X7K514 Education - Secondary (School Direct Route) PGCE Postgraduate Taught 2020
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the Department for Education the successful completion of which will accord you with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.
Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part-time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry, and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course.
Each student teacher on the course specialises in one of the subjects listed on UCAS, please see below. Subject pedagogy is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment.
Structure and Assessment
The course is organised as three modules:
- Professional Issues in school-based education
- Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
- Self-directed Study.
The Professional Issues in School-Based Education relates to the Teacher Standards and is delivered in two parts, prior to each of the two extended teaching practices. The teaching is related to those classroom-based issues such as the psychology of learning, the law, curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment and is followed up in subject groups and during school placements The block practices in the Autumn and Spring allow for practical opportunities for full professional development where there is a progression from observation, structured activities and group work to whole class work.
Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self Directed Study are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school, particularly those that impact on the success of children as learners. The Self Directed Study module draws on students’ experience during weekly visits to schools and their own small-scale action research, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.
These Masters modules provide an opportunity to explore, in a more theoretical way, the issues to do with teaching and learning through lectures and mixed subject and phase seminar groups taught as a conference week usually after Christmas. In addition to covering Teacher standards these modules will enable assessment work to be carried out for the award of PGCE.
On successful completion of the course, student teachers will have 90 credits and QTS.
Course Learning and Teaching
The PGCE course is designed to take around 1500 hours of student work, comprising:
- Readings and preparation for teaching in school
- Teaching in schools
- Teaching time in lectures and workshops
- Professional studies days
- Teaching and learning conference
- Follow-up readings after the taught element
- Independent study
- Assignment work.
There are approximately 350 hours of university-based contact teaching time in all.
In addition the supervised Directed Study module offers group and one-to-one contact time - students are assigned individual supervisors from within the School of Education staff who assist with devising a suitable topic for study.
Academic support for the student is available via all of the following forms of contact:
- Formal workshops as part of the taught element of the course
- Sessions to help students address aspects of subject knowledge relevant to their chosen subject
- Email and telephone: students are encouraged to contact tutors with specific queries
- Group emails: these are sent via Duo (the virtual learning environment) to keep students informed of developments and to answer common queries
- Personal contact: staff are available for individual consultation when not teaching or attending meetings.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Please check UCAS for courses being offered this year.
- Applicants must possess or expect to achieve a degree; please see department web pages for subject specific requirements. The equivalent of a UK lower second class honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of science or a similar subject. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
- A demonstrable interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
- GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade 4 (or C) or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application. If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution, you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
- Applicants with non-standard qualifications, for example, access routes into higher education are welcome to apply
- We welcome applications from mature applicants pursuing a career change.
Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to a selection day. Selection days will involve individual interviews with a pre-prepared presentation element and tests to assess written English and other skills.
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure will be provided.
If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Caroline Emery, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check. Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£20,500.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
School of Education
Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please view our department web pages.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
School of Education
The School of Education is one of the leading departments of education in the UK. We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff, and around 650 postgraduate students (including our PGCE students, both primary and secondary). We are also supported by a large number of partners from schools and colleges. We have strong international links, welcoming students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from all over the world. We are committed to research which engages with, and has an impact upon, practice and policy as well as influencing the wider research community to develop educational practice, education policy and future educational research.
Ranked joint 5th in the UK for World-Leading research and joint 1st for World-Leading research impact in REF 2014.