PGCE Secondary Education


Fact file

1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) or relevant professional qualification, with 50% typically in the chosen teaching discipline; plus GCSE English and mathematics, 4 (C) or above
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
August (School Direct), September (PGCE)
Jubilee Campus
Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education (PGCE)
Other requirements
Pass the Professional Skills tests; meet the standards for 'Fitness to Teach'; complete an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service


With a range of secondary teacher training routes and subjects, our courses enable you to achieve a PGCE with up to 60 masters-level credits and Qualified Teacher Status.
Read full overview
Applications for teacher training courses must be made through UCAS Teacher Training.

We offer two secondary training routes:

A variety of subjects are available and all options prepare you to teach in UK secondary schools (ages 11-18).

You will benefit from tutor visits through the year, a structured professional development tutorial programme, mentor/coordinator training, and access to web-based support, library resources and administrative support.

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You will undertake placements in two different schools. In the autumn semester, you will begin to teach your subject and develop an understanding of all aspects of a school through a variety of tasks and observations. Over spring and summer, you will teach across the secondary key stages.

Check PGCE availability

School Direct

We offer School Direct places in partnership with schools across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Burton and Lincolnshire. You will also complete a placement in a secondary school that promotes collaborative learning, and will have the opportunity to undertake placements in a range of educational settings.

Check School Direct availability

Key facts

  • Our Initial Teacher Education provision has been rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted

Course details


This PGCE course will prepare you to teach in secondary schools, with school-based training starting from week one. Two-thirds of your time will be spent developing practical skills, with support available through University-based seminars and lectures. You will consider different teaching methods and theories of learning, using these to develop your school-based practice.

School Direct

Incorporating up to 60 masters-level credits and Qualified Teacher Status, as with the PGCE, the School Direct route will also prepare you to teach in secondary schools. You can apply to a school of your choice and will spend most of the year based there.

Induction takes place at the end of August, after which you will follow the academic calendar of your chosen school. You will also complete a placement in a second school that promotes collaborative learning and broadens your experience.

Throughout the year, you will spend a number of days at the University as part of our vibrant community of beginning teachers. You will consider different teaching methods and theories of learning, using these to develop your school-based practice. We offer parallel secondary and primary courses with opportunities for cross-phase working.


Two masters-level modules are included in each route, and your practical teaching will be assessed by University tutors, school-based mentors/coordinators, and external examiners. Your school-based work and written records of this will all be taken into account, and there are no written exams. You will need to demonstrate your theoretical and practical abilities, and must fulfil the requirements for Teacher Standards.

We have a very strong, collaborative partnership with the schools we work with, which supports your development as a beginning teacher. 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.




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 modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



UK students may be eligible to receive funding such as student loans, grants and teacher training bursaries. Please see the school website for further info on PGCE and School Direct routes. Information is also available from the Department for Education.

International and EU students

The International Office provides information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study, as well as country-specific resources.



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

You may choose to put your 60 masters-level credits towards MA Education or MA Education (Flexible).

Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors. A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Employability and average starting salary

99.2% of postgraduates from the School of Education who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £22,797 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £44,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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School of Education
The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road

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