PGCE Secondary Music
Develop your teaching skills, acquire curriculum knowledge in the field of music, and benefit from our first-class music facilities and excellent placement opportunities with our PGCE Secondary Education with Music course.
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary Music course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
The course focuses on meeting the demands of teaching music in secondary schools in the twenty-first century. The programme proves a balance of reflective practice, analytic research and study, and current developments in music education.
The course allows for engagement with philosophies and pedagogies of music education, the development of approaches to delivering musical learning, and projects and opportunities to put such considerations into practice.
We pride ourselves on working closely with our partnership schools, and our team of mentors has the well-being and progression of our students at the heart of their work.
We work closely with a local primary school to address issues of transition from Key Stage 2 to KS3. We have a close partnership with Berkshire Maestros, Sing for Pleasure and the British Kodaly Association and work collaboratively to deliver singing, composition and performance workshops.
At the heart of our approach is the fact that music teachers must be musicians as well as teachers. They must teach in a way that allows their pupils to develop their own musical understanding and use music as the target language for all that goes on in the music classroom.
A key feature of the course is the development of musicianship skills and musical understanding of different traditions and cultures. This is explored to enhance your understanding of musical concepts while developing music teaching pedagogies. You will also explore the use of music technology in the classroom and how it can be used to engage all students.
Your tutors are a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics. You will be taught by experts in the field of music in education, and together you will examine a range of pedagogical approaches to music teaching.
You will learn in our purpose-built music and music technology studios with extensive resources of music, instruments and equipment.
Teaching is through 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 your University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
Climate and sustainability education
- 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.
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. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 90 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On your Secondary PGCE course, you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups — ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting, but the third can be taken in a different setting, allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of contexts 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 small groups and whole classes
- planning and teaching elements of lessons and whole lessons
- reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- receiving feedback on your teaching
- gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.
98% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Education).
This subject is also available via School Direct as well as the University-based route. Those students following a School Direct route may be studying for a PGCE or QTS only. However, all students come together as a subject group in University sessions.
Those taking the PGCE will spend more time in the University than those taking the QTS-only course. The PGCE will involve writing assignments that are designed to help trainees to plan their teaching effectively and imaginatively, and to evaluate their developing knowledge and skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Successful completion will result in 60 master's-level credits.
For more information, please visit the Institute of Education website.