PGCE Information Technology & Computer Science

University of Southampton
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PGCE Information Technology and Computer Science (IT&CS) (1 year)

The Information Technology and Computer Science Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course prepares you to teach the subject to all ages and abilities in the secondary school system (KS3 and KS4). The central aim of the course is to produce confident, competent and professional teachers of IT and computing, with a good grasp of effective approaches to teaching, and the enthusiasm and skill to help pupils understand, enjoy and apply their learning.

Introducing your course

Want to prepare the next generation for a future in the digital age? Teaching IT and Computer Science is a rewarding experience. If you have a passion to educate and skills in IT or Computer Science then the PGCE in Information Technology and Computer Science could be the course for you.

Educate students in the basics of coding, networking and web services (including HTML), and cyber security. Instruct learners in the way computing devices function, including hardware and software. Help learners become the creators of technology not just users of technology. The PGCE will provide you with the tools, techniques, and understanding to guide your future learners with ease through the subject.

Programme Overview

The course aims to prepare you for the ever-changing world of school based computing and IT, digital literacy and the use of computing across the curriculum including Technology Enhanced Learning. The course itself focuses upon the role of computing in the classroom, teaching and learning theory, moral and social issues arising from the widespread use of computers and, of course, the teaching of the Computing National Curriculum and examinations at both GCSE and GCE level.

The course aims, in a combined effort by the University and our partnership schools, to develop your subject knowledge through a range of approaches: workshops, seminars, lectures and demonstrations, simulations and micro-teaching activities, independent and group research.

The central focus of the course is on teaching computing in a challenging yet accessible way and understanding how children learn. The university-based sessions often consist of practical workshops, where students can develop their computing skills, knowledge and understanding, as well as learning the pedagogical knowledge needed to teach.

The course aims to ensure trainee teachers have the skills, knowledge and understanding to meet the challenges of a changing curriculum based on developing technologies.


To Apply

Applications are made centrally online through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT), rather than direct to the University. You can also monitor the progress of your application from this site.

Before applying, you should read the National Curriculum for Computing and the Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status. You should also ensure that you will meet the criteria set out under Entry Requirements.

For those applicants with limited computer science experience there are subject knowledge enhancement courses available.


On successful completion, you will have gained not only your PGCE, but have attained Qualified Teacher Status. This is the accreditation that enables you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales


For further information on this programme, email the ITE office or telephone: 023 8059 2413. You can find general information on teaching as a career, including the criteria for QTS, on the Department for Education website.

The Southampton Education School works in partnership with over 100 local schools and colleges across the region.

The Southampton course provides you with a very firm foundation for your teaching career. We have high employment rates from the course and many trainees are actually employed in our partnership schools.

Teacher Training Open Evening

Find out more about our range of teacher training courses and speak directly with expert staff members


GCSE Currently, you must have GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. This is a government requirement, and 'equivalent qualifications' are as designated by the PGCE admissions team (IELTS qualifications are not considered equivalent). If your qualifications are not considered to be appropriate, we can offer GCSE equivalent tests in English and Maths. There will be a charge of £50 for each of these and they are not deemed to be transferable. If you are currently studying for a qualification in a required subject, any place offered would be conditional on a successful outcome, or the successful outcome of a Southampton University Equivalency test. If you have Access or other qualifications, please provide full details of subjects and level.


The Information Technology and Computer Science Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course prepares you to teach the subject to all ages and abilities in the secondary school system (KS3 and KS4). The central aim of the course is to produce confident, competent and professional teachers of IT and computing, with a good grasp of effective approaches to teaching, and the enthusiasm and skill to help pupils understand, enjoy and apply their learning.

Selection process

  • your application shows that you have appropriate subject knowledge
  • your application shows that you understand the role of a computing teacher
  • your application is well written and persuasive.

You will be more convincing in your interview if you have already observed some teaching and learning in a Computing classroom in a secondary school, and had a discussion with classroom teachers.

At interview, you will be asked to lead an activity that you have planned, before the day, to demonstrate your understanding of a Computing topic and how you might explain it to a secondary pupil.

At interview we will also be looking for:

  • good subject knowledge and/or ability to learn further
  • good knowledge of educational issues and a strong sense of the associated professional demands
  • good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  • good awareness of the social, emotional and professional demands of being a teacher

A good academic reference must be provided from your most recent university or college or from an employer (where you have been away from studying for some time).

All places offered will be conditional on enhanced DBS and health checks.

Please note, applicants cannot be registered on any other course from September of the year of entry (this includes PhDs and Masters degrees).

For those applicants with limited computer science experience there are subject knowledge enhancement courses available.


Typical course content

The full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in ‘Computer Science and Information Technology is an intensive one year course.

Two-thirds of your time will be spent in schools (minimum of 120 days) with the remainder spent at the University with a full programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will spend time in real classrooms during your school experience. You will gradually be introduced into whole class teaching; initially it is likely that you will observe lessons and work with small groups of pupils. The expectation though is that you will quickly develop the skills and confidence to work with whole classes, with the support of your school-based mentor.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Trainees are assessed formatively and summatively across the course. This ensures that progress is reviewed regularly and you are aware of the progress being made against the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are informal activities that need to be completed, and are important in developing a deeper insight into effective teaching.

Besides completion of all subject based tasks there are three elements common to all trainees in order to complete the course successfully.

  • All trainees have to demonstrate that their teaching is suitable to meet the Standards for QTS. This is measured in concert with schools through your own accumulation of evidence based on your time spent in school and university learning. You are reviewed, assessed and ultimately graded on your performance as a teacher.
  • Everyone must pass three major assignments, Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 linked to their curriculum area, and Assignment 3 linked to a special study. Assignments 1 and 2 are based on aspects of subject teaching, whereas the third is based around a study of a whole school issue.

These assignments are marked at Masters level and if successful in all three, trainees will be awarded the Post-graduate Certificate in Education, as well as credits towards a Master’s degree.  This course also leads to QTS, qualifying you to teach in school.

Study locations

The Southampton Education School is based on the Highfield Campus, in ...Find out more

Download a PDF of our prospectus or order a printed copy to be delivered to your door.

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