Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School
Social Sciences (2FZ4)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The Manchester Metropolitan University
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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

Our one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) prepares you to teach the secondary school and post 16 curriculum for one or more of the Social Sciences; Sociology, Psychology, Health and Social Care, Politics and Law.

You’ll explore ways to teach areas of the Social Sciences (this includes Citizenship and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 (ages 11 – 19 years).

You will also gain experience in teaching some of the Humanities (Religious Education, History and Geography) at Key Stage 3 and 4 (ages 11 – 16 years). You’ll typically explore ways to teach Sociology and Health and Social care, and how to teach some aspects of Psychology.

Interview process

The assessment day will take place at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and will involve a range of activities including a presentation, followed by an interview with representatives from our Alliance schools. You will also be interviewed by our student panel, complete a written reflection as well as carry out a classroom based activity.

Our University partner will have an equal say in the selection.

All interviewers will consider the following:

  • communication skills
  • commitment and resilience to teacher training
  • knowledge and understanding of the qualities of a teacher
  • subject knowledge
  • ability to reflect and evaluate your own practice and the practice of others
  • personal qualities and knowledge and understanding of the qualities of a teacher
  • ability to interact with both adults and young people

It is a rigorous and thorough selection process, designed to recruit the very best candidates for our students.

How school placements work

You will complete two placements and will be allocated to schools within the Chimney House Alliance.

In the spring term you will be allocated to a different school within the Alliance which will give you a contrasting experience and broaden your professional development.

All of the schools in our Alliance have comprehensive intakes and you will have the experience of working with young people of all abilities.

You will have the opportunity of spending time in a primary setting, as well as gaining special school experience to focus on transition, SEND and to give you an insight into all types of learners. At least one of your placements will give you access to post 16 learners to give you the experience of working with learners in all phases and contexts.

The first placement will start early September and involves teaching practice in school each week, with the majority of Fridays being conference days. Our conferences are planned and delivered by outstanding classroom practitioners from colleagues within our Teaching School Alliance

You will have full access to the facilities of The Manchester Metropolitan University. The majority of your time will be school based but there are a number of days where you will be based at the University, far reduced compared to a traditional PGCE route.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Tuition fees are £9,250 and you can apply for a loan to cover these fees and/ or means tested maintenance grant via the student loan company.

There are a range of bursaries and scholarships available and their value by phase, subject and degree classification can be found by visiting the Department of Education website:

Bursaries and scholarships

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



2:2 UK Honours degree (or international equivalent), which must support the National Curriculum subject knowledge requirements

For exceptional candidates, particularly with substantial relevant work experience in schools/relevant occupations, a 3rd class degree considered.

GCSEs grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, can apply with pending. We offer MMU equivalency tests in English and Maths.

If degree outside UK will require academic IELTS (7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any element).

CSE Grade 1/Scottish Standard Grades 1 -3/Irish Leaving Certificate D at Higher Level or C at Ordinary Level.

Adult Numeracy or Literacy or Key Skills not accepted.

Personal qualities

We are looking for ambitious, energetic, dedicated, well-qualified, independent and enthusiastic trainee teachers who are passionate about their subject and have the desire, drive and commitment to inspire all abilities in the secondary age range. Successful applicants will have an understanding of the resilience and emotional intelligence needed to become an outstanding teacher and future leader and to be reflective learners. We are looking for applicants who have excellent subject knowledge and the ability to deliver it in an engaging and creative way to inspire learning. It is key to be an effective communicator and a responsible, accountable professional.

Other requirements

  • A satisfactory DBS check, including a check of the children`s barred list.
  • An academic reference which is very positive in terms of academic achievement and highly recommends the applicant for a career into teaching. The reference should confirm the person’s suitability to work with children, as well as their personal qualities and attributes.
  • Health check - all candidates should be medically fit
  • School experience is not a requirement for entry to the course, however successful candidates will demonstrate an understanding of teaching and learning within an appropriate educational context.

About the training provider

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School is the lead school in The Chimney House Alliance (CHA) with a well-established partnership with The Manchester Metropolitan University. The CHA has a strong track record of collaborative working within ITT including School Direct. This route is designed to maximise the time a trainee spends in school, both on teaching placements and training conferences to ensure a diverse and contrasting range of teacher training experiences. The CHA is well established and consists of eight 11-18 schools - including a free school and single sex school, six 11-16 schools, a Special School and core primary schools - large, small, urban and rural. Some have achieved outstanding Ofsted ratings. Our core purpose is to ensure that children learn and achieve and to prepare them for a changing world and the Alliance’s Mission is ‘Raising achievement through collaboration’. Staff and students are ambitious and confident and benefit from the extensive Continuous Professional Development programmes we have on offer, from entering the profession as a trainee to becoming a head teacher. We have established an environment in which staff, students and trainee teachers feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for many years and were the first training school consortium in the country. We offer both a one-year Primary PGCE and a range of secondary PGCE specialisms, including national shortage subjects. Our expectations are high and our learning environment is fun yet challenging.

About the accredited body

The Manchester Metropolitan University, which has national recognition for its high quality Initial Teacher Training provision.

Training with disabilities and other needs

All our schools in the partnership, with the exception of Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College have full disabled access as does The Manchester Metropolitan University.

Contact details

01477 410544
Selkirk Drive
Holmes Chapel
Holmes Chapel


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