About the course
The Secondary PGCE forms a practical and theoretical introduction to teaching, providing student teachers with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach secondary age children, including where possible at post-sixteen. The strong emphasis of the course is on learning from experience through reflection and enquiry. This process of reflective enquiry underpins the development of teaching skills and forms the basis for the written work submitted as part of the Master Level element of the programme. An understanding of the relationship between practice and theory, underpins the PGCE. This provides a firm practical and theoretical foundation for the professional journey towards becoming an outstanding practitioner.
We offer the following Secondary PGCE subject courses, which are supported by our Professional Studies Programme:
- French with German
- French with Spanish
- German with French
- Spanish with French
- (We may also be able to provide places for those wishing to study Mandarin with French, German or Spanish and Spanish with German)
- Science with Biology Specialism
- Science with Chemistry Specialism
- Science with Physics Specialism
You will undertake 60 credits of Master's-Level credits over three course modules which are rooted in school while being rooted in classroom practice and aligned with research and theory. Each module assignment is worth 20 credits. They work to complement your school experiences - enhancing outcomes and your professional development.
You will graduate with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) if you meet the Teachers’ Standards through your practical engagement in school, which will include PGCE on successful completion of the module assignments.
The course starts in September and continues until June. The course structure follows school term dates not university semesters. All school and university sessions, including individual and small group progress check interviews, some of which will take place in school holidays, are compulsory and full attendance is expected.
- Subject days, to develop your understanding of your subject pedagogy
- Progress days, to develop your understanding of the research and theory underpinning pedagogy and the wider aspects of schools and education
- Conferences based on key aspects of Professional Practice
- 1:1 and small group tutorials
Assessment is a mixture of academic assignments for the modules and successful completion of your teaching practice placement, evidenced through a series of Reports and the completion of a Professional Portfolio and Evidence Log.
Under Department for Education regulations, the University is unable to offer places on its PGCE courses without a selection process that includes a personal interview. Based on your application form including references you may be offered an interview, which will be conducted by a subject specialist.
The selection procedure consists of:
- A presentation by the interviewer outlining the course
- An opportunity to discuss the course and expectations
- An individual OR group presentation
- A written task, relevant to teaching
- A subject-related (GCSE/A-level) exam question or questions
- An individual interview
A baseline assessment of your literacy and numeracy skills will be conducted both as part of the selection process and pre-course, this will be used to inform us of your particular strengths, and areas for development that we will support you with during the PGCE. In common with ALL initial teacher training providers, by the end of the course, you will need to show competency in both numeracy and literacy in line with the DfE guidance.
How school placements work
You will spend at least two thirds of the PGCE on school placements. Placements include periods of observation in preparation for teaching practice. This allows school and university staff to supervise your progress towards Qualified Teacher Status, to guide you in the planning, preparation and reflection process of the programme and completion of your M Level Assignments.
Newcastle University has positive and long-standing relationships with partnership schools across the North East; currently we are working with approximately 80 schools. This helps us to provide you with a range of experiences across a range of contexts and where possible trainees will have two contrasting school placements. The first placement lasts from September to December, the second from January to early June. When planning for school placements the university endeavour to take into your personal circumstances into consideration.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Please check with Newcastle University website for details of fees and other funding.
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.
Financial support from the training provider
Please check with Newcastle University website for details of fees and other funding.
- Relevant Degree subject and classification, a 2:2+. At least 50% of your degree should be in the subject you wish to teach. We may accept a closely related degree subject.
- Original GCSE certificates for Maths and English (grade A-C or / 4-9 or their equivalent)
- DBS (including an overseas check as appropriate*)
- Fit to Teach
- Any other conditions as appropriate
If applying for MFL
- UK nationals at least 6 months abroad
- Foreign nationals at least 6 months in the UK
Teaching can be an immensely enjoyable profession when students commit themselves whole-heartedly to the endeavour to become a great teacher. It takes effort and requires stamina and resilience with exemplary professionalism and personal commitment. You will need to be proactive and take advantage of opportunities offered and seek others. We are therefore looking for students who are prepared to offer this level of commitment, who are flexible, able to adapt quickly to changing and challenging circumstances and genuinely want to work with young people.
It is desirable for you to have spent time working and/or observing in a UK secondary classroom before applying.
Experience is advantageous as it will inform your application and any later performance in the selection process.
About the training provider
The PGCE Team pride ourselves on providing our students with an excellent standard of education, training and practical teaching experience and are delighted that Newcastle university achieved A Gold Award, in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), evidencing that Newcastle University consistently delivers outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes, for our students. Similarly, we were given a ‘judgement of Confidence by the The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). We also pride ourselves personal support we give to our students and you will have full access to the extensive services of the ‘Student Support Service’.
Newcastle University has a reputation for world-class research (16th in the UK) and the PGCE team work closely with our colleagues to ensure our subject and professional programmes are research led and well informed.
Our PGCE programme, rated Good by Ofsted in 2017, provides rigorous academic and school training. University and school-based components are integrated so that learning is relevant to your practice and development as a confident and capable teacher. To support you, you will have access to a wide range of study facilities, including all relevant course materials , a well-stocked Education Resource Centre and the comprehensive facilities of the university. You will also have full access to the extensive services of the ‘Student Support Service’
Training with disabilities and other needs
The PGCE Team welcome applications from students with disabilities. Advice, information and guidance is available from the university Student Support Services, who liaise with us over students’ support requirements, and may liaise with external agencies where appropriate. Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) is a non-means tested grant available to U.K. disabled students who are applying for, or are attending, a course of Higher Education. There are specific eligibility conditions related to residence in the UK, which have to be met to qualify for this funding. DSA allowance covers some additional study-related costs that students will incur because of a disability, ongoing medical condition or mental health condition. Extra costs may include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper or travel costs. If you are invited to an interview for PGCE is often a good opportunity to arrange to meet with one of the Disability Advisers, to talk about your support requirements.
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.
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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