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School of Education

PGCE Secondary Partnership (with QTS)

The aim of the PGCE Secondary Partnership is to enable you to develop the range of skills required to become a qualified teacher of pupils aged between 11 and 16 (with post-16 enhancement).

More specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Cope effectively in the classroom by developing your classroom management and control skills.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the curriculum and pedagogy of specialist areas.
  • Establish an understanding of a range of whole school issues, the values and assumptions that underpin them and their application to school and classroom practice.
  • Develop an understanding of pupils in school, their similarities and differences, particularly in terms of their needs, their behaviour, their motivation and levels of attainment.

You will hone these skills by undertaking subject specialist study and work on cross-curricular, focusing on school and classroom-based issues. This study, supported by the school-based work, will provide you with an integrated programme of professional training.

In addition, the PGCE Secondary Partnership is the first year of the School of Education's MA Education. Successful completion of the PGCE will enable you to progress on to the part-time second year of this postgraduate degree, should you wish to do so.

F3GX Education (Secondary) PGCE

Degree PGCE
Year of Entry 2015
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 8406


Subjects available: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Maths, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Physical Education.

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 DfE, the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Each student teacher on the course specialises in one of the subjects listed above. 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.

Subjects required, level and graded

Applicants must possess or expect to achieve a degree; please see department web pages for subject specific requirements. For Secondary subjects it is expected that a minimum of 50% of the degree will be in your chosen subject area.

Applicants must also:

  • Pass professional QTS Skills Tests
  • Undertake at least ten days of work experience in a UK mainstream school environment within the past three years.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study

Requirements and Admissions

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Information relevant to your country