About the course
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).
The programme covers a wide range of topics that you will need to address as a teacher. These include planning for learning, classroom management, inclusion, assessment, subject work, wider school issues and other important topics. The topics are not just covered once in the course but are regularly revisited during the year in various contexts. This approach allows continual reinforcement and deepening of your knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning.
The course duration is approximately 180 days. You will spend approximately 60 days during the course of the training, mostly outside of the classroom on many aspects of teaching. Most of these 60 days of training will be at the Lancaster campus. A number of days will be subject specific, designed to develop your knowledge of how to teach your subject known as Pedagogy for Learning (PFL) days. On these days the both School Direct and university based students are taught together. The other 120 days will be in two contrasting school placements. For these placements you will be supported by both school and university colleagues to meet the standards for QTS.
The course is assessed in two different ways. The placement module for the QTS element is assessed by school and university colleagues on a pass/ fail basis using a widely recognised trainee teacher assessment matrix. You will also prepare an electronic portfolio to submit as evidence of meeting the QTS standards. The two modules connected to the PGCE are assessed by the submission of four written assignments on teaching and learning in your subject and wider educational issues. The four written assignments are spread across the year to try to even out workload and two of them are formative to help develop your Masters level writing towards the two summative assignments.
The University of Cumbria and its legacy institutions, St Martins and Charlotte Mason colleges, have a long history of training successful teachers and an excellent record in producing good and outstanding teachers.
You may be invited to attend an interview for this programme and these will take place with our course team. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive full information about the day in advance so that you can prepare.
All candidates undertake a range of tasks including a micro-teaching task, group discussions, individual interview and subject knowledge tasks to test the ability to think and write at Masters level.
How school placements work
The University of Cumbria works in partnership with over 700 schools based across a wide geographical area including Cumbria, North Lancashire and London.
As the University is multi-site the schools used for placement depend on the campus a student is based at (i.e. Students based on the London campus attend placement in London).
Schools are selected based on their current OFSTED grading and their understanding of the University’s programmes and grading criteria. Schools provide a trained professional mentor who is supported by a dedicated university based academic tutor (Partnership Tutor).
Students will undertake three assessed placements that increase in length as they progress through the course experiencing over 120 days in a school setting. Students will experience all primary age ranges depending on the programme selected. From student feedback the average travel time to placement is as follows; less than 30 minutes - 52%, 31 to 60 minutes - 39%, 61 to 90 minutes - 9%. The University places a limit of 90 minutes travel time to placement.
Further information about placements can be found at (https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/about/partnerships/placements/education/placement-travel-accommodation-policy/)
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Stated fees are subject to approval of the University’s Access and Participation Plan by the Office for Students. This is expected shortly.
You’ll get a bursary of £26,000 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.
- A minimum UK 2:2 honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in biology is required. Your degree must contain evidence of a substantial and appropriate level of subject knowledge.
- GCSE grade C/ 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics or equivalent qualifications.
We're looking for evidence of motivation and appropriate professional values. A strong personal statement conveying an enthusiasm for the subject, for working with young people and for teaching and learning.
- A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check.
- Satisfactory Occupational Health medical check prior to starting the course
- A satisfactory academic (University) or a satisfactory professional reference if it is more than 5 years since academic work.
- Evidence of the potential to work at Masters level.
About the training provider
We are the University of Cumbria, where people are at the heart of all we do. We inspire, engage and add value to people’s lives: we know the things we teach will be the things that change lives.
This year, the university has been ranked 28th out of 131 higher education institutions in the student-informed survey ‘WhatUni’; the university has increased its standing annually since 2015 with an increase of 7 places this year. Our focus on providing our students with the skills and real-life work experience means nine out of ten of all of our graduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduation, and of those, 82% are in graduate-level jobs or study. These accolades make us one of the fastest improving universities in the UK.
Our lecturers have a wealth of school experience, many still practising in school, and lead internationally significant research, which means our students get to explore the very latest thinking in their subject. As one of the leading providers of education courses and School Direct partnerships in England, we are at the leading edge of teacher education, working with more than 20 school alliances to give our students the option to spend the majority of their teacher training in a real school setting.
Here at the University of Cumbria, lives are enriched so individuals can become the world changers of tomorrow; a place where you can find your calling, your career and find your place.
Find out more (www. cumbria.ac.uk)
Training with disabilities and other needs
We will ensure you have everything you need to succeed, supporting you to be your best. We are open and believe that everyone has the right to learn.
We are committed to widening participation and provide a range of services to enable those with disability or specific learning difficulty (SpLD) to access their chosen course, including adjustments to formal timed examinations, digital recorders, assistance in the library and an individualised disability/SpLD action plan. Access to a range of non-medical help services such as practical support, note taking, specialist mentoring and study skills is also offered.
Counselling and therapy can give you time to explore what is going on in your life in a safe setting. Our Psychological Wellbeing Service incorporates counselling, therapy and mental health mentoring. Our psychological therapists offer confidential support and advice on a wide range of issues including how to access services provided by the NHS and Social Services, as well as support for disabled students.
All of our campuses have accessible learning and teaching spaces and adapted residential accommodation. The university provides a variety of assistive software and has collated more than 100 free accessibility apps for general use, and provides specialist hardware such as larger keyboards and mice, and adjustable height desks.
We provide a supportive and nurturing environment where we know you as an individual, not a number, ensuring you are treated equally, fairly and with respect, whatever your needs.
Apply for this course
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Bowerham Road, Lancaster LA1 3JD
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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