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Interested in Teaching? Find out more about the PGCE

by Tahira Majothi on March 19, 2012

I am posting this on behalf of my colleague Mary Macfarlane, a Careers consultant here at the University of Salford. Mary recently attended a presentation on Postgraduate Teacher Training, as delivered by Rachel Farleigh of Edge Hill University.

Students who attended the presentation learned about the importance of getting work experience and being able to give details about what you’ve learned during your work experience in your personal statementwhat ITT, NQT and QTS mean; and the deadlines for applying to PGCEs. If you’re thinking about going into teaching, the Prospects website has a great overview and some detailed information on writing that all-important personal statement, and you should also get familiar with the Training and Development Agency and GTTR process.

But here are some of the other details that Rachel covered:

  • The Graduate Teacher Programme is a less well-known route into teacher training. On the GTP, you are employed by a single school and earning a salary from the beginning, whilst also undertaking training. The GTP programme has a minimum requirement of a 2.1 degree, and there is a focus on leadership: the programme is designed to train up the next generation of heads of department and head teachers, whereas the PGCE focuses much more on the core skills of teaching. So a good GTP application will stress your potential as a leader, as well as why you want to be a teacher.
  • The minimum degree classification for a PGCE application is a 2.2. However, if you have a Third Class degree in a national curriculum area, you may be able to compensate by gaining 60 credits at Masters Level. Contact the college that you’re interested in to discuss this specifically.
  • For a PGCE in most Secondary subjects, you need a minimum of 50% of your undergraduate degree to have been in that subject. Exceptions to this are Music, Business, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and modern foreign languages.
  • If you want to study any other secondary subject and don’t have at least 50% of an undergraduate degree in that area, consider a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.
  • You can enter a PGCE in Primary or Early Years teaching with any undergraduate degree. It doesn’t have to be a curriculum subject.
  • As well as the usual full-time, one-year PGCE, Edge Hill run a 2 year part-time PGCE, and also have flexible and distance-learning options. If you’re interested in flexible or distance-learning, contact the college for more information.
  • The fees for a PGCE are £9000, BUT you don’t have to pay them upfront: they’re paid by the government and then deducted from your salary when you start working and earning above a threshold.
  • Michael Gove has recently decided that teachers who have a FE/post-compulsory qualification (e.g. are qualified to teach at further education colleges and in other adult education settings) are going to be allowed to teach in secondary schools. However, they won’t be automatically entitled to the fully qualified teacher salary: it will be up to the schools to decide whether to put them onto a trainee teacher salary or a Qualified Teacher salary.

*Rachel’s talk was really interesting, and she answered lots of students’ questions at the end. We’re hoping she’ll be back in September or October to run another session focussing on writing personal statements, so if you’re planning to apply for 2013 or 2014 entry, keep an eye on the Postgraduate Careers blog!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria Duffy October 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm

To whom it may concern,
I wondered whether it was possible to study for a pgce teacher training at a local university or distance university in the north west on a part-time basis. I work full time in Manchester as a level 3 teaching assistant and have been employed in this role for 6 years. Whilst working full -time, i have completed a degree with the Open University, gaining a 3rd Class Honours degree- modules including, ( Working Together for Children and Childrens’ Literature). I am also interested in a Salaried route into teacher training where candidates are employed and trained in the school form which they are employed. The Headteacher where i work is very keen for me to train in his establishment and considers me as a highly competent teaching assistant and would also be keen for me to appoint as a teacher pending me gaining a QTS qualification.
Any information you could give me would be extremely appreciated.
Many thanks
Maria Duffy


Tahira Majothi November 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Dear Maria,

I would suggest you contact the Open University in the first instance to enquire about their PGCE courses:

The Schools Direct training programme can help you to work towards QTS and is offered with either a bursary or salaried route. The salaried route requires you to have 3 years work experience:

You can also search for all PGCE providers through the centralised online application process via UCAS, however the application process itself will open from 21st November, which will give you time to research the best pathway for you:

Hope these links help and good luck.



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