Important

Courses are currently closed but you can get your application ready

Courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 4 October 2022 and submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022.

Mercia Learning Alliance History (35MS)

PGDE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Sheffield
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGDE with QTS

A postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) 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 PGDE courses include credits towards a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022
Website
http://merciala.org.uk/

Apply

Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022

Contents

Course summary

Our mission is to open minds to the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning by developing reflective, creative and inquiring teachers.

The Mercia Learning Alliance School Direct Secondary PGDE course prepares students to teach across the 11-19 age range in English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Maths, History, Geography and MFL.

Your time will be split between the training at the University and in our partner schools, with two placements running from mid-October to December for four days a week then from January to May full time. This will enable you to experience two different contexts where you will be able to immerse yourself in school life, working alongside established professionals to develop and build on your expertise as a teacher.

This on-the-job training will be backed up by the theoretical, pedagogical learning at University and in school-based bespoke ‘Mercia Training Days’ with the rest of the School Direct cohort. The course has been designed so that students’ professional learning in the craft of teaching is grounded in sound theoretical understanding, alongside an active and practical application of that understanding within a school setting.

The course is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which offers exactly the same teaching experience as a PGCE, but with additional Masters Credits, meaning that you will be able to complete your Masters as soon as you qualify as a teacher.

To complement your development as a teacher you will complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring key issues relating to your subject and your role.

Key Features of the course:

  • A dedicated team of tutors and school based mentors who provide excellent support for all students.
  • Excellent school partnerships. Our longstanding relationships with our partner schools enable us to ensure continuity for students.
  • A strong subject-specific cohort. You will have chance to develop working relationships with your peers whilst at Mercia training days and in university, which provide you with a support network once out on placement.
  • The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in University sharing your experiences and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching.

School placements

You will undertake four periods of school experience:

  • One week in a primary school early in the programme
  • An eight-week placement between October and December
  • A 13-week placement between January and May
  • A 2-week enrichment/enhancement placement in June

In all curriculum areas you will also have the chance to visit a number of schools as a part of the University-centred parts of the PGDE. These visits will focus on specific themes such as working with pupils with EAL or supporting examination groups and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of schools beyond your main placements.

We work with a small number of partner schools in Sheffield, including:

  • King Ecgbert School (Lead school in Mercia Learning Alliance)
  • Newfield School
  • Wales High School
  • Firth Park Academy
  • Forge Valley School

This range of inner-city, suburban and rural contexts provides rich opportunities for diverse and balanced experiences in schools, and we work hard to secure you two contrasting placements.

When arranging placements, personal circumstances such as child-care and additional needs are taken into account as much as possible.

Please note that although we will try to take preferences into account where possible, we cannot guarantee which of our partner schools trainees will attend until placements are finalised towards the start of the course. In applying to Mercia Learning Alliance, you are agreeing to train in any of alliance schools.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

As this is an 11-19 course we are preparing students to teach up to A-level and will normally take into account the balance of your degree content and profile of GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and results to assess your suitability for the programme.

If you have non-standard qualifications you are welcome to contact us to discuss your eligibility.

Your degree subject should be in History or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We do not accept equivalency tests from third party organisations. If you are required to take an equivalency test, we will provide full details about our own test(s) at interview. There is no charge for our tests.

Personal qualities

At Mercia Learning Alliance we are looking for candidates to join our highly successful and aspirational, but also caring and supportive team; candidates who will deliver fresh subject expertise, energy, and new perspectives. We are looking for people who are able to shape a new forward-thinking initial teacher education culture at our school and across our alliance.

We consider six key elements when selecting students for our School Direct programme:

  • Commitment to teaching
  • Insight into the realities of teaching
  • Resilience
  • An analytical approach to problem solving
  • Enthusiasm for your subject
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

Other requirements

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. Full information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £20,400

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment and complete Safeguarding training. The anticipated cost for these for 2022 entry is £66*. Student teachers who have already paid for a previous DBS Enhanced Disclosure and signed up to the DBS update service (Enhanced level - Children’s barred list) may pay a reduced fee (anticipated cost £26*).

  • Please note that as we use external companies to undertake training and checks these fees may be subject to change. Also, should you decide to withdraw your application or you do not meet the conditions of your offer, we are unable to provide a refund.

Additional costs to cover non-UK criminal clearance checks may be levied where necessary, and will be payable by the student. Further information can be found here

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to school placements.

Further information about fees, funding and additional costs for the PGDE can be found here

About the training provider

Based in the vibrant city of Sheffield with its amazing facilities, transport links and access to the Peak District, Mercia Learning Alliance is a first class choice for graduates looking for a successful career in teaching.

Our vision as Mercia Learning Alliance is to become a centre of educational excellence with a national reputation. Our ethos is that every professional in our alliance should strive to be the absolute best they can be. This places professional learning at the centre of all that we do and we see initial teaching training as integral to this.

Mercia Learning Alliance offers aspiring teachers a broad range of opportunities across subjects and key stages. Working with The University of Sheffield (Secondary) and The Sheffield SCITT (Primary), with a wide range of postgraduate qualifications on offer, you will have the opportunity to carry out your training in some of the best schools in the country, learning from inspirational teaching staff who are leaders in their field.

Our partnership schools are all committed to finding and developing their own teachers, therefore they are committed to their trainees. At Mercia Learning Alliance we want to ‘grow’ our own teachers, supporting you throughout your professional career from trainee all the way up to senior leader and beyond.

We offer unrivalled choice in terms of type of school and location across Sheffield to train and work in, but we remain small enough to know every trainee as an individual enabling us to personalise training needs.

Interview process

Upon receipt of your application, it will be looked at closely by the School Direct Lead for Mercia Learning Alliance and the Admissions team at the University of Sheffield along with your references and consider the following:

  • Do you demonstrate a clear interest in becoming a teacher?
  • Do you have strong references that suggest you have the capacity to train to be a teacher?
  • Do you have strong subject knowledge, or an awareness that you need to develop this further?
  • Have you written a strong personal statement, demonstrating your commitment to teaching, your passion for your subject and an understanding of the realities of the profession?

Whilst school experience is not a requirement prior to interview, we tend to find that candidates are more confident during the selection process if they have spent at least some time in schools beforehand. However, if this is not possible, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the course and arrange school experience following the selection process.

Your selection day will take place remotely using Google Meet, and will consist of the following elements:

  • Introduction to the course
  • A task designed to ensure that your subject knowledge is strong
  • A chance to interact with other candidates (where possible), and to reflect on this experience
  • A written task
  • A formal interview, carried out by a University tutor and a school representative

You will be sent relevant materials for the day in advance.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

As a student teacher at The University of Sheffield (Secondary) you will have full access to support if you have a disability or additional needs. Full information is available here

We work closely with all our school partners (Primary and Secondary) to ensure that your needs are met whilst on placement, offering support and adaptations where necessary.

We encourage all our applicants to declare their disability on their application form and to discuss their requirements with us at interview. While disabled access to our schools is good we can only place trainees at the most suitable school to meet their needs if we know what those needs are.

Contact this training provider

Email
enquiries@merciala.org.uk
Telephone
01142353855
Website
http://merciala.org.uk/
Address
King Ecgbert School
Totley Brook Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S17 3QU

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.

Apply

Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022