About the course
Our mission is to open minds to the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning by developing reflective, creative and inquiring teachers.
Our course prepares you to teach your specialist subject(s) to pupils in the 11-19 age range.
The course is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which offers exactly the same teaching experience as a PGCE, but with additional Masters credits, meaning that you will be able to complete your Masters as soon as you qualify as a teacher.
You will spend two thirds of the year in school, and one third at the University, giving an excellent blend of practical experience and also chance to reflect and make use of the research expertise of university-based tutors.
To complement your development as a teacher you will complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring key issues relating to your subject and your role.
Key Features of the Sheffield course
- A dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students.
- Excellent school partnerships. Our longstanding relationships with schools enable us to ensure continuity for students, and many of our partnership schools are closely involved in the university-based parts of the course.
- A strong subject-specific cohort. You will have chance to develop working relationships with your peers whilst in the university, which provides you with a support network once out on placement.
- The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching.
More information about the course can be found here
For information about course assessment please click here
Once we receive your UCAS application we will consider a number of factors in making our decision about whether to interview you:
- Do you demonstrate a clear interest in becoming a teacher?
- Do you have strong references that suggest you have the capacity to train to be a teacher?
- Do you have highly developed subject knowledge, or an awareness that you need to develop this?
- Have you written a strong personal statement, demonstrating your commitment to teaching, your passion for your subject and an understanding of the realities of the profession?
Depending on your subject, your selection day will take place either at the University or in a partner school, and will consist of the following elements:
- Introduction to the course
- A task designed to ensure that your subject knowledge is strong
- A chance to interact with other candidates or with pupils, and to reflect on this experience
- A written task
- A formal interview, carried out by a University tutor and a school representative
How school placements work
You will undertake four periods of school experience:
- One week in a primary school early in the programme
- An eight-week placement between October and December
- A 13-week placement between January and May
- A 2-week enrichment/enhancement placement in June
In all curriculum areas you will also have the chance to visit a number of schools as a part of the University-centred parts of the PGDE. These visits will focus on specific themes such as working with pupils with EAL or supporting examination groups and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of schools beyond your main placements.
We work with 13 schools in Sheffield, Derbyshire, and Rotherham. This range of inner-city, suburban and rural contexts provides rich opportunities for diverse and balanced experiences in schools, and we work hard to secure you two contrasting placements.
When arranging placements, personal circumstances such as child-care and additional needs are taken into account as much as possible.
Further information about school placements can be found here
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. The cost for these will be £71 and payable via the University's Online Shop. Student teachers who have already paid for a previous DBS Enhanced Disclosure and signed up to the DBS update service will need to pay the reduced cost of £27 via the University's Online Shop. These fees also include the cost of a learning journal, which will be provided at the start of the course.
Further information about fees and funding for the PGDE can be found here
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
With a scholarship or bursary, you'll also get early career payments of £2,000 each in your second, third and fourth years of teaching (£3,000 in some areas of England).
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in maths 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 about eligibility for bursaries and how you’ll be paid.
You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Applicants should have an undergraduate degree class 2:2 or above in a relevant subject. If less than 50% of your degree is in your specialist subject you will be required to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as a condition of entry to the programme.
If you have a 3rd class undergraduate degree and a strong (grade A or B) A level in your specialist subject we may consider your application but you should be aware that you will not be eligible for a bursary.
If you have non-standard qualifications you are welcome to contact us to discuss your eligibility
We consider six key elements when selecting students for our PGDE programme:
- Commitment to teaching
- Insight into the realities of teaching
- An analytical approach to problem solving
- Enthusiasm for your subject
- Interpersonal and communication skills
We will consider your strengths in each area during the selection process, including when considering your application form.
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. Full information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.
About the training provider
Aston Academy is the lead school for Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) School Direct. At Aston Academy we are committed to providing high quality learning and teaching which is reflected in our Ofsted report where we were judged to be a Good provider.
Trainees are placed at one of our 18 primary or secondary partnership schools in Sheffield, Rotherham and Derbyshire. Our partnership schools vary in their educational setting giving trainees access to a variety of experiences over a wide geographical area.
For secondary, the majority of student teachers will be at Aston Academy for one of their two placements and have another placement at one of our partnership schools. Further information can be found here or here
For primary including early years, trainees have their placements at two of the ACET junior academies. Further information can be found here
Last year 100% of ITT trainees rated their overall placement at Aston Academy as good or outstanding.
So far this year 100% of candidates have rated their in school training as excellent.
About the accredited body
The University of Sheffield is a world top-100 university. As a member of the UK's prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. Ranked in the top five universities in the UK for best overall student experience for the eighth year in a row by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018. Their students' Union was also voted number one in the UK in 2019 for the eleventh year running.
Further information about The School of Education can be found here
Training with disabilities and other needs
As a student teacher at The University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University you will have full access to support if you have a disability or additional needs. Full information is available on the following links:
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield Hallam University
Additionally, we work closely with all our school partners to ensure that your needs are met whilst on placement, offering support and adaptations where necessary.
Apply for this course
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Aughton Road, Swallownest, Sheffield S26 4SF
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
Get support and advice about teaching
Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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