Three students working
Students learning together
(Image Credit: Department of Education)

PGCert in Education (PGCE)

About the course

The Oxford Internship scheme, as the PGCE programme is known at the University, is a one-year, full-time course of teacher education for graduates, involving a close partnership between the University department and local comprehensive schools. This enables all aspects of the course to be planned, carried out and evaluated jointly and results in a course that integrates work in the University and in school throughout the year.

Student teachers are known as interns during the PGCE course.

At Oxford, interns are prepared to teach in secondary schools (11-19 age range) in one of the following subjects:

  • English
  • geography
  • history
  • mathematics
  • modern languages (French, German, Spanish, Mandarin)
  • religious education
  • science (biology, chemistry, physics).

The programme has been developed with colleagues from Oxfordshire partnership schools and covers the key professional skills of:

  • lesson planning and preparation
  • assessment, recording and reporting
  • responding to individual learning needs
  • classroom and behaviour management.

This is a full-time course which will involve travel to your placement school, although most partnership schools do lie within the Oxfordshire county boundaries.

The greater part of the autumn (Michaelmas) term is made up of 'joint weeks', in which time is spent both in your first placement school and at the Department of Education. The spring (Hilary) term  consists primarily of an extended experience at the same school. For the summer (Trinity) term, you will move to a second school, which provides an opportunity to consolidate and extend your understanding of teaching and learning. Between the two mainstream school placements, you will also spend one week in a special school or specialist base, developing your knowledge of effective approaches for young people with special educational needs or disabilities, so helping you to teach in more inclusive ways. 

There are two interrelated course components: curriculum subject work and the professional development programme. The curriculum tutor leads University seminars and liaises with the school-based mentor to co-ordinate subject-focused classroom activities. The mentor provides guidance and support and gradually increases the intern's teaching responsibilities. The professional tutor in school co-ordinates school-based activities related to teachers' wider professional roles (eg pastoral responsibilities) and liaises with the University-based general tutor, to plan seminars related to school-wide policies and practices. University tutors and guest specialists lead the University-based components of the professional development programme intended to develop an understanding of educational policy and of whole-school and cross-curricular issues. 

Experience and reflection underlie the whole course with the emphasis on you as a critical learner, considering a range of perspectives and testing your own ideas within your practice. You are encouraged to take responsibility for your own professional development and develop your own philosophy of teaching and learning.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department of Education and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. 

Interns are supported in their professional development as teachers by both a university curriculum tutor and general tutor as well as a mentor and a professional tutor in each school placement. Academic guidance for assignments is given by curriculum and general tutors. 


Interns’ developing practice as a teacher is reviewed at regular intervals, in three-way meetings between the curriculum tutor, mentor and intern, informed by a wide range of evidence and ultimately assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status. Each intern also completes three written curriculum assignments, two of which are formally examined, as well as one Professional Development Programme (PDP) assignment – also formally examined – about a wider educational issue. In all assignments, interns are expected to integrate practical investigation of pedagogical or educational issues through their own practice and school-based   research with reading of research, policy and professional literature.

Successful completion of the examined assignments at master's level carries 60 M-level credits, which may be built upon to achieve a full master's degree. All three examined assignments must be passed at master's level for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), provided that your practice also meets QTS requirements. Those who pass the assignments at Honours level will be awarded a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with QTS - provided, again, that your practice meets the required QTS standards.

Graduate destinations

The numbers of interns going into teaching at the end of the course is high with most interns having secured a teaching post in a state-maintained school. As of October 2021, 90% were employed as a teacher or seeking teaching roles. 61% were working as a teacher in the state sector. 30% were working in a partnership school.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

Entry requirements for entry in 2023-24

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

PGCE entry requirements


The Bodleian Education Library, located at the centre of the Department of Education, specialises in material on Education and related fields. As well as a print collection of books and journals, the library provides access to a wide range of online resources. The library also houses a collection of teaching resources in support of subjects covered by the department's secondary PGCE courses.

There are computers and printers/scanners within the library plus all main teaching rooms are equipped with a range of IT facilities including data projectors and students are able to practice teaching with SmartBoards in some rooms. Interns are also able to make use of the IT facilities of their college.


The Department of Education website provides details about the funding opportunities for this course.


Annual fees for entry in 2023-24

Fee status

Annual Course fees


Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Information about course fees

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding section of this website provides further information about course fees, including information about fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability.

Additional information

The course involves travelling to placement schools for approximately 120 days and reasonable school travel costs of around £960 should be budgeted.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2023-24 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,290 and £1,840 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2023-24, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of 5% or more each year – although this rate may vary significantly depending on how the national economic situation develops. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The colleges accepting students on the PGCE vary according to the subject:

PGCE (Biology) - TT_6B_X1

PGCE (Chemistry) - TT_6C_X1

PGCE (English) - TT_6E_X1

PGCE (Geography) - TT_6G_X1

PGCE (History) - TT_6H_X1

PGCE (Mathematics) - TT_6M_X1

PGCE (Modern Languages) - TT_6L_X1

PGCE (Physics) - TT_6P_X1

PGCE (Religious Education) - TT_6T_X1

How to apply

Applications for all PGCE courses are made via the UK Government's GOV.UK website. You do not need to contact an academic member of staff in the department prior to submitting your application.

Application procedure Apply via GOV.UK

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