Preston Teaching School Alliance
Art and Design (25GX)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Cumbria
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

The majority of the course will be delivered by the expert teachers in our alliance schools in the Preston area. There will also be full support and academic preparation from tutors and our University programme leaders at the University of Cumbria Lancaster campus, although most of the course will be delivered in school. The programme gives you PGCE and recommendation for QTS; the PGCE is awarded by the University of Cumbria and includes 60 Master’s credits.

Our secondary trainees will complete two placements in two of our partner schools. Following an Induction week in your placement school you will start your teaching practice from Monday through to Thursday and on Fridays you will participate in a Conference Day with the other trainees on a variety of key themes designed to support your developing practice. The Conferences will be run by the experts from our partnership in each field and ranging from Safeguarding, lesson planning, behaviour management, assessment and many more. Our Conference deliverers model the teaching and learning strategies which we know work in the classroom. There will also be opportunities to spend some time in different school contexts in order that you gain a diverse and contrasting range of experiences, for example other Primary, Secondary, Special School and Sixth Form settings, as appropriate. Each partner school has a trained Professional Mentor and Subject Mentor who will oversee your training and assist you with your role in the context of the whole school and, in addition, support you in your classroom practice with subject specific expertise.

During the training there are twelve subject pedagogy days where you will be able to work with other trainees from other school direct programmes with the University of Cumbria on your subject expertise at the Lancaster campus. The programme includes opportunities where you can gain assignment support with your University Programme Leader at Broughton High School, Preston and you will have full access to the University learning and support services throughout the course which will enable you to access library resources and assistance with your academic work. We have allocated time for Professional Reading, Subject Knowledge Enhancement sessions and Assignment Writing Days which will aid both your assignment writing and inform your classroom practice.

Interview process

Candidates apply through UCAS and are shortlisted following reference to the entry requirements and if successful are invited for interview. Broughton High School coordinates the recruitment process and the interview will take place in one of the secondary schools in the alliance or online.

Following a welcome by our Partnership Programme Leader Jackie Williams and our School Administrator, there are four parts to the interview. Your documentation will be reviewed including examination certificates and ID. A written task which is set by the University of Cumbria prior to interview, and notes completed in advance, is completed on the day. Candidates also deliver a short mini-teach on a pre-prepared topic. There is an interview with the Partnership Programme Leader and one or two other teachers from our alliance schools which lasts around 20 minutes. Our Secondary candidates also complete a 30 minute subject knowledge audit in their chosen subject.

Doing some research about the Preston Teaching School Alliance and the University that will be leading the training is good preparation and we will of course provide you with plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day.

Following the interview we update UCAS which is followed up by the University’s formal offer letter to confirm your place, if successful. Depending on the assessment at interview, there may be a need to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

How school placements work

The Preston Alliance consists of over 40 schools - a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area. We select our schools carefully and the vast majority have been graded Good and Outstanding by Ofsted. We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have developed over the years and are committed to a warm welcome and a supportive environment for all. You will be training in placement schools which are different in context to provide you with a wide experience of how different pupils are taught and learn. We select placement schools very carefully to offer the best and most suitable provision possible, which includes ensuring that trainees do not have to travel long distances or have time-consuming journeys.

Secondary trainees will teach in KS3 and KS4 (ages 11-16). Some trainees will have the opportunity to teach in Sixth form and all our trainees receive training on A Level courses and have experience in an A Level setting during the year. The first placement runs from September to December and the second, longer placement from January to June. A typical week involves four days in school when you will spend a great deal of time observing teachers in your subject area and around school, ultimately building up a timetable for your own teaching practice of seven hours by Christmas. On second placement, following your induction period, you will build up to a time table of twelve teaching hours. Fridays have been allocated for conference training on the key themes in education.

You will also have the opportunity to spend full days in our partner primary schools, special schools and sixth forms.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



To be eligible to apply for our School Direct Secondary route you will need the following:

Candidates require a minimum UK 2:2 honours degree or recognised equivalent qualification, depending on the chosen specialism and GCSE grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics or recognised equivalent qualifications.

These requirements must be met by 31 July 2021.

Personal qualities

We are looking to recruit talented trainees who have the qualities and attributes suited to a career in teaching, together with the enthusiasm, energy and ambition to develop into outstanding practitioners. This is an ideal opportunity if you have just completed your degree or are looking to change career. If you are positive and have good communication and interpersonal skills, if you have a passion for your subject area and a love of learning then we would love to hear from you.

Other requirements

Before applying we do advise you to spend some time or research the daily life of in a Secondary school. We can help you gain this experience in one of our partner schools or on one of our School Experience sessions at Broughton High School. Our programme will give you the experience of a typical day, provide you with the opportunity to talk to teachers and current trainees and allow you to gain valuable guidance and tips on applying for teacher training. The details of our School Experience sessions are regularly updated on our PTSA website.

About the training provider

The Preston Alliance, which consists of a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area, will provide you with the opportunity of being part of a school team from the very beginning. We are proud that three of our partner schools, Broughton High School, Archbishop Temple School and Queen’s Drive Primary School were designated Teaching Schools in 2012. Since then we have been working together, in partnership with the University of Cumbria, to ensure that our PGCE School Direct training programme is of the highest quality, providing our trainee teachers with all of the support and resources that they will need to enable them to develop into the outstanding teachers of the future. As part of the programme you will work alongside excellent practitioners and mentors in schools that have a proven track record in providing outstanding teacher training and professional development opportunities.

Our trainees will be trained in a highly supportive environment where, through an exciting and innovative curriculum which we have designed, you will develop your professional knowledge, understanding and skills. We have a long and successful track record of teacher training and the majority of our trainees are now employed in our own or in other schools in the Preston area.

Feedback from our previous and current School Direct trainees has been consistently outstanding with appreciation for the welcome and support received in their host schools and high-quality, popular training from our school specialists on our Conference Days.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are committed to ensuring that our trainees are able to participate effectively in all aspects of the course. The University of Cumbria defines disability broadly, including mobility impairments, sensory impairments, medical conditions, autism (ASD), specific learning difficulties (SpLDs such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia) and mental health conditions. Here at the Preston Alliance we recognise that if we provide a fully inclusive working and studying environment, we will enable everyone to perform to the best of their ability.

The University has a disability statement that details the adjustments that are available to you. The adjustments detailed in the statement are part of the basic offer and other adjustments are available dependent on your needs.

Support is available to you at interview and on your academic course such as additional time and the University has various specialist advisers who have a range of different roles. On application do make us aware of any particular accessibility needs in order that we can accommodate these during training and on school placements.

All our students have access to University of Cumbria support as well as that offered by our school direct partners. Much of this university-based support is available online and electronically and so accessible at a distance.

Contact details

Preston Alliance
Broughton High School
Woodplumpton Lane
Broughton, Preston


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Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Woodplumpton Lane, Broughton, Preston, PR3 5JJ
Yes -

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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