About the course
This course will prepare you to teach effectively at KS3 and KS4 (11-16), specialising in your subject area. During your PGCE, you will get to grips with up-to-date thinking and the latest research in teaching and learning. You'll benefit from our expertise as a leading centre for curriculum development, professional training and research.
Trainees come to the course with a range of qualifications, employment backgrounds and interests. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to work collaboratively, sharing your experience, knowledge and technical expertise. Activities emphasise teamwork and require you to share the responsibility for your learning.
Throughout the course, you will be guided by mentors in your placement schools and supported by your university tutors.
Trainees complete three Masters-level written assignments (one per term) during the PGCE course on themes such as lesson observation and teaching evaluation. This course is worth 60 Masters-level credits (each module is worth 20 credits), which you can put towards a Masters degree through accreditation for prior credited learning (APCL). The practical teaching requirements and formal written assignments are designed not just to provide evidence that trainees have reached the required Teachers' Standards but also as useful learning activities in themselves. A key feature of the York course is that theory and classroom practice are completely integrated. Assessment is continuous, across all aspects of the course.
Our secondary PGCE programmes prepare trainees to teach across the 11-16 age range. As part of the Post-16 Enhancement we offer trainees a range of experiences to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills for teaching at Post 16.
The Department of Education is located in Derwent College, on the west part of our Heslington campus. Your university sessions will take place in a variety of locations around campus. School placements take place in York, North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Hull and Teeside. We consider a daily commute to school placement of up to two hours in total to be reasonable on a professional training course such as ours is. We assist trainees who meet eligibility criteria with travel costs associated with school placements.
All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a selection process at the Department of Education (Heslington West campus).
The selection process comprises of a range of activities including:
- a briefing on the course structure
- a short presentation regarding how you would use an item or artefact to enhance learning in a secondary classroom
- a written task to test your subject knowledge
- an individual panel interview
You will be interviewed by members of the PGCE team from the University and colleagues from partner organisations (e.g. current and former teachers, local authority partners, etc.) Full details of the selection arrangements will be supplied to all candidates invited to interview.
How school placements work
School experience forms the backbone of the PGCE course and a large proportion of the training year is spent in placement schools. Trainees will complete a week's primary school placement at the start of the course, a two day per week placement in the first term plus two continuous teaching placement blocks in their first placement secondary school (each about five weeks) and a continuous block teaching placement in a different secondary school from February to May. There is also a two week placement in June.
Of the four school placement opportunities described above, two are teaching placements and occur in contrasting secondary schools. These two teaching placements offer opportunities to learn from experienced teachers and hone your professional skills. You'll spend time observing and supporting lessons, before moving on to teach lessons by yourself, building up to a 50% teaching timetable by the end of your first secondary placement.
In your second teaching placement school you'll take responsibility for teaching classes, supervised by an experienced teacher. You'll gain experience teaching students of different ages and abilities, helping with assessment, coursework and examinations, as well as parents' evenings and school outings.
Over the two placements you'll have opportunities to observe, plan, teach and assess pupils at a wide range of attainment in Key Stage 3 and 4. You'll also get some post-16 experience in at least one of your teaching placement schools.
You'll be expected to get involved in wider school life by, for example, working as a form tutor, taking part in meetings, contributing to extracurricular activities and communicating with parents and carers.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
With a scholarship or bursary, you'll also get early career payments of £2,000 each in your second, third and fourth years of teaching (£3,000 in some areas of England).
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Physics 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.
An honours degree in Physics (or a related subject such as Engineering) at 2:2 or above. We also accept combined honours degrees where Physics (or a related subject) makes up at least 50% of the award.
All trainees entering the course must have obtained GCSE at Grade C/ level 4 or higher or an equivalent qualification in English Language and Mathematics.
Overseas qualification equivalencies will be checked against NARIC comparability standards.
During our recruitment of PGCE candidates, we are looking for applicants who demonstrate a genuine passion for entering the teaching profession, an awareness of current education issues and enthusiasm for their subject. We are also looking for people who have excellent communication skills (spoken and written) and who are organised, reflective and adaptable.
In addition to the academic entry requirements, all PGCE candidates will be required to:
- obtain an enhanced DBS check (plus overseas police checks for any countries where 12 months or more have been spent in the last ten years)
- complete an occupational health check
- meet the Department of Education's English Language requirements (international students only)
We may ask you to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as a condition of your offer.
About the training provider
"Studying at York means you'll graduate with more than a qualification.
You'll be immersed in knowledge and opportunities that will encourage you to grow and succeed. You’ll be encouraged to think differently and benefit from outstanding teaching and learning outcomes (as demonstrated by our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award).
The PGCE programme provided by the University of York are delivered by a friendly team of tutors who are passionate about both their subject areas and teaching. We pride ourselves on the supportive and approachable learning environment we provide to our teacher trainees and the positive feedback we receive about students' learning experience.
In its most recent evaluation, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) awarded our PGCE programme a Grade 2: Good."
Training with disabilities and other needs
"The University of York actively promotes inclusivity and we have a dedicated team who can advise and support students with a disability or long-term health condition. If you disclose any individual requirements to us, we will do our utmost to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are made so you can feel supported and able to fully engage with your PGCE course.
Examples of how we can offer support include:
- working with you to find suitable school placements
- ensuring that you have a 'Student Support Plan' in place, if necessary, which will include any assessment requirements you may have (e.g. extra time in examinations)
- providing learning materials and resources in accessible formats
- signposting to specialist colleagues who can advise about funding support for students with a disability
The Department of Education is an open and friendly department and we provide support to all students studying with us. If you have any queries or concerns about accessibility before you start the programme or when enrolled, we encourage you to get in contact and we will be happy to assist you."
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.
University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD
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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