St Francis Xavier Teaching School Alliance
Chemistry (35HF)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Newman University
Financial support
Scholarship, bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
9 October 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

You will join your host school at the start of September and this will be your base for the coming year. As this is a School Direct course the majority of the time is spent in school, with the rest of the time on campus at our Accredited Provider, Newman University. There are two university-based days per week in 4-week blocks at the beginning of the Autumn and Spring terms. In addition, fortnightly Friday reflection and study days in the first term support you with time to consider practice and academic writing. There are occasional days back in University during the year.

You will receive training in how best to deliver the curriculum for Chemistry, which will include subject knowledge, how to build pupils' investigative skills, how to promote learning in the classroom and manage behaviour. Lesson planning is a key element of what you do and you will also learn how to plan and implement student assessments. You will link your theoretical knowledge to what you see happening in school and you will reflect on how this supports your own learning.

Course Assessment includes practical elements, so you will get regular feedback on your teaching, as well as some formal observations. You will monitor your own progress through an online reflective journal and evidence files. Academic progress is assessed through two Masters level essays.

Our accredited provider has a strong reputation for teacher training:

'Trainees’ attainment is high, especially through the School Direct route, where around three quarters of trainees were judged outstanding’

(Ofsted Report, December 2015).

We welcome applications from candidates from abroad, although you must demonstrate sufficient spoken and written English proficiency to meet the demands of the course and to communicate with children in class and colleagues in school.

If you do not have a pure Chemistry degree, or you have been working in an ancillary field, you can enrol on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to supplement or update your Subject Knowledge. If taking a SKE course through our accredited provider, Newman University, the course will run on your University days and is therefore compatible with a School Direct course. On-line courses are also available.

We encourage trainees to engage with more than one science, so courses are designed to give you opportunity to teach other sciences where possible, as this is a potential asset when you seek future employment.

How school placements work

Our three partner secondary schools are in a range of locations across Sandwell and Worcestershire. You can find out more about the schools here: School Partners

All of our schools are accessible by public transport and we will work with you to select a suitable training setting, based on your circumstances, skills, experience and the school's training capacity. Our trainees have an average commute of 40 minutes.

On our secondary programmes you will be teaching children from ages 11-16, although we encourage you to gain an understanding of the phase before and after the one you teach.

The secondary School Direct training year at a glance:

  • Base school for 2 and a half terms
  • Alternative school for 6 weeks
  • A site-specific professional experience programme in school
  • Front-loaded Newman University sessions at the start of the Autumn and Spring terms to develop your subject and professional knowledge
  • Additional University days throughout the year so you can continue to link theory to practice
  • Teaching practice in key stage three and key stage four
  • 5-day placement in Primary and engagement with 6th Form teaching
  • Dedicated and experienced tutors from University and school who support your training
  • Feedback on your practice from tutors and St Francis Xavier Teaching School teacher training


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Financial support

You could be eligible for either:

  • a scholarship of £28,000
  • a bursary of £26,000

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Chemistry or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



You will require a good degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry or degrees with modules in Chemistry, for example Chemical Engineering or Pharmacology. You should normally have a second class honours degree or above and your chosen subject should normally represent 50% of your degree.

If you have overseas qualifications, check your qualifications with NARIC first, then contact the Teaching School to discuss equivalencies.

In addition, you should normally have a good A level in Chemistry or the overseas equivalent.

Personal qualities

We’re looking for applicants who are willing to learn about Chemistry teaching in the secondary curriculum and like sharing their knowledge and experience with others. You will have a flair for engaging and clear explanations and an ability to contextualise Chemistry subject knowledge in a manner accessible to students.

You will also have boundless patience, strong organisational skills and a sense of humour.

If you have had experience teaching children, or adults, about Chemistry in different environments or in different countries, this School Direct course will help you put your skills into practice in secondary classrooms.

Other requirements

You will need to undertake criminal record checks: an Enhanced Disclosure Check is required for entry to Initial Teacher Training. You must be able to provide a current DBS certificate before you start a School Direct course with the St Francis Xavier Teaching School.

About the training provider

St Francis Xavier Teaching School has been delivering teacher training to all faiths in Sandwell and Birmingham since 2013. We support teachers who want to work locally to train in the primary phase, or in a range of secondary subjects. Currently we have 10 primary partners and 4 secondary partners in Sandwell, Birmingham and Worcestershire. Our School Direct programme is supported by our accredited provider, Newman University. Find out more about us here: SFX

St Francis Xavier has a strong track record: 100% of Primary School Direct trainees obtained good or outstanding over the last three years. 100% trainees seeking employment found jobs. Many are now employed in local schools where they are already making a difference to children’s learning. Secondary School Direct is a recent and growing programme for St Francis Xavier with a 100% success rate, based on close school partnerships.

Advantages of training with St Francis Xavier:

  • We are small enough to care for you as an individual; training is matched to your needs.
  • We are experienced trainers; you train in different schools and you meet regularly with other local School Direct teachers so you can learn from one another.
  • You will be part of a family of schools who welcome enthusiastic, committed and thoughtful teachers.
  • ‘It means the best of both worlds: I still have lectures while obtaining lots of teaching experience’ (English trainee 2017-18, employed by her school).

Special features:

  • Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies, first year's tuition fees paid

Training with disabilities and other needs

All our school sites have Accessibility policies. Please contact us if you have any disabilities and we will arrange for you to visit a school before making a decision as to where you will carry out your training. The St Francis Xavier Teaching School will make necessary adjustments, however we also believe it's important that you are able to check that a school is suited to your own particular needs.

Our School Direct courses are run in conjunction with our accredited provider Newman University and part of your time will be spent training at the university. The site is accessible for a range of disabilities. Please follow the link for full details of how the university supports trainees with a variety of disabilities: Support page

Contact details

St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary
McKean Road


Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.

Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.

When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:

  • Training provider code: 14E
  • Training programme code: 35HF

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Name Address Code
Bishop Milner Catholic College, Dudley Burton Road, Dudley DY1 3BY 2
Q3 Academy, Langley Moat Road, Oldbury B68 8ED Q
Hagley Catholic High School Brake Lane, Hagley, Stourbridge DY8 2XL 1

Advice and support

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

For advice about teaching

For advice about teaching or teacher training you can call Get into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or chat to an adviser using their online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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