Catholic Teaching Alliance (North)
History (28ZV)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited provider
University of Cumbria
Financial support
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

This course is available at both secondary (11-16) and secondary with post 16 (14-19) levels.

For the secondary level (11-16) course choose training location 'Main site'.

For the secondary with post 16 (14-19) course choose training location 'Cardinal Newman College' (code 4).

When you train with the Catholic Teaching Alliance the PGCE programme in your chosen subject will give you the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the PGCE award. The PGCE carries 60 credits at Masters Level which could later contribute towards a Master’s Degree in Education (180 credits). Our programme is run in partnership with the University of Cumbria. Alongside school based training, you will also undertake two 30-credit masters level modules, to gain a PGCE. These modules are taught by the University of Cumbria lecturers, who work closely with our school direct programme team, to ensure that theory and practice are closely entwined to really inform your teaching and give you a useful toolkit to take forward in your career.

As a summary, your PGCE course will include

  • 2 separate placements in contrasting schools/colleges
  • 12 Pedagogy for Learning (PfL) days when you will learn about teaching your subject. These will take place mainly at the University of Cumbria Lancaster Campus and are spread over the year.
  • Additional training days delivered throughout the course delivered by experienced professionals, the majority of whom are outstanding practitioners in our alliance schools and colleges.
  • Two modules connected to the PGCE that are assessed by the submission of four written assignments, spread throughout the year, on teaching and learning in your subject and wider educational issues.

Training days, other than PfL days, will be delivered at either of the two main campuses in Preston or at alliance providers in the area.

Interview process

You apply to train to teach with the Catholic Teaching Alliance via UCAS.

On the interview day you will have four key areas to focus upon.

Firstly, you will have two written tasks to complete, thirty minutes per task. One, based upon the importance of managing behaviour both in the classroom and around school, you will have chance to prepare in advance. The other is a subject knowledge audit, questions on your chosen subject area.

You will then be asked to deliver a twenty-minute mini -teach, teaching a small group of pupils on a subject provided five days in advance of the interview. We are looking for a passion for your subject, a positive rapport with pupils and your potential to be outstanding in the classroom.

Finally, you will be interviewed by two members of the Catholic Teaching Alliance.

How school placements work

*On secondary (11-16) courses you will have two contrasting school placements, both in Catholic schools.

Placement 1 (September to December) Initial Experience Phase: Monday - Thursday. Three weeks observing followed by a gradual build-up of teaching time to 7 hours per week in Key Stage 3 classes.

Placement 2 (January to June) Sustained Enactment Phase: Monday - Friday. Two weeks observing followed by a gradual build-up of teaching time to 12 hours per week in Key Stage 3 and GCSE classes.

*On secondary with post 16 (14-19) courses you will have two contrasting placements, one in a secondary school and one in post 16 provider (sixth form). At least one placement will be in a Catholic establishment.

Placement 1 (September to December) Initial Experience Phase: Monday - Thursday. Three weeks observing followed by a gradual build-up of teaching time to 7 hours per week.

Placement 2 (January to June) Sustained Enactment Phase: Monday - Friday. Two weeks observing followed by a gradual build-up of teaching time to 12 hours per week.

Throughout your placements you will have the support and guidance of trained mentors at your placement provider, together with alliance and university colleagues, to meet the standards for QTS.


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’ll get a bursary of £12,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - 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.



Minimum requirements -

2:2 Honours Degree

English and Mathematics at GCSE level at Grade ‘C’ or above, or equivalent.

Your degree must contain evidence of a substantial and appropriate level of subject knowledge. Subject requirements do vary so potential applicants must check individual subject pages on the website for further details on specific subject requirements.

Successful completion of Numeracy and Literacy Skills tests.

*Subject Knowledge Enhancement, SKE, courses are available in most subjects.

Personal qualities

Passion, professionalism and purpose.

We are looking for people who have an ability to inspire others, a passion to transform young lives and a willingness to learn the profession of teaching from outstanding practitioners.

Inspire others, transform lives, teach.

Other requirements

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Background clearance check prior to starting the course.

Satisfactory Occupational Health medical check prior to starting the course.

We strongly recommend that you obtain some secondary school experience in a mainstream UK secondary school observing in your chosen teaching specialism before applying.

About the training provider

‘Aspirational training to achieve inspirational teachers with pupils’ learning and well-being at the heart of our partnership’

Our unique approach to fostering a positive environment where each trainee is known to us as an individual remains one of our greatest strengths and one of the main reasons prospective trainees choose us.

The Catholic Teaching Alliance (North) is underpinned by a shared passion to train and develop outstanding and inspirational teachers who are highly employable and dedicated professionals. We aim to deliver the Catholic school leaders of tomorrow. You do not have to be a Catholic to train with us, though you will be expected to uphold the Catholic values of our family of schools. The Catholic Teaching Alliance (North) is a partnership of over 60 primary, secondary and post 16 establishments based mainly in the Dioceses of Lancaster, Liverpool and Salford. The lead school is Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston, ‘Outstanding’ in all categories from Ofsted in 2012 and a National Teaching School from 2014.

School Direct placements across the partnership ensure that trainees work alongside outstanding practitioners within high performing Catholic schools. We use the best qualified staff with existing expertise to deliver a quality assured training programme to support trainees based upon the Teachers’ Standards. By doing so, we are confident in ensuring quality training at all levels. Typically, 100% of our trainees graduate with Good or Outstanding grades.

We can offer support and guidance with your application at our frequent 'Drop - in' information sessions.

Training with disabilities and other needs

All our students have access to University of Cumbria support as well as that offered within our school direct alliance. Much of this university-based support is available online and electronically and so is accessible at a distance.

Library and Student Services (LiSS) at the University of Cumbria supports your learning, teaching and research needs by providing pro-active, academically focused services, innovative learning spaces and modern facilities. LiSS is responsible for libraries, information advice and guidance, careers guidance and employability, enhancement and information, academic skills development, student health and wellbeing, disability services and student development. For more details please refer to

Contact details

01772 326931
Catholic Teaching Alliance (North)
St Anthony's Drive


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: 1GB
  • Training programme code: 28ZV

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
Cardinal Newman College Larkhill Road, Preston PR1 4HD 4
Main Site St Anthony's Drive, Fulwood, Preston PR2 3SQ -

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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