PGCE Secondary Religious Education (QTS)

Course length: 1 year full-time


The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the most widely recognised UK post graduate award and is transferable.  It is accepted, across the UK and internationally, as an assurance that the candidate has achieved the high standard expected for entry to the teaching profession. 

This course will prepare you to teach secondary religious education in a variety of school settings, including Roman Catholic faith schools, academies and local authority secondary schools, across the 11-16 age range with post 16 enhancement . You will develop a good understanding of religious education and gain a solid foundation of professional awareness and understanding to help you develop your competence and confidence in imparting your subject knowledge to young people. In addition to enhancing your subject knowledge, the course will develop your practical teaching skills to meet the standards for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will improve your ability to demonstrate a range of key skills, that will support your wider professional development.

The course is designed to help deepen your knowledge and understanding of not only Christianity, which is the main religion taught within all schools, but also all of the other major world religions including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. During your studies you will be introduced to current debates and practices within religious education, as well as those issues relating to the promotion of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. You will be provided with opportunities to engage in the use of study trips to a variety of places of worship, including synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and pagodas in teaching RE.

School Experience

You will gain a vast amount of experience of teaching as a substantial component of the course involves teaching placements. You will undertake 40 weeks of full-time study at Newman (from early September to the beginning of July), and you can expect to spend at least 24 weeks in school. This focuses on an introduction to secondary teaching, developing standards through partnership school experience and extending and developing your professional skills. Experienced teaching colleagues, including subject mentors – teachers trained to provide beginning teachers with support and guidance - will support you through these placements.

Partnership Tutors from Newman will also be allocated to provide advice and support. You will attend taught sessions at Newman which will provide you with a thorough understanding of education theory that you will be able to apply in the classroom. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to develop your own professional interests thorough individual experiences. You will be encouraged to explore further aspects of religious education with groups of pupils across the age and ability range, including those with special educational needs.

One of the best features of studying this course at Newman is the high level of tutor support it offers. You may also have the option to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS), which enables you to teach in Catholic schools.

Special Features

You can expect a variety of different teaching methods including off-site teaching, study visits, seminars, lectures and visiting experts in related fields of RE
• Newman has excellent links with Birmingham’s faith communities
• Assessment methods are varied and include essays, presentations, seminar preparation, school-based reports, teaching files and appraisal of practical teaching skills
• To enable you to teach in Catholic schools you will have the opportunity to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS)

Teaching Methods and Assessment

A variety of teaching methods are used, including off-site teaching, study visits, seminars, lectures and visiting experts in related fields of RE. Assessment methods include essays, presentations, seminar preparation, school-based reports, teaching files and appraisal of practical teaching skills.


"[The students] felt that the preparation for school experience one was very good and that this calmed the anxieties they had about embarking on their first experience of teaching."
External Examiner


Newman University would like to draw your attention to our Academic Regulations. These regulations are your Terms of Reference and should be considered when making a decision to study with our institution.

Entry requirements

An Honours degree of which Theology or an R.E related subject forms part, or a recognised equivalent qualification.

GCSEs (or in exceptional circumstances their equivalent) in  English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 (grade C previously).  Please be aware that whilst these GCSEs are not mandatory at application point, these qualifications must be obtained by enrolment. 

Recent and relevant work experience in a British state school is normally required prior to interview. We expect that you would have a minimum of 10 days experience in a school setting, however the majority of applicants will have much more than this. The quality and variety of your personal statement is an important factor in the decision to call you to interview. Candidates must attend an interview and sit literacy and numeracy tests at Newman University.

Passing the National Skills Tests for Literacy and Numeracy, together with obtaining a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) clearance and meeting the requirements for Fitness to Teach is also required.

For full entry requirements please see our admission requirements page.

Skills Tests Further Information - Click Here

Interview Further Information - Click Here



2017/18: £9,250*

* Please note for 2018/19 the University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Finance and Bursaries Information

As a full time student, you will study a total of 60 credits each year. You will be required to complete several 0 credits modules, also. The credits are made up of mandatory modules and you may have a list of optional modules to choose from. Not every programme offers optional modules and when an optional module is available it will be clearly marked. All modules are listed below and you may not be required to complete all of these modules. Most modules range between 0 credits and 30 credits and dissertations are 60 credits. Please note that not all optional modules run every year. For further information please email

Year 1 modules





This module enables students to develop their knowledge and skills in order to demonstrate that they meet the teachers’ standards for the award of QTS. Delivery of this non-credit bearing module is designed to support teaching placements where the skills and knowledge are both developed and demonstrated. The intended outcomes of this module are successful in demonstrating that they meet the teachers’ standards. Evidence of meeting the outcomes of this module will be demonstrated through an e-portfolio that contains a professional journal and professional development record and evidence of how the teachers’ standards have been met. 



Scheduled : 80.00
Independent :
Placement :
Total :  80.00


This module aims to:


Develop students’ understanding and knowledge of effective professional practice in the following teachers’ standards:


  1. Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils
  • establish a safe and stimulating environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect

  • set goals that stretch and challenge pupils of all backgrounds, abilities and   dispositions

  • demonstrate consistently the positive attitudes, values and behaviour which are expected of pupils.


  1.  Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils
  • be accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes

  • be aware of pupils’ capabilities and their prior knowledge, and plan teaching to build on these

  • guide pupils to reflect on the progress they have made and their emerging needs

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching

  • encourage pupils to take a responsible and conscientious attitude to their own work and study.


  1. Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge
  • have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas, foster and maintain pupils’ interest in the subject, and address misunderstandings

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of developments in the subject and curriculum areas, and promote the value of scholarship

  • demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject


  1.  Plan and teach well-structured lessons
  • impart knowledge and develop understanding through effective use of lesson time

  • promote a love of learning and children’s intellectual curiosity

  • set homework and plan other out-of-class activities to consolidate and extend the knowledge and understanding pupils have acquired

  • reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching

  • contribute to the design and provision of an engaging curriculum within the relevant subject area(s).

  1.  Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils
  • know when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable pupils to be taught effectively

  • have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these

  • demonstrate an awareness of the physical, social and intellectual development of children, and know how to adapt teaching to support pupils’ education at different stages of development

  • have a clear understanding

  • of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.


  1.  Make accurate and productive use of assessment
  • know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements

  • make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress

  • use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons

  • give pupils regular feedback, both orally and through accurate marking, and encourage pupils to respond to the feedback.


  1.  Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment
  • have clear rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms, and take responsibility for promoting good and courteous behaviour both in classrooms and around the school, in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy

  • have high expectations of behaviour, and establish a framework for discipline with a range of strategies, using praise, sanctions and rewards consistently and fairly

  • manage classes effectively, using approaches which are appropriate to pupils’ needs in order to involve and motivate them

  • maintain good relationships with pupils, exercise appropriate authority, and act decisively when necessary.


  1.  Fulfil wider professional responsibilities
  • make a positive contribution to the wider life and ethos of the school

  • develop effective professional relationships with colleagues, knowing how and when to draw on advice and specialist support

  • deploy support staff effectively

  • take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, responding to advice and feedback from colleagues

  • communicate effectively with parents with regard to pupils’ achievements and well-being.


Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:


Demonstrate a critical understanding of subject pedagogy and professional practice in all the teachers’ standards. This will be achieved through the following learning opportunities:


  • Professional practice seminar group study examining aspects of professional practice that are common to all secondary subject teachers, focussing in particular on current school improvement priorities including: Safeguarding pupils, child protection, tackling extremism and e-safety, teaching literacy and numeracy in subjects, supporting underperforming pupils and stretching the most able, teaching SEND and EAL pupils;


  • Subject specialism practical sessions that explore subject knowledge for teaching and subject specific pedagogies. Problematic areas of subject knowledge, planning well-structured lessons, assessing progress in subject learning and differentiating progress in the subject are all examined through practical engagement with developing both subject knowledge and teaching strategies.


  • A group tutorial that supports engagement with the professional expectations of the course. Students will develop professionalism and working in communities of practice and independent learning and reflection skills.


  • An e-portfolio will enable students to develop self-reflection skills and to track their progress and set meaningful and achievable learning goals toward evidencing the teachers’ standards.



Component 1 - % Assessment of Students' Progression to Meeting Teachers' Standards, including Attendance and Engagement with e-portfolio





This module enables students to develop their understanding of how to manage the learning and teaching environment in school. Three strands of teacher practice are explored: How children and adolescents learn; effective approaches to behaviour management for learning in school and assessment of learning in school.


This learning will be facilitated through taught sessions that introduce theoretical perspectives and research evidence on these three aspects of practice and develop reflection on the implications of evidence for developing practice. School placement will provide opportunities to develop personal practice that implements the implications of an evidence base and reflect on the relationship between theory and practice.


Scheduled : 24.00
Independent : 122.00
Placement : 100.00
Total :  246.00


This module aims to:


  • Develop a systematic understanding of professional knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems informed by current research and advanced scholarship.


  • Prepare students to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements on the implications of an evidence base, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a specialist audience.


  • Develop and understanding  of the informing principles and the key characteristics of evidence –informed arguments for effective school based practice in understanding learning, behaviour management and assessment;


  • Enable students to reflect upon a range of evidence drawn from first-hand observations, contemporary educational research and inspection findings to support an informed perspective of learning, behaviour management and assessment practice in school, classroom settings and related learning environments


  • Enable students’ to demonstrate critical reflection on observed practice that examines the limitations and constraints on practice in a school setting that makes reference to relevant reading, research and inspection findings.


Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:



  • Explore the legal and philosophical framework in which RE and Collective Worship is delivered in secondary schools
  • Critically examine and consider the aims and objectives of RE and how understanding of child and adolescent learning interface with these aims
  • Critically enter into the contemporary debate concerning curriculum provision, pedagogy and methods of teaching RE and consider the implications of these factors on behaviour management
  • Engage with some of the main issues around assessment in RE including the role of Agreed Syllabi, Attainment Targets and non-statutory RE levels.


Component 1 - 100% Essay (4000 words)





This module engages students with problematic areas of teaching and learning RE in secondary school. Pedagogic approaches that facilitate learning in school of these problematic areas of the subject curriculum are explored through practical engagement with subject specific pedagogic knowledge in seminar sessions. Students develop an area of expertise in their subject pedagogy that encourages future leadership, initially leadership of classroom learning in their subject and then potential subject leadership within school. The development of this expert knowledge provides opportunity to show creative problem solving informed by research evidence in an area of practice.


Scheduled : 24.00
Independent : 114.00
Placement : 100.00
Total :  238.00


This module aims to:


  • Develop a detailed knowledge of subject pedagogy, informed by current research and advanced scholarship;


  • Develop a critical knowledge of current research and advanced scholarship in specialist subject pedagogy and children’s learning in Religious Education

  • Prompt relevant and critical reflective practice of the effective teaching of RE

  • Encourage creative teaching of Religious Education

  • Provide opportunities to evaluate teaching strategies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new strategies to develop classroom leadership of learning

  • Develop the professional knowledge of issues in the teaching of Religious Education that will support future subject leadership in school.


Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:


  • Explore aspects of subject knowledge specifically key concepts, beliefs and practices within the six major world faiths

  • Examine subject specific pedagogies in Religious Education teaching that evidence supports as potentially effective strategies to help pupils overcome barriers to subject learning, such as Experiential RE
  • Demonstrate awareness of how pedagogic developments that stem from research evidence and the development of professional practice can enhance learning within RE
  • Comprehend key areas of consideration in exploring spiritual issues with secondary pupils and develop a variety of different approaches to exploring such issues
  • Comprehend the contrasting philosophical and pedagogical requirements of teaching RE within the non-faith and faith sectors ( with particular emphasis on the Catholic sector )
  • Demonstrate an awareness of relevant health and safety issues and sensitivity and etiquette issues in planning and leading visits to places of worship and faith centres


Component 1 - 100% Essay (4000 words)





This module allows trainee teachers to develop, practice and begin their professional competences as a secondary school teacher, through work in schools/ classrooms/ settings over a nine week placement. It is organised so that in successive modules the trainees will take increasing responsibility for teaching pupils and fulfilling the duties expected of a teacher. During the placement they will have the opportunity, supported by School based mentors, Class teachers and subject leaders to develop the qualities and skills necessary to manage pupils, monitor their learning and reflect upon and evaluate their knowledge of the National Curriculum requirements. They will demonstrate expertise in the pastoral and professional duties of a teacher and begin to acquire and develop skills in monitoring pupil’s progress.


Scheduled :
Independent :
Placement : 315.00
Total :  315.00


This module aims to:


  • Enable Trainee Teachers to observe and practise the procedures which support effective preparation for teaching and learning as set out in the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2012)

  • Enable the trainees to make the transition from observing and supporting lessons to independently planning and delivering lessons

  • Enable trainees to develop a range of behaviour management strategies, which they are increasingly able to apply effectively and appropriately

  • Acquire professional competencies necessary to deliver their specialist subject as laid out in the National Curriculum and national qualification examination board syllabi, for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 (as appropriate) so as to merit Qualified Teacher Status

  • Provide trainees with a structured programme and a supportive environment which will enable them to observe, develop and practise a range of professional skills and competences, which will develop their own professional values and judgement. This professional role is premised upon commitment to equal opportunities.

  • Provide opportunities to contribute to the teacher’s wider role of pastoral care, including experience of form tutoring, PSHE and Citizenship.


Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:


  • Begin to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum requirements for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 (as appropriate) in their specialism.

  • Begin to present their specialist subject knowledge clearly and relevantly to the pupils and appraise the place and contribution that their subject makes within the school curriculum.

  • Begin to demonstrate an understanding of the practice, process, strategies and methods of planning, teaching, behaviour management, evaluation and assessment, monitoring and recording of pupils progress for the effective learning for every pupil.

  • Begin to evidence a working knowledge of teacher’s contractual duties including teaching, pastoral and legal duties.

  • Begin to critically reflect upon the quality if their teaching and its impact upon learners and use this information to inform future practice.

  • Begin to demonstrate effective differentiation of teaching to meet the needs of all learners through the use of challenging learning objectives, range of teaching strategies and effective monitoring and assessment.

  • Create and maintain a purposeful and orderly learning environment within a classroom.

  • Develop effective working relationship with pupils, adults and other professionals




Component 1 - % Summative Report agreed between School Mentor and Newman Tutor


SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 2: details currently unavailable


TRANSITION AND ENHANCEMENT PLACEMENTS: details currently unavailable

Course code


UCAS code: V6X1

Current Vacancies
Applications are made through UCAS


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