The Rural Schools Alliance History (326Y)

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

Accredited body
University of Winchester
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

This secondary History training programme is being offered at one campus within a partnership of six schools.

Trainees who follow this School Direct Training Programme are based in a host school but are not directly employed by that institution. Course fees are paid by the trainee and funding may be available through tuition fee loans, bursaries or scholarships.

The training programme is designed to support academic-based assignments and practical teaching experience. It will consist of: subject-specific sessions taught throughout the year at both the university and partnership schools; training within a host school; classroom teaching in two contrasting schools and lesson observations.

Successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and students are also able to accrue credits towards a Master’s Level Degree.

See our website for more information (

School placements

The Rural Schools Alliance is a partnership of six rural secondary schools all based within Hampshire. Training is divided into 4 parts: Core Training Days, University Days, Placement 1 and Placement 2.

At the start of the programme, you will have an intensive, immersive induction into the world of teaching and learning. You will be encouraged to establish and develop solid foundations in readiness for your school placements. This will continue with Core Training Days, developing your existing knowledge, and introducing you to practical concepts and applications in the classroom. Core Training Days take place at Swanmore College, the lead school for the Rural Schools Alliance.

Throughout the programme, you will spend each Friday on one of the following: Core Training, experience days in other educational settings, assignment writing or University Days.

University days provide a valuable opportunity to study and learn your craft – both subject specific and pedagogy – through collaboration with trainees within and beyond the Alliance.

For Placement 1, you will be at your main placement school. You will begin with collaborative work and observation, and teaching will range from 25% of your 4-day timetable to 50% by the end of the first part of Placement 1, combining collaborative and solo training.

For Placement 2, you will be placed at a different school to give you broader experience. During this placement, collaborative and solo teaching will increase to up to 60% by the end of your placement. This placement generally takes place during the first half of the Spring term.

You will then return to your main placement school for the remainder of your training, with collaborative and solo teaching increasing to 70% of your timetable.

Throughout both placements, you will be assigned a tutor group to give you experience of pastoral duties and PHSE lessons.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in history 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.

Personal qualities

We look for evidence of a commitment to the teaching profession, an understanding of professional requirements, and an awareness of current educational issues in each application. Prior experience in a school is not required, however you may find experience in a school useful for obtaining insights into the classroom. Experience in a school or similar setting may also provide reassurance that teaching is the right choice for your career.

If you would like to visit a school, please contact us to arrange a day observing classes or to discuss other options. Contact details can be found on our website (

Other requirements

If you accept an offer of a place you will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check and Prohibition Order check. If you have spent time overseas in the last 5 years you may also be required to obtain criminal records checks from each of the countries you visited. You will also be required to complete an occupational health check to confirm that you are fit to teach. The University of Winchester will send you more information about when and how you need to complete each of these checks if you accept our offer.

Fees and financial support

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

The tuition fees for September 2023 entry are £9,250 for UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man students.

For international students the fee is £14,700; this includes students from the EU (excluding ROI) and Overseas.

Please contact in the autumn for further information about fees.

About the training provider

The Rural Schools Alliance is a Teaching School Partnership comprising six Hampshire secondary Schools, all Ofsted rated “Good” schools who have been recognised for our drive and determination to deliver high quality comprehensive education, whilst observing, celebrating and actively promoting traditional values.

Our partnership covers vasts belts of rural communities across the county of Hampshire, whilst remaining accessible to the key urban areas of Andover, Fareham, Waterlooville, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth.

All student teachers are initially registered for the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This is a course of 120 credits at Level 6. In December, student teachers may apply to be registered on the Postgraduate Certificate In Education (PGCE-M) where up to 60 M-level credits can be gained from subsequent work. Therefore the PGCE-M will result in 60 credits at Level 6 and 60 at Level M. All students completing the School Direct course will also gain NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) status.

Our accredited provider is the University of Winchester which is recognised by Ofsted as an ‘Outstanding’ provider of teacher education at both primary and secondary level and has a long history of training teachers.

Education should be fun, awe-inspiring, life-changing and life-enhancing: it should be borrowed and nurtured by a generation to pass on boldly and proudly to the next.

This is the ethos that underpins the Rural Schools.

Interview process

All shortlisted applicants are interviewed prior to the formal offer of a training place with the Rural Schools Alliance.

Interviews for a placement with the Rural Schools Alliance may include any combination of the following:

  • A tour of the school to meet pupils and staff
  • Small group or whole class teaching
  • A group discussion with an educational focus
  • A written task to show that you are able to write English clearly without errors of spelling, grammar or punctuation
  • A subject-specific verbal presentation
  • A formal interview (the panel will normally contain the Director of the Rural Schools Alliance, a Professional Mentor, a Subject Leader and a representative from the University of Winchester)

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

We are committed to supporting pupils and staff with specific needs and are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and cooperation. We are a wheelchair friendly site.

Your well-being is a top priority and we will do all we can to give you the chance to flourish and maximise your potential. In partnership with the University of Winchester there is a dedicated student support team to help with any questions or challenges you might experience during your studies. We work with you to support your well-being and mental health, provide confidential advice and offer workshops to boost your academic skills. If you have a disability or learning difference, we encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual needs.

Contact this training provider

New Road
SO32 2RB

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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