Nottingham Catholic Teaching School Alliance
Primary (36YS)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Leicester
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
September 2019

About the course

The pedagogical content of the Primary PGCE is delivered by the University of Leicester with school placements, organised by Nottingham Catholic Teaching School Alliance in a number of Leicestershire Primary Schools.

The University of Leicester PGCE Primary has been running for over 60 years. The feedback we receive from schools tell us that we are developing the kind of teachers they want to employ. This is reflected in 98% of our students achieving Good or Outstanding teacher grades at the end of their course and 95% of our graduates securing a teaching post by the end of the course.

Trainees are provided with a high quality, experienced mentors in their placement schools. The course is a mixture of school based experience in two contrasting schools and lectures and seminars at the University. Throughout the year, trainees are provided with support and guidance by NCTSA's School Direct's lead primary practitioner.

You will be required to select a Specialism Subject at the beginning of your PGCE. These may include, Mathematics, Early Years, Science, English and Inclusion (subject to availability).

If you choose Primary (5-11), your placements will be in Key Stage One, Lower Key Stage Two and Upper Key Stage Two.

The University course comprises of three strands and school placements:

• Curriculum Studies - Core and Broader Curriculum

• Professional Studies

• Academic Strand including Specialist Study

NCTSA and the University of Leicester prepare you to teach across the full range of the Primary Curriculum. We will introduce you to the wider context of teaching, including responding to diversity in schools and the inclusion of Special Needs Education, as well as equipping you with classroom management and planning skills.

By the end of the course you will meet the required professional standards for Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) and will be awarded a University of Leicester PGCE. You will also have 90 credits towards a Masters Degree.

Interview process

If you are apply for our School Direct route and you are shortlisted, you will be invited to complete a school-based interview at your chosen school.Where you will meet members our School Direct team who will give an overview of the course and answer any questions you may have. There will be a formal interview, a 10 minute presentation plus a 30 minute lesson, delivered by you.

If successful, you will also be invited to an assessment at the University of Leicester. You will participate in a group task with candidates and will lead a brief group discussion on one of the topics you will have been sent prior to the interview. You will also carry out written tasks in English and Maths.

How school placements work

School Placements

During the PGCE, you will be placed in three contrasting Partnership schools.

Primary students (specialising in the 5-11 age range) are placed in a range of KS1 and KS2 classes, and Lower Primary students (specialising in the 3-7 age range) work in Key Stage One and Foundation Stage settings. School Direct students agree with their School Direct Lead School which of these routes they wish to take. In addition to the three block teaching placements you will also visit different schools as part of a series of 'focus days', studying specific subject and professional topics in an intensive school-based context.

Teaching Experience 1

This is a six-week placement, either individual or sometimes with two students working together in one class. You will focus on developing observation skills to support your understanding of teaching and learning and to put your learning into practice. During this Autumn Term placement you will work towards taking an increased responsibility for teaching the class.

Teaching Experience 2

This takes place in the Spring Term and lasts for six weeks. The amount of time spent teaching the class increases over the placement until you have responsibility for up to 80% of the timetable.

Teaching Experience 3

This is an eight-week placement in the Summer Term with students working towards taking responsibility for 80% of the teaching timetable. You will normally return to the school where you were based in the autumn term, but with a different class.

Throughout each of these placements you will be encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and to take full advantage of the tasks and activities designed by your tutors to support your development.

The school-based time is a vitally important element of the course. You will have the opportunity to observe skilled class teachers working and to discuss the things that underpin day-to-day classroom activities, as well as work alongside experienced teacher-mentors who will support your learning about classroom practice.


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 may be eligible for a loan while you study.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



2:1 degree or above

GCSE grade C or above in English Language, Maths and Science.

A pass in the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.

A minimum of 4 weeks experience of working with young people is preferred upon application. This could be in-school experience or regular leading or instruction of children in out-of-school settings (coaching, Brownies, Beavers etc.)

About the training provider

We are delighted that you are considering training with our Alliance and we would really like you to apply to join us. Providing a high level of care and support for our trainees is part of our ethos. Our places are open to all applicants who share our values and are passionate about supporting the learning of our students.

Our Alliance is founded on the principle of collaboration and an absolute belief that by working together we can improve outcomes for all students in all of our schools. Our schools have a long record of partnership with our Higher Education partners in helping to train teachers. School Direct gives us the chance to select and train our own outstanding teachers of the future.

If you choose to train with us you can expect:

*successful trainees will obtain a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) by the end of the programme

*a programme that gives you four days a week in school and one day a week at University

*the chance to observe and work with outstanding teachers

*outstanding mentoring from an experienced and trained mentor

*a bespoke programme of support sessions

*a comprehensive induction programme

*a second school placement in a contrasting school

We are working in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester, University of Derby and Bishop’s Grosseteste Lincoln.

We are committed to identifying, training and developing outstanding teachers of the future.

About the accredited body

The University of Leicester works with schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and the surrounding counties to offer the School Direct PGCE Primary and School Direct PGCE Secondary.

It's an approach aimed at enabling schools to take a stronger lead in the type of students they recruit, often with a view to meeting particular gaps or future employment needs of schools involved in the School Direct partnership. School placements are central to this, with most, if not all, placements taking place within a local hub of partner schools.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We coordinate support and access arrangements for disabled applicants with specific learning difficulties. We work with academic staff, Universities and external agencies to meet individual access requirements.

Our commitment is to ensure that everybody has an equal opportunity to become an active part of school life irrelevant of their needs.

The Teaching School is committed to equality and aims to comply with the Equality Act (2010).

Contact details

0115 982 4280
The Becket Way
Wilford Lane
West Bridgford


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Support and advice

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

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