The Institute of Education has consistently high employment rates and is a first-class teacher training facility with outstanding support and pastoral care as recognised by Ofsted.
Our distinctive Secondary PGCE courses are all planned and delivered in collaboration with partner schools, other child-based settings and the local community.
At the very heart of our model of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is the drive to produce outstanding teachers who become reflective professionals able to secure the very best outcomes for all children.
Courses for 2023/24
- PGCE Secondary Education (Art & Design)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Computer Science)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Design & Technology
- PGCE Secondary Education (Drama)
- PGCE Secondary Education (English)
- PGCE Secondary Education (History)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Mathematics)
- PGCE Secondary Education (French)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Geography)
- PGCE Secondary Education (German)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Spanish)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Music)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Physical Education)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Religious Education)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Science: Biology)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Science: Chemistry)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Science: Physics)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Physics with Mathematics)
- PGCE Secondary Education (Engineers Teach Physics)
How you'll learn
You will be taught by a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics, and benefit from the breadth of their expertise and understanding of educating and influencing policy. Some of your tutors have national or international reputations as experts in their fields and their research directly informs the work on the course.
University-based teaching is through a series of lectures, practical seminars and workshops, where Interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge. Sessions may include:
- Participating in workshop-style sessions with your peers
- Attending presentations by subject experts
- Working on tasks in groups
- Having individual tutorials
- Visits to schools or other education settings
- Visits to theatres, museums, galleries or sites of educational interest
- Writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies
These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.
Alongside the University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
At the Institute of Education, we have created an open and inclusive environment, one which promotes a sense of wellbeing and belonging. A community where we recognise and treat all our students as individuals.
You will enjoy high levels of personal attention and strong support throughout your studies - as recognised by Ofsted, training you to become a confident, resilient and resourceful teacher.
Your tutors are on hand to offer regular guidance and support, ensuring any potential issues are addressed as early as possible.
Whilst in the University, our academics will support you, and whilst you are on a placement, you will be fully supported by University-trained subject mentors. During your placement, your progress is also closely monitored by your University tutors and you will be visited by a member of the academic staff.
Our relationship with you continues beyond your training and graduation. We recognise the demands placed on our new Early Career Teachers and therefore continue to support you throughout the transition.
"Key strengths of the secondary ITE partnership are the outstanding pastoral care which is individually aligned to trainees' medical, mental health, relationship or financial needs."
- Ofsted, Initial Teacher Education inspection report, September 2016
Facilities and resources
Our location in Reading gives you the benefits of a vibrant town with the convenience of excellent transport connections both nationally and internationally.
The Institute of Education is based at our historic London Road campus, which has undergone a £30 million refurbishment of the classical Oxford-cloistered quadrangle to create a dedicated world-class education centre.
We have created custom-built spaces for the teaching of specialist subjects such as music, PE, drama, the sciences, ICT, and art, including:
- Modern laboratories
- Musical studios, including an electronic drum kit room and a recording studio
- Well-equipped art studios and facilities for the practice of work in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media
- Studios for wet photography and printmaking, including silk-screen
Alongside these fantastic facilities, you will also find places to eat and drink as well as plenty of green space to relax.
The Learning Hub
We have an incredible collection of teaching resources housed in the Learning Hub. A treasure trove for teachers, the Learning Hub contains every type of teaching aid imaginable for loan or for reference, from big books to puppets. A printing and binding facility and technical equipment library are also available for your use.
Find out more about the Learning Hub
As well as our London Road campus, all the facilities of the award-winning Whiteknights campus are just a 15-minute walk away.
At secondary level, we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area.
On a Secondary PGCE course, you are required to carry out two placements in two different age groups - ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of settings and educational environments - you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
- Observation of other teachers
- Planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups
- Planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons
- Reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- Receiving feedback on your teaching
- Gaining experience in the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. They also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
It is a testament to the strength of our partnerships and the regard in which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
Climate and sustainability education
At the University of Reading, we believe that climate and sustainability education is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we have set out our vision that all initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects as part of our National Climate Education Action Plan.
Across all of our ITE programmes at the Institute of Education, you will learn about:
- what is happening to our climate, how to help children learn about climate and sustainability in an age-appropriate and accessible way, and how to develop your own positioning as a teacher
- climate justice, the impact of current and future changes to our environment and climate on ourselves and others, and implications for teachers
- how to translate knowledge and theory into change and personal action through building climate and sustainability education into your planning, teaching, and children’s learning
Visit Partnering for the Planet to find out more about the University of Reading’s world-leading work in climate science.
The majority of our graduates go into schools and inspire children to develop into happy confident and well-informed individuals. Other alumni take their educational skills to the worlds of business, culture, art, healthcare, human resources, adult learning and further varied fields.
The support and training we give our students enables them to develop into resilient and creative teachers with the ability to adapt and the transferable skills and strengths they gain are also recognised and desirable in many different areas of employment.
The placement opportunities and careers support we give our students ensure they are attractive to employers; this is qualified by the consistently high employment rates our students enjoy in local and regional schools.
"The partnership makes a strong contribution to teacher supply in the region."
- Ofsted, Initial Teacher Education inspection report 2016
Applications and Enquiries
If you are thinking of applying to become a teacher, we have put together some top tips for you.
Apply for teacher training is a new Gov.uk service where you can apply for postgraduate teacher training.
Visit the Department for Education (DfE) website for more information on ways to train.
For support with your application to our PGCE programmes contact the University of Reading Admissions Team at email@example.com.