University Calendar 2011/12
Section XIII : Academic Regulations - Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

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Academic Unit Southampton Education School
Final Award Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
Programme(s) Postgraduate Certification in Education:
  • Primary PGCE
  • Secondary PGCE
Intermediate exit awards:
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
Last modified August 2011

Reference should be made to the University's General Regulations found in Section IV and Section V (Higher Degree Regulations) of the University Calendar.

Except where an opt-out has been granted by the University (see below) the following academic regulations apply in addition to the General Regulations.

1. Admissions
1.1 Entry requirements
University admissions regulations for a Higher Degree apply. Applicants must also hold the following: GCE Ordinary level passes in English and Mathematics, or GCSE passes at C or above in English and Mathematics.

For admission to the primary PGCE, GCE Ordinary level pass in Science is required in addition to Mathematics and English, or GCSE passes at grade C or above in Science (preferably double science) or equivalent in addition to GCSE passes at C or above in English and Mathematics.

Additionally candidates are expected to pass an assessment of medical fitness to teach. This is managed through the admissions procedures.
1.2 Criminal Records Bureau
All candidates admitted to the programme are required to disclose any previous criminal convictions, cautions or bindovers irrespective of when they occurred. All candidates must agree to an enhanced criminal record check through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). This is administered as part of the admissions process.
1.3 Equal Opportunities
In line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy, individuals are treated on their relevant merits and abilities and are given equal opportunities within the module, School and University. The aim of the policy is to ensure that no prospective student or current student should receive any less favourable treatment on any grounds which are not relevant to academic ability and attainment. Every effort is made to ensure that disabled students are aware of and assisted in making use of the support provided by the University; to ensure access to lectures, classes, learning materials; and to ensure that where necessary appropriate variations to normal examining arrangements are made.

2. Structure of Programme(s)
2.1 The PGCE is a full-time, masters (level 6) programme.
2.2 The normal duration of study is one academic year commencing in the autumn term and completing in the summer term.
2.3 The programme is designed to take students with at least degree level qualifications and to equip them with professional knowledge, understanding and capabilities relating to educational theory and practice in order to become professional and reflective teachers. The programme’s structure complies with statutory requirements in having periods of university-based work and placements in at least two different schools. The secondary programme requires 120 days of school-based practice whilst the primary programme requires 90 days of school-based practice.
2.4 The academic elements of the programme are taught through two distinct modules and examined through extended research projects. These modules are taught at level 6.
2.5 Students must also, through the school-based practice, acquire a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their competence against the Qualifying to Teach Standards. This process is supported jointly with the university and the practice schools where students are placed.
2.6 A full description of the content of the taught modules is available in the Programme Specification at:
2.7 All candidates follow the same modules of study on this programme.

3. Progression
3.1 Students are assessed through a combination of University tasks and school-based reviews. Students are expected to pass through the Review Statements and complete University based work in order to progress ( Failure to progress will initially be signalled through a Cause for Concern process ( This process will detail the difficulties and identify action points and a deadline for improvement. Only when there is no clear indication of progress will students be advised that they cannot progress further.
3.2 Students are qualified to progress into teaching posts at the end of the programme.

4. Assessment
4.1 The PGCE award is approved through the Board of Examiners consisting of tutors within the School of Education and Examiners from outside the university. The performance of candidates is assessed by the Board of Examiners in accordance with the School’s regulations governing examinations for the relevant programme(s) of study. The pass grade for assignments is C.
4.2 Examination on the PGCE is coursework based. Submission dates are published in the annual Programme Handbook ( and advised by tutors. The cumulative award is given through the Examination Board.
4.3 Candidates who have been unsuccessful in the examination may submit themselves for re-examination on one occasion only. The conditions for re-examination will be prescribed by the Programme Board. Resubmission of written pieces will be made within 4 weeks of the Examination Board and approved through Chair of Board’s action, unless there are extenuating medical circumstances requiring further extension. If the resubmission still fails to meet the standard the candidate will be viewed to have failed.
4.4 Resubmission of the practical teaching element of the course will be determined through recommendations made by the External Examiner to the candidate at the Examination Board. This resubmission of practice must take place within twelve months of initial failure.
4.5 Further details on the examination process can be found in the Programme Handbook (

5. Award of Qualification(s)
5.1 The final award is Pass/Fail only, with no distinctions or grades. All students who complete the programme and can demonstrate full achievement at Postgraduate Certificate level, showing level 6 achievement in written coursework will be awarded the PGCE. A minority of students who demonstrate positive academic achievement but may not show full academic achievement at Postgraduate Certificate Level (i.e. they show a mixture of level 5 and 6 achievement or all level 5 achievement) will receive a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education provided they fulfil the criteria of the programme at level 5.
5.2 Elements are taught at level 6 and have level 6 marking criteria. However, in addition, elements have level 5 marking criteria to record outcomes for the minority of students who do not achieve at level 6 but nonetheless demonstrate positive achievement. The Programme Handbook will provide detailed information about course content and marking criteria.
5.3 Results are subject to an External Examination procedure and examining board.
5.4 The final award is awarded by Senate on the recommendation of School to candidates who have satisfactorily completed an approved course of study and have satisfied the assessment requirements.

6. Placements/Study Abroad/Exchange/Fieldwork
6.1 All students are required to undertake and successfully complete school-based practice periods.
6.2 The programme is a combination of academic and practical study and students are expected to pass all areas of the programme to achieve their award.

7. Other
7.1 These regulations may be revised during the student's period of registration in accordance with the procedures approved by Senate.
7.2 In accordance with the University’s attendance regulations, students are expected to attend at all times in all areas of the course. Students are required to record their absence in a calendar in their own monitoring documents. All absences are recorded by the Initial Teacher Education office and monitored. Extended absence without due reason will be viewed as a significant cause for concern. Employers ask for a record of attendance in all requests for references.

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Last reviewed: 3-Aug-2011
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