Education (Postgraduate Certificate in Education)

Welcome to Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at The University of Manchester.

Welcome messages


    PGCE Primary: Liz, Rebecca and Karen

    The Primary PGCE team is looking forward to welcoming you to The University of Manchester for the start of what will undoubtedly be a very rewarding year of training and teaching!

    You will be able to register online from 1 September and your university teaching timetable starts on Monday 5 September. Key dates are as follows:

    • 1 September - Online registration starts
    • 5 September to 9 September - Induction week and the start of the course
    • 5 September to 23 December* - Term 1 taught sessions and placement
    • 24 December to 2 January - Independent study and Christmas break
    • 3 January to 31 March - Term 2 taught sessions and placement
    • 3 April to 14 April - Independent study and Easter break (indicative)
    • 17 April to 30 June - Term 3 placement

    Please note that any school half-term breaks (in October, February, and May) are University weeks so please do not assume that you will be able to book holidays during these weeks.

    *Trainees will follow the same pattern of Easter break dates as their placement school. The dates on this table are indicative only and may not be the same for all schools. We do not advise booking holidays/flights during this time until you know which dates your placement school will take for the Easter break. 

    Before the start of the course, you received a pre-course handbook with reflective activities and initial course information.

    The main course handbook will be available for you to download from the VLE Blackboard, after registration.

    If you still have any outstanding documents to complete or send in, please do so as a priority as this can delay your registration in September and subsequent access to the VLE Blackboard and email.

    Most of our university-taught course curriculum sessions will be on campus with the exception of a few whole cohort lectures which may be online.

    The first week includes some crucial sessions such as an introduction to your assessment and assignments for QTS, safeguarding in schools, professionalism, effective learning environments, and an introduction to the Teachers’ Standards and Trainee Portfolio.

    You will also have your first teaching sessions in maths, English, and science.

    Core trainees will meet your university professional tutor and tutor group colleagues.

    School Direct (SD) trainees will meet the University School Direct lead.

    The first lecture for all trainees will start promptly at 10am on Monday 5 September in Kilburn Building Room 1.1.

    Please arrive in good time.

    The first day will finish at approximately 4pm.

    If you are not familiar with the University campus please refer to the interactive campus map which you can find online.

    All university-taught course timetabled sessions usually begin at 9.30am and finish by 4pm.

    We will use the TEAMUP calendar app to share the timetable with you and this will include the link to all Zoom sessions and the building/room numbers for campus-based sessions.

    Please download the app onto your computer, phone, or tablet before the course starts.

    Instructions for this will be sent to you via Blackboard announcements on 1 September.

    PGCE Secondary: Dr Andrew Howes

    I am delighted to welcome you to the Secondary PGCE course here in The University of Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), a vibrant and diverse community of staff and students working on educational research projects in classroom pedagogies, inclusive education, mental health, disadvantage and poverty, educational leadership, as well as in teacher education and development.

    Much of the research and scholarship that goes on in MIE is with and for teachers and trainee teachers.

    The PGCE course that you will soon be joining is recognised as outstanding by our trainees and by Ofsted, and also by our many school and college partners in the North West.

    The course is embedded in practice and is part of a successful, energetic, and committed academic and postgraduate community.

    Week beginning Monday 5 September

    Core PGCE trainees should aim to organise a five-day primary school placement this week, and complete the Primary School Placement assignment.

    If you find this placement difficult to arrange at this time, it can be completed at the end of the course, or sometimes during one of your vacation weeks.

    School Direct trainees will be contacted by your lead school, with details of arrangements for this week.

    Monday 12 September

    This is the first day of the University course, marking the beginning of an initial, focused period of just over three weeks of preparing for your first main placement.

    Much of the Secondary PGCE course is organised around subject groups.

    You are training to be a teacher with a particular specialism, working with your peers and with specialist staff in that subject - but you are also training to be a teacher with wider professional responsibilities, and so another important strand of your training, Educational and Professional Studies (EPS), will take place in cross-subject groups.

    Whilst EPS, and some elements of your subject course may take place online we expect most sessions to be face-to-face this year.

    Your subject leader will be sending more details of the session course shortly.

    Please note, the first day may be online, or may be in-person on campus – your subject leader will be sending more details of this shortly.

    You will find information and suggested pre-reading for both your subject and for the EPS strand available on this site, as well as a subject knowledge audit to help you focus your subject knowledge development (you may have received this already).

    To become more familiar with the course, its requirements, and the timetable, please read through the mini-handbook.

    The main course handbook, and specific subject handbooks, will be available for you to download from the VLE, Blackboard, once you have registered for the course.

    Dr Andrew Howes
    Course Director, PGCE Secondary

    Support and advice

    If you have any questions about your course, you can get in touch with our teaching and learning team at

    For the latest engagement and support information, events and activities, follow SEED Student Support and Guidance on Facebook or Eventbrite.

    For more information about the whole range of support available from the University, please visit the University's Student Support website.

    You can use the live chat facility below to contact our course support teams for help and advice on things such as registration, course unit selection, and exams.

    Live chat is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

    Preparing to start your course

    Visit the Get Ready pages. There are a few practical things we need you to complete in your first few weeks to get things started. 

    Take a look at the Welcome and Induction pages. We're looking forward to welcoming you to Manchester. 

    For a welcome to your chosen course, Your Area of Study has welcome messages from department senior staff and colleagues.

    The city of Manchester

    Find out more about the city of Manchester:

    Study skills

    Knowing what additional academic and study skills support is available and how to access this is essential for getting the most out of your time at University. Whether you would like to know how to write better essays, how to develop your critical thinking and analysis skills, learn how to reference accurately, or manage your time better, the University has the academic and skills support to help. 

    My Learning Essentials is the library's award-winning skills support programme. It offers face to face and online support across a variety of topics. 

    Student support services

    We warmly welcome you to the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and we hope you are looking forward to beginning your journey here as a student at the University of Manchester. Starting a new programme can be both exciting and challenging so we wanted to let you know that the Student Support and Wellbeing Team is here to support you throughout your time as a student in the School of Environment, Education and Development. From questions about your programme, to mitigating circumstances; from support for wellbeing or welfare concerns to support for a disability or academic skills support; and everything in between, we are on hand to assist in any way that we can! To get in touch, simply email, or visit the Arthur Lewis Building (2nd floor). 

    There are a wide range of support services across the university so it’s well worth taking a moment to familiarise yourself with some of what’s available: 

    Support for international students

    For all students planning to travel to the UK, it is important to be aware of the current rules and requirements relevant to your circumstances before travelling. The situation is changing on a regular basis, so we strongly advise you regularly check the advice available from the UK Government. There is also support available and useful information on the EU and international students FAQs page

    Further support for international students can be found below:

    Support for students from under-represented backgrounds

    We recognise that some student groups will need specific support during their time at university. You may belong to one or multiple groups and we are here to ensure that you can access the help you need. 

    Further help and support

    There is lots of help and support available from your programme and student support team from now and when you will join us in September. 

    You can get in touch with us now with any queries about your studies by contacting us on

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