Services/support/resources available on PGCE course and at the university

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Education, Postgraduate | 0 comments

Hello, my name is Samantha Chu. I am a PGCE student in the primary sector. I am delighted to use this opportunity to tell you about the services, support, and resources that the university and PGCE course offer to help us get through this intensive year of study.

After you have accepted your offer, the PGCE course coordinators will send you a pre-programme handbook 1-2 months prior to the start of the course. This handbook is a great resource to help you familiarise yourself with what to expect once the course begins. Inside the handbook, you will find term dates, preparation tips before attending the in-person course, and links directing you to student support, the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS), university accommodation, and more.

In the PGCE Primary course, several support services are available. First, as a teacher trainee, it is important to apply the skills learned during the university-taught course (e.g. behaviour management, lesson planning, assessment, subject curriculum, and knowledge) to the schools where you are placed. However, the costs of traveling to school every day from home can be a financial burden. Therefore, a travel bursary of £250 per long block placement is offered to ease this financial burden.

Second, ‘Spring Support Sessions’ are offered to enhance our professional development in various areas of the PGCE curriculum. These sessions are organised by our lecturers or professional tutors, with each session focusing on one of the six strands of the university’s PGCE Primary curriculum. You are welcome to attend any of these sessions if you feel that you need extra information or practice after completing your first long block placement.

Third, as an international student who also learned English as an Additional Language, academic support is provided for primary and secondary PGCE international students in writing our assignments. A postgraduate researcher in education (or someone in a similar role) will be assigned to meet with us in person to discuss any difficulties or questions we might have when writing our assignments. They will check in with us a few weeks before the due date of the assignment to see if we need extra support with writing it. I found this support very useful, as it gives me a chance to share and discuss the difficulties we might encounter as international students when writing our assignments.

At the university, several support services are available. First, mental health and wellbeing support services are provided to alleviate any concerns or difficulties you may be facing. These include one-on-one counselling, workshops, and self-help resources. Second, The University of Manchester is a highly inclusive institution that offers a wide range of support through the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). It provides assistance to students with specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia), mental health challenges (such as anxiety), medical conditions (such as epilepsy and arthritis), deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and students with autism/Asperger syndrome. If you would like to learn more about the support services the university offers, you can find additional information on the university website.

Written by Samantha, current Primary PGCE student at The University of Manchester