About the course
The Sussex Schools Partnership PGCE Psychology course is offered as either a 1 year full-time programme or for 2 years part time.
Successful candidates are awarded Qualified
Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits allowing progress onto our Part-time Masters in Education for newly qualified teachers.
Our course offers an exciting opportunity for you to develop as an enthusiastic, engaged and creative teacher committed to sharing and nurturing understanding of what shapes human behaviour, thought and actions. Our partnership believes that introducing young people to psychology provides them with a valuable and insightful way of seeing our world and the ways in which individuals operate and integrate.
By dealing with data, evidence and research methods, pupils are challenged to engage in the process of enquiry, analysis and debate. As a school subject, Psychology is growing in popularity and offers schools and pupils a rich, exciting and challenging addition to the school curriculum.
Building on successful and engaging practice in GCSE and A Level Psychology school classrooms University and school-based sessions draw on local and national expertise, offering perspectives and strategies on a range of different teaching issues, from key Psychology topics: memory, personality and communication, to engaging pupils in the sensitive, controversial and emotive nature of subjects like deviance and ethics.
Integrating education theory and practice and encouraging critical reflection on approaches to learning and teaching is key to the Sussex approach. Excellent teachers from partnership schools are seconded to the tutor team and contribute additional currency to teaching and trainee support.
You will attend a full-time three week induction course on our campus during September to prepare you for starting your first school placement.
Thereafter our full-time candidates spend Monday to Thursday each week training in one of our partnership schools and attending the University Campus on Fridays for lectures, workshops and seminars with our team of experienced subject tutors. Part-time candidates also attend the university on Fridays and train for two days a week in school in year 1 and three days in year 2.
Over the year you will be placed in two different schools and will be required to successfully complete both placements. Additional assessments are via a Masters level essay submitted in late February and an innovative Viva style Masters level exit interview at the end of the course.
Please find further course information here
Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to a selection day either on the University campus or in one of our partnership schools.
At a Sussex selection day candidates would usually expect to;
- Listen to a talk giving further information about the course with an opportunity to ask questions
- Have an individual interview with a Sussex tutor and an experienced teacher from a partner school
- Deliver a short pre-prepared classroom type teaching task or presentation
- Present your degree, GCSE Maths and English certificates and Photo ID for checking
- Complete some paperwork including our Suitability for Teaching Declaration
Showing an awareness the curriculum and school life is part of the selection process so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.
How school placements work
Our Full-time Course
You will undertake two periods of Professional Practice in two contrasting schools over the academic year September to June, training to teach in Key Stage 4 (14-16) and Key Stage 5 (16-18).
Placement 1: End of September to February halfterm. Trainees benefit from a serial placement where the working week is divided between four days in school and a day of reflection and training at the University on Fridays. This ensures a weekly focus on theory and pedagogy as well as practice.
Placement 2: February Halfterm to May halfterm in a contrasting school. There are fewer University days to give you experience of working a 5 day school week.
Our Part-time Course
Year One: 2 days* a week in school and Fridays at the University
Year Two 3 days* a week in a second contrasting school and occasional University days. Towards the end of your course you will undertake a full-time 5 week teaching block.
- Days of the week individually negociated to suit both school and trainee.
Our longstanding and historic partnership with around 300 schools across East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London Fringes helps us secure placements where our trainees will thrive and be well exceptionally supported. We invest a lot of time in carefully arranging the most appropriate school for each individual in our cohorts.
Your Sussex tutor will personally select your two school placements based on a combination of factors; the practicalities such as living location and transport needs but also on personality, subject knowledge level and previous experiences and using our in depth knowledge of the features of schools within our partnership.
We are also proud to offer an innovative optional training strand in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) which includes enhanced training opportunities and a bespoke Placement 2 in a local partnership special school. This strand would suit any trainee interested in working in a SEND environment.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
An undergraduate degree 2:2 or above in Psychology
English and Maths GCSE at grade C or above (pre-2017), Grade 5 or above (post-2017), or equivalent qualifications.
We are looking for;
- A passion for Psychology and an interest in the subject beyond your degree
- A strong knowledge and understanding of Psychology and an awareness of how the subject is taught in UK secondary schools.
- Effective communication skills and good organisational skills
- Enthusiasm, energy and creativity
- Awareness of current educational developments and issues
- Experience with young people and commitment to developing individuals
- The ability to evaluate practice and to address your weaknesses
- Initiative, flexibility and responsiveness to change
- A sense of responsibility
- Ability to work in a team.
We also require the following
- Working with children: You must not be excluded from working with children, as a result of a criminal record or other reason. The Disclosure and Barring Service provides access to records held nationwide through its disclosure
service. All trainees must obtain successful DBS clearance before starting an initial teacher-training programme.
- Health requirements: All trainees must be screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University's Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme.
About the training provider
The University of Sussex Schools Partnership offers high quality professional and academic teaching courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits and a progression route onto a Masters in Education.
With a history of innovation we pioneered a model of school-based teacher training 50 years ago, now adopted nationally. Schools are involved at every stage of the selection, training and assessment of our beginner teachers. This long standing relationship results in excellent support from experienced teachers mentoring trainees on placement and dedicated University tutors offering models of successful pedagogy. As a small friendly department we offer our trainees a personal approach and aftercare support and training as Newly Qualified Teachers
We train 'thinking' teachers with a over riding desire to make a difference to the lives of young people.
A research intensive university, we believe teachers benefit from critical engagement in evidence-based practice, reflection on research and continuing professional development as well as excellent practical classroom skills.
Our University sits on a leafy campus at the edge of the South Downs National Park, accessible by road or rail from East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London. The historic
seaside city of Brighton is minutes away, with its pebble beaches and vibrant social and cultural opportunities.
Course outcomes are consistently high; 100% achieving QTS on first attempt,
94% completing with Merit or Distinction,
98% securing a teaching post and
99% of ex-trainees rating the course 'good' or 'very good'.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Sussex welcomes applications from all candidates who have the potential to make excellent teachers regardless of disability and additional needs.
We have previously successfully supported trainee teachers with dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers, mental wealth conditions and a range of physical, hearing and visual impairments.
All trainee teachers are first screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University's Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme. Following this, if you have a disability or health condition, you will register with the University Student Support service and an assessment is arranged to establish your needs. The team will identify the additional support and adjustments recommended to help you be as successful as possible on the course.
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.
Essex House 4, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9QQ
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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