North London New River Teaching Alliance Art and design (V793)

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

Accredited body
UCL, University College London
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 16 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The Art and Design PGCE is a challenging and forward-looking programme which prepares students to teach across the 11-16 age range, encouraging them to relate art, craft and design education to contemporary art practice.

This programme aims to inform and inspire, to challenge orthodoxies and encourage a freshness of vision. It provides support and guidance for learning and teaching in art and design, identifying strategies to motivate and engage pupils in making, discussing and evaluating visual and material culture.

Through seminars and studio-based activities, students will study the concepts, processes and skills of art, craft and design, sharing their knowledge and understanding with other student teachers and consider how it relates to the secondary curriculum. Towards the end of the PGCE, students will build on their own practice by initiating a curriculum development project, culminating in the display of their work at a final exhibition that represents their personal philosophy for art and design education.

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, provides excellent studio space and facilities for Art and Design, including a computing suite. The programme also has strong links with galleries, museums and other sites for learning, which are recognised as an important resource for engaging students in cultural and social issues.

You will undertake two school placements during your training and these will be at two of our excellent alliance schools.

UCL IOE is a global leader in teacher education. Their programmes are recognised by Ofsted as “outstanding” in every criterion across Primary and Secondary Education. All school direct trainees have full access to UCL student support services/facilities.

The school direct programme follows the exact same structure as the PGCE route and awards the PGCE and QTS. The only difference is students apply directly to the NRTA via the DfE ‘Apply’ service. Candidates will still attend the same university lectures.

Click here for full details of the Art and Design 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 UCL IOE.

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.

You will have full access to UCL IOE during your training. The school direct course format is identical to the PGCE offered by UCL IOE, so you will attend the same lectures and spend the same amount of time in schools. Prior to each of your two teaching placements, you will have approximately three weeks intensive preparation at university. As with the PGCE, much of your training will take place within the school itself.

You will be assigned two mentors from the staff of your assigned school, one from your subject area and one from the senior leadership team. From the beginning, you will be treated like a member of staff and will attend staff meetings and development days. Our mentors are outstanding teachers who are required to undertake a rigorous training programme to develop their mentoring skills.

Successfully completing all aspects of the course will gain you the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which also carries 60 master level credits that may be used towards a subsequent Master’s 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 subject should be in art and design or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 5 (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

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’.

About the accredited body

We work in partnership with UCL Institute of Education (UCL IOE) who have been providing first-class teacher training, in partnership with schools and colleges for over 100 years.

Founded in 1902, as a teacher training college in London, the IOE is a world-class research and teaching institution. IOE graduates are highly sought after in schools and colleges throughout London and the UK.

Centrally located in historic Bloomsbury means that you are in the heart of London. The London Underground station at Russell Square is minutes from the main building and King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations are close by.

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, UCL IOE 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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