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.
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 two-week primary school placement at the start of the course, a two-day per week placement in the first term, plus two four week teaching placement blocks in their first placement school and a nine week block teaching placement in a second school.
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. 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 usually take place in York, although some may be further afield.
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
Over the course of the year you will undertake two school placements. These 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 placement.
In your second placement 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 your 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 experience teaching at post-16 level.
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 2019/2020 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in German 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 how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
We welcome applications from people with a degree in French, German or Spanish (2:2 honours or equivalent). The ability to teach more than one language (as a joint or subsidiary subject) is particularly welcomed. We also welcome applications from candidates whose native language is French, German or Spanish. 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:
- successfully complete the statutory Professional Skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy
- obtain an enhanced DBS check (plus overseas police checks for any countries where 6 months or more have been spent in the last five 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."
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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
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