The University of Nottingham
Geography (F8X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Scholarship, 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

The PGCE course is a one-year full-time programme. When at university you will be part of two learning cohorts, your subject group and a Schools and Society group. In subject studies you will explore: the principles which underlie the teaching of your particular subject; varied and detailed approaches for effective teaching and learning; how educational theory illuminates subject teaching. In Schools and Society studies you will explore the wider issues of becoming a teacher such as child protection, special educational needs, inclusivity etc.

You will spend at least two thirds of your time working in schools, and the remaining time in University. The course starts with a two-week introduction to the course, including two days spent in your first placement school.

First Placement

From week three of the course you will spend most of your time in your first placement with regular days returning to the University to reflect on, and develop, your practice.

You return to the University either side of your Christmas break to work with your peers, reflecting on your experiences in school and preparing for your next teaching placement.

Second Placement

During this placement you will become part of the school community and work professionally as a member of a team. Following a week-long induction in school, you gradually build up your teaching across the age and ability range. By week three, you will be teaching approximately two-thirds of a teacher’s timetable.

You will return for several University-based days that focus on a range of professional development issues and allow for contact with peers and tutors.


The PGCE course is a Masters level course incorporating two 30-credit modules entitled 'Schools and Society' and 'Learning and Teaching'.

For the award of the PGCE and to achieve Teacher Standards, you must have reached the required standard in both the theory and practice elements of the course. In keeping with the nature of the course, which is vocational and postgraduate in approach, there are no written examinations.

Practical Teaching is assessed by the University tutors, school based mentors and coordinators, and External Examiners. Account is taken of your work over all school-based elements of the course and your own written records of such work.

On the course, you are required to submit various pieces of work related to your subject and Schools and Society programmes. The assignments may be written pieces or presentations and may include collaborative work.

Interview process

We endeavour to make our interview process as stress-free as possible to enable you to get the most from the experience. When you come for interview, there are likely to be other applicants being interviewed alongside you. You will not be in competition with the other applicants – in fact, we are keen to see that you can work collaboratively with others.

The criteria we will use for selection at interview are:

  • an awareness of current educational issues
  • a realistic and positive view of schools and schooling
  • an open and enquiring mind
  • clear reasons for wanting to teach
  • motivation and commitment to teaching all pupils
  • maturity and self confidence
  • an appropriate level of subject knowledge in your subject

You will be interviewed by tutors from the School of Education and, possibly, mentors from partnership schools. During the interview you will undertake the following tasks:

  • a short presentation on a subject topic (details will be sent to you in advance of the interview)
  • a group discussion task
  • a written task
  • an individual interview

We will inform you of our decision as soon as possible after interview. If you are given a conditional offer of a place, you will receive a pack of information describing the steps you should take next. The conditional offer will become unconditional when we have received all the necessary clearances and documentation.

How school placements work

The School of Education has a strong and well-established partnership of approximately 100 secondary schools. Our partner schools are mainly situated in Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, Derby City, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. There are also partner schools in Leicestershire and Staffordshire. Our Partnership Committee, and working groups for each subject, work with School of Education staff in planning, developing and monitoring our courses. All our school based mentors and coordinators attend mentor development sessions throughout the academic year.

You will undertake two extended placements in at least two schools, enabling you to gain a broad experience of different educational settings. The course starts in early September and finishes at the end of June. In week one of the course you will begin your first school placement, where you will be based for the autumn term. From January to June your main teaching practice will be in a different, contrasting setting.

When deciding placements we take account of the needs of individual students such as parental/caring commitments, prior experience and home location. You can be assured that the tutors do consider the placements very carefully and your existing skill set may be considered in relation to the tutors’ knowledge of schools’ specialisms and developments. Travel times vary from placement to placement but we aim to keep any commute to within an hour.

In the summer term there is an opportunity for you to undertake a placement in an alternative educational setting i.e. sixth form college, special needs school, to further broaden your experiences.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £19,170

Financial support

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.



All applicants are required on entry to the course to hold a UK degree or equivalent qualification. This must be in, or closely related to, your proposed teaching subject.

As a guideline we would expect to see that at least 50% of your first degree is directly relevant to the National Curriculum subject you intend to teach.

In additional to a degree you will need have passed GCSE English Language and mathematics at grade C (grade 4) or above, or equivalent. For primary courses you will also need GCSE science at grade C (grade 4) or above, or equivalent.

Personal qualities

During the recruitment process, we will be focussing on your potential to be a great teacher. The qualities we look for in applicants are:

  • a desire to teach and work with young people from all backgrounds
  • a passion for your subject
  • a commitment to working in a variety of schools serving diverse communities
  • effective communication skills
  • a commitment to work hard on the course
  • a determination to succeed
  • a readiness to listen and share
  • a flexible approach to learning and teaching

Other requirements

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report, as you are required to meet the standards for 'Fitness to Teach'. It is important that you disclose any medical condition or disability so that we can look at the best way of supporting you if you are offered a place on the course.

You will be subject to safeguarding checks which include an enhanced DBS check.

Before a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status can be made we will need to be assured of your proficiency in English and mathematics.

About the training provider

The University of Nottingham has been involved in teacher education for over 120 years and our postgraduate Initial Teacher Education provision is one of the largest in the country; courses inspected during our latest Ofsted visit were rated ‘outstanding’.

We offer primary and secondary routes, emphasising practical school-based training, supported by an exploration of established and current educational theory and thinking. We have a clearly articulated set of strands and phases outlining the development of specialised teacher knowledge over the year, supporting our students to understand, and take ownership of, their professional development. Our courses are designed to challenge students’ ideas on learning and teaching and enable them to experience and develop for themselves a wide variety of styles and techniques to use in the classroom.

University tutors working with our beginning teachers were successful and innovative teachers in schools and are now experienced teacher educators committed to developing the next generation of teachers.

With a strong partnership with schools in the region, all of our courses are underpinned by a shared ethos and work toward shared aims. Our students are highly rated locally and a large proportion of them go on to work in partner schools each year.

The University of Nottingham ITE courses are popular and large cohorts offer excellent peer support throughout the course. We have a strong emphasis on emotional wellbeing, supporting our beginning teachers to develop their own identities and embed work ethics that enable them to thrive and enjoy teaching as a profession.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report, as you are required to meet the standards for 'Fitness to Teach'. It is important that you disclose any medical condition or disability so that we can look at the best way of supporting you if you are offered a place on the course.

The University of Nottingham is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable teaching and learning environment and we work closely with our partnership schools to ensure that any student who has a specific need is supported to thrive as a beginning teacher. We believe the teacher workforce should reflect the diversity of the pupils in our schools.

We have a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of students with special needs and disabilities. The School of Education has a dedicated Welfare Officer who works with students to ensure they access all available support from the University but also to support with any issues that specifically relate to being a student teacher.

We have many examples of supporting students with a range of needs and, in the past, have worked with students to plan placements in advance that accommodate their needs and mediated needs with partnership schools to ensure additional support is in place.

You are welcome to discuss any special needs or disabilities with us at any time during, or after, the application process.

Contact details

0115 951 5151
The School of Education
Jubilee Campus


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: N84
  • Training programme code: F8X1

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
School of Education, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG8 1BB
Yes -

Support and advice

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

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