Uffculme School Design & Technology (Product Design) (AT38)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Exeter
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

Design & Technology (Product Design) - School Direct Distance (AT38)

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:

All School Direct trainees start the course at Uffculme School for an induction period during September. During this time trainees participate in taught sessions and undertake tasks aimed at familiarising them with both the Teachers’ Standards and the Exeter Model for ITE. Trainees are placed in their home school for the rest of the term, returning 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 for one of their placements, we also offer placements in our Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, East Devon and 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 in a Primary setting. 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

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

2.2 degree or above in Manufacturing, Design, Engineering, Food, Textiles, Architecture or a related subject.

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’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We accept equivalency tests from A Star Equivalency and equivalencytesting.com (please do contact us for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test).

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 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £21,500

Financial support from the training provider

For information on Government loans and training bursaries, please visit the Student Finance England (https://www.gov.uk/student-finance) and Get into Teaching (https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/) websites.

For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages (https://www.exeter.ac.uk/teachertraining/apply/feesandfinance/)

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 Training 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.

  • Outstanding employment opportunities: Our reputation for delivering high quality teacher training has resulted in local schools seeking to appoint our trainees. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, all of our trainees who sought employment secured a teaching post.

About the accredited body

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

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 Training School Alliance and invited to attend an interview. While we aim to interview candidates in person this year, there may be a return to online interviews should Covid restrictions change.

Applicants will be asked to prepare a 20-minute section of a lesson to be delivered to a group of students on interview day. The title and learning outcomes for the lesson episode will be shared with applicants one week prior to the interview. A formal interview will be conducted by the Director of WCTSA and will include questions on the pre-interview tasks in addition to questions on safeguarding, knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, education and experience.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

The University of Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Study Zone, Students’ Guild Advice, Student Health Centre (GP services), and the Multifaith Chaplaincy team. For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services (https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/newstudents/supportandservices/studentservicesdirectory/).

PGCE trainees can access the support of a Wellbeing Services Welfare Consultant to discuss concerns, talk through options for support or understand more about how the University Wellbeing Services may be able to help.

Alongside the support described above, every PGCE trainee is assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. The Occupational Health provider can recommend ‘Reasonable Adjustments’, which will be put into place by the provider, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

Contact this training provider

01884 842908
Uffculme School
Chapel Hill
EX15 3AG

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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