8 Reasons Why Exeter is an Incredible City for PGCE Students

8 Reasons Why Exeter is an Incredible City for PGCE Students

For graduate students at the University of Exeter, there is more to student life than pubs and clubs. The city of Exeter has plenty of places to relax or enjoy a night out, but there is so much more to explore and enjoy in the city centre and beyond. Described by The Sunday Times as ‘perfectly positioned’, here are just a few reasons why many consider Exeter to be one of the best places to live in the country.

  1. Location, Location, Location

Exeter is surrounded by natural wonder and beauty. Located right in the heart of Devon, the city is ever so close to more than 600 square miles of National Park landscapes: Dartmoor and Exmoor.  One of the National Trust’s most celebrated properties, Killerton House & Gardens, is just a stone’s throw from the city. And did we mention the beaches? The Jurassic Coast and South West Coast Path are on the doorstep of the city, with sandy shores, water sports and rock pooling all playing a regular part in Exeter life.

  1. Much. History.

Exeter has been a settlement since around 55 AD, so if you’ve got a passion for history then the Roman walls, Saxon towers, Victorian catacombs and massive gothic Cathedral are just the start. The city has a wealth of architecture and heritage that can be explored at little to no cost. On a Red Coat Guided Tour or Heritage Open Day event, the city becomes an open museum. Annual events on Exeter Cathedral Green, the historic Quayside, and canal fill these landmark sites with music, art, and crafts throughout the year.

  1. All Roads Lead to Exeter

By rail, air, or road, Exeter is remarkably well networked. Trains from Exeter can get you to Bristol in under an hour or to London Paddington in about two hours. The M5 motorway ends at the city, making links to Birmingham, the Midlands, and even Wales speedy and simple.  If you’re going further afield, daily flights from Exeter Airport connect the city to more than 15 different countries.

  1. Green and Getting Greener Every Day

The environmental significance of the River Exe is recognised by national organisations such as RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust, and the Environment Agency who are based in the city and work to shape green spaces that support wildlife and enrich the lives of local people. In addition, initiatives like Exeter City Futures are working towards energy independence and reducing congestion.

  1. Schools of Every Shape and Size

Exeter’s location and regional significance have created an environment in which communities are served by a diverse mix of schools, academies, and colleges. Primary, secondary, rural, urban, special needs, Church of England or community-led: there’s plenty of options. In short, Exeter’s PGCE candidates benefit from a city that values education and appreciates innovation. Enterprising students may wish to make contact with regional hubs like the WESC Foundation’s Specialist Centre for Visual Impairment or Exeter Mathematics School to see a range of learning styles first hand.

  1. Regional Hub of Sport

Exeter is no stranger to world-class sporting events. In 2015, Exeter’s Sandy Park stadium hosted 3 matches during the Rugby World Cup. When not playing host to the world, the stadium is home to Exeter Chiefs Aviva Premiership Rugby Club.  It’s not just rugby, either. Cycling spectacle, Tour of Britain, has made multiple visits to the city. And supporter-owned football club Exeter City is full of surprises, bringing FA cup ties with Manchester United and Liverpool FC over the years.

  1. No Car Required

Exeter’s rolling hills are easily traversed by foot, bicycle, train or bus. For cyclists, the National Cycle Network’s riverside Route 2 is the city’s lifeblood making many areas quicker to reach by bike than any other method of transport. The compact city centre has many of the best amenities in close proximity for getting around by foot, while city centre bus and train stations provide links to the further reaches of town and beyond.

  1. A City on the Edge of Brilliance

Exeter is a city with a strategy for growth and development at its core. International innovators like the University of Exeter and the Met Office are driving year on year economic growth that is outperforming the national average. A recent report ranked Exeter as one of the country’s top 5 cities for economic growth. With employment and production forecast to increase steadily into 2020, the appetite for progress contributes to an invigorating climate for learning.


Still want to know more about what Exeter has to offer? Take a look at Visit Exeter and for more information and try visiting the city for yourself!

Training to Teach in Exeter – The University

Training to Teach in Exeter – The University

There is so much to consider when you’re deciding which university is the best place to do a PGCE course. Whether you’ve just finished your degree, or you’ve recently been in work, a good teacher training course can put you on track for a long and rewarding career in education.  This is exactly what we offer student teachers at the University of Exeter.


What is the course like?

Academically speaking, our PGCE course is one of the best around. We were ranked 3rd in the country by Good Teacher Training Guide 2017, and OFSTED have recognised our course as ‘Outstanding’ on numerous assessments.

This is not a coincidence.

We’ve crafted a course with research-led teaching by leaders from across the educational sector. Our teaching staff have hands-on classroom experience as well as being at the forefront of the latest ideas, research, and government policies. Furthermore, we ensure that our students are well supported throughout their studies, school placements, and into their NQT year. With 93 percent of trainees who were awarded QTS in 2015/16 gaining posts within six months of completion, the results are clear.


What is Exeter University like?

St Luke’s campus was originally built as a Church of England teacher training college in the 1800s and the site has been home to the University of Exeter’s School of Education for almost 40 years.  Though stunning examples of the Victorian architecture remain, the state of the art seminar rooms and lecture theatres, IT facilities, and recently refurbished library are decidedly 21st century.

During your PGCE year, you’ll share the campus with other students from the Graduate School of Education, as well as meeting those on the University of Exeter Medical School and School of Sport and Health Sciences courses. And when you’re not hitting the books, the on-site indoor heated swimming pool, sports hall, and fitness studio are available to keep you fit and refreshed.

As a University of Exeter PGCE student, you are invited to participate in all things in the University of Exeter experience, including getting involved with events, societies, Student Guild activities and sports facilities on the main Streatham Campus, located just over a mile away.


Want to find out more? We’d love to hear from you.

How to Become a Maths Teacher

Have you got a flair for numbers and a passion for Pythagoras’ theorem that you want to share with the world? Maybe you’re a graduate who studied maths or a related degree in physics, chemistry or engineering, just beginning your career. Or maybe you’ve been working in STEM industries for a few years and are looking to change careers. Maths teachers join the profession for lots of reasons, but the path to becoming a maths teacher is accessible and the result is highly rewarding.

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The Road to Teaching: How Long Does a PGCE Take?

If you are considering a career in teaching, then one big question that you might have about the process is the time it takes to become fully trained. Many highly regarded professions requiring specific qualifications can take some time to complete and the same can be true of teaching too, but this really depends on where you are in life and what educational qualifications you already have.

This guide aims to break down how long it takes to become a teacher via the most popular route in the UK – the PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education).

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What Age Group Should I Teach?

What Age Group Should I Teach?

For some who want to pursue a career in teaching, they have a very clear idea of what their life in the job will be like and which age group they want to work with. There are many, however, for whom the choice is not so clear – and this is perfectly normal. If you are having trouble deciding between pursuing a career in either primary or secondary education, then this guide is for you.

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Becoming A Teacher in Later Life

Becoming a Teacher in Later Life

With many people changing careers several times during their lifetime, it’s safe to say that most of us aren’t afraid to make big changes to our work life these days. Despite this, making the jump isn’t always easy, and jobs that appeal to us can still be intimidating if a lot of retraining is required.

As a field that requires a fair amount of time and studying to move into, teaching is sometimes viewed as a profession that’s difficult or unfeasible to enter in later life. However, the reality is that it’s probably a lot more accessible than you might think. So, what’s it like getting into teaching later in life? And, just as importantly, why should you do it?

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What Subject Should You Teach?

Although some may pursue a career in teaching with a very clear idea of what subject they want to specialise in, it’s also quite normal to be attracted to the idea of teaching without being sure on a subject too. This can be particularly common in the case of anyone starting to look at making a move into teaching in later life, or immediately after having already completed an undergraduate degree. So, if you’re in a similar position, how do you figure out what subject should you teach?

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What is a PGCE anyway?

What is a PGCE anyway?

The world of education is often full of acronyms, and the one that you might have most commonly stumbled upon if you’re looking into teacher training is the PGCE. So, what is a PGCE anyway?

If you are wondering what a PGCE is, and how it relates to a career in teaching, then you can find the answers here*.

*Note: This guide refers to a Masters-level Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – not to be confused with the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, also often referred to as a PGCE. The Professional Certificate does not carry Master level credits and is one level lower on the National Qualifications Framework than a Postgraduate Certificate.

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Is Teaching for Me?


Is Teaching for Me?

If you have started researching a career in teaching, chances are you’ve already read about some compelling reasons for becoming a teacher. However, it’s not enough to know that teaching is a great profession – you need to know if it’s a great profession for you. Taking the time to think deeply about skillset, what you want from your work life, and what kind of environment you’re suited to is an important part of your journey toward making the decision to pursue a life in teaching. So, is teaching for you?

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