Alliance of Leading Learning Music (37LG)

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

Accredited body
University of Chester
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 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The Marches is a School Direct lead school in partnership with Chester University. The school has a bespoke training centre for teacher trainees which is apart from the main school building.

It features a study room with access to laptops, a common room with kitchen and bathroom facilities, printing facility, central work areas, two other conference areas and car parking. In addition, trainees can study in the main school alongside the secondary teaching staff and have access to the school restaurant which features the most up to date cashless system and healthy menu options.

The school offers administrative staff who work solely with the trainees providing stationery, printing, induction training and support.

The course consists of two placements spread over the year with 130 days school based. There are 5 full weeks of study here at The Marches, three at the beginning of the course and two in the middle of the autumn term. There are 25 days of study with the University of Chester which are currently on line and spread over the course. In addition there are 10 single study days at the The Marches for professional development delivery and academic learning. The course is designed to maximise school based time as this is how we think that students learn best. The Alliance currently have plans to develop two more delivery hubs, one from Haley Learning Community and one from Powys.

There are three modules with assignments that are spread over the year. These carry 60 masters credits at level 7. We offer a huge amount of support with the academic study as we recognise that this is in addition to learning to teach. The modules are very well written to link with the teaching part of the course.

Students have timetabled confidential sessions with our well being tutor in order to manage the demands of the programme.

Development of the student’s teaching is bespoke as we recognise that some individuals have more experience than others. It is anticipated that a student will build up to 35% of a usual timetable by the end of the autumn term, 60% by the end of placement 1 and 80% by the end of the course. Students are assessed weekly and given feedback to develop.

We offer enrichment activity to improve student’s CVs and prepare them for a teaching role. There is also time to resubmit assignments if necessary.

School placements

Placement schools are chosen in partnership with the individual students. We have a large partnership which spreads across Shropshire, Powys, North Wales and Telford and includes independent school as as well state schools.

The course is rigorous and we therefore try to accommodate the wishes of students as far as travel is concerned, we endeavour to place students within 30 mins of their home so that home life is manageable for the duration of the course.

Some of our schools offer A level opportunities and teaching at this level is normally included within the second placement. We try as hard as possible to ensure that A level experience is included in at least one of the placements.

We partner with many secondary schools which include:

  • The Marches School
  • Lakelands
  • Sir John Talbot
  • The Corbet
  • St Martins
  • Oswestry School
  • Ellesmere College
  • Thomas Adams School
  • Shrewsbury Academy
  • Shewsbury School
  • Charlton School
  • Ercall Wood
  • Grango School
  • Hadley Learning Community
  • Llanfyllin High School
  • Dinas Bran, Llangollen
  • The Grove School, Market Drayton
  • Llanfair Caereinion

We have a visiting tutor who will visit students in school early on in each placement to ensure that the mentoring structure is in place and all the paperwork has been provided. The tutor will then visit the trainee regularly over the following weeks to jointly observe the teaching element and also to complete the end of placement assessment.

The mentoring team provide maximum support to each of the students whilst on placement, sometimes issues arise which can be dealt with immediately because of our ability to communicate with each other.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

The University of Chester prefer applicants to have a minimum of a 2:1 but in most cases, we are able to justify offering a place to a student with a 2:2 depending on the circumstances and subject.

Your degree subject should be in music 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 offer equivalency tests with Edge Hill University which can be taken on site here at The Marches School. Here is the link We will accept other other organisations.

Personal qualities

We are looking for those with a genuine passion for teaching and their chosen subject.

At interview the applicant will be expected to reflect on their experience in school and discuss what attributes they can offer to the teaching profession.

Training to be a teacher requires excellent time management skills. It is important to keep on top of lesson planning alongside the commitment to assignments.

It will be hard work and we expect those that we offer places to be committed to completing the course. We however guarantee to give you all the support that you need.

Other requirements

In addition to academic qualifications applicants will also need:

  • An enhanced DBS check and possibly letters of good recommendation if they have lived and worked abroad.
  • A medical form which may involve further investigation
  • Completion of Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses if applicable
  • A minimum of two weeks experience that is current and relevant in a secondary school prior to applying although we can arrange this.

Fees and financial support

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

There are no additional fees for this course other than the stated £9250. Financial assistance is available through Student Finance England and Wales. ( (

Financial support from the training provider

Bursaries are available through the DfE.

In some cases we may consider a salaried option depending on the subject involved and the individual student circumstances. Potential applicants should discuss this with us prior to applying if they would like to be considered for a salaried route.

About the training provider

The Marches School is a lead school for School Direct, it is the largest secondary school in Shropshire.

The school has over twenty years of experience in teacher training, offering innovative, successful programmes in all subjects and primary education. A world class education system requires world class teachers and this unique programme sets out to address this.

This programme is a way of training teachers which puts schools at the heart of the process. The Marches School and University of Chester, in partnership have designed and developed this school led teacher training programme, which is committed to training teachers to ensure that they have the potential to be outstanding at the end of the programme.

Trainees receive a flexible and bespoke timetable which scaffolds their learning and offers substantial mentoring to ensure that lesson planning and delivery is of the highest standard. As a result of one to one and group support mentors are able to monitor ITTs closely and ensure high quality teaching and learning.

We offer an on site Wellbeing Mentor to ensure that the ITTs are managing the demands of the course whilst maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Trainees are offered additional bespoke training sessions according to the needs of individuals and the whole cohort. These may cover areas such as: Behaviour Management, SEN needs, Transactional Analysis, stress management etc.

In addition, the training team have dedicated admin staff whose roles are to support the trainees with placements, stationery, IT requirements, travel and accommodation.

Interview process

Applications will be sifted by the lead school and the University. Applications will be expected to show necessary qualifications and any additional qualifications obtained.

The personal statement should be positive and to a high standard. Applicants should explain why they want to enter teaching, what they have to offer, should show their ability to reflect and think critically about their experience and education in general.

The interview process is on line and will consist of:

  • Twenty minute panel interview
  • Teaching task
  • Short presentation on an area of the syllabus
  • Academic written task
  • Subject knowledge tests in English and Maths

At interview the applicant will be expected to reflect on their experience and discuss what attributes they can offer to the teaching profession. Training to be a teacher requires excellent time management skills. It is important to keep on top of lesson planning alongside the commitment to assignments.

The interview panel will consist of the School Direct Director and the Business Develoment Manager who both run our ITT provision. The applicant will be expected to have some knowledge of the national curriculum for their subject .

The interview process will require applicants to plan a short 20 minute lesson for a group of Yr 7 children. The applicants will be asked to share their lesson plan and talk through how they would deliver the lesson.

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, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

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 an alliance we are able to offer support to disabled applicants and students. This includes students with specific learning differences, long standing health conditions, mental health conditions, Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and sensory impairments.

Specialist staff at both the university and the school site will support students in identifying the most appropriate solutions to potential barriers to learning.

As a partnership we are keen to ensure all students benefit fully from the course and achieve their learning potential.

Many of our schools can cater for students with limited mobility in fact in 2017-2018 we accommodated a student with muscular dystrophy who successfully studied in two different schools that we were able to source and accessed the site on a mobility scooter.

We see it as a challenge to support applicants who we think have the potential to become outstanding teachers through the course and we will do so using as many strategies as we need.

Contact this training provider

Morda Road
SY11 2AR

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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