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PGCE Secondary Physical Education

Become a qualified secondary PE teacher

Become a qualified secondary PE teacher

1 year full-time
Bishop Otter and Bognor Regis campuses
  • Qualify as a secondary teacher in just one year
  • Specialise teaching Physical Education at a secondary level
  • Learn at a university with over 180 years' experience in teacher training
  • Blend of professional placements and creative theoretical teaching
tutor and student with football

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Qualify as a PE teacher in just one year

Learn the art of teaching PE

If you have a passion for sport and wish to teach at secondary school or college level, then our PGCE Secondary Physical Education course is an ideal option for you.

This full-time, one-year course is designed to train you as a confident and inspiring secondary teacher.

At the end of this one-year degree, you’ll be ready to confidently begin teaching PE in a secondary school.

Our PGCE Secondary Physical Education course offers you the chance to build knowledge of your chosen subject area and wider professional teaching skills such as lesson planning, learning strategies, behaviour management and more.

This is achieved through a balance of study of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the teaching profession, the fundamentals of the national curriculum, and a dedicated focus on the development of your understanding of the role of a secondary school teacher.

In addition, you will gain vital hands-on experience of working within the classroom through our 28-week placement programme, which will develop your confidence and competence to teach effectively.

After successful completion, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) so that you can begin working as a teacher in a secondary school.

Outstanding Ofsted provider

The University of Chichester is proud to have received a rating of Outstanding from Ofsted at its inspection this year.

The Ofsted report recognised that “trainees leave very well-placed to continue on their journey towards being aspirational, inspirational and motivational teachers.”

Ofsted Outstanding Provider logo

“…trainees flourish at the University of Chichester and develop into skilled and knowledgeable global citizens.”

“University and school staff support trainees to thrive through their highly effective ‘team around the trainee’ approach.”

“Trainees value the nurturing family ethos at Chichester, with one trainee commenting, ‘they are there to catch you when you fall, but they are also there to stop you falling in the first place’.”

Ofsted Report 2023

Proud history of teacher training

The University of Chichester has been training teachers for over 180 years and we look to train employable professionals who can get out there and make a difference.

You will be taught by experienced physical education specialists and our dedication to small teaching groups allows you to develop strong professional relationships with the University teaching team.

On this course you will:

  • Specialise in teaching PE.
  • Gain Qualified Teacher Status upon completion of the course that will allow you to teach PE in secondary schools in England and Wales.
  • Develop your competence and confidence working within the classroom environment.
  • Gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by the teaching profession.

The Course

Develop your knowledge and understanding of teaching PE at secondary school level

Every day that you spend in the classroom will have an impact on the lives of others, as we can all testify by remembering the impact that inspirational teachers had on us in school.

Three quarters of the course is spent in school, with your time divided mainly between two school placements.

During the course, you’ll split your time between placements in schools and university-based training.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Subject study

The university-based study modules are designed to help you become a reflective, creative and effective classroom practitioner, informed by the latest research and practice.

Your subject study modules will be delivered in small seminar groups led by an enthusiastic tutor, supported by guest speakers who work in different roles in school.

You will cover a wide range of issues concerning the teaching of the subject, including the philosophy of why and how we should be teaching it to children.

You will explore the curriculum, learn how to plan lessons and use assessment to inform your teaching, and how to support pupils with specific educational needs.

Professional studies

We’ll help you will develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin secondary education.

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.

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.

The topics you will cover in these modules include:

  • Professionalism in Education
  • Identity, Equality and Inclusion
  • Closing the gap in access and achievement
  • Reflective practice
  • Positive behaviour management
  • Working with learning support assistants
  • English as an additional language
  • Child protection and Prevent
  • Pastoral care in schools
  • Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
  • Research skills
  • The relationship between theory and practice
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Vocal skills
  • Applying for teaching posts
  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Building rapport and resilience

School placements

We know the best place to build your confidence and expertise as a teacher is in the classroom.

That’s why the majority of your time will be spent in schools. You’ll complete two main teaching placements in contrasting schools as well as completing short placements in other educational contexts.


This list is indicative and subject to future change.

Physical Education Subject Study 1

This module aims to introduce you to the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to become an effective secondary teacher with Physical Education as your specialist subject, and to develop your reflection and understanding of the place of PE in the curriculum.

The module will provide a professional foundation for the teaching of physical education and enable you to think critically about the curriculum and the implications of you teaching. It seeks to develop their pedagogical and organisational skills necessary to be a critical practitioner, and to critically understand how theory informs practice and practice informs theory. It is designed to enable trainee teachers to relate the standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to the teaching of PE. Studying PE in school should open doors to a lifetime of activity, enjoyment of and participation in PE.

Pupils should learn the importance of PE in relation to the whole school curriculum. the module critically engages you with the best available research evidence in order to develop understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

Physical Education Subject Study 2

This module continues to draw upon your own prior experience and understanding of PE in the context of education and schooling, building upon your most recent experiences and reflections arising from your school placement.

The main aim is to produce reflective, analytical and effective classroom practitioners who are able to develop their own position regarding the theoretical and practical delivery of secondary school PE through the design or adaptation of a scheme of work for a national curriculum activity area.

This module also aims to introduce student teachers to the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to become effective secondary teachers with Physical Education as their specialist subject, and to develop their reflection and understanding of the place of PE in the curriculum.

Professional Studies

This module develops your critical and rigorous understanding of the principles and values which underpin secondary education. You will expand your knowledge and understanding of professional requirements and behaviours, as well as the broader role, of the teacher in the secondary context.

The module will introduce and critique educational research methodology, analysis and ethics, in order to develop understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. It will therefore develop your ability to critically apply such knowledge and understanding in a professional context.

A particular focus will be on themes of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your abilities to be able to apply your knowledge and understanding of such issues in the classroom and in your whole school roles and responsibilities.

School Experience A

This module introduces the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to become an analytical, effective and reflective secondary teacher.  It is designed to enable you to relate the taught curriculum to your teaching and the broader role of the teacher. The experience will draw on your own prior experiences and skills and develop them within the partnership of school-based and university-based training and support.

This module will also introduce you to the professional practice of teaching and enable you to apply theories from university-based courses to the classroom setting. You will be based in a partnership secondary school and supported by a school-based mentor. At the start of your placement, you will be observing and reflecting on practice in the school including classroom teaching and the wider responsibilities of the class teacher.

Over the course of the placement you will be expected to plan, teach, evaluate and assess lessons. Initially, your focus will be on teaching parts of lessons or smaller groups, but over the course of the placement, and in negotiation with the mentor, this will be extended to whole class lessons.

By the end of the placement, you will be expected to show growing independence in your lesson planning and use some of your own planning across the curriculum.    

Throughout the placement you will be expected to demonstrate the appropriate values and professional conduct associated with becoming a teacher, sufficiently secure knowledge about the curriculum, personal subject knowledge, and classroom management skills. During this, you will have detailed records of your planning, assessment and reflections.

School Experience B

This final school experience is intended to enable you to gain proficiency in whole class teaching in their specialist subject. By the end of the placement, you will be able to demonstrate that they have met all of the Teachers’ Standards. You will have a broader understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in education, and the wider context within which schools operate. You will be able to identify areas for future development during your teaching career.  

Over the course of this placement, you will take on the responsibilities associated with being a class teacher.  You will plan, teach, evaluate, assess and monitor pupils’ progress across the subject curriculum over a sustained period. You will be expected to evaluate their progress and demonstrate how you have achieved targets set for you. They will make a significant contribution to planning, teaching and assessing the pupils in your class.  

Teaching and Assessment

Innovative teaching methods that develop your full potential as a future teacher


We use strategies that are designed to enable you to effectively master a broad base of concepts, skills, knowledge and understanding that will inform your teaching practice.

You will join lectures and small seminars led by experienced tutors, in which discussion and debate are key to developing your knowledge and skills.

Many of our staff have a strong background within education and use their experience to inform their teaching, as the help your development into a professional and capable teacher.


The course is assessed through observation during teaching placements and written assignments.

To gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students need to complete three 4,000 word equivalent assignments at FHEQ level 7 (Masters), and two blocks of School Experience.


Discover dedicated facilities that help support your learning

School Placements

Gain vital experience as you develop your confidence at the heart of the classroom

The PGCE programme is taught in close partnership with a range of local schools. During the course, you will experience a number of different placements.

We work with hundreds of partnership schools and organisations covering a wide area including West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, East Sussex and the Surrey border. These partners are based in rural and urban settings and cover a varied range of school types.

These placements will usually provide distinctive opportunities in which to develop your professional and teaching skills.

In particular, efforts will be made to place you in schools with different organisational characteristics and in contrasting socio-economic catchment areas.

The maximum travel time that we allow for these teaching placements is one hour in each direction from your term-time address to the placement school (assuming your term-time address is within our partnership area).

How the placements work

Around 70% of the course is spent in school, with your time divided mainly between two contrasting placements.

Gaining experience in a mix of settings will help you to develop the skills required to confidently start a career in teaching.

The University will find placements for you. Great care is taken to place you in schools that will support you and prepare you thoroughly for a career in teaching.

Support during your placements

School experience is invaluable to trainee teachers.

That’s why we take steps to ensure you are well supported.

We provide mentor training in our partnerships schools so you can learn from and build relationships with serving teachers.

You’ll also have the full support of the teaching staff at the University while you’re out on placement.


Take the first steps towards your career with secondary education

This programme will enable you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and work as a secondary PE teacher.

Many of our previous students have progressed in their careers and now hold senior posts in their schools.

Course Costs

Course fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

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

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Government bursaries

Bursaries of up to £28,000 are available in some subjects.  For further information visit the UK Government website.

Entry Requirements

Honours degree
or above where the content can be demonstrated to be at least 50% physical education.
in both English Language and Maths.
  • Some experience of observation in school and the ability to reflect on this are highly desirable.
  • Successful candidates are those who are able to demonstrate a genuine interest in sport through personal performance and the coaching of young people.
  • It is an advantage to hold governing body coaching awards.
  • You will be required to attend an interview and demonstrate awareness of professional requirements within schools and an awareness of the education sector.
  • GCSE Equivalency: 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. Please note, however, that we are unable to accept Level 2 Functional Skills courses that do not cover the full breadth of a GCSE. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualifications we may accept.
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is an overall IELTS score of 7.0 (including 7.0 in academic writing) other components no less than 6.5 – or equivalent qualification.


We pride ourselves on the interview experience. You’ll learn about the University and the course while we learn more about you and see your potential to teach.

The interview will be made up of typically five elements:

  • Registration, DBS and qualification checks
  • Campus Tour (optional)
  • Presentation from a university tutor
  • Baseline audit of skills in mathematics and literacy

Baseline audits

The baseline audit of skills will provide you with an opportunity to consider your strengths and areas for development in numeracy and literacy.

To help you prepare for the audits, head to BBC bitesize for support with the English and mathematics audits.

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.

Occupational Health Assessment

A satisfactory occupational health assessment is required.

Cost incurred during placements

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 an hour from your term-time address to the placement school (assuming your term-time address is within our partnership area).

Students 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.


Get in touch

We welcome contact from anybody who is considering applying for this course.  If you would like further information, then don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to us at SecondaryPGCE@chi.ac.uk.

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