Triangle

Course overview

We believe that every child deserves to have an education that enables them to reach their full potential. By becoming a teacher, you can nurture and inspire children to acquire knowledge and develop essential skills that form the blueprint for the rest of their lives. A career in teaching gives you the opportunity to play a pivotal role to help break cycles of poverty and low academic achievement.

It’s no secret that teaching will be challenging at times, but any career can be. With teaching, the difficult times are far outweighed by the rewards of influencing and shaping the lives of young people, instilling self-worth, bringing them out of their shell and helping them to develop lifelong values. The work is full of life, vibrancy and colour and no two days will be the same.

Key features of the Secondary PGCE School Direct

  • Qualified to teach Key Stage 3 and 4 (11-16 years)
  • PGCE qualification with Qualified Teacher Status
  • 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
  • Subjects offered: Englishgeographyhistorymathsmodern languagesscience
  • Support of academic tutors and school-based mentors
  • Opportunities for enrichment activities
  • 60 masters-level credits which you can use towards a masters qualification

Student profiles

View our Secondary PGCE student profiles.

Why choose this course?

Rated 'Outstanding'

in our last Ofsted inspection

Over 95% of graduates

secure employment as teachers

School partnerships

across the East Midlands

Top 50

in the world for education

Over 100 years

of experience in the field of education

Support from experts

in university who specialise in teacher education and experienced school-based mentors

Course content

This programme is designed to equip you with the skills you need to become an effective educator and to enable you to develop your own theories of learning and models of good practice. It gives you placements in at least two schools, enabling you to gain a broad experience of different and contrasting educational settings.

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 or phase
  • 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 educational needs and disabilities
  • peer teaching and learning
  • exploring and practising all elements of being a teacher in a 'safe' space

Placements - school-based learning

We have a very strong, collaborative partnership with the schools we work with. University tutors and school coordinators/mentors 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 experience 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.

Further information about our PGCE courses can be found on the School of Education Initial Teacher Education website.

Modules

Core modules

Learning and Teaching in Schools

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 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 22 November 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group study
  • Tutorials
  • Placements
  • Discussion group

How you will be assessed

  • Workplace-based assessment
  • Presentation
  • Coursework

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.

Contact time and study hours

This is a full-time course and you should therefore expect to work full days when in university and on placement. You can view the draft timetable for 2020/21 for a guide as to what to expect.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degreeUK 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

Applying

  • Decide which subject you want to teach and use our subject list to identify if places are available in your chosen subject
  • Visit DfE Find for more information on applying
  • Apply directly to the lead school via Apply for teacher training
  • Complete a personal statement
  • Suitable candidates will be invited to interview at the University and at your placement school
  • Successful applicants will be offered a place

Fees

All listed fees are per year of study.

Qualification PG Certificate
Home / UK £9,250
International £20,000

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on a teacher training course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. This includes travel costs to your placement school which will obviously vary according to where you live, where you need to travel to, and your mode of transport.

Some of our courses will also include local visits or field trips which will also incur costs.You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles. The school covers the cost of a DBS check.

Funding

Teacher training bursary

You may be eligible for a bursary. Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.

Tuition fee and maintenance loans

You may be eligible to apply for a fee loan which covers the cost of the tuition fee. Maintenance loans are also available. Please visit the Student Loans Company website for more detail.

University of Nottingham Core Bursary

As a student on a PGCE course, you may be eligible for income assessed Core Bursary of up to £2,000.

These bursaries include support for students with financially dependent children or adults, or students who have been in care.

Please download our Student Services fact sheet (PDF) for more information on funding for initial teacher training. (Currently being updated for 2022)

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Over 95% of our graduates secure employment as teachers, a lot with local partnership schools where they have been placed during their training. Some graduates go overseas to work as a teacher.

Other graduates have gone on to work as counsellors, education advisers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

Your 60 masters-level credits may be used towards an MA Education or MA Education (Flexible) if you wish to continue studying at postgraduate level.

Career progression

As a newly qualified teacher you'll begin on a salary of at least £22,467, or £28,098 in inner London.

You complete two school placements over the duration of this course and will spend time in your first placement school from week one. The second school placement will start in February.

University tutors and school coordinators/mentors work closely with you, and each other, throughout the year to support and challenge you to develop into the best teacher you can be.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" I found the university-based days incredibly beneficial to my ongoing development as a teacher. The course managed to contain a nice mixture of education-wide topics, as seen in the Big Questions series of lectures, as well as English specific sessions and seminars, which served to improve my understanding, ability and confidence to teach English. "
Thomas Kendall, PGCE School Direct English graduate 2019/20

Related courses

This content was last updated on Monday 22 November 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.