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PGCE Student Experiences - Full Time Programme

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We asked some of our recent students on our full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme to tell us about their experience of the course:

PGCE Student

Samuel Reilly is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme.

Sam is currently teaching sports science on his 5 month teaching placement at Bridgewater College in Somerset.

The PGCE (PCET) Programme at Cardiff University has been pivotal in my development as a teacher.  The experience has allowed me to unearth an expansive range of teaching practices and also appreciate the value of working in the Lifelong Learning Sector. The outstanding faculty of staff on the PGCE programme are well experienced and a delight to work with.  They welcome and value every student teacher and do their absolute best to ensure the development of every PGCE candidate.  The high-standard of contemporary teaching along with a well developed curriculum makes this course simply fantastic.


PGCE Student

Sarah West is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme

Sarah is currently teaching Art and Design specialising in textiles on her 5 month teaching placement at Coleg Morgannwg on the outskirts of Cardiff near Caerphilly.

I've really enjoyed my time so far on the PGCE (PCET) course at Cardiff University. It's been challenging at times, but I've learnt so much in a short amount of time. The staff are very supportive, and I've made many new friends. I think that the course is well structured, with the majority of academic theory covered in the first term. I felt that I was prepared for the practical element of the course (teaching on placement). I'm currently on placement, and I'm happy to say I absolutely love it and am looking forward to starting a career in teaching.

I chose Cardiff University as it's a great place to study, with good resources, and beautiful buildings conveniently located in the city centre. The PGCE course at Cardiff University was highly recommended to me and has lived up to its reputation; as such I would be happy to pass on my recommendation to prospective students.


PGCE Student

Funminiyi Obilanade  is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme

Funmi is currently teaching Chemistry and Maths on her 5 month teaching placement at Cardiff and Vale College - Coleg Glan Hafren in Cardiff.

I have enjoyed the TSA's the most. These are two weeks of presentations whereby I as an individual taught my subject to my peers but I feel most importantly I watched and I was given the opportunity to learn from my peers as I observed new perspectives in the form of teaching styles and enthusiasm. 

I am Welsh and when looking at the University Rankings for Wales, Cardiff comes out top. With Cardiff it was great to know that the course was very academically driven. This is shown in the fact that so many if not all of the lectures have been extensively printed in the different forms from journals to books. This makes the course reputable and relevant as you are presented with up to date resources and first hand research.

Cardiff University has a great support system for its students. The Students Union (SU) has an eclectic collection of societies and specifically the Graduate Centre is a great hub just for post graduate students to study and socialise. 

The City is much bigger and fuller than I first thought. The streets are vibrant with markets, cafe's and restaurants. This means that there is always something to do and somewhere to go especially when the pressure of assessment builds up you can stroll into the city as you are sure to find a suitable distraction.

The course at Cardiff is more academic than most programmes. The first class teaching and support makes you feel that you are getting a value for money service. The emphasis here is very much research based. This means that you do not simply go through the motions of teaching but you can back up your teaching by text. Thus, you can state why you do what you do.

I can sum the course up in the following three words: intensive, comprehensive and FUN. As I now feel effectively equipped to enter into any training and teaching environment. The theory is extensively combined with practical teaching. 


PGCE Student

Cassandra Moreira is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme

Cassandra is currently teaching Psychology on her 5 month teaching placement at St Joseph’s Catholic School & Sixth Form Centre in Port Talbot.

Having previously studied at Cardiff University my decision to apply for the PGCE (PCET) course at Cardiff’s School of Social Sciences was based considerably on the positive experiences I had while studying in a vibrant yet relaxed city. As well as this the PGCE (PCET) course has a reputation for being of high quality with a good status among education providers.

My experience of the course has been considerably varied; from the first couple of weeks feeling slightly overwhelmed to the last couple of weeks of the first semester feeling great accomplishment.

For me the most enjoyable aspect of the course was the ‘on your feet’ moments such as the lesson introductions, approaches to learning, and micro-teach sessions. Having a relatively basic experience in areas of public speaking and presentations I felt rather apprehensive about standing in front of my peers and talking. However, after spending so much time with the same people you almost feel as if you are part of a ‘family’ and soon appreciate that everyone is in the same boat. These moments are fundamental to any career in teaching and are essential to providing the groundwork for what is to come during the months on placement.

My time spent on the course at Cardiff has challenged me in many ways but more importantly has taught me a lot not only about the ‘world’ of education and teaching but also a lot about myself. I would most certainly recommend the PGCE (PCET) course at Cardiff University, in particular for those wanting to pursue a career in the post-16 sectors. And even so, the beauty of the course is that it is a great step towards other paths since the master credits gained can be used as a basis for building into a full MSc in Education.


PGCE Student

Michael Morgan is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme

Michael is currently teaching Music on his 5 month teaching placement at Merthyr College in Merthyr Tydfil.

The most enjoyable aspect for me was when I went to Berlin with staff and students in my placement college. It was a surprise that the college would consider me to go as a member of staff as I am a trainee student teacher. This shows how much respect some staff will have for you. It was a great experience being a member of staff on a trip abroad and I learnt a lot about the responsibility of taking students away on trips and educational visits. Berlin was a great city and I would love to go back again with the college. It aloud me to bond with staff members from other departments who have helped me and given me advice during the remainder of my placement.       

I chose the PGCE course at Cardiff as I have always had a desire to teach at post-compulsory level. I have had experience at teaching at both primary and secondary schools but the areas of music I am most interested in were not taught at these levels. Cardiff is also a great and well respected University which also helped with the decision.

I have always visited Cardiff as my hometown is near but it wasn't until I was living there during my Undergraduate degree that I fell more in love with the city itself. The city has a great atmosphere during the night and day and almost every main area is in walking distance (If you don't mind a walk). The Bay is beautiful with some great architecture and the Cathays and Roath area has some great parks that come alive in the summer time. I lived in the Cathays area that is the main 'Student Village' and there is a great atmosphere there with some nice cafes and bars.

Cardiff University is a huge University with excellent facilities. The Students Union is second to none and the support from the university itself is great. 

The PGCE course is a well organised course that would suit any enthusiastic person looking to go into teaching or training. I have developed a lot as a person and have become a lot more confident in myself. The course offers a range of opportunities that would suit everyone who has a passion to become a teacher in the PCET age range. In fact, it is set up to allow and  encourage  you to be very creative when teaching your subject. 

The overall experience on the Cardiff PGCE course has been amazing. I have become a lot more confident as a person and have made along the way some amazing friends. The support from everyone - staff and students- is great and we are all like one big family. If you have a problem with anything, someone on the course is always there to help. I wish the course was two years long- I  will be sad for it to end!


PGCE Student

Stephanie Warren is a current student teacher on the full-time PGCE (PCET) Programme

Stephanie is currently teaching Public Services on her 5 month teaching placement at Ystrad Mynach College in Ystrad Mynach

The most enjoyable part of the programme has been the journey which has formed my placement; being on placement full-time for five months allows for me to really immerse myself into the profession whilst also providing an excellent opportunity to observe and put into practise all that I learnt during the initial stages of the course.

The PGCE course offered at Cardiff University excelled to me in its academic credentials, prestigious accolade and renowned reputation. This course stands above many others due to its commitment of providing a course at M Level 7 status and ensuring the satisfaction and provision of academic excellence at each stage of the course. Guidance and support is thoroughly given throughout the course which allows you to be eased into the profession.

My love for Cardiff University is shown through my choice of continuing my studies here after graduating from my degree. The university is situated in the heart of the city which provides for the experience of living in a vibrant city whilst also being surrounded by lovely park areas. However, unlike many other cities, Cardiff is able to be a hive of activity whilst also not being too big as to make it daunting. Walking round the city centre is an easy and all amenities are close by; making Cardiff a lovely place to live and study.

I have no regrets about undertaking the PGCE (PCET) programme and feel I have gained many skills and experiences from it, which can be transferred into many areas of my future. From the PGCE, you will gain experience in planning, psychology, sociology and a general increase in all round interpersonal confidence. Being pushed to confront challenges such as organisation of work, standing in front of large numbers of people to speak  and teach has allowed me to really gain from my PGCE experience.

Overall, my PGCE student teacher experience has been extremely positive and uplifting. I am emerging from it as a more confident and organised teacher. The PGCE is a gruelling experience and one which should be approached with an open mind, positivity and enthusiasm; if so, the programme will allow you a fundamental platform from which to transcend from the student to the teacher.


Application queries regarding September 2014 entry should be made to: 
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74021