PGCE Mandarin

Interested in becoming a Mandarin teacher in the U.K.?
Interested in becoming a qualified Mandarin teacher in the U.K.?
Interested in becoming a Mandarin teacher in U.K. secondary school?
If so, I hope this post is helpful for you!

If you already have a degree, consider a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). A PGCE course mainly focuses on developing your teaching skills, and not on the subject you intend to teach. For this reason, you are expected to have a good understanding of your chosen subject(s) – usually to degree level – before you start training. - Department of Education

PGCE  is a qualification that needed for people who want to become a teacher in U.K. state schools. (This is not usually compulsory in independent school)

GTP is another type of teacher training. (Click here)

I have completed my PGCE Secondary in Teaching Mandarin Chinese and EAL in the Institute of Education, University of London back in September 2011.

It was a full time course (i.e. 1 year).

I was required to complete:
1. Two pieces of M-Level Assignment, around 10,000 words.
2. ARF (Assessment Record File) 
3. Two school placements

From now on, I'm going to talk about how I feel about my PGCE life.

Okay, so, My PGCE was... A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!
Believe me, it was really really amazing. I would say it was the best period in my life time. o(^--^)o

I wanted to become a teacher since I was small. However, I was struggling in making my decision when I was completing my degree - Early Childhood Studies. I couldn't tell if teaching is the right one for me. I decided to take it after all, because I truly believe becoming a teacher is part of my life mission!

I enjoyed my PGCE very much because it was a practical course. I always looked forward to have practical tasks. When I did my degree, I was so confused how do I actually apply all the theories I learnt in lectures in my future life. And PGCE has shown me all of it.

Yes, PGCE was tired, but it was fulfilling. I had to complete my assignments and my school teaching at the same time. Marking, lesson planning, after school club, parent's evening, reports, readings, replying email...etc. Fortunately, I had a great time management for myself, so that I didn't mess up everything. (I even managed to eat Yo!Sushi. once in 2 weeks when I started my second placement . Haha.)

In my PGCE year, I met many new friends, not only in the university, but also in my school placements, SSAT course & conference and Hanban training. Different teachers. Different teaching. Different stories. They are all INSPIRING! (Don't miss any training, as they are all wonderful!)

Of course, there is always time when things doesn't go smoothly, especially when you are a trainee teacher. It happened on me, I still remembered it was back in December 2011. I lost. I teared. I cried. But it didn't stop me from moving forward. SGI President, Daisaku Ikeda once said, "If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow." I still have this quote in my room now. It really keep me making my step forward. :)

I think one of the good things as a trainee teacher is you are forgivable when you make mistake because you are trained to become a professional. Ah, and you are allowed to make experiment in the classroom (I meant like trying new teaching style, games/activities. Not bombing the classroom please -___-;;)

ADVICE: Most of the PGCE Mandarin students that I met during my PGCE year were mothers (i.e. they have their own children). It was quite struggling, as they not only need to looking after their family, they also need to plan lesson, work on their assignments...etc. But anyhow, WE ALL GRADUATED SUCCESSFULLY after one year! (^---^)

If you have questions about PGCE Mandarin, please leave a comment. I will try my very best to reply you a.s.a.p. Tada~~~! **


Lingling said...

I love your quote as well---"If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow." As a mom, I find it very struggling and hard as I am doing my PGCE, but I obsolutely enjoy it. I love our classmates. They are all very helpful. I totally agree that PGCE is a very unforgettable and valuable experience. I have lovely classmate, very professional and nice tutor and every experienced and professional mentor. I am very lucky to have this experience in my life. Again, thank you very much for sharing your resources with us! 好人一生平安!

mark said...

Many Thanks for your information. How much does it cost to do the PGCE? Also, is it possible to do the PGCE in China by any chance?

sheautian said...


PGCE costs around £11000+ for international student.

As far as I'm awared, you only can complete PGCE in the UK. Because every country provide different teacher training.

Hope this helps!

Shannon said...

Dear sheautian,
Thank you for sharing this valuable information with me! I did my MA in English language teaching at Warwick University last year. I was meant to go back to Taiwan and teach English there but I met my boyfriend in the UK and am seeking job as Mandarin teacher here. Sadly, most of employers don't support work visa for me...I wanted to do the PGCE but it seems that they don't sponsor student visa for international students, either. I am desperate for advice and your past experience...Thank you very much!!

sky_princess said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am very interested in the course!I have few questions about PGCE:1.Do you know how many people your training provider take on the course every year?2.Do I have to master another language in order to get into the course? And lastly, did everyone all get a job when complete the course? Thank you so much for your time:)

sheautian said...


I'm not sure if there is a visa sponsorship from the IOE. You could email them and ask. :)


1. The IOE takes up to 10 people each year the PGCE Mandarin.

2. You don't have to master another European language to get the PGCE course. IOE provide teaching in Mandarin and EAL, which I chosen that last time.

3. Yes, from what I know, my friends they got a job when they completed the course, some of them work for part time.

Hope this is helpful! and sorry for my very late reply!


Dear Sheautian,
I like your sharing experiences and have some questions about PGCE and EAL course:
did you find a job in UK?
where did most of your classmate come from? did they get a working visa in UK?

Anni Shi said...

Hi. Thanks for your warm sharing.

I am currently working in Hong Kong as a Chinese teacher in International School. I want to take PGCE (Mandarin) program in IOE. I am wondering how I can apply for this program. Thanks for your messages. You can email me anytime :


Unknown said...

Hi Thanks for sharing the valuable information. I am currently working as a Chinese/Mandarin teacher in a private school in London. I have a Chinese teacher qualification and the major of my master degree is very relevant to my current job. It is Applied Linguistic & Language Pedagogy in SOAS, University of London. I am planing to study PGCE part time. Is there any chance that I can ask you some questions by email? or we chat? My email is My we chat ID is 245281203. My mobile number is 07873921949.

Florence said...

Hi Sheautian,your story was so lovely to read and very encouraging too!
I would love to ask you more details about the course and job perspectives, would be very grateful if you could send me your personal contacts. My email is and my wechat id is Chinglish Housewife. Many thanks!