Course specification and structure
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PESECMDL - PGCE Secondary Modern Languages

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Postgraduate Certificate in Education Level Masters
Possible interim awards Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, Postgraduate Certificate in Education
Total credits for course 120
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Education
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

Each PGCE route (labelled i-viii in sections 1 and 3 above) is a distinctive and separate route. Students may not transfer between routes once they have been accepted onto one route, except by applying afresh via UCAS Teacher Training.

The PGCE programme is a one year course, which leads to two outcomes. The first outcome is the academic award of PGCE, the second relates to the recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). The university does not award QTS/EYTS, but makes a recommendation for the award of QTS/EYTS (currently to the National College for Teaching and Leadership), when students successfully complete the Post Graduate or Professional Graduate PGCE/EYTS course, including both school experience modules. The rules governing QTS/EYTS are set by the government (through the National College at the DfE at the time of revalidation).

The course is a blend of taught sessions at the university and school-based training. The taught course includes lectures, seminar sessions, workshops, educational visits, face-to-face discussions and on-line interactions. The PGCE course includes time to allow for individual meetings with the student’s personal group tutor to review progress and set personalised targets.

There is a statutory minimum number of days, determined by the DfE which must be based in a school / Early Years setting. This requirement of time spent in school is met through two assessed placements in a school / Early Years setting. Regular observation, formative feedback and target setting from university and school staff support the student to make progress in their own teaching practice.

Course aims

The main educational aims of the PGCE course are:
• To enable students to take active responsibility for their own learning and development as professionals.
• To develop students’ subject knowledge, understanding and competences necessary to teach in Schools / Early Years settings.
• To prepare students for teaching in a range of contexts with a focus on teaching in multilingual, multicultural urban schools.
• To enable students to attain the professional Teachers’ Standards/Early Years Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).
• To enable students to develop a critical understanding of the Rights of the Child and to develop a sense of professional identity which reflects this.
• To provide reflective, active and collaborative learning opportunities that enable students to explain, reflect upon and critically assess their own practice.
• To enable students to access, interpret and undertake their own research to enable them to critically reflect on teaching and learning.
• To integrate theoretical principles of teaching and learning with practical applications for teaching.
• To support students to understand the importance of working closely with families, communities and other professionals, and to develop the full range of skills, competencies and attitudes needed to enhance their employability.
• (For Postgraduate award) to prepare students for further Postgraduate study and research.
• (For Postgraduate award) to provide students with the tools and theoretical understandings needed to conduct a range of investigations and research into their own practice and that of the schools / settings in which they are placed.
• (For Postgraduate award) to provide students with a critical and comprehensive grasp of the literature relating to their specialism.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in the PGCE.

2. Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the PGCE.

3. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the PGCE.

4. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses

5. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

6. Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level

7. Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations

9. Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Code


Learning Outcomes LO1 - LO9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The course is compliant with the National College for Teaching and Leadership professional standards, which are requirements for Initial Teacher Education. The course is inspected by Ofsted to ensure compliance with the above.

Assessment strategy

Assessment for the university taught components of the course (60 credits) is implemented through a variety of coursework instruments and practical tasks. One assignment involves a portfolio of tasks relating to teaching, whilst the second assignment is a research report. The portfolio assignment includes several opportunities to receive formative feedback from tutors and peers.

These credits are associated with ‘hybrid’ modules, and can thus be awarded at either level 6 or level 7. Student work is marked according to one assessment criteria grid, and an overall mark is identified:
(1) Level 7 Distinction
(2) Level 7 Pass
(3) Level 6 Pass
Students gaining 60 credits at level 7 will be awarded the Post Graduate PGCE; others passing both modules but failing to gain 60 level-7 credits will be awarded the Professional Graduate PGCE.

Assessment of the school experience modules (60 credits at level 6) is through observation of teaching and professional practice in relation to the professional Teachers’ Standards for QTS.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Students require placements in consecutive Key Stages/phases (e.g. Foundation Stage & KS 1 or KS1 & KS2 or KS3 & KS4) depending on the route they take.

Autumn term (flexible to fit in with school terms)
assessed placement

Spring term - Summer term
assessed placement (flexible to fit in with school terms)

A minimum of 120 days in total across the two placements. An additional 15 day block is available in June for students requiring additional time to meet compliance regulations.

Course specific regulations

PGCE Course Regulatory Schedule

1. This schedule forms part of the Regulations for all PGCE / ITE courses and should be read alongside the University’s Regulations, which govern courses and the responsibilities of students. This regulatory schedule lays out a number of programme specific regulations: (i) some of these refer to specific issues where additional regulations apply to PGCE / ITE students and (ii) others refer to areas where PGCE / ITE students are exempted from the normal university regulations. Programme specific regulations reflect the requirements of ITE courses established by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Department for Education and Ofsted. For areas that are not addressed in this document, students should refer to the regular student regulations.

2. All University students are bound from the commencement of their course or from the point of enrolment, by all relevant Regulations, Procedures and policies.

3. Students enrolled on all teacher education programmes leading to QTS/EYTS are governed by:

• The University’s Academic Regulations which govern the standards of the University’s awards, the responsibilities of students and the formal roles played by staff in relation to admission to courses and programmes of study, assessment of student’s work and conferment of award;

• Regulations which govern the conduct of students, in particular, the Regulations applicable to all Students in cases of Misconduct – Incorporating a Code of Discipline; and,

• Responsibilities placed upon them regarding not only their conduct but also their professional suitability, as outlined in the Standards and successor guidance from relevant government departments. The Code of Practice is a list of statements that describes the standards of professional conduct required of teachers as they go about their daily work. Failure to meet these responsibilities can lead to the termination of training. All breaches of the professional Code of Practice will be progressed in accordance with within the University’s Student Misconduct Regulations. A student may at any time be suspended by the University if in breach, or alleged to be in breach, of professional conduct.

4. In addition, teacher education students on the qualifying programmes have specific regulations governing professional practice placements that are also outlined below.

5. It is the responsibility of all students to read the Teachers’ Standards (and all relevant codes / guidance issued by successor bodies) and the relevant University Regulations to familiarise themselves with all responsibilities and requirements.

6. In the event of receiving an allegation of Student Misconduct, students are advised to seek advice, guidance and support from the Students’ Services.

Issues that may affect a student’s suitability to commence or continue training as a teacher
7. As a condition of entry to the course the student is required to declare whether they have any criminal conviction (including spent, unspent, cautions, warnings or reprimands), through self-declaration and completing a Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure and to declare any relevant health issues through the occupational health checking procedure. Students also have to undertake an overseas criminal record check (where relevant), prohibition checks and confirm that neither they nor anyone with whom they share an address have ever been barred from working with children. These disclosures are processed in accordance with the current ITE criteria and the Childcare Act 2006. In addition, students are required to comply with whatever requirements are introduced by relevant government bodies, legislation or guidance, such as the work of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, DBS and other subsequent developments.

8. If any change of circumstances related to paragraph 7 occurs subsequent to enrolment this must be declared as soon as is practically feasible.
a) Where the matter relates to criminal convictions or cautions this should be communicated in writing to the Head of Education Subject Group who will investigate the matter. Where the student’s suitability for teacher training is in question, it shall be referred to the University Secretary by way of a formal report from the Head of Education Subject Group (in relation to criminal activity) for consideration in accordance with the Academic Regulations (Section 9.1 Regulation 19).
b) Where the matter relates to changes in health it is the student’s responsibility to bring this to the attention of the Head of ITE in a timely and appropriate manner. The Head of Teacher Education will seek an investigation of the matter and may refer the case to a relevant occupational health professional and seek to review the student’s suitability for the course in relation to the guidance documents and ITT criteria (or subsequent relevant publications).

9. Failure to disclose any circumstances (in paragraphs 7 and 8) occurring prior to entry to the course or subsequent to enrolment shall be deemed a breach of the University’s Code of Discipline and shall be progressed in accordance with the Student Misconduct Regulations. They may result in termination of a student’s status as a student or suspension.

Specific issues relating to Initial Teacher Education courses
10. The University’s PGCE awards lead to a recommendation to the appropriate body for ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ (QTS)/’Early Years Teacher Status’ (EYTS)

11. PGCE courses at the University are courses of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) .

12. The PGCE Course Regulatory Schedule incorporates recent changes to the relevant national frameworks as approved by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). These developments offer the opportunity for the PCGE to be studied at Undergraduate level or at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level.

In brief the implications are as follows:

• Our qualification at Undergraduate level-6 is a ‘Professional Graduate Certificate in Education’ (PGCE), with 120 credits at level 6.

• The ‘Post Graduate Certificate in Education’ (PGCE) will be awarded to students who complete 60 credits at level 7 and 60 credits at level 6.

• Unless otherwise indicated ‘PGCE’ shall refer to both the Professional and Post Graduate routes.

• Given the complexity of the PGCE programme combining undergraduate and postgraduate regulations, if a student is unclear about how the regulations apply to them they should seek clarification from the Head of Teacher Education.

Course Structure and Assessment
13. All PGCE courses shall be based on a teaching year comprising an autumn, spring and summer term. The total number of weeks for each programme is dependent on statutory government requirements.

14. PGCE courses are studied in full-time mode only.

15. In addition to regulation on assessment (Section 6) students are assessed in accordance with the Teachers’ Standards/ Early Years Teachers’ Standards which are periodically reviewed by the DfE.

16. The study and assessment for all modules must be undertaken.

17. School Experience modules are all registered at level 6 (15 credits for SE to Progress Point 2 and 30 credits for SE to Progress Point 5. They will be marked according to the following criteria:

SDQW21 School Experience Progress Point 2
• Pass (level-6 credits)
• Fail

SDQW22 School Experience Progress Point 5
• Grade 1 - Outstanding (level-6 credits)
• Grade 2 - Good (level-6 credits)
• Grade 3 - Satisfactory (level-6 credits)
• Grade 4 - Fail

18. 60 credits in each PGCE programme will provide students with the possibility of gaining either level 6 or level 7 credits, depending on the quality of the work (these modules differ for primary and secondary programmes but are clearly identified for students in programme handbooks). These modules will be marked according to the following grades:
• level-7 distinction
• level-7 pass
• level-6 pass
• Fail

For full text of course specific regulations please see Course Handbook

Modules required for interim awards

All modules on the PGCE course are core-compulsory.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The PGCE course is designed to encourage students to reflect upon their learning and make links between their practice and pedagogic theory.
• Assignments incorporate reflection on experience and encourage students to evaluate their practice and explain how they are having an impact on learners.
• Weekly reflections during school experience require students to identify clear personal targets and to reflect on their progress in relation to these targets.
• During school experience students receive individual feedback on their teaching, which enables them to evaluate their progress and set targets for further development.
In addition, students are required to keep a portfolio of evidence and reflections to demonstrate their achievement of the Teachers’ Standards for QTS/EYTS.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the NCTL.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Successful award of QTS/EYTS means students are eligible to teach in schools and children’s centres in the age range for which they trained.

Career opportunities

This intensive PGCE leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which enables you to teach Modern Languages to 11 to 16-year-olds. Our trainees have gone on to secure secondary teacher roles at schools including Ark Academy, Ralph Allen School, Bushey Academy and more.

Entry requirements

Along with the University's standard entry requirements, you will be required to have:

You will be required to have:

  • minimum of a 2.2 UK degree or master’s (MA/MSc)
  • a pass in professional skills tests for literacy and numeracy
  • a valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate and Confirmation of Fitness to Teach (eg a London Metropolitan University Health Check) which you will be advised to apply for after an offer is made
  • GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent, see Equivalency Testing or A Star Teachers)

We do make conditional offers (with strict deadlines) so it is important that you include all pending qualifications in your UCAS application.

The University will assess any overseas qualifications for equivalence using a number of resources including our own internal guidelines, the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) and the Bursary Tables publicly available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Professional requirements

Before you can be permitted to enrol to this course:

  • you must take and pass the Professional skills tests as required by the NCTL - if you have not already passed these tests this will be made a condition of your offer with a strict deadline for completion (in practice London Met would prefer these results are confirmed before offering an interview)
  • you must not already hold QTS or be qualified to teach in another EU/EEA country

Prior to the interview for this course, London Met recommends:

  • you have a minimum of 10 working days recent experience in a school
  • you are prepared for your understanding of current teaching practice and issues in schools to be assessed
  • you have an awareness of multiculturalism and other contexts unique to urban schools
  • you're aware you may be invited to interview based on information given in your application

Some offers may recommend further school experience if required.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. EU nationals may be considered for admission, as well as overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 03 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding NCTL
JACS codes R100 (French Studies): 100%
Route code SECMDL

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SDQ017 Curriculum Studies Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MULT  
SDQ018 Professionalism and Inclusive Practice Core 30 NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SPR+SUM NA  
          NORTH AUT+SPR MULT  
SDQW21 School Experience to Progress Point 2 Core 15        
SDQW22 School Experience to Progress Point 5 Core 45        

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SDQ017 Curriculum Studies Core 30        
SDQ018 Professionalism and Inclusive Practice Core 30        
SDQW21 School Experience to Progress Point 2 Core 15        
SDQW22 School Experience to Progress Point 5 Core 45