Waldegrave Training Alliance Drama (L855)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
University of Sussex
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.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 YR FT / 2 YRS PT
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our training is supported by the University of Sussex which has a long and successful tradition in teacher education in partnership with local schools.

Candidates on a School Direct Tuition Fee place with Waldegrave Training Alliance and the University of Sussex will be automatically registered on the Sussex PGCE. This qualification offers 90 Master credits and enables progression with 30 credits advanced standing onto a part-time MA Education as an early career teacher. On this course you will receive the same high quality level of training and support from the University of Sussex as would a traditional Sussex PGCE candidate - in addition to the many benefits of undertaking a school–based model of training with our strong partnership of schools.

University of Sussex tutors work with us to provide high quality inputs on how to teach and assess your chosen secondary subject or across the curriculum in primary schools. The University also provides a comprehensive programme of Professional Studies which complements the school-based training offered across our partnership.

School placements

The course begins in September with a 3 week University Induction course when you will attend training on the beautiful Sussex University campus near Brighton. From the end of September you will train to teach in your placement school Monday to Thursday each week and on Fridays you will attend the University campus. Studying alongside School Direct (Salaried) and PGCE trainees you can expect a stimulating mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials and school visits led by University of Sussex education faculty, teachers from partnership schools and other educational experts. These sessions also allow you to share your experiences with other trainee teachers and reflect upon the learning and teaching you engage with in schools during the week.

Every trainee is expected to complete two academic assignments at Masters level which are designed to develop knowledge and understanding, and encourage critical reflection on theory ad classroom practice. The University works in partnership with schools to organise a final assessment and make a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). A university subject/phase specialist tutor will be assigned to support you whilst on the programme and you will be eligible to access a wide range of support services provided by the University.

You will spend the majority of the year in your main placement school. We will then arrange for you to undertake a shorter ‘second’ placement in another school during the year.

For secondary this shorter placement takes place for 6 weeks after February half term.

For applicants who wish to apply for the part-time route, information regarding placements will be shared at interview.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in drama 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.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

About the training provider

All Richmond upon Thames borough schools and the Waldegrave Training Alliance (WTA) are great places to Train to Teach. If you apply to WTA we will provide you with a supportive and tailored learning opportunity with our partner universities and our alliance schools.

Our vision for WTA is that staff and students feel valued and enjoy teaching and learning in schools across the borough of Richmond upon Thames. We are very proud of the partnerships we have with all schools in the borough, including our long established secondary schools to the newer free and faith schools.

Waldegrave Training Alliance is led by Waldegrave School, an 11-16 girls’ school with a co-educational Sixth Form. OFSTED reported us as an outstanding school in 2017. Waldegrave was awarded comprehensive school of the year in 2016 by the Sunday Times. Prior to that we were in the top 11-16 schools in the country in the Sunday Times Parent Power tables. Our results show that we are in the top 10% of schools nationally each year.

We work closely with all our alliance schools to provide the best placements in fantastic departments with excellent outcomes for students. Schools Direct trainees will have access to great subject specialists and dedicated mentors as well as a full training programme through our universities and partnership schools. Our trainees will benefit from placements in contrasting schools across the borough including single sex, co-educational (boys and girls), faith and free schools.

Interview process

Applicants are interviewed by the University of Sussex in the first place. If the applicant is successful they will then be interviewed by the Waldegrave Training Alliance.

Waldegrave School is the lead school in the Alliance and will be coordinating the recruitment process for all WTA schools. Interviews will include a panel of professionals from across the Alliance and will usually have one representative from the likely main placement school.

Interviews will take place at one of the schools and will include:

  • A written task
  • A tour, usually led by students
  • A presentation on a given theme
  • A panel interview

The selection process will be thorough and rigorous, in order to help us place trainees at suitable placement schools.

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

Waldegrave Training Alliance welcomes applications from candidates with disabilities or additional needs.

Applicants who would benefit from disabled access should let us know on their application so they can be considered for placement at appropriate schools.

Accessibility varies between schools and locations and WTA will seek to facilitate placements at appropriate settings where they are available.

Please also visit https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/disability-services/ for further information.

Contact this training provider

Waldegrave School
Fifth Cross Road

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

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).

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