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
- Rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in our 2022 inspection
- 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: English, geography, history, maths, modern languages, science
- Support of academic tutors and school-based mentors
- Opportunities for enrichment activities
- 60 masters-level credits which you can use towards a masters qualification
View our Secondary PGCE student profiles.
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.
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.
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
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)