PGCE (PGCert) Secondary Education (Physical Education) with recommendation for QTS

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

Physical Education is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum from the ages of 5-16. As part of all children's education, Physical Education provides a crucial and exciting contribution to their education, development, competence and confidence in a range of physical activities both as part of the National Curriculum and throughout their life-course.

  • The Secondary Physical Education Courses at Brunel University London have a long standing national reputation for high quality Teacher Education.
  • The PGCE Secondary Physical Education course is very popular, drawing on outstanding expertise and experience in Education to build upon your commitment to the teaching profession and the subject area.
  • The course will enable you to develop your knowledge and skills, supporting you in becoming an outstanding teacher who will help young people to reach their full potential and improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

The intensive programme combines courses in principles and methods of teaching with practical school-based teaching placements and students are assessed on both elements.


The course aims are to ensure that you are able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the vital role of the teacher and the school in ensuring excellence in the educational experiences of young people.
  • Undertake professional practice which enables you to evidence the Teachers’ Standards which facilitate the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
  • Understand the relationships between Education, Physical Education and sport within current national and government frameworks, and critically reflect on the impact of these in the work of schools and the educational experiences of young people.
  • Recognise the contribution that Physical Education as part of the whole school curriculum makes to the development of the individual learner and groups of learners.
  • Think critically about what it means to be physically educated and how this informs curriculum planning and design within the subject area;
  • Apply a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Physical Education National Curriculum to the planning of curriculum experiences for pupils in school.
  • Demonstrate competence and confidence in your ability to teach across the contexts for pupil learning in the Physical Education National Curriculum range and content, applying principles of continuity and progression.
  • Use subject knowledge and relevant course specifications to plan and deliver the 14-16 curriculum including examination and vocational courses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the subject knowledge and specification requirements for the 16-19 curriculum.
  • Utilise a range of teaching strategies to meet the identified learning needs of a wide range of pupils.
  • Utilise a range of resources, including information and communication technology, to enhance pupil learning in Physical Education.
  • Understand the importance of safe practice and safeguarding and apply these in working with young people both within and beyond lessons.
  • Use a wide range of class management strategies to maximise pupil learning.
  • Understand the principles of inclusion and apply these to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils in the subject area.
  • Understand national frameworks for assessment within the subject area and use these to support the recording and analysis of data, and the subsequent use of this to plan the next phase of learning.
  • Raise the status of the subject area by demonstrating high standards of professionalism at all times.
  • Understand the crucial role of professional learning for the teacher, the pupils and schools.


Information on available funding.

All applications for PGCE programmes have to be made online through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT).
UCAS Code: X9C6.

Further Information

Taught Programmes Office
Department of Education
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences
Brunel University London
Uxbridge UB8 3PH

Tel: +44 (0) 1895 267156

Course Content

This is a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course, also known as Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert).

The course is organised in termly blocks which address both Education Studies and Physical Education Subject Studies, the understanding of which is developed as the year progresses.

Throughout the course, theory and practice are integrated in both the University and school contexts. The course is planned and delivered in partnership with Physical Education colleagues in local schools. The Teachers’ Standards are mapped to every aspect of course provision to facilitate the best possible opportunities to support the process of your professional learning.

In order to support your preparation for the course there are pre-course conditions set for every successful applicant to the course. This includes initial school experience tasks which require you to spend time in both primary and secondary schools.

School Experience

The course comprises three blocks of school experience, providing the opportunity to work in diverse and contrasting settings, to support you working towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards. School experience, organised in different ways, takes place in partnership schools selected for the quality of teaching and learning and the support offered to student teachers by experienced subject mentors.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirement

This course involves regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults. Where this is the case, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The application will incur a cost, subject to change, and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. For further guidance please email

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel.

Special Features

  • As a leading centre of education and with roots in teacher education dating back to 1798, we provide first class teacher education that is internationally recognised. We are still a leading institution in developing new flexible routes into teaching.
  • A Brunel PGCE is a widely recognised symbol of quality teacher education which accounts for our high employment rates.
  • Staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and liaise with government and other agencies on education policy issues.
  • Brunel has a national and international reputation for physical education and sport.
  • Brunel offers state-of-the-art sports facilities. Every form of training facility, indoor and outdoor, is available on-site or within easy reach, and we host numerous high-quality sporting events of our own. For example, we have our own indoor athletics centre, an outdoor athletics track and field facility, two sports centres, an exercise studio and fitness suite, indoor climbing wall 3rd generation all weather pitches, and netball and tennis courts. We also have access to a 50 metre swimming pool in Hillingdon within walking distance of the campus.
  • The University has a national reputation for its strength in sport and many of our students, including physical education students, compete at both national and international level.
  • You can take advantage of free access to our excellent University Academic Skills service, ASK.
  • We have an award winning Professional Development Centre.
  • Our library has been nominated for national awards for its outstanding provision.
  • We have on-site volunteering opportunities through our Brunel Volunteers provision.
  • Our Disability and Dyslexia Service team have an excellent track record of support for students.
  • Our Union of Brunel Students provides you with a range of additional support and a broad range of extra-curricular opportunities and social events.
  • There is excellent University-wide access to PCs and the Internet, as well as free loan of media equipment and music/recording studios, and web space on the University server.
  • You will benefit from an established partnership between Brunel and a variety of educational institutions and local schools.
  • Brunel education degrees offer multicultural placement learning opportunities. For example, our location in West London and our diverse and well-established schools network means you will gain highly-valued placement learning experience in vibrant multicultural schools.
  • The Department of Education is host to a number of research centres, including the Brunel Able Children’s Centre. The process of learning is informed by cutting-edge research by staff in the strands of: Education, Identities and Social Inclusion and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with Pedagogy and Professional Practice.

What Ofsted say

"The attainment of student teacher in mathematics and physical education is outstanding."

"Highly qualified university staff who are expert in their field and model best practice."

"Highly reflective student teacher who demonstrate secure subject knowledge and effective management of pupils’ behaviour based on positive relationships within lessons."

"High quality recruitment, selection and induction of student teacher."

"Outstanding resources to support both training provision and opportunities for extending the education experience of student teacher and enrichment for pupils in local schools."

"Effectiveness of the highly qualified leadership team in responding to national initiatives and driving forward innovation."

"The emphasis on increasing student teacher’ understanding and knowledge of national initiatives, such as managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons and addressing the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, is exceptionally good."

"The ability of the provider to both anticipate and respond to change is outstanding."


The PGCE course carries 60 Master’s Level credits and requires you to successfully complete three formally assessed pieces of academic work during the year:

  • a 1500 word written assignment related to general professional issues
  • a poster presentation proposing a small scale research project based in school
  • an oral powerpoint presentation of the completed small scale research project.

The Master’s Level credits provide an excellent foundation for future academic and professional study.

You are also required to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards in both sustained school experiences. In order to do this you will be expected to keep a School Experience File.

As the PGCE is a professional course, full attendance is required.

Recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status will be made by the Secondary PGCE Examination Board for all those who successfully demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards as shown in the requirements for University and school-based work.


The Brunel PGCE is a recognised symbol of quality and the Secondary Education courses have an excellent reputation both nationally and locally. This is reflected in our high employment rates, and the feedback from past students, our partner schools and government agencies.

The course receives very positive evaluations and feedback from students, the overwhelming majority of whom are successful in achieving the first teaching posts of their choice. We have an extensive network of former students and other colleagues who hold positions of responsibility in UK schools which also helps our graduates when it comes to finding the right job. We are also delighted that many of our former students return to work with us as mentors, as they develop in their professional careers.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time

International students: £13,500 full-time

NCTL Bursaries

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements 2015/6

  • A UK First or Second Class upper Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification (recognised by NARIC) is required in preparation for Masters level professional study.
  • Applicants are also required to hold English, Maths grades A* to C or equivalent at GCSE level.
  • In-house GCSE equivalency tests will be offered to applicants who have not studied through the UK education system. Applicants must meet the GCSE requirements at the point of application.
  • In addition, applicants will need recent and relevant experience of state school education in England, either team teaching or observing with experienced teachers. This should normally be pre-professional teaching experience where you have had the opportunity to develop relationships with a group(s) of pupils over a sustained period of time. If selected for interview, evidence should be provided on school headed note paper and signed by relevant members of staff at the school(s) in question.
  • You will need to demonstrate an enthusiastic and energetic approach which clearly communicates your commitment to teaching and working with children.

If selected for interview, you will be expected to interact effectively with university tutors and school colleagues and demonstrate the potential to form positive and productive relationships with colleagues and pupils in schools and in professional learning contexts.

Brunel University will accept applications for PGCE courses within Education prior to completion of the Department for Education Skills.

If you are offered a place on one of our courses and have yet to meet the requirements of passing the Skills Tests, your offer will be conditional based on passing these tests by the end of August and before commencing the course.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Monday 28 September 2015