different schools and working with pupils from the whole ability range.
In the two post-primary schools  you will work closely with members of each school’s staff. Your subject lecturer from Queen’s will also
maintain close co-operative links with these teachers during your school placements.

You can learn more about our partnerships with post-primary schools by visiting our School Partnership page.


School Management Team

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, 69/71 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1HL

Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5941/3323/5117
Email ssesw@qub.ac.uk

For more information please contact:

Ruth McKittrick / Margaret Mitchell

PGCE Programme Secretary

School of Education

Tel:  (028) 9097 5928/3514

r.mckittrick@qub.ac.uk | margaret.mitchell@qub.ac.uk