Primary (26KS)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Nottingham
Financial support
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
August 2019

About the course

Your home school and the University of Nottingham work closely together to ensure that your progress on the course is closely supported and quality assured.

If you are training to teach primary you will spend four days in school and one day at the University on a Friday throughout the year. Fridays will be an opportunity to work with primary and secondary trainees and the sessions will form an integral part of the work you do in school. You will be part of a large cohort of beginning teachers exploring the school curriculum and how to make it accessible and enjoyable to all pupils.

You will have a mentor assigned by the school who will undertake regular training at the University. You will also be allocated a university tutor who will work closely with you and your mentor and coordinator. From the beginning of the course, which starts at the end of August, you will be regarded as a member of staff but also as a beginning teacher. You will attend development days, consultation sessions and extra-curricular activities.

In the second term you will undertake a placement in a second school.

The practical experience is underpinned by theoretical approaches that are discussed and explored during University based sessions. There is a focus on both ‘Schools and Society’ and ‘Teaching and Learning’ and your assignments will ensure that these aspects are closely considered in relation to your teaching in school.


The School Direct PGCE course is assessed at postgraduate certificate level. It incorporates two 30-credit modules which may be counted towards the MA in Education.

For the award of the PGCE and to achieve Teacher Standards, you must have reached the required standard in both the theoretical and practical elements of the course. In keeping with the nature of the course, which is vocational and postgraduate in approach, there are no written examinations.

Practical Teaching is assessed by the University tutors, school based mentors and coordinators, and External Examiners. Account is taken of your work over all school based elements of the course and your own written records of such work.

The University does not allow an automatic right to re-sit practical teaching if you fail this part of the course.

On the course, you are required to submit various pieces of work related to your course. The assignments may be written pieces or presentations and may include collaborative work.

Interview process

When you come for a School Direct interview at the University, there are likely to be other applicants being interviewed alongside you. You will not be in competition with the other applicants, in fact, we are keen to see that you can work collaboratively with others. The criteria we will use at interview to decide whether or not we offer you a place on the course are:

  • an awareness of current educational issues;
  • a realistic and positive view of schools and schooling;
  • an open and enquiring mind;
  • clear reasons for wanting to teach at the level for which you have applied;
  • motivation and commitment to teaching pupils of all levels of ability;
  • maturity and self confidence;
  • an appropriate level of subject knowledge in your chosen subject for secondary applicants.

You will be interviewed by staff from The School of Education. You may be asked to carry out certain tasks that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, individually or in groups.

We then interview you in school. This will include:

  • Working with a group in class alongside class teacher
  • Q&A Interview

We will inform you of our decision asap after your interview. If you are given a conditional offer of a place on the School Direct course, you will receive a pack of information describing the steps you should take next. The conditional offer will become unconditional when we have received your acceptance and all the necessary clearances and documentation.

How school placements work

Applicants for primary places will be aligned to a ‘home school’ for their placement after interview. The school where you are interviewed is not necessarily the alliance school you will train in.

Please see our website for further information: http://www.leadurbantsa.co.uk/index.php/cpd/initialteachertraining/initial-teacher-training-info-2017


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £17,910

Financial support

You may be eligible for a loan while you study.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



All applicants are required on entry to the course to hold a UK degree or equivalent qualification. This must be in, or closely related to, your proposed teaching subject.

As a guideline we would expect to see that at least 50% of your first degree is directly relevant to the National Curriculum subject you intend to teach.

In additional to a degree you will need have passed GCSE English Language and mathematics at grade C (grade 4) or above, or equivalent. For primary courses you will also need GCSE science at grade C (grade 4) or above, or equivalent.

Personal qualities

  • A passion for and dedication to teaching and the importance of education
  • The ability to develop positive relationships with students
  • A patient, caring, and kind disposition
  • Ability to develop a knowledge of all learners
  • Ability to engaging all pupils in learning
  • Resilience and optimism

Other requirements

All trainee teachers have to take and successfully pass skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy prior to the start of the course. You can get more information about the tests from http://sta.education.gov.uk/

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report, as you are required to meet the standards for 'Fitness to Teach'. It is important that you disclose any medical condition or disability so that we can look at the best way of supporting you if you are offered a place on the course.

You will be subject to safeguarding checks which include an enhanced DBS check.

About the training provider

Everything we do in our schools is about giving children a high quality education. We celebrate the fact that all children are unique and we have high aspirations for all their futures. At the L.E.A.D. Teaching School Alliance we are committed to high quality training that impacts on the learning experiences of every child’s education.

We work closely with the University of Nottingham to design and develop an innovative Initial Teacher Training programme linked with our specialism of teaching in a variety of educational settings. All trainee teachers within our alliance meet half termly to engage with our curriculum, delivered by outstanding practitioners from our schools. This is an opportunity for you to consider your development as a teacher within the urban context you’re training in; past trainees have found these sessions invaluable.

As a trainee teacher in our alliance you’ll learn from the best teachers, supported by a culture of coaching and mentoring. All trainee teachers observe outstanding teaching and get to work alongside the best teachers in an apprenticeship role.

About the accredited body

The University of Nottingham has been involved in teacher education for over 120 years, our postgraduate Initial Teacher Education provision is one of the largest in the country.

University tutors working with our trainees were successful and innovative teachers in schools and are now experienced teacher educators, committed to developing the next generation of teachers.

We have a strong emphasis on emotional wellbeing, supporting our beginning teachers to develop their own identities, take ownership of their own professional development and embed work ethics that enable them to thrive and enjoy teaching as a profession.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The LEAD TSA has a duty to do everything it reasonable can to find out if trainees have a disability (whether it is called a disability or dyslexia or mental health difficulty or long-term medical condition). In that way we can make sure that students are offered the support they need to successfully access the programme. For some trainees, declaring a disability is straightforward, perhaps because their disability is plain to see, or because they are used to the systems involved. For other students, perhaps because their disability is hidden (impaired hearing, for example) or carries a social stigma (such as a mental health difficulty), or because it is new for the trainee concerned, declaring a disability feels much more risky. We all need to make it as simple as possible for students to disclose information which will enable us to support them well.

The University of Nottingham is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable teaching and learning environment and we work closely with our partnership schools to ensure that any student who has a specific need is supported to thrive as a beginning teacher.

The University of Nottingham have a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of students with special needs and disabilities. The School of Education has a dedicated Welfare Officer who works with students to ensure they access all available support from the University but also to support with any issues that specifically relate to being a student teacher.

Contact details

L.E.A.D. Academy Trust
5a The Ropewalk


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