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PGCE Primary: Modern Languages

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Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

Alumni will receive a bursary of £1,000.

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.


Entry requirements

All applicants must hold an honours degree or equivalent qualification.  The majority of successful applicants will have a 2:2 or above degree but we do accept applicants with a lower classification but an otherwise strong application.

Your personal statement is important; it should convince us that you are serious about teaching as a career. You will need to demonstrate a strong awareness of the complex role of the teacher in supporting learning. You should ensure that you make reference to any voluntary or paid experiences in schools.

All applicants must have GCSE passes in English, mathematics and science at grade C / 4 or above. We will consider applicants who are taking the relevant GCSEs whilst applying.

We would normally expect applicants to have taken and passed the full GCSE course, however in some circumstances we do accept equivalent qualifications or equivalency tests. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualification we may accept.

Students on the modern language routes will also usually need to have an A2 or above in French or Spanish (grade A - C or equivalent) and the ability to be sufficiently proficient in that language to carry out training requirements and teaching within a primary placement. If you do not meet these entry requirements but are keen to follow the ML specialism, please contact the module tutor, Elaine Minett at Evidence of proficiency will be sought at interview.

Student view

Zoe Gossage
Primary PGCE with MFL student

I always wanted to teach Spanish to young children and when I found out that a Primary PGCE with MFL specialism was offered at Chichester University I applied straight away. The course covered everything with a big emphasis on Maths and English and the way the groups were split, the MFL cohort were mixed in with pure Primary too. This meant we didn’t miss out on all the other opportunities of the Primary course. However as an MFL specialist the best opportunity for me was teaching in Tenerife for a month. This excelled my own grasp of the Spanish language, it enabled me to see how different teaching can be in different countries and improved my confidence teaching languages and putting all the techniques learnt to use! Overall the whole course was fantastic and I felt very supported by my lecturers and tutors. After graduating from my PGCE, I was a Year 3 teacher in a local school teaching the whole curriculum for a year. However since Spanish was always my passion, I am now a full time Spanish teacher in the independent sector teaching 4 to 13 year olds. As an alumni I enjoy coming back to Chichester Uni for the MFL conference held every year and still feel supported as a new teacher with termly meet ups.

Sarah Watson
Primary PGCE with MFL student

I took the specialist route in modern foreign languages when studying for my PGCE and I’m so pleased I did. We enjoyed the same learning experience as general PGCE students but as specialists, we benefited from some superb training as language teachers. The training was practical and interactive, and the activities could be easily tailored and applied in our own teaching. I was particularly pleased with the University’s flexible approach to teaching placements. Most of the MFL students completed a teaching practice in Belgium or Spain, but those of us with family commitments were able to do a specialist language placement in a local school, something I found very enjoyable and beneficial. Qualifying as a teacher is a great achievement, but adding a specialism gives an extra dimension to your C.V. when it comes to job hunting.


Jessica Bhatty-Garcia
Primary PGCE with MFL student

My PGCE was made special by the fact that I specialized in MFL. Not only was I able to meet other bi-lingual students including those specializing in secondary teaching, I was able to plan with them in order to deliver successful lessons. One highlight for me was that I was placed for two weeks in a school in Horsham where I taught a Spanish lesson to every class across the board allowing me to work with different topics and ages. 

Another great part of the course was teaching the rest of the PGCE students some Spanish through a foundation subject. The opportunities I have been given due to the course are incredible and include sending me on a placement which became my career school. I thoroughly recommend the course to any prospective students.

Course content

We have a long and distinguished history in preparing new teachers for the primary classroom. Since 1839 we have empowered our students to become confident and inspiring teachers. We are committed to supporting each of our students to succeed through high quality training in partnership with local schools.

This full-time, one year course is designed to train you to apply your knowledge flexibly to a variety of contexts and to model good practice while teaching. The Primary Modern Languages route is designed to prepare you to teach across the primary curriculum and develop expertise in teaching and learning modern languages.

The course runs from September to July and you’ll spend the majority of this time (at least 24 weeks) on placement in schools. As part of the course all students will spend time teaching a Modern Language in a partnership school in the UK; there is also the option to teach abroad in Belgium or Tenerife.

We also offer two other routes:

The course enables you to develop your skills of critical analysis and engage with educational research at the same time as developing practical classroom skills through school experience. It is taught at master’s level which will allow you to gain up to 60 credits towards a master’s qualification in the future. By the end of the course, you’ll be a reflective practitioner equipped to continue your professional learning throughout your career.

The programme is taught by experienced and enthusiastic tutors, in partnership with mentors and teachers in local schools who will support you throughout the year.

“Leaders across all phases provide highly responsive support to enable trainees to overcome any barriers that emerge.” (Ofsted, 2017)

We are offering a £1000 cash bursary for alumni students continuing their studies with a PGCE.

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the all the facilities you require for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Our award winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus.  It hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors.  Also situated in the LRC is the Support and Information Zone to help with any enquiries, over 80 open access work stations and Costa Coffee.  An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans. Plus, our classroom resources library offers over 20,000 resources for you to borrow while on placement.

At Bognor Regis campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.


Where this can take you

This programme will enable you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status and work as a primary class teacher either with your own class or as a specialist teacher. While the vast majority of graduates choose to work in a primary school, in previous years, some students have been employed in secondary schools, special schools or the wider education sector. Many of our previous students have progressed in their careers and now hold senior posts in their schools.

“School and settings leaders hold the programmes in high regard and actively seek to appoint candidates from the University of Chichester partnership.” (Ofsted, 2017)

Work placements

School placements

The PGCE programme is taught in close partnership with a range of primary schools. During the programme, you will experience a number of different placements. These include two extended placements each lasting 8-10 weeks where you will take on increasing responsibility for teaching.

During placements you will be supported by a school-based mentor and a link tutor from the University. School experience provides the opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in education and the wider educational context. Through the year you will develop teaching skills, starting by teaching small groups of pupils and leading to proficiency in teaching a whole class subjects across the primary curriculum.

In addition, there is the option to spend four weeks of your school placement in Belgium or Tenerife. The University of Chichester is partnered with universities in French-speaking Belgium and Spanish-speaking Tenerife. You will typically spend four weeks in the partner school in Spring and will follow a carefully structured programme of increasing teaching time, designed to take you through a period of induction, proactive integration, professional consolidation and total immersion.  You will be expected to take an active part in school life, developing an understanding of, for example, the curriculum, the school day, pastoral responsibilities, extra-curricular opportunities, classroom management and health and safety. During your placement, you will be expected to teach groups and whole classes in French or Spanish; you will also teach English as an additional language in the primary school.

If your circumstances do not allow you to study abroad, then you can complete the Primary Modern Languages PGCE while on placement in the UK. This placement will enable you to contribute to the development of the international dimension in a school. This may involve teaching the foreign language but will certainly require you to raise pupils’ awareness of cultures and practices other than their own. 

Indicative modules

The university-based study is divided into four key areas which will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required to plan and manage creative and effective lessons while ensuring that pupils of all abilities are motivated to learn. These key areas are:

  1. Core Curriculum
  2. Wider Curriculum
  3. Professional Studies
  4. Teaching and Learning in Modern Languages

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum module will develop your confidence and enjoyment to teach English, Mathematics and Science. Through lively and interactive seminars, you will develop your subject, curriculum and pedagogical knowledge in all three subjects.

It will equip you to take a critical and reflective view of each subject’s curriculum and pedagogies. You will develop a detailed understanding of the distinctive features of each subject area and explore relevant research concerning children’s learning in that subject.

By linking your learning to school experience, the module will promote the necessary competencies and understanding you need to plan, teach and assess the core curriculum effectively.

Wider Curriculum

This module aims to develop your critical understanding and enthusiasm for the whole primary curriculum. It will consist of a range of engaging practical workshops addressing the teaching of the primary curriculum (for example: Art, Computing, Design and Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Physical Education, and Religious Education). You will develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of key curriculum documents and a critical awareness of current issues and debates surrounding the primary curriculum.

It will prepare you to plan, teach and assess effectively in these areas and to develop cross-curricular approaches to teaching and learning.

Professional Studies

In this module, you will develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin primary education. You will be taught by a range of expert tutors who will share their knowledge and passion for primary education and children’s learning.

During a range of seminars and lectures, you will critique educational research findings and methods and learn how to apply this in the classroom.

Topics will include lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment methods, behaviour management and other important aspects of teaching. A particular focus will be on issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding in the classroom.

“All members of the partnership are committed to equal opportunities, inclusion, diversity and widening participation. Trainees are provided with admirable models of this values-driven approach which they replicate in their work with children and pupils.” (Ofsted, 2017)

By the end of the year, you will have developed your own personal educational philosophy and be able to apply this in the classroom and articulate it to other professionals.​

Teaching and Learning in Modern Languages

This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the role of the Modern Languages teacher. You will reflect on the way in which children learn foreign languages and develop your understanding of the role of the Modern Languages Co-ordinator.

You will learn how to manage the modern languages classroom and ensure effective use of the target language by both pupils and teachers. The module will consider the place of Modern Languages in the Key Stage 1 curriculum and how to plan for progression, continuity and transition between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.

You will consider the benefits of a cross-curricular approach to Modern Languages and the role of the subject specialist including running staff meetings, creating policies and providing support for non-specialists. 

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

In order to qualify for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you must pass all school experiences and pass a 12,000 word portfolio at master’s level.

The portfolio consists of a number of tasks that you will complete during the year and share with your Academic Adviser, a member of university staff who will support you throughout the year. They will provide feedback on your work and support you to achieve. Each of the tasks is designed to support your development as a primary teacher and is directly relevant to your practice in the classroom.

School experiences are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards – you will be regularly observed by your mentor and link tutor and will collect evidence of your progress.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs


DBS check

PGCE applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Costs incurred during School Experience

Over the duration of your course you will spend 24 weeks on placement. These school experiences are organised  in our partnership schools which extend across East & West Sussex, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and into Surrey. Travel to placements, which  can be by car or public transport, varies but your commute will not usually  exceed 1 hour from your term time address to the placement school (assuming your term time address is within our partnership area). 

Students not in receipt of a government bursary may receive a contribution towards travel costs depending upon the distance.

 Whilst on School Experience appropriate professional dress will be required.

 Students may wish to purchase a laptop/tablet to use whilst on school experience as schools are not required to provide these. 

Financial help available from the University

We offer a number of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at Chichester, including an Alumni bursary of £1,000 on this PGCE route. Our Finance pages provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.