Bury Teaching Schools Alliance
Religious Education (36PF)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The Manchester Metropolitan University
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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020

About the course

As a Bury Teaching Schools Alliance (BTSA) Religious Education School Direct student teacher you will receive regular training delivered by expert teachers and well-qualified mentors in our alliance of Bury schools. This will be further enhanced by attendance on a number of days at our partner University, Manchester Metropolitan University. With support from experienced mentors and leaders from BTSA, MMU and your placement school, you will be supported to put your new skills into practice to develop your teaching practice.

You will be based in two schools within the alliance where you will be trained and mentored by outstanding specialist teachers of your subject in successful departments and Key Stages. This course will equip you with the skills to teach the KS3 and KS4 curriculum (children aged from 11-16 years) in your chosen subject area.

The programme is highly personalised from your first contact with us at Bury Teaching Schools Alliance to taking up your first teaching job, hopefully in one of our alliance partner schools. To date, all of our School Direct students secured employment in their NQT year. Several of our former students now hold middle and senior leadership roles in local schools. Other graduates have chosen to use their skills to teach overseas.

In addition to school-based training for Qualified Teacher Status, our successful student teachers achieve a PGCE with 60 Masters' level credits.

Assessment is by coursework. The purpose of assessment is to complement and build on other work on the course. The assessment items are an integral part of the learning process, thus helping you enter your first appointment with confidence and competence. For this reason, all assessment is related to work in schools.

There are two assessment elements:

  • The Teacher’s Standards and Personal and Professional Conduct (incorporating teaching and the teaching file)
  • Written assignments (Critical Studies, Subject Pedagogy and Record of Professional Development).

There are three sets of course completion requirements:

  • The professional development file (containing four items: audit of subject knowledge and understanding, observational and analytical tasks, and your record of professional review meetings with mentors and tutors)
  • The career entry profile (completed at the point of becoming a newly qualified teacher and taken with you into your first post)
  • Good attendance. A minimum of 120 schools days experience is required to pass the course.

Interview process

All UCAS applications are checked that they meet course entry requirements by our partner university, Manchester Metropolitan University. The applications which fulfil this criteria are then shortlisted by our admissions panel. We will contact successful candidates and invite them to an assessment session at one of our alliance schools.

The session will consist of a mini-teach, literacy/numeracy test and a written piece. If successful at this stage we will ask you to remain for an interview. These tasks enable us to get to know you and to identify whether we may be able to organise additional support with course assignments. All students need to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge in Mathematics and English before QTS is awarded. This will be assessed during the induction and further support can be provided to ensure you meet the standards required by the end of the programme.

The interview panel will be made up of senior practitioners from our alliance.

The mini-teach will be for 20 minutes to a class of Year 7 pupils.

The written task is designed to assess the quality of written English and your standard of spoken English will be continuously assessed throughout the day.

The session is also a great opportunity for us to share more information about our course with you and answer any questions that you may have. We try to make the session as enjoyable and informative as we can.

How school placements work

BTSA works on an A B model where you will complete two school placements A and B; placement A in the autumn and early spring term at one of the schools in the Bury Teaching School Alliance and placement B in the latter half of the spring term and summer term where you will be allocated to a different school within the Alliance. To date, all secondary school placements have been within the Borough of Bury.

Our Alliance schools offer dynamic and diverse settings within which to train. You will get experience of working with young people of all abilities. You will also have the opportunity of observing in a primary school, sixth-form college and a special school to give you the experience of working with learners in all phases and contexts.

The first placement will start early September and involves teaching practice in school each week, with a number of Professional Study/ Training Days over the year delivered by outstanding colleagues from our Teaching Alliance schools enabling an opportunity to discuss teaching experiences with the whole School Direct cohort in Bury, share ideas and learning and access further training opportunities to suit the requests and needs of students. The first placement ends February half term. The second placement starts after February half term and ends in June.

You will have full access to the facilities of The Manchester Metropolitan University, which has national recognition for its high-quality Initial Teacher Training provision. The majority of your time will be school based but there are a number of days where you will be based at the University, far reduced compared to a traditional PGCE.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees can be funded through a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England. The loan is not means -tested and covers the full amount of the tuition fees. These are paid direct to the University when you enrol on a PGCE course. You would repay the loan after you have graduated and are earning over £25,000.

Maintenance Loan

This is available to help you with your living costs. The amount you will receive depends on your household income (parents’ or partner’s income plus yours) and the loan is repayable once you have finished the course and are earning over £25,000.

A bursary or scholarship may also be available for this subject. Details of bursaries and scholarships available for 2020 - 2021 will be announced soon. Please visit Get Into Teaching for latest information:


Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £9,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility 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.



All applicants must have a minimum 2:2 degree which must support the National Curriculum subject knowledge requirements .

GCSEs grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, you can apply with these pending. We offer MMU equivalency tests in English and Maths.

Personal qualities

We are looking for inspiring, knowledgeable and ambitious trainees who are passionate and enthusiastic about teaching to make a real difference to young peoples' lives and futures. If this is you, and you have the following attributes, we want to hear from you!

  • The confidence and ability to engage with children
  • Commitment to excellence in education
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills
  • A commitment to working hard
  • An ability to establish good working relationships
  • Commitment to a professional team
  • Flexibility - a crucial characteristic that is vital in this active and constantly changing climate

Other requirements

All teachers are expected to be competent in Fundamental English and mathematics. Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers are expected to make an assessment of English and mathematics knowledge of a student before QTS is awarded. Skills will be assessed during course induction. Additional support can be provided to ensure you meet these conditions by the end of your training programme.

School experience is no longer required for you to apply to train to teach with us. BTSA do understand, and recognise, the value of school experience and should you wish to arrange this we would be happy to help you.

About the training provider

Bury Teaching Schools Alliance (BTSA) was formed in 2014 by two National Teaching Schools: Christ Church CE Primary School and Elms Bank Specialist Arts College.

The BTSA is a joint venture by primary, special and secondary schools in Bury. We work in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to identify and grow our next generation of teachers and future leaders.

We work very closely with a number of Bury Schools on Initial Teacher Training and are able to provide cross phase opportunities in a range of school settings, eg all students will spend some time within a special school as part of their course. For those with an interest in working in special education we are able to offer placements in a special school context within certain subjects.

The partnership schools in our alliance offer a range of experiences, working alongside happy and friendly children and hardworking and ambitious staff. All the schools have experience of teacher training and are able to coach and mentor trainees through the programme, producing good and outstanding trainees. In addition to what is offered by MMU, we provide an extensive CPD programme delivered by Local, National and Specialist Leaders of Education.

We are proud that all BTSA Graduates secured employment for their NQT year and a large majority remain within Bury schools. We offer structured career pathway opportunities, building upon the foundations laid in your Initial Teacher Training, and many of our former students now hold middle and senior leadership roles in our schools.

About the accredited body

You will have full access to the facilities of The Manchester Metropolitan University, which has national recognition for its high quality Initial Teacher Training provision. Initial Teacher Training at the MMU Faculty of Education was rated as 'good' for Primary and Secondary in the last Ofsted Inspection (2015). Ofsted reported 'strong leadership and management and consistently good quality teaching leading to good outcomes for trainees in primary and secondary phases' (Ofsted, 2015).

Training with disabilities and other needs

BTSA welcomes applications from all candidates. If you have what we are looking for then we want to meet you! We will do everything that we can to make the process smooth for you and ask you to let us know if we can assist in any way. We have and continue to support trainees with various disabilities and other needs (for example, physical disabilities, dyslexia and other needs). If you have any requirements that will assist you in the recruitment process please do not hesitate to contact us. We endeavour to make the process as smooth as possible for all our applicants!

Contact details

0161 766 1597
Bury Teaching Schools Alliance
Elms Bank, Ripon Ave
Greater Manchester
M45 8PJ


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: 274
  • Training programme code: 36PF

Choose a training location

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

Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Church Street, Walshaw, Bury, Lancashire BL8 3AX
Yes -

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 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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