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Postgraduate Course

Secondary (School Centred) PGCE

Train to become an exceptional qualified teacher of the subject you love the most. Learn to teach on one of our outstanding school partnerships.

A student teacher with a class

We are committed to providing the highest quality education and training for our student teachers. Spending most of your time learning at your placement school, you will develop both a strong subject knowledge and your wider professional identity. This will prepare you to become an outstanding and employable Secondary School teacher upon graduation with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 degree or equivalent in the subject you are applying for

    GCSE in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above. We do not accept IELTs in lieu of a GCSE in English.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £9,250 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Course overview

We are proud that York St John University's heritage is anchored in teacher training and education, having being established in 1841 as a teacher training college. We have a strong record of contributing to our local and national teaching community.

Primarily based at your placement school, you will build your professional experience working in a school environment. You will have opportunities to engage with issues related to both your subject and education more broadly. We ensure that the training you receive is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of educational theory and current local, national and international research. Combining both theory and practice means that you will become an informed, reflective and critical teacher.


You will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Planning, teaching and assessment of learning for pupils in the 11-16 age range
  • Managing and organising teaching and learning to promote inclusion for pupils from various backgrounds and with a range of individual needs
  • Ensuring pupils are safe and healthy
  • Promoting good progress in learning for all pupils
  • Appropriate subject knowledge to support teaching and learning
  • Using existing research and conducting your own research in schools

Many of our graduates are now mentoring current student teachers within partnership schools and in leadership positions.

Initial Teacher Education at York St John University

Course structure

How you will study

This is a full time course and will take 1 year to complete.

You will study:

  • 5 compulsory modules, including 3 school experience modules

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.

On this School Direct course, you will be linked to a base school and experience at least one other school throughout the course. School experience at one of our partnership schools will form the majority of your course. The first school experience placement is in the autumn term at your base school. The second placement is in the spring term and will be at a different school. Your third and final school experience module takes place in the summer term back at your base school.

You will have close links to the university throughout the course, with link tutor visits to make sure the placements are going well.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will focus on building the specialist knowledge needed to teach in your chosen subject area. You will develop your confidence in your subject knowledge and build the essential pedagogical skills relevant to the secondary school age range. Alongside this you will also consider your chosen subject area from a historical perspective, and build your awareness of curriculum developments.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore professional issues in relation to education within secondary school settings. You will develop an understanding of schools as organisations within the context of local and national policy. We will support you as you build your professional ability, and autonomy, in a secondary school setting.

Credits: 0

Compulsory module

The PGCE School Direct is a school-based course. It is made up of 3 school placements. You will be based in one school for the majority of the time, with a shorter second school placement. Each placement must be successfully passed in order to proceed to the next.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Your taught modules will be delivered by both school and university based staff. You will learn through a range of approaches, including:

  • Whole cohort teaching
  • Workshops with a focus on dialogue, discussion and debate
  • Group seminars
  • Literature-based research activities
  • Virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Individual research
  • School based tasks and research
  • Individual tutorials

You will be expected to work with a high degree of independence, but also to work collaboratively with your peers and fellow practitioners. Tutors and school-based mentors will guide and support you as you undertake research-based activities.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


Assessments are spread across the duration of the course, and we will provide feedback on your work throughout. Alongside academic assignments, your progress within school experience placements will be tracked to ensure you are meeting the teachers' standards.

In line with national recommendations for reducing workload for student teachers, we have reduced the number of assessments you are expected to complete. You will have 1 assignment for each module to complete. Both module assignments will integrate theory and practice as follows:

  • A written assignment, to give you the opportunity to focus on theories of learning and relate this to teaching in secondary schools
  • A research project through which you can further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in a specific area of interest to you

You will also receive informal feedback on your academic work, including:

  • Self-review and self-assessment tasks
  • Subject knowledge audits
  • Micro teaching opportunities
  • Individual or group presentations

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 degree or equivalent in the subject you are applying for

    GCSE in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above. We do not accept IELTs in lieu of a GCSE in English.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

This course does not accept IELTS in lieu of the English Language GCSE. We do accept the equivalency tests for English and Maths from

We suggest that if you require a visa for study, you should check whether you would be able to gain a visa for work purposes in order to qualify and work as a teacher following the course.

Please note that international applications for this course will close on Friday 15th March 2024. The CAS deadline for international applicants is Sunday 23rd June 2024.

International entry requirements


You will need to attend an interview to join this course.

Once you have been invited to an interview, you will be asked to complete a Prior Achievement booklet. This enables you to match your current experience against the Teachers' Standards.

The interview is designed to ensure that you:

  • Have the intellectual and academic capability needed to meet the required teachers' standards
  • Can communicate clearly and accurately in Standard English

Additional requirements

For entry onto this course, you will also need:

  • A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure check and any other appropriate background check
  • A Medical report
  • Satisfy the institution that you have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching
  • Pass additional safeguarding checks including a prohibition check and other checks in line with the Government Keeping Children Safe in Education policy
  • Obtain an Overseas Police Check (where applicable)

School experience is no longer required as essential, but it can significantly help your application if you do have any previous school experience.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is £9,250 for full time study.

This cost applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

Funding your studies

You can use the same student loans system as undergraduate students to pay for this course.

When applying for funding, you will need to:

  • Apply as an undergraduate student
  • Find your course by searching PGCE Secondary School Direct when making your finance application

You will not be able to apply for a postgraduate master's loan for this course.

International 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is £14,000 for full time study. 

This cost applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £9,250 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Teacher Training bursaries and scholarships

There are 3 types of funding available for teacher training in a range of subjects. These are tax free and awarded based on your circumstances. To find out more visit the Get Into Teaching website.

Get Into Teaching bursaries

Education Opportunity Award

This award, funded by York St John University alumni, supports underrepresented PGCE students, such as:

  • Carers
  • Parents
  • Students with a low household income
  • Students whose family circumstances have drastically changed

To be eligible for this award you must also be 25 or older.



Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Career outcomes

Where could this Secondary PGCE take you?

Completing this degree will give you Qualified Teacher Status. This means you will be recognised by the Teaching Regulation Agency as a qualified teacher. You will graduate as a classroom ready professional with a high potential for employability in local and national schools.

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

To apply, please visit the Department for Education apply page.

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