North London New River Teaching Alliance Design and Technology (Product Design) (2SJK)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Goldsmiths, University of London
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The school direct Design & Technology PGCE will help you develop the professional skills and knowledge to teach all aspects of design and technology to pupils up to age 16, as well as your specialist area to pupils aged up to 18.

Goldsmiths is our affiliated university who runs the PGCE (Secondary) course in Design & Technology. The curriculum includes working with resistant materials (product design), systems and control (electronics, CAD/CAM), textiles, and food technology. What unifies these is the subject of Design and the development of designing competence.

You’ll be given the opportunity to specialise in one area to Key Stage 3 (age 11-14), and another to Key Stage 4 and beyond (age 14+). Key Stage 3 specialist fields are Materials; Textiles; Electronics and Communications Technology; and Food. The two Key Stage 4 specialist fields are Materials and Textiles.

You will advance your teaching and classroom management skills to a high level, and enhance your capacity for self-reflection and further professional development. To do this, you will undertake two school placements during your training and these will be at two of our excellent alliance schools.

You will split your time between the university and your school placements to enable you to support your practical experience with the robust research and pedagogical understanding needed to produce excellent results for students.

Click here for full details of the course

School placements

On the school direct course, you will be trained in a supportive and aspirational environment. You will develop the rigour, professional knowledge and skills necessary for the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning.

Most of the hands-on training will be delivered by expert teachers in our alliance of schools and this will be enhanced by studies at Goldsmith’s.

You will be assigned two school placements at two of our partner schools. The first being in the autumn term and the second in the spring term. All schools have comprehensive intakes and you will get experience of working with young people of all abilities. At least one of your placements will give you access to post-16 learners.

Prior to your first teaching placement you will have several weeks of intensive preparation at Goldsmiths where you will study the theory and pedagogy behind becoming an outstanding teacher.

You will be assigned a subject mentor from within your department at both of your placement schools and will attend regular Professional Studies sessions to equip you with the skills to plan and teach your lessons. Our mentors are excellent teachers who are required to undertake a rigorous training programme to develop their mentoring skills. You will also have ample opportunity to observe and learn from other teachers throughout both placements.

Successfully completing of all aspects of the course will gain you the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which also carries 60 masters level credits that may be used towards a subsequent masters degree. The course also leads to the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree should be from a university in the United Kingdom or an international equivalent in a subject related to Design and Technology, such as theatre design, product design, graphics, silversmithing, or architecture.

In some special cases, an unrelated degree may be acceptable if you have worked in a field related to Design and Technology. Each year the programme contains a good mixture of graduates with a broad spread of specialist expertise, and we welcome applicants with experience of working in business and industry.

Your degree subject should be in design and technology 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 will not consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test.

Personal qualities

We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about Design and Technology and have a desire to share that with young people of all abilities in the secondary age range. This will be demonstrated by meaningful experience of working with young people of this age. This does not need to be paid work but might be helping with a sports team, drama group or youth club. We would like you to have done some observation in a classroom or you may even have worked in a school.

Other requirements

In some special cases, an unrelated degree may be acceptable if you have worked in a field related to Design and Technology. Each year the programme contains a good mixture of graduates with a broad spread of specialist expertise, and we welcome applicants with experience of working in business and industry.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

The New River Teaching Alliance (NRTA) is a fantastic collaboration of North London schools with the collective goal of training the best teachers to join the profession. Working under the umbrella of North East London Teaching School Hub (NELTSH) and our awarding body UCL Institute of Education, we are well positioned to deliver some of the best teacher training in the world. Participants benefit from a unique school-based learning programme in partnership with a world-class university. This training route is referred to as ‘School Direct’.

Led by Alexandra Park School, all partner schools within the alliance have achieved ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings and are conveniently located in North London.

Our aim during the course is to create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for 15 years and fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm and drive they bring to a school community. By allowing trainees to engage with two schools during their training, we provide an opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and learning styles.

Our staff, are our most valuable resource and have a proven track record in training and professional development. All our partner schools have successfully developed new teachers for over a decade. This is demonstrated by a growing number of trainees choosing to embark on their new careers at these schools, upon completion of the course.

Our mission statement is simple: ‘Recruiting, supporting and developing the very best teachers’.

Interview process

Alexandra Park School is the lead school in the alliance and is responsible for coordinating the recruitment process.

All applications received are reviewed by the NRTA team. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview and asked to perform a variety of tasks, which may include: a short presentation, a lesson activity, a literacy and maths exercise, a group discussion activity, and a panel interview. The interview panel may include staff from partner schools as well as staff from Alexandra Park School.

If you are successful at the school interview, Goldsmiths will invite you to an interview. This will also serve as an opportunity to learn more about the PGCE course, the tutors and the facilities at the Institute.

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

Our University partner UCL IOE has full disabled access and a well-established Disability and Wellbeing team who provide support for students with a range of conditions. Every person is treated as an individual and you are invited to contact them as early as possible so that they can consider your needs and tailor their support to meet them.

Applicants who would benefit from disabled access and arrangements should let us know on their application so that they can be considered for placements at the most appropriate schools.

Contact this training provider

0208 826 4914
Bidwell Gardens
N11 2AZ

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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