There are two components that are assessed for the award of the PGCE:
There are five discrete units which are assessed, two Coursework units and three PoT units. All of which have to be passed in order to achieve the award of PGCE.
The table below details the five units, which are offered and at which level and the corresponding Honours (H) and Masters (M) level credits.
Practice of Teaching
(12 credits at H or M level)
(12 credits at H or M level)
PoT 1 (12 credits at H level)
In order to be awarded the PGCE, and thus be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you must obtain a total of 60 credits from SD, EPS and Practice of Teaching units. You must pass all units.
At the start of the course, you will all be encouraged to be registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Masters level) programme. Although it is possible to transfer from the Postgraduate Certificate in Education to the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education should it prove necessary because of problems with coursework assignments, it is not possible to transfer in the other direction. Further details about re-submission of coursework and transfer between programmes is given below.
In the situation where a trainee wishes to transfer from the Postgraduate Certificate in Education to the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, a request should be made to the Director of Studies. Permission for the change has to be approved by the Faculty Board of Studies. Once approved, and providing the trainee passes the SD and EPS assignments at H-level, an award of the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education can be recommended to the Board of Examiners and the Faculty Board of Studies.
If you choose to study SD and EPS units at M-level you can obtain 24 credits at M level. These M level credits will have the potential to be used towards a Master's degree in Education. The value of M level credit will be explained to you in more detail during the course.
Each of the five PGCE units (PoT1, PoT2, PoT3, SD and EPS) must be passed at either H or M level for the award of PGCE.
Grades for each unit are confirmed by the Department of Education Board of Examiners. There are two types of Board meeting - Unit Boards which consider and recommend grades for units, and Programme Boards which receive unit grades and make recommendations about progression and awards. For the PGCE, there are several Unit Boards throughout the year, and two Programme Boards - one in January (recommendations for progression following PoT1) and one in June (recommendations for the award of the PGCE*). All recommendations are confirmed by Faculty Board of Studies.
* This Board also makes recommendations to the DfE regarding the award of QTS.
Full details of the assessment of SD and EPS units are given in the relevant handbooks. The major component of assessed work for these two units is an assignment of 5000 words (plus or minus 10%) for each unit. It is important that trainees adhere to the word limit and submissions below or above the limits will be penalised. The word length is the main text of the assignment and does not include reference lists or appendices. There is some discretion where an Educational Study includes a lot of quotations from, for example, interviews or questionnaires (but not from literature sources). In a sense, these quotations can be considered as 'data' and are equivalent to tables or graphs in more quantitative studies. If inclusion of such 'data' is going to be an issue with regard to word length, please discuss this with your tutor.
SD assignments will be marked by your SD tutor and you will be given a grade and a percentage mark as well as written feedback. Your Educational Study, which is the assignment for the EPS unit, is marked by your EPS tutor. Assignments marked at Masters (M) level are graded as Pass, Good Pass, Merit or Distinction. Assignments marked at Honours (H) level are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.
You will find details of the Assessment criteria for M and H level for both units in Appendix 4 .
You are required to upload an electronic copy to the PGCE Programme Moodle webpage (http://moodle.bath.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1420) following these instructions:
Trainees on the PGCE Programme complete two assignments, one of which is related to their Subject Didactics (SD) work and the other to the broader educational issues covered in the Education & Professional Studies (EPS) part of the Programme. Both assignments are 5000 words and form the major assessment component of12 credit units.
In terms of their SD assignment, trainees will be offered feedback on the completion of the 'literature review' part of the assignment. This will enable them to use that feedback to improve the quality of their final submission. With regard to the EPS assignment, a structured programme of support has been introduced which involves trainees being given feedback on their initial proposal and a literature review.
All assignments are submitted to Moodle electronically. They are then marked by the relevant tutors and feedback/grade uploaded for release, after moderation, within three weeks of submission. Feedback is structured to focus on strengths and areas for improvement relating directly to the assessment criteria as well as more general comments.
All coursework for assessment will have a specified date for submission. It is important to meet the submission date to ensure equity amongst students and to enable staff to mark efficiently. It is also vital you meet all deadlines for coursework as timelines for work to be processed by Boards of Examiners in late June must be adhered to. Moreover, the ability to meet deadlines is an important competence that you need to demonstrate during this year. Schools often ask us to comment on this aspect of your work when we write references. You must, therefore, submit adequately prepared coursework by the deadline dates. The Director of Studies may grant an extension of up to five days. You will need to apply to him in writing via email (copied to the PGCE Office and the relevant SD or EPS tutor) outlining the reasons why you are unable to meet the initial deadline. If there are individual circumstances preventing you from meeting even this five day extension deadline, you must inform the Director of Studies. Forms to request an extension from the Director of Studies are available from the PGCE Moodle course. You will need to provide a description of the circumstances which you feel support your request. The Director of Studies may ask you to produce supporting evidence.
If you submit a piece of work after the submission date without getting the approval of the Director of Studies for a five day extension, the maximum mark possible will be the pass mark of 45%. If you submit work more than five days after the agreed submission date, you will normally receive a mark of 0% (zero), unless you have been granted a further extension or a panel has agreed that there are Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs), as outlined below. You do not need to submit an IMC claim if you have already had an extension approved.
The British Educational Research Association have produced a set of research ethics guidelines, and trainees need to be aware of these and take them into account when carrying out any research in their schools. The guidelines can be found at: http://bera.dialsolutions.net/system/files/3/BERA-Ethical-Guidelines-2011.pdfations/guidelines/
We will be expecting you to be enquiring into, and critically evaluating, the work of teachers as part of your coursework programme. This places you in a privileged position and may give you access to information that needs to be handled sensitively. This is especially important if you intend to identify teachers and/or pupils in coursework assignments that may be read by a number of people both in the school and at the university. You should consult with your Professional Tutor, Subject Mentor or SD tutor if you are in any doubt about this matter.
All assignments are submitted electronically by uploading them to Moodle. You will be given information about how to do this at the appropriate time. We strongly advise you to ensure that all work created electronically is backed-up regularly onto separate media (memory stick, etc.) so that excuses such as 'my hard disk crashed' etc are redundant, as such would not constitute a legitimate reason for a late submission. You are responsible for your work however you choose to generate it.
Presenting work that is not your own for assessment constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a student 'borrows' or copies information, data, or results from an unacknowledged source, without quotation marks or any indication that the presenter is not the original author or researcher. Another form of plagiarism (and hence cheating) is auto-plagiarism or self-plagiarism. This occurs when a student submits work (whether a whole piece or part of a piece) without acknowledging that they have used this material for a previous assessment.
If you use someone else’s pre-existing work – say, by summarising it or quoting from it – you must reference the original author. This applies to all types of material – not only text, but also diagrams, maps, tables, charts, and so on. Be sure to use quotation marks when quoting from any source (whether original or secondary). Fully reference not only quotations, but also paraphrases and summaries. Such references should then be included in a bibliography or reference list at the end of the piece of work. Note that the need for referencing also applies to web-based material; appropriate references according to the type of work or image should always be given.
There are several acceptable methods of referencing material but you should the Harvard system for all PGCE coursework assignments.
Guidance concerning referencing and plagiarism is available from several sources, in addition to staff in the Department. They include:
and courses run by library staff
Any student who is found to have used unfair means in an examination or assessment procedure will be penalised. 'Unfair means' here include:
Penalties for unfair practice will be determined by the Department or by the Faculty Board of Studies. They may include failure of the assessment unit or part of a degree, with no provision for reassessment or retrieval of that failure. Proven cases of plagiarism or cheating can also lead to an Inquiry Hearing or disciplinary proceedings.
If you are accused of an offence, the Students’ Union’s welfare services are available to support you when your case is being examined.
"There can be no excellence without academic integrity"
All University of Bath students are required to work through mandatory training aimed at providing a common baseline of knowledge and understanding of good academic writing practice. This includes an understanding of plagiarism and other assessment offences, and the skills of good referencing and citation. It is followed by a mandatory test of understanding.
Centrally, the University is providing an online tutorial for training that all registered students can access through Moodle. You need your BUCS ID and password to access Moodle. You can repeat the tutorial to ensure you understand the definitions and what constitutes acceptable practice. Additional information on referencing and plagiarism and links to other training, guidance and sources of help are available from the Student Skills page at http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/support/academic/index.html
When you have completed the training tutorial – perhaps a couple of times - and are confident about it, you should undertake the mandatory test of understanding. The central test for students in your department is also accessed in Moodle. Your Director of Studies will inform you about the arrangements for the mandatory skills training and then sitting the test. To pass the test you will need to achieve a mark of 85%.
If you do not pass the test, you will need to re-visit the training and/or look at the other guidance available to you via the Student Skills site - www.bath.ac.uk/students/support/academic/index.html - or as required by your Director of Studies, and then re-take the test.
Until you pass this test you will not be able to progress beyond the next 'progression point' in your studies, irrespective of your programme marks. The 'progression point' on the PGCE course is the Board of Examiners held in January to receive Practice of Teaching 1 grades. The test must have been successfully completed by this point of the course for you to continue.
Please note that if you have already taken and passed the AI test as an undergraduate, you do not need to take it again for the PGCE - your result will be carried forward.
The University's QA Code of Practice, statement (QA53 Examination and Assessment Offences) contains the following:
When you hand in a piece of assessed coursework, you will be expected to make a declaration that the work is your own and, where you have re-used your own work and/or used other sources of information, that you have referenced the material appropriately.
The University uses the JISC Plagiarism Detection Service, Turnitin. This service checks electronic, text-based submissions against a large database of material from other sources and for each submission, produces an 'originality report’. It makes no judgement on the intention behind the inclusion of unoriginal work; it simply highlights its presence and links to the original source.
The service complies with European Data Protection legislation. When you registered with the University, you gave it permission to process your personal data for a variety of legitimate purposes. This includes allowing the University to disclose such data to third parties for purposes relating to your studies. The University, at its sole discretion, may submit the work of any student to the Plagiarism Detection Service (in accordance with Regulation 15.3e) and may make, or authorise third parties to make, copies of any such work for the purposes of:
i. assessment of the work;
ii. comparison with databases of earlier work or previously available works to confirm the work is original;
iii. addition to databases of works used to ensure that future works submitted at this institution and others do not contain content from the work submitted.
The University will not make any more copies of your work than are necessary, and will only retain these for so long as remains necessary, for these purposes.
Please note that, if at any time the University submits any of your work to the JISC Plagiarism Detection Service, the service will be provided with, and will retain, certain personal data relating to you – for example, your name, email address, programme details and the work submitted. Such data may be transferred by the Plagiarism Detection Service to countries worldwide (some of which may not be governed by EU Data legislation) in order for the work to be checked and an originality report generated in accordance with the proper workings of the Plagiarism Detection Service. Personal data is retained indefinitely by the JISC Plagiarism Service upon submission of work. You may ask for your personal data to be removed by contacting the University’s Data Protection Officer.
Each year a small number of trainees fail their coursework units and will need to produce further work for resubmission. What follows assumes trainees are initially registered on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme:
Trainees will normally be given an opportunity to resubmit a failed M-level coursework assignment. The initial fail grade will be considered by a Board of Examiners at the end of the course. The BoE will also decide on (i) whether a trainee should be permitted to undergo re-examination by completing a further assignment; and (ii) the focus, requirements and deadline for any further assessment. The deadline will normally be six months from the date of the Board. However, if the trainee is able to resubmit earlier and passes, the grade can be approved through a process of Chair's Action allowing a final award of the PGCE at that time subject to all other units having been passed.
In order to transfer to the H-level programme (as in 2. and 3. above), the trainee must write formally to or email the Director of Studies asking to be transferred. The trainee will be given a deadline prior to the June Board of Examiners by which to make this formal application to the DoS. The trainee's SD and/or EPS tutor must provide written support for this request. If the request is approved and the submitted coursework item is awarded H level credits, the trainee will be recommended for the award of the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education and not the Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
If, however, the H-level submission is still graded as a fail and this is confirmed by the BoE, the BoE will also decide on the following: whether a trainee should be permitted to undergo re-examination by completing a further assignment; and the focus, requirements and deadline for any further assessment. If a failing trainee is permitted to undergo re-examination.
Decisions relating to any re-examination will be taken by the next BoE (or under Chair's action). The trainee will be advised of the outcome in writing as soon as a decision has been made.
In the process above, the moderated fail grade will be communicated to the trainee within three weeks of the submission deadline as in 4.3.1 above (i.e. mid-May). At that point there will be discussion with the relevant SD and/or EPS tutor about options for resubmission or transfer as above. Although the M-level fail grade will be not be confirmed by the Board of Examiners until late-June (and trainees might wish to appeal that decision), there is no reason why trainees cannot begin whatever work is needed for a M-level resubmission or for submission for H-level assessment from mid-May onwards. Thus, assuming the grade is confirmed by the Board in June, the assignment can be resubmitted soon afterwards. In this way, trainees wishing to complete the PGCE and to be recommended for QTS in order to start teaching posts in September would be able to do so.
Assessment of the three Practice of Teaching (PoT) units is made at the end of each Block teaching placement. Essentially, these units are assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. Assessments are made with reference to our interpretation of the DfE's 'Teachers' Standards' (https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/SchoolsSO/Page1/DFE-00066-2011 ). They use evidence from the Assessing Trainee Progress (ATP) profile. This profile (based on an Excel spreadsheet) builds up from the start of the course and is a way of monitoring your progress, setting targets as well as generating grades after each Practice of Teaching placement. You will be compiling evidence of your progress in your Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) which will support judgements made by your mentors and professional tutors at key points in the course.
At the end of each teaching block schools and tutors assess the trainee teacher against each Standard using the ATP levels set out below:
The following appendices give more detailed information about the ATP framework and the assessment of Practice of Teaching units:ATP descriptors (handbook version).pdf
A trainee deemed to be at risk of failing any Practice of Teaching (PoT) unit will be subject to internal review prior to the meeting of the relevant PGCE Board of Examiners (BoE). Reports will be received from the trainee's SD/EPS tutors which identify the areas for concern. Relevant information will also be requested from the trainee's placement school and it is likely that the trainee will be visited to observe teaching by someone from the University in addition to visits from the SD tutor. The trainee's case will then be reviewed in detail, with possible areas for consideration being: whether the trainee should be recommended to undergo re-examination and if so, how long this should be and what specific conditions of placement need to be identified (i.e. which Standards need addressing, level of support they would need in further placement, topic of second assignment).
Where it is confirmed that a trainee has failed PoT1 in the January Programme Board, the trainee will not be permitted to progress beyond this point and will be required to withdraw from the programme. This assumes that the trainee has either decided not to appeal against the decision or has appealed but the appeal has not been upheld.
A trainee with a Fail grade for PoT2 may continue on the programme but might wish to consider withdrawing from the course at the end of the Block 2 placement as successful completion of this unit is necessary for the award of the PGCE. Any recommendations about repeating the unit will not be made until the Programme Board of Examiners in June. Any additional teaching placements and re-examination will therefore have to take place beyond the 36 week programme and will need to follow the same process as outlined below for failure of PoT3 in terms of finding a suitable placement school and associated costs for re-examination, etc.
A student may request that the Board of Studies review a decision relating to a failed final examination or formal course assessment or failure to progress to the next part of a degree. University Regulation 17 (Conduct of Student Academic Reviews and Appeals) explains in which circumstances this may be requested. The grounds under which such a review may be permitted are:
(i) that circumstances exist affecting the performance of the candidate of which the Board of Examiners have not been made aware and which the student could not reasonably have been expected to have disclosed to the Director of Studies in accordance with the Regulation on individual mitigating circumstances (Regulation 15.3 d);
(ii) that there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the examinations or formal course assessments (including administrative error) of such a nature as to cause reasonable doubt whether the Board of Examiners would have reached their decision had the irregularities not occurred;
(iii) that there is positive evidence of prejudice, bias or inadequate assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners.
Any student seeking a review on any of the grounds indicated above must notify the Chair of the Board of Studies in writing within fourteen days of being notified of the decision of the Board. The request should be submitted on the appropriate form (available at http://www.bath.ac.uk/registry/appeals/ ). The request for a review must include:
a) a statement specifying which of the grounds set out in Regulation 17.4 apply to the case for review;
b) a statement of the circumstances leading to the case for review;
c) any additional documentary evidence;
d) a statement of the student's desired outcome;
e) an explanation as to why the student was previously unable to provide any new information disclosed to the Board of Studies at this stage.
The Chair of the Board of Studies, in consultation with the Head of Department, has the discretion to decide that there are insufficient grounds to warrant holding a review. The student will be advised of this decision and their right to submit an appeal in accordance with Regulation 17.11.
Where the Chair of the Board of Studies, in consultation with the Head of Department, agrees that there is a prima facie case for an academic review, the Chair may consult with the Director of Studies and internal examiners to determine whether or not the student¿s desired outcome is the most appropriate action in view of the circumstances and the student's academic profile. Where this is the case, the Chair may take executive action to approve the outcome without the need for a review hearing. It should be noted that executive action cannot be invoked in cases where the review relates to the conferment of an award.
Where the Chair, in consultation with the Head of Department, agrees that there is a prima facie case for a review but executive action is deemed inappropriate, the Board of Studies will conduct a review hearing. The student will be expected to be present at the hearing, accompanied by a friend or adviser (such as a Students¿ Union Sabbatical Officer).
A student who disagrees with the outcome of a review hearing may submit a request for a review apprasial for which the relevant procedure is set out in Regulation 17.12.
Students considering lodging a request for an academic review or a review appraisal should discuss the matter with the Director of Studies, their personal tutor or the Students Union Vice President (Education) or Advice and Representation Centre, email: email@example.com) as soon as possible.
Students should consult the University's guide to academic review and review appraisal procedures at http://www.bath.ac.uk/registry/appeals/ and the Regulations governing these procedures at www.bath.ac.uk/regulations/ .
Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs) refer to conditions or circumstances that either prevent temporarily a student from undertaking assessment or significantly impair a student’s performance in assessment. Note that the criterion for IMCs is the impact on the assessment, rather than the impact on the student.
IMCs are distinct from longer-term conditions or circumstances that affect your ability to study, of the type that might be better supported through, for instance, disability support or special assessment arrangements.
Definitions of IMCs can be found in “What are Individual Mitigating Circumstances” - www.bath.ac.uk/registry/imc/documents/what-are-imcs.pdf. You should make yourself familiar with these definitions, in addition to any IMC guidance offered by your Department and support and guidance offered through the Student Disability Advice Team or the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre, so that you are prepared should such circumstances arise.
Your Department will be able to advise you on how to submit an IMC claim. Should you wish any IMCs to be taken into account by the Board of Examiners for Programmes, notify your Director of Studies within three working days of completion of the relevant assessment. The form you should use to do this is available from your Department or from www.bath.ac.uk/registry/imc/documents/imc-report-form.doc . You will need to submit evidence of your claim – for example, in the case of illness or injury, a medical certificate.
If you know of an IMC before you begin an assessment period, please notify your Director of Studies in advance.
The information given here is a summary for your general guidance. Full information and guidance on the University’s principles governing Individual Mitigating Circumstances and Assessment is available at www.bath.ac.uk/registry/imc/.
Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre
Student Disability Advice team (www.bath.ac.uk/disabilityadvice/).
If a trainee has failed PoT2 or PoT3 but has passed the SD and EPS units at M-level, they will be given the option of transferring to the University's Professional Development scheme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/cpd/index.html) and working towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (PGCertPD). This is a 30 credit M-level award. The unit credit from SD and EPS units (24 credits in total) can be extended with a 6 credit Integrated Professional Development unit. This requires a piece of reflective writing as part of a portfolio to show how work done on the SD and EPS assignments along with other experience from the course has contributed to the trainee's professional learning and development. This can be a useful way of a trainee reflecting on the course and identifying ways forward for future study or employment. The PGCertPD provides an 'exit award' to provide some recognition for experience gained during the PGCE year for trainees who will not be going into school teaching.