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Students learning together
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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)
  • 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.


Interns are supported in their professional development as teachers by both a university curriculum tutor and a general tutor as well as by 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. At the end of the course, interns’ professional knowledge, understanding, skills and personal attributes are assessed in relation to the standards for Qualified Teacher Status. Interns also complete up to two examined assignments, within which they are expected to examine practical issues of teaching and learning from different perspectives – drawing on their own teaching, classroom observation and school-based investigation alongside critical reading of research, policy and professional literature.

Successful completion of these written assignments at master's level carries 60 M-level credits, which may be built upon to achieve a full master's degree. All 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 2022, 90% were employed as a teacher or seeking teaching roles. 55% were working as a teacher in the state sector and 28% 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, 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.

Your tutors/mentors are likely to change over the course of the year in line with your change of placements from school one to school two. It may also be necessary to assign new tutors/mentors 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.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

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.


Oxford has been a major contributor to the field of education for over 100 years and today the University’s Department of Education has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its graduate courses.

The department offers one of the strongest graduate studies programmes in the UK with a range of full- and part-time MSc courses and a lively doctoral programme (DPhil) which is recognised for national funding by the ESRC.

The department's masters' courses are delivered by academics and research experts, the majority of whom are permanent staff engaged in their fields of research. The department's DPhil in Education has excellent facilities for the large number of full-time research students who are well integrated into the research of the department.

The department has an outstanding research profile. In the 2021 evaluation of research quality in UK universities, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), Oxford University Department of Education had the highest overall percentage of research judged to be 4* (ie world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) in Education in the UK. A wide range of funded research projects are based in the department and many of these projects have had a major impact on national policy.

Oxford’s PGCE course has an international reputation for the quality of its work, undertaken in close collaboration with local Oxfordshire secondary schools. Over many years, it has consistently received the highest possible designation (Outstanding) from Ofsted in inspections.


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


Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

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 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 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. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

College preference

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

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. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief introduction to the college system at Oxford and our advice about expressing a college preference. For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

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

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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