About the course
The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the DfE, the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Students who successfully complete their PGCE have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part time MA Education.
The course is organised as three modules:
- Professional Issues in school based education
- Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
- Self-directed Study
The programme of study for the academic year is organised as follows:
You will spend the first two weeks engaged in an induction programme on Durham University campus. For the six weeks following this, you will spend Monday - Wednesday in your preliminary placement school in west Cumbria, and Thursday - Friday at Durham University. For the final six weeks of this term, you will spend Monday - Friday in your preliminary placement school.
As in term one, you will spend the first two weeks of this term on Durham University campus. For the six weeks following this, you will spend Monday - Wednesday in your main placement school in west Cumbria, and Thursday - Friday at Durham University. For the final six weeks of this term, you will spend Monday - Friday in your main placement school.
You will spend almost all of this term at your main placement school, with only a handful of days at Durham University campus.
You will be assessed on your progress over the duration of this course. Assessments will be made related to:
- school based tasks
- teaching performance
- professional conduct
Applicants will need to attend one interview, conducted jointly by staff from Durham University and West Lakes Teaching School Alliance.
The interview will consist:
- a written task
- a formal interview
- a short presentation on an aspect of geography that interests you
- a discussion task
Your performance on the selection day, as well as your application form and your referee statements provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate to us that you not only possess the potential to become an excellent secondary teacher, but also that you will benefit from the West Lakes Teaching School Alliance Initial Teacher Training Programme in particular.
We will be looking for:
- The ability to communicate ideas clearly
- Reliability and industry
- Evidence of ability in and enthusiasm for the subject
- Experience of and commitment to working with young people
- Motivation and commitment to the programme, to the teaching of young people and to a teaching career
- Intellectual curiosity and responsiveness
- Critical analysis of personal educational experiences
- Ability and willingness to be reflective about own strengths and needs
- Awareness of current issues in education
- Degree of open-mindedness, especially with regard to educational issues
- A range of extra-curricular experiences.
How school placements work
West Lakes Teaching School Alliance consists six schools all located in the west of Cumbria.
Our partnership schools are:
- Beacon Hill School
- Cockermouth School
- Millom School
- Solway Community College
- Workington Academy
- West Lakes Academy
All of our partnership schools teach students aged 11-16 and four have sixth forms. All teacher trainees on our PGCE course will have access to KS5 teaching experience.
All trainees will undertake a minimum of 120 days school experience during this programme. This will be split across two of our partnership schools. You will spend one term in one school, and two terms in another.
School placements are selected to ensure all trainees are offered a broad range of experience. Geographical location will also be taken into account where possible.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £17,000
- a bursary of £15,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Geography 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.
- The equivalent of a UK upper second class honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of Geography or a closely related subject.
- Significant and relevant subject knowledge. This should be demonstrated at both application and interview.
- GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application.
Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision.
We are looking for trainees who are committed to changing students' lives through learning. We want candidates who have a passion for their subject and a drive to share that passion with young people from across the west of Cumbria.
Apply to us if you want to become the very best secondary teacher and are driven by a desire to make a difference.
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply will be provided.
About the training provider
West Lakes Teaching School Alliance is an alliance of secondary schools working together to provide high quality initial teacher training on the west coast of Cumbria.
We work in partnership with Durham University, an Ofsted Outstanding rated provider of ITT and a university with a strong tradition of engaging in cutting-edge educational research.
The Lead School in our alliance is West Lakes Academy, an Ofsted Outstanding rated school with a growing local and national reputation for providing high quality education for students and high quality professional development for staff as recognised in its accreditation as an SSAT Leading Edge school.
Students choosing to train with us will split their time between two placement schools in the west of Cumbria, and Durham University campus. This split, unique locally, ensures that our students have access to the highest quality academic training from Durham University alongside the experience of working in schools that really do make a difference to the lives of the students they serve.
Being located in the west of Cumbria means that our students have easy access to the Lake District National Park as well as to the bustling city of Carlisle. Our Teaching School is based in the market town of Egremont, found by a Royal Mail study in summer 2018 to be the best market town in Britain to live and work due to its good work-life balance, affordable housing and good schools.
Find out more.
About the accredited body
Durham University is one of the leading departments for education in the UK. Durham regularly features in the top five in national university league tables e.g. 3rd in the Guardian University Guide 2019. They also rate highly in the world rankings: 74th in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
As a department, the School of Education also lead the way in high quality research, 5th in the field of education nationally and joint 1st in the UK for world-leading research impact. They are a major contributor in the field of education.
You can be assured of high quality teaching.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We arrange appropriate provision for disabled students.
Across our alliance schools, we are able to accommodate a range of disabilities and other needs.
We have experience of accommodating students with physical mobility needs, visual impairment, and dyslexia.
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:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Main Street, Egremont, Cumbria CA22 2DQ
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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