University of Brighton

Art and Design (Secondary)

  • Course summary and entry requirements

    Course duration Help

    Full-time: 1 year

    GTTR code W1X1

    Professional accreditation

    The course leads to the recommendation of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

    About the course

    This course prepares graduates to teach in secondary schools. As well as gaining a PGCE, students are assessed against the national standards in order to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

    The opportunity to undertake masters level study within the course facilitates progression to an MA Education award after completion of the PGCE.

    Teaching skills are developed through studio-based workshops, lectures, group discussions, tutorials and self-managed study while on school placement. Key aspects include: the role of art, craft and design in pupils' development; effective teaching, monitoring and assessment; and uses of literacy, numeracy and ICT (computer-aided design and image manipulation).

    Typical entry requirements Help

    Individual offers may vary.

    GCSE (minimum grade C) or Access equivalent:
    English language and mathematics. In-house tests available for candidates without qualifications in mathematics and English.

    Foundation degree/HND
    Candidates with an art or design-based HND need to engage in further relevant study to obtain a degree before applying for the PGCE. Many BA courses accept HND students for a final year, and some offer a part-time two-year option for candidates who need to continue working.

    For non-native speakers of English:
    IELTS 7.0 in all elements.

    The Department for Education has introduced Professional Skills Tests in English and Maths for all applicants to teacher training (QTS) routes. These tests are compulsory, and it will not be possible to enter training without having successfully completed them. Candidates are able to book these tests in advance, and the Department for Education strongly advises you to take the tests soon after you have submitted an application.

    The University of Brighton recognises that these tests may present a real challenge to some candidates and we recommend that you prepare carefully before attempting them, as you are limited to only three attempts per test. We recommend that postgraduate applicants have passed the tests before they come to an interview as this will give you a clear advantage. However, if you have not yet passed the tests but have a clear strategy in place, we may well be prepared to consider your capacity to pass and potentially make you an offer of a place subject to their successful completion. When we make such an offer you will be given a clear deadline, usually within 2 months of your interview, so we advise that you plan ahead and book your tests well in advance so that you can organise your preparation.

    Details about the tests, including how to register and prepare for the tests, can be found here:

    All applicants are expected to have spent at least a few days in a secondary school recently, observing art lessons and discussing their thoughts about teaching and learning with the teachers concerned. All candidates, whatever their degree qualifications, are expected to be currently engaged in their own studio practice.

    All applicants are required to attend an interview in person either at the Falmer campus or in one of our partner schools.

    All offers of places are subject to a satisfactory health check and a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure check.

    Degree and/or experience:
    Degree (2:1 or above) in studio-based art or design discipline. Normally preceded by art foundation course or BTEC diploma.

    If your degree is in fashion, film, photography, animation, product design, architecture, interior design, graphic communication, or any other design discipline, you must also have a foundation course.

    If your degree is not in a studio-based visual art and design discipline
    History of art/design, cultural studies, visual culture, media studies and combined studies degrees can only be considered where studio-based creative practice has formed at least 50 per cent of the programme, or where a foundation course in art and design has been followed prior to the degree course. If there was no practical art in your degree, and you did not complete a foundation course, we advise taking a foundation course before applying for the PGCE.

    Visit the school that delivers this course

  • Course content

    Course structure

    The course comprises four strands: subject study/subject education, education studies, placements and professional development

    The subject study/subject education strand builds upon existing subject expertise and provides students with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the specialist subject in the secondary school context, allowing them to formulate their own rationale for teaching. Students consider pedagogical issues within curriculum development, and the learning and teaching strategies pertinent to the specialist subject, regularly reflecting upon, analysing, recording and evaluating their own learning experience. Students have the opportunity to develop a creative and constructively critical approach towards innovation within their specialism, and the capacity to improve practice.

    The Education Studies strand is common to all subject routes of the course and takes place both at the university and while on placement as a means of enabling students to develop practical competences supported by relevant, analytical skills.

    Teaching under supervision, on placement, occupies approximately two-thirds of the course. The university works in partnership with schools and colleges to provide a high quality programme of support ensuring a sound relationship between theory and practice. There are two placements in two different schools/colleges with the opportunity to visit further schools/colleges as part of the 'Peer Observation' programme.

    Professional Development is linked explicitly to all strands of the course and is designed to enable students to evaluate critically and reflect upon their learning in order to make improvements. Students are expected to gather and justify evidence of their achievements on a regular basis and, in the light of this, develop and implement improvement plans.

  • Fees and costs

    The fees listed here are for full-time courses beginning in the academic year 2014-15. Further tuition fees are payable for each subsequent year of study.

    The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, and whether you study full- or part-time. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - please contact the Doctoral College for advice.

    To help you plan for your time here we will be providing further information about what is included in your tuition fee, and any optional costs you may need to budget for, later in the autumn.

    Our website provides advice about funding and scholarships as well as further information about fees and advice on international and island fee paying status.


    Bursaries are available for eligible trainees on priority PGCE courses. Bursary amounts will vary depending on the subject route and your degree classification.

    In addition, a small number of discretionary bursaries may be awarded to trainees who we identify as having outstanding potential, and who fall within the bottom and middle tier for core bursary payment purposes.

    The purpose of the discretionary bursary fund is to provide an incentive for career changers or those from a professional background who possess extensive subject-related industry experience, acquired through their career, or through accredited further study.

    Eligible candidates will be identified through our recruitment process and invited to apply following an interview.

    Find out more about funding.


  • Location

    Location Help Falmer

    Our Falmer campus is located on the edge of the South Downs National Park on the outskirts of Brighton. Approximately 7,000 students are based here.

    View campus maps and directions

    Living in Brighton

    Brighton’s rich mix of historic architecture, lively arts scene, varied shopping and cosmopolitan community make it a vibrant, enjoyable place to live. It is no wonder that many Brighton graduates choose to stay here.

    Social scene

    Alongside the traditional seaside attractions, Brighton is famed for its exciting social scene with a wide choice of pubs, clubs and restaurants.

    Music event on the beach


    The highlight of the city’s cultural year is the Brighton Festival. The event is held each May and is England’s biggest arts festival, which showcases arts and performance from around the world. Brighton is also home to the UK’s oldest working cinema, the Duke of York’s, which shows alternative and mainstream films. The city is also well known for its exciting music scene and hosts The Great Escape music festival.

    Burning the Clocks winter solstice festival


    Whether you take your sport seriously or just want to keep fit, Brighton offers all kinds of sports opportunities and facilities, on and off campus. You can also make the most of the location, and play volleyball, basketball and windsurfing down by the beach. The seafront is also the finishing point for the famous London – Brighton bicycle ride and the quirky veteran car run.

    Playing volleyball on the seafront
  • Career opportunities

    Career prospects are excellent: most gain their first teaching posts in secondary schools as soon as they qualify.

    Visit the careers service website.