Our one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) prepares you to teach music, using your skills and to deliver the music secondary school curriculum and specialist instrumental teaching.
This is a practical course where you will be immersed in music making, teaching and encouraged to use and develop your musical skills.
We teach you through practical sessions, and you’ll consider topics such as pop music, dance, gamelan, song writing and developing your subject knowledge. As part of the specialist instrumental teaching, you’ll also study a range of models of music education including Dalcroze Eurythmics, Kodaly, etc. through working and learning with various experts (both nationally and internationally) in these fields.
You’ll explore immersive ways to teach music and how to encourage pupils to engage with musical experiences.
One of the unique aspects of this course is that you’ll develop a range of skills in the classroom and in an instrumental setting and you’ll be able to see how these overlap and inform each other. Instrumental settings can range from group sessions in a primary school, teaching advanced violin to student working towards college auditions or delivering a whole class Samba lesson weekly with year 7 classes.
We have a partnership with the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and we hold regular study and support sessions there, so you can explore specialist teaching with an expert in your field, in previous years our students have received specialist French Horn teaching sessions. At RNCM, you’ll usually have the opportunity to experience guest lectures and concerts.
To help you explore how trips can benefit your students, you’ll typically be encouraged to visit a variety of musical venues across Manchester. This includes theatre schools and music organisations with outreach programmes.
When you’re at Manchester Met, you’ll mainly study with your PGCE Music group. They are one of your greatest learning resources.
You’ll consider how to plan lessons, reflect on your planning, learn how research can develop your teaching practice, specialist instrument practice and look at ways to develop your teacher persona.
You’ll also learn through peer-collaboration, sharing knowledge with your fellow music trainees.
You won’t simply learn theory with us on-campus though, you’ll teach classes in instrumental settings and schools too. You’ll spend at least 120 days on placements in schools – gradually becoming the class teacher.
This PGCE is available via University led and School Direct routes.
You will normally have a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree awarded by a UK university, or an equivalent higher education qualification or you must possess and show the necessary skills as a musician and an educator. Music is a unique subject and we have several high quality trainees who have had degrees in non-music subjects, but through professional work have shown the necessary skills to enter the course. For exceptional candidates, particularly those with substantial relevant work experience in schools or relevant occupations, we will consider applications from those who hold a 3rd class degree.
You will also need GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. However, applicants are able to apply with GCSEs pending for this course as we can offer MMU GCSE Equivalency tests.
We do not accept the following qualifications as equivalent to GCSE: Adult numeracy and literacy, Functional Skills or Key Skills
Experience in educational settings
Successful candidates will demonstrate a good understanding of teaching and learning within a secondary school setting.
Candidates may wish to evidence their understanding by drawing on related examples or experiences, such as time spent in schools or other learning settings.
Professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy
All PGCE applicants will need to pass pre-entry Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy. We recommend you check the Department of Education website at www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching for the latest updates
A Disclosure and Barring Service Check and DfE Fitness to Teach test are also required.
Overseas candidates should have Cambridge Proficiency in English or IELTS Band 7 with no less than 6.0 in any element.
On the University-led and School-Direct PGCE routes, you’ll have lectures and seminars at Manchester Met and spend at least 120 days on placements in schools across Greater Manchester.
At University, you’ll mainly study with the trainees in your music group. You’ll learn how to plan and deliver lessons through interactive, hands-on workshops.
Although you’ll mostly learn with your group, you’ll attend Critical Skills lectures and workshops regularly in mixed groups with students from other subject areas.
These sessions help you to develop skills outside of your subject knowledge. Some of the topics you’ll explore include behaviour management, mental health and emotional wellbeing, teacher persona, and non-verbal communication (such as body language).
You’ll also develop your research skills during these lectures, analysing the latest educational research and theories. Understanding research means that if you have an issue in the classroom (such as challenging behaviour or inclusion) you can explore research and use it to guide your teaching.
At the beginning of this course, we normally go on a group trip to a music venue in Manchester city centre. You’ll explore facilities to help students develop their knowledge of music.
During your first couple of weeks, we’ll help you to develop the organisational skills you’ll need as an music teacher (such as carrying out assessments and dealing with paperwork).
We’ll also give you a full overview of the year and the lesson planning activities you’ll be doing, to help you to stay organised throughout the course.
When you go for interviews for your first teaching post, you’ll be expected to present a portfolio of your work alongside your interview.
To make sure your portfolio is ready for interviews, you’ll work on it from December. This gives you time to make sure that you have all of the pieces of work that you’d like to showcase to schools.
You’ll go on your first block placement in late September, where you’ll put the skills you’ve learnt at University into practice and build your confidence in the classroom.
You’ll be involved in all aspects of teaching, from marking work to delivering lessons to helping with parents’ evenings.
When you’re on placement, you’ll have a school mentor (often the class teacher) to help you with day-to-day matters, and receive regular visits from your personal tutor and visiting tutor.
In the spring term, you’ll complete a short placement in a primary school. This experience helps to broaden your knowledge of teaching methods and develop your teaching skills.
If you are on the university-led route, you can also apply to spend a short time overseas at the end of placement B, gaining teaching experience in an international school. In previous years, trainees across the PGCE courses have taught at British International Schools in Kazakhstan, Cyprus and Norway, and public schools in France.
When you graduate, you’ll gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Music, and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to work in the 11 - 16 age range with post 16 enhancement.
You’ll also be awarded 60 master’s credits (a master’s degree is 180 credits), which you could put towards further study and career development.
Units on this course may include:
- Subject Pedagogy
- Critical Studies
- Reflection on Professional Development
- Practice Credit Unit – Placement Block A
- Practice Credit Unit – Placement Block B
Trainees will engage with current educational issues and recent and relevant research in order to further develop your understanding and to generate challenging and lively debate.
There will be a focus on:
- Promoting an inclusive learning and teaching environment
- Working in multi-professional teams
- Creating a climate for learning in the classroom
- Learning and teaching strategies
- Managing students' behaviour
- Planning and evaluating students' learning
- Developing knowledge and understanding of teachers' professional responsibilities
Read more about this year of study
Subject Pedagogy (Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching)
This double-weighted unit seeks to develop your ability to reconceptualise your knowledge and understanding in the subject and to apply this to your planning, preparation and classroom teaching in an effective manner.
This unit is inextricably linked with the other units, which run concurrently and enable the unit outcomes to be demonstrated in a range of complementary contexts. This PGCE Music course, which is closely linked to the Royal Northern College of Music, will prepare you for a career in music teaching and challenge your thoughts about music education. The course focuses on Teaching Music, Musically and on learning through active involvement in 'making sound'. All pupils are musical and engage with music, it is our focus to use music as a vehicle for progress and self-discovery.
The Specialist Instrumental Teaching route combines learning to teach music in the classroom and teaching your instrument (wind, brass, percussion, strings or voice) in different contexts. This is aimed at supporting you into a mixed portfolio career.
Reflection on Professional Development
The Reflection on Professional Development unit will enable you to critically reflect on your learning experiences through the lens of key theoretical ideas and research, and to monitor and evaluate your ongoing professional development against programme outcomes and the Teachers’ Standards. The unit continues throughout the programme and culminates in the submission of a digital reflective portfolio that traces your professional development and connects theory and practice.
The unit, through research and reflection on practice, will explore critical and professional issues i.e. the nature of an inclusive school curriculum, Assessment for Learning, Equality and Diversity, Classroom Management and Behaviour for Learning. You will be encouraged to reflect on your wider individual and collective professional experience in school and, through research and group discussion, develop individual responses in relation to your own practice. The unit is linked to the Subject Pedagogy unit and will develop your understanding of the wider professional role of the teacher and the classroom context in which subject teaching takes place. The assessment of the unit will be based on the your work in the Placement B school during the Development and Assessment phase of the programme.
This practice credit unit is two of two practice credit units that enables you to demonstrate your progress toward meeting the Teachers' Standards for Qualified Teacher Status. It provides contexts in which you can put into practice your own learning, reflect on your actions, evaluate your role in relation to pupils’ learning and review your performance in supporting teaching and learning in a more autonomous fashion.
This practice credit unit is one of two practice credit units that enables you to demonstrate your progress toward meeting the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status. It provides contexts in which you can put into practice your own learning, reflect on their actions, evaluate your role in relation to pupils’ learning and review your performance in supporting teaching and learning.
Assessment weightings and contact hours
10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
- Full-time 16.5% lectures, seminars or similar; 67% placement; 16.5% independent study
- Full-time 50% coursework; 50% practical; 0% examination
Additional information about this course
Fitness to teach - You will be required to complete an Occupational Health Assessment to ensure that your health does not constitute a barrier to the achievement of the programme learning outcomes or eligibility to apply for registration with the professional body. This will require the completion of a health questionnaire before or during the first few weeks of your course, followed by an occupational health screening appointment if required. Travel costs to appointments (which will be within the Greater Manchester area) will not be covered by the University. Professional Suitability - Students on programmes leading to professional qualifications are required to adhere to professional standards and codes of practice during their studies. Failure to do so may lead to exclusion from the programme on the grounds of professional unsuitability. Students will be briefed about the requirements at the start of their studies. Course specific regulations - Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies require students to achieve results that demonstrate their ability to practise safely.
On this one-year course, you’ll spend a minimum of 120 days on placements in schools.
We know that teaching a class can be daunting, so we’ll help to prepare you before you start your placements. You’ll have a gradual introduction to teaching, observing, getting to know your, pupils, classes and the teachers, before having the opportunity to teach classes on your own.
You’ll go to at least two contrasting mainstream secondary schools (such as a school in a rural setting or an inner city comprehensive) or colleges and a primary school. You may have the opportunity to experience a Special Educational Needs (SEN) setting, or a pupil referral unit (PRU) too.
On your placements, you might experience inner city or rural settings, mixed and single gender schools, City Academies, Comprehensive and Selective Schools, 11-16, 11-18, sixth form, and further education colleges.
You’ll experience teaching in a school and you’ll have the opportunity to teach in other settings such as a local music service.
This variety helps you to experience different situations and further develop your practical skills as a teacher.