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PGCE Secondary Art & Design with QTS

The PGCE Secondary Art & Design pathway is exciting, innovative and challenging. It will prepare you thoroughly for the teaching profession.

Our key aim is to equip you to become a confident, high-quality teacher of Art and Design with a secure knowledge of curriculum development in Wales. Emphasis is placed on working in partnership with schools, enhancing your skills through practical workshops, as well as providing you with experience of collaborative work and research with galleries and museums.

Excellent subject knowledge, creativity, imagination, motivation and the enthusiasm to make learning in Art & Design an enjoyable and purposeful experience for pupils are essential requirements of the course.

We place a particular focus on the use of Contemporary Art, including Welsh examples and we work closely with outside agencies such as the Glynn Vivian Gallery, the National Museum Wales, Artes Mundi, the Saatchi Gallery and Tate Modern.

You will also have the opportunity to work as an Artist-In-Residence or gain teaching experience in a museum or gallery for a short placement to increase your employability.

In addition, you will prepare to teach the new curriculum for the Area of Learning and Experience: Expressive Arts, and the exam groups for GCSE, and A level Art and Design courses. This will involve delivering a full and exciting spectrum of creative experiences.

This pathway is designed to develop your specialist knowledge, experience and skills to enable you to use your expertise and enthusiasm to inspire your pupils across the secondary age range.


PGCE Secondary Art & Design with QTS
UCAS Code: 2X5R

PGCE Secondary Design and Technology with QTS
UCAS Code: 2X5W

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Course Length:
1 Year

6 Reasons to start your Teacher Education with UWTSD: Yr Athrofa

  • Yr Athrofa is one of a select few teacher education providers to have been accredited by the EWC with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • Innovative and dynamic programmes using the latest Sony Vision Exchange technology to support high-quality teaching and learning in a digital age.
  • Excellent 99% employment rate for PGCE Graduates (2016/17 DLHE).
  • Study on our new state-of-the-art £300m Swansea Waterfront campus (SA1) and the historic Carmarthen Campus. We also have a small base in Tramshed Tech, Cardiff.
  • English, Welsh and Bilingual pathways available.
  • Partnership schools across South Wales


What you will learn

Course Overview

The PGCE is a full-time academic and professional programme, broadly comprising university-based provision of approximately 12 weeks, and at least 24 weeks based in school.

Across our suite of ITE programmes, we have a newly accredited and innovative core curriculum which includes:

  • Compulsory modules
  • Research skill development
  • Professional pathway for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Welsh Language Development Pathway
  • Bridging – activities which bring together theory and practice
  • Electives – a school-based experience following a chosen area of interest
  • Alternative setting – an opportunity to experience non-school education settings

As we work in a collaborative partnership, we offer you a wide range of opportunities from a variety of schools, including primary and special schools.

We also offer an opportunity to participate in our well-respected Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership: Aiming for Excellence Conference, write blogposts and benefit from one of our centres of research. You can find out more here.


Modules are carefully designed to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge and are mostly delivered during the university-based period.

Our programme content has been co-authored by university and school partners, and has been grouped under four module headings:

  • The Learner – who am I teaching?
  • Learners, schools and communities – where am I teaching?
  • Researching the learning – what, why and how am I teaching? (focus on research)
  • Leading the Learning – what, why and how am I teaching? (focus on subject discipline in practice)

Organising the modules in this way means that  you will be able to focus on the pupil and also take full account of the wider context that impacts on education.

You will also be able to ensure that your classroom-based practice draws on a sound research base.

This means that our programme will challenge you both practically and intellectually at the same time.

Each module is assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, posters and presentations. The assignments are designed to enable you to reflect on your own practice and relate your experiences to the theory that you have learned.

Your professional teaching experience is assessed against the Qualified Teacher Standards criteria through observations by your tutors and mentors and the submission of a portfolio of work evidencing competence against these standards.

Welsh Medium Pathway

The Secondary PGCE pathway is available through the medium of Welsh.

Our graduates from the PGCE Secondary Welsh-Medium pathway are successful in securing roles in both English and Welsh-medium schools.


The programme offers 60 credits at Masters level and 60 credits at Graduate Level. These are awarded on successful completion of module assessments which include:

  • Case studies
  • Portfolios
  • Video presentation
  • Research Project

All assessments are closely linked to practice and are designed to offer you the opportunity to develop teaching and learning that has a positive impact on children and young people.

Interesting Links

Teacher Education PGCE Video Playlist

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants are required to hold a good honours degree (2:2 minimum) in an area related to chosen secondary subject.

GCSE qualifications

Grade B or above in GCSE English Language OR English Literature and GCSE Mathematics.

Student teachers studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade B or above in Welsh Language OR Welsh Literature (first language).

Equivalence workshops and tests are available for those with Grade C GSCE in English Language, Mathematics and Welsh.

A-Levels/Level 3 Vocational Qualifications

If applicants do not hold an undergraduate degree in a curriculum subject, successful study at appropriate higher levels must be evidenced.

Work Experience

You should be aware of the realities of being a teacher and life in a classroom and so we ask for recent and relevant experience in a secondary educational setting. This may be through employment or volunteering in a school and should be for a minimum period of two weeks.

Gaining experience in a school classroom will help to strengthen your application and better critically inform your personal statement. It will also prepare you for our selection process and give you some experience from which you can draw in your interview.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

If accepted into our programme, you will be required as soon as possible to obtain a clearance check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB, Criminal Records Bureau). Please note there is a fee associated with the service and you should ensure also that you opt for the 'update' service to maintain the validity of your clearance check.

For further information please contact PGCE secondary admin: 01792 482111 at  S_PGCE@uwtsd.ac.uk.

What we are looking for?

  • A positive view of education as a means to transform lives
  • Motivation towards becoming an excellent teacher
  • An empathetic desire to make a difference to young people's lives
  • Positive attitudes to social justice, inclusion and equity
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • Energy, enthusiasm and flexibility
  • Resilience and reliability
  • Professional attitudes and behaviour
  • Willingness to be a life-long learner

How we select our student teachers?

  • Quality of personal statement
  • Evidence of subject expertise
  • Recent and relevant experience in an educational setting
  • Quality of individual interview
  • Performance in selection tests – e.g. literacy, numeracy and dispositions
Career Opportunities

Yr Athrofa has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study.

Many schools and college departments, both locally and nationally, are staffed with several of our teachers and many have gone on to forge successful teaching careers at strategic, professional and management levels at home and abroad.

Our PGCE graduates usually remain in close touch with Yr Athrofa as they make their careers in the teaching profession and they often become subject mentors on the programme.  This creates a very strong, sustainable professional network of teachers, which is a rich source of continuing professional development.

Recently our PGCE Art and Design graduates have gone on to work as Secondary Teachers in many independent and state schools in Wales, England and abroad including (but not limited) to: Judgemeadow Community College (Leicestershire), Cwmafan Junior School (Port Talbot), Howard School (Rainham, Kent), Amman Valley School (Ammanford), Bridgend County Borough Council, Olchfa Comprehensive School (Swansea), Livanhoe College (Ashby de la Zouch), Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera (Ystalyfera). 

Additional Costs

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. However, it is likely that students will incur some unavoidable additional costs over and above the cost of their university tuition. These are as follows:

Mandatory Costs:

  • Travel to placement schools and University
  • Travel to off-site specialist provision (including schools and other training providers)
  • Travel to schools for 'Bridging Days' and other whole-cohort initiatives as per calendar
  • Use of a laptop (MS Office is free to students)
  • Art students - trips to London galleries and National Museum of Wales. A3 spiral-bound sketchbook, A1 portfolio

 Necessarily Incurred: 

  • Travel to participate in subject enhancement activities organised by Subject Tutor
  • Teaching resources, for example, A Level/ GCSE text books
  • Travel to Electives placements


  • Printing costs
  • Optional study trips
Student Quotes

Nicole Watkins

"I’ve gone into teaching because art is the best subject. I love art. My experiences in school could have been better. Art is so expressive and I wanted to develop new skillsets to teach at schools and enable young people to get the best out of it."

Lauren Colborne

"Art is a subject that encompasses all subjects such as literacy, numeracy, history, and so on, but in a creative way. I have always wanted to teach as long as I can remember which is funny because I hated school and didn’t want to be a learner. I want to learn from my teachers’ mistakes and be that teacher that inspires others. Sian is so helpful and enthusiastic she takes anxiety away through encouragement and telling you it is going to be worth it."

Emma Gardner

"I worked in summer camps and made friendship connections with learners where I found out I loved teaching, the job satisfaction and knowing you are making a difference. I really enjoyed the School Bridging Week where we put everything we have been taught into action."

Ben Glover

"I did Art Foundation with Coleg Sir Gâr where we were told to go out and do something you have never done before. I went back to my old school and it stuck with me because it was really fun. Art is the subject that is most free. It’s a creative hobby as well as a fun subject."

Holli Abraham

"Art is the most fun subject that allows you to interpret your own interests in life into art. I did a photography degree where I did workshops as part of my external folder and really enjoyed it. I also want to travel and teaching is done all over the world."

Maria Bridger

"Mum’s a teacher, taught by Sian, and said it was the best time she has ever had. I realised that I enjoyed teaching more than focusing on my own work. I enjoy teaching different things and seeing every student doing individual creative work for themselves. My teachers made it dull which makes you want to change that. For me art is never boring – it helps you to develop your own opinions and gain confidence. I also like the informal setting and not being in a lecture theatre."

Stephanie Hughes

"I love art so much. It made me want to pursue it as a career and to pass on my knowledge to the younger generation. With art you continue to learn and learn from everyone you teach. Art is free and you can express your feelings and emotions and put yourself into your work. Every time I am in an art room, I feel relaxed."

Bursary / Scholarship Information