Initial Teacher Education
Secondary PGCE

Secondary PGCE

Overview

  • Time spent in first placement school from week one of the course
  • Second school placement starts in January
  • University-based days spread across the year where you are part of a vibrant cohort of beginning teachers, reflecting on and developing practice
  • Rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in 2022
  • Subjects offered: English, geography, history, maths, modern languages, science
 
 

Entry requirements

  • UK undergraduate degree/equivalent – in all cases we will be looking at the relevance of your degree alongside other qualifications in your proposed teaching subject

  • GCSE/equivalent – English language and mathematics, 4 (C) or above

  • Satisfactory medical report

  • Enhanced Disclosure from Disclosure and Barring Service

Course length

The course is 10 months long, starting in September and finishing in June. You can view the current course schedule to get an idea of your time in school and university.

Course structure

Your school placements will be supported by university-based teaching days, as well as periods of independent study. 

University-based learning

You will actively work with tutors and peers, constantly exploring teaching and learning. You will engage with theory and research to make you a better teacher, for example we will look at theories about behaviour for learning to help you analyse what is and is not working in your classroom. Your university experience will include:

  • working with groups of beginning teachers for your subject and other subjects
  • modelling of teacher approaches you can use in your classroom
  • exploring research and practice
  • keynote inputs from experts, for example staff that specialise in special and inclusive education
  • peer teaching and learning
  • exploring and practising all elements of being a teacher in a 'safe' space

Modules

Learning and Teaching in School

This 30-credit module explores teaching and learning in subject disciplines and more generally. An extensive programme of lectures and seminars will enable you to develop a practical knowledge of teaching informed by a critical understanding of theories of teaching and learning. The module is assessed through written assignments, presentations and related classroom-based work.

 

Schools and Society

This 30-credit module considers various aspects of teachers' wider professional roles as well as social, cultural and legal aspects of schooling. Most of the teaching takes place in cross-subject seminar groups and is assessed through written assignments and presentations, some of which are collaborative. Some subject work also contributes to this module.

 
 

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff. 

Placements - school-based learning

We have a very strong, collaborative partnership with the schools we work with. University tutors and school ITE leads work closely with you, and each other, throughout the year to support and challenge you to develop into the best teacher you can be.

We firmly believe that learning to become a great teacher isn’t about doing as many lessons as you can as quickly as possible. It is about gradually building up your experiences and working with experienced teachers in lots of different ways. Your school-based learning will include:

  • a carefully structured programme to support your progress each term
  • a gradual build-up of teaching
  • observations across all key stages with expert teachers
  • weekly mentor meetings to discuss your progress and agree targets for development
  • involvement in all aspects of school life, for example helping with clubs, school trips, joining staff meetings, providing break-time duty 

Throughout your time in school you will undertake a wide range of professional development activities to develop your understanding of teaching and learning and the complex role of a teacher. Although placements are intensive and demanding, we carefully structure your progression, with a gradual build-up of teaching commitments, so you are well prepared to teach in different contexts. During your time on placement you will become part of your school's community and work professionally as a member of a team.

As part of your second placement, you will undertake a small-scale research project exploring your subject in relation to schools and society. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a short placement in an alternative educational setting, such as a special school, to further personalise your training and support your ongoing professional development.

Teaching methods and assessment

Your practical teaching will be assessed by University tutors and school-based mentors/coordinators and moderated by external examiners. All elements of your work across the year will be taken into account and there are no written exams.

You will need to demonstrate your practical abilities as a teacher and your theoretical understanding of this practice and must fulfil the requirements for the Teacher Standards by the end of the course. We take an holistic approach to assessing whether you have met the standards that avoids gathering pieces of evidence to tick off boxes. Our key message is that if you are engaging successfully with all elements of your course you will be meeting the standards.

Fundamental mathematics and English skills

Before being recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you must be able to demonstrate competence in maths and English. At interview we will discuss your current level of ability and if needed, we will direct you to resources to engage with before the course. Throughout the course you will be supported to develop further to ensure you are fully competent by the end of your course.

How to apply

  • Visit DfE Find for more information on applying
  • Visit Apply for teacher training to start your application
  • Complete and submit the application form following the instructions
  • Complete a personal statement
  • Once you have submitted your application to Apply for teacher training, it is sent to us 
  • Suitable candidates will be invited to interview at the university
  • Successful applicants will be offered a place

Subjects

Shakespeare McBeth book
English
Arctic landscape
Geography
Hardwick Hall
History
 
Pi symbol
Mathematics
Paris landscape with Eiffel Tower
Modern Languages
Biology - cells
Science
 

 

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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