Courses are currently closed but you can get your application ready

Courses starting in the 2021 to 2022 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 5 October 2021 and submit your application from 9am on 12 October 2021.

West Country Teaching School Alliance Art and Design (3FCN)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Exeter
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
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Art and Design - School Direct Distance (3FCN)

School Direct Distance provides trainees with a unique opportunity to combine school based learning with the academic rigour of the University of Exeter’s PGCE programme.

The school and University elements of this training are designed to be complementary and interconnected. Together they offer a balance of practice and theory so that trainees develop classroom skills alongside the knowledge and understanding that underpins these skills, supporting their development as an informed and reflective teacher.

Trainees complete the Master’s element of the programme through undertaking a series of online tasks and modules. They are allocated time (equivalent to one day a week) to undertake their personal study. Trainees complete a personalised subject based training plan, with subject specialists providing taught input at various points throughout the year.

Autumn Term:

Trainees are inducted into their home school during the first week before joining other School Direct trainees at Uffculme School for the remainder of September. During this time trainees become part of a School Direct Distance cohort, participating in taught sessions and undertaking tasks aimed at familiarising them with both the Teachers’ Standards and the Exeter Model for ITE. Trainees also return to Uffculme School on the same day each week to complete their online learning. This model of training is a unique feature of our ITE programme and helps us to ensure that our Distance trainees feel supported and not isolated during their training year.

Spring Term:

Whereas most courses offer a 6 week contrasting placement, our 10 week placement provides the trainee with a fantastic opportunity to compare and contrast different approaches to all aspects of teaching and other wider areas of work that teachers are involved in.

Summer Term:

Trainees return to their home school to consolidate and extend their practice. It is during this period that many of our strong trainees enter an ‘Extension & Enrichment’ phase.

Whilst on placement trainees will have twelve contact hours a week of classroom-based work.


  • 1. SPECIALIST SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE AND PEDAGOGY MODULE Masters level (30 credits) 6000 summative assignment (Autumn Term)
  • 2. EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES (EPS) MODULE Masters level (30 credits) 6000 summative assignment (Spring Term)
  • 3. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING MODULE Trainees complete an Individual Development Portfolio (IDP) that contains evidence of achieving the Teachers’ Standards.

Successful completion of all three modules leads to the award of Secondary PGCE with QTS.

School placements

Trainees following the School Direct route into teaching are able to express a preference as to which of our partner schools they would like to be based in. This provides trainees with the opportunity to train close to home. Whilst most of our trainees are placed at Uffculme School, the lead school within the Alliance, we also offering placements in our Exeter, Wellington or Taunton based schools. Our diverse and extensive partnership of schools ensures that we can tailor our placements to meet the needs of our trainees. This can also include offering trainees an enriched experience of post 16 teaching or an opportunity to teach in the independent sector.

School Direct Distance trainees spend the Autumn and Summer Terms in their home school and have their contrasting placement during the Spring Term. In addition to this they will also have a one week cross phase placement. Trainees who are not based in an 11 - 18 setting for one of their placements will also be provided with a one week post 16 experience.

All placements, including cross phase and post 16 are organised for trainees.

There will also be a small number of University led seminar days during the year.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

The entry requirement for this course is an Honours degree (2:1 or above) in Art or Design or a related subject such as Art History or Cultural Studies. Applicants with a 2.2 considered if they have a Masters or PhD Degree.

A typical student will have obtained good GCSE grades in Art and/or Design. You will have a good ‘A’ level grade in Art or Design. Equivalent or alternative qualifications are always considered. Where necessary you may be required to complete some subject enhancement before joining the course.

Passes at GCSE in English and Mathematics at Grade C/4 are required.

Personal qualities

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about teaching young people and who are driven by a desire to see every child succeed. Applicants should have a genuine love of their subject, they must be willing to learn and have the confidence to take risks. All trainees will need to possess resilience and above all they must be prepared to be reflective and learn from their experiences.

Our trainees need to demonstrate that they have the potential to become outstanding teachers who are committed to teaching and to developing their own careers.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, a satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and a satisfactory DBS enhanced disclosure. Note: the DfE entry requirement to pass professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy has been removed for 2020/21 entry onwards. Instead PGCE trainees will be benchmarked during their training against a Government-defined set of fundamental mathematics and English skills.

Although not essential it would be an advantage to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £19,500

About the training provider

Our diverse partnership of schools & sixth form colleges across Devon and Somerset make us a great choice for Teacher Training in the South West.

  • Outstanding schools and contrasting placements: Most of our School Direct trainees are based at Uffculme School, which is regularly among the top performing non-selective state schools in the South West. Uffculme School has been judged Outstanding by Ofsted in every inspection since 2007, and in 2017 was ranked 11th nationally for Progress 8. Our diverse partnership of schools and sixth form colleges provide trainees with the opportunity to experience a variety of contexts, giving them the tools, skills and expertise they need to build highly successful careers.

  • Outstanding partnerships: The West Country Teaching School Alliance works in partnership with the University of Exeter, which is itself rated Outstanding as a Teacher Training provider. Trainees who successfully complete the course receive their PGCE qualification from the University.

  • Outstanding provision: We offer trainees a bespoke programme combining the expertise of classroom practitioners with academic theory. Trainees can choose either a school or university based programme. 72% of our 2018/19 trainees were rated as Outstanding.

  • Outstanding employment opportunities: Our reputation for delivering high quality teacher training has resulted in local schools seeking to appoint our trainees. In 2019, all of our trainees who sought employment secured a teaching post.

About the accredited body

The University of Exeter are leaders in Initial Teacher Education. They have been consistently graded as Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted and ranked 3rd amongst University providers of teacher training in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017.

The School Direct programmes offered through the University are uniquely characterised by innovative research-led teaching informed by professional practice and academic excellence. University tutors work in partnership with schools to ensure that all trainees have a high quality teacher training experience.

Interview process

All applications are screened initially by the University of Exeter Admissions department to check suitability for the programme. Suitable applicants will then be contacted by the West Country Teaching School Alliance and invited to attend an interview.

The interview with WCTSA has 3 elements consisting of: a teaching task, an observation task and a panel interview. Whilst Covid restrictions are in place, we have moved our ITT interviews online and these will be conducted via TEAMS.

Pre-interview Task 1:

One week before the interview, applicants will be sent a short video clip of a lesson and will be asked to analyse the quality of the teaching and learning that they observed. Various prompt questions will be given to inform their reflection.

Pre –interview Task 2:

Applicants will be asked to prepare a 20-minute section of a lesson on PowerPoint. During the interview, applicants will be invited to share how they would deliver each aspect of the lesson that they have planned. The title and learning outcomes for the lesson episode will be shared with applicants one week prior to the interview.

Panel interview:

The interview will be conducted by the Director of WCTSA and a subject specific member of staff. It will include questions on the pre-interview tasks in addition to questions on safeguarding, knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, education and experience.

Training with disabilities and other needs

As all of our programmes are accredited by the University of Exeter if you declared a disability, specific learning difficulty or mental health difficulties on your UCAS application form, the University’s AccessAbility team will contact you before the start of your course to ask you to complete a prospective student questionnaire.

Once registered with AccessAbility/Wellbeing Services the University will, where appropriate, draw up an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to ensure that any required adjustments are made.

You can find out more about Individual Learning Plans here: Physical Health, Disability or Learning Difficulty:
Mental Health Condition:

Contact this training provider

01884 842908
Uffculme School
EX15 3AG

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You'll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year from 9am on 5 October 2021
  • submit your application from 9am on 12 October 2021