TCAT Train to Teach Design and Technology (387S)

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

Accredited body
Bright Futures SCITT
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 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The course consists of 35 weeks of School Centred training from September to the end of June in two contrasting schools in Warrington (Bridgewater, Beamont Collegiate Academy, Penketh High, Sir Thomas Boteler or Padgate Academy), Providing you with support is a priority to us and a huge part of the success of our programme. Four days a week are spent in classrooms under the guidance of a subject based Curriculum Mentor who will support and train you to be a highly effective teacher. They will model exemplary practice in planning teaching and assessment. In addition, a Professional Mentor in each placement school will support you at all times.

Subject knowledge is key to success as a teacher and you will attend Subject Knowledge days throughout the year with subject specialists who will support you to enhance and further your subject knowledge. You will be directed towards the most recent research and reading as well as having the opportunity to network with teachers in other schools.

You will be assessed through observations with your school Mentors, and feedback will be through timetabled weekly meetings with your Curriculum Mentor. These lead to regular interim assessment points and a summative assessment at the end of each placement.

Every Friday, you will return to the TCAT Development Centre where you will be taught the pedagogy of teaching. We cover all aspects of the Curriculum: Professionalism, Behaviour for Learning, Planning, Assessment and Building Relationships. On Fridays sessions will be delivered by experienced senior practitioners who still teach in the classroom and who can pass on their knowledge and experience.

You will also study for a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate) completing four short assignments under the guidance of the University of Manchester. You will have eight study days over the year delivered through blended learning.

PSHE has always been an integral part of our programme and our trainee teachers are linked to a form group so they can deliver the Personal Development curriculum. Our trainees have the opportunity to complete a professional qualification to become an accredited teacher of PSHE.

TCAT schools teach Food Technology, Product Design and Graphics and our KS3 pupils gain experience of all design areas before choosing their options. We encourage you to gain experience teaching all three areas at KS3 during the course, while specialising in your area at KS4 to increase your opportunities for employment on completion of the course

School placements

During your training, you will complete placements at two contrasting secondary schools. These placements will be within TCAT schools, all of which are within a five mile radius in Warrington. This means you can concentrate on your teaching and training rather that spending time commuting to work. These schools are selected to suit your particular training needs and interests to give you the best possible support for your learning.

Four days a week are spent training in classrooms under the guidance of your mentors. On Fridays, throughout the year, the trainee cohort meet together in the TCAT Development Centre at Bridgewater High School to learn the pedagogy of teaching from experienced current practitioners. Students appreciate the chance to come together as a cohort once a week to exchange ideas and discuss their week together.

A classroom teaching timetable will be devised for you by your Curriculum Mentor and you will gradually take over the teaching of your classes at a pace that suits you. By the end of the first placement you will be teaching 50% of a full timetable over 4 days and this will gradually increase in placement 2. You will also observe other expert practitioners both in your department and across other subject areas.

TCAT prides itself on its inclusivity. Most of our Secondary schools have a Designated Provision and students can gain experience of working within these specialised units as well as working with these children in a mainstream setting.

At the end of your first school placement, if you have successfully met all teaching standards, there will be an opportunity to request a third placement at Priestley Sixth Form College which will allow you to include an extended period working with KS5 students

This is a bespoke course. You will gain experience of our TCAT Primary Schools, our Designated Provisions and Priestley Sixth Form College and gain an insight into EAL during your two weeks of enrichment visits to TCAT schools. In addition, we will provide opportunities for you to extend your experience into specialised educational settings including Special Schools and Alternative Provisions.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

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.

Our QTS course is accredited by Bright Futures SCITT and we refer to their guidelines with regard to equivalency courses

Personal qualities

We are looking for high calibre students with a passion for teaching and learning, who possess a high level of subject knowledge in the area they wish to teach. You must have excellent communication skills and the ability to engage with young people. You must also be flexible, independent, resilient and have the ability to show initiative.

Other requirements

Before starting their training, all trainees will be required to undergo an enhanced criminal record check (DBS) and an on-line health check. All candidates will also have to produce GCSE, A level and Degree certificates in support of their application.

We will make an assessment of fundamental English and Mathematics knowledge and skills during our selection process. During the course, you will be asked to supplement your skills in these areas via online courses.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

There’s nowhere better to start your career in teaching than with The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT). As well as learning from experienced practitioners, we can also guarantee you will spend more time teaching and less time commuting as all placements are within a five-mile radius in Warrington.

Our course leads to QTS and a PGCE qualification with the University of Manchester. You will gain PSHE experience that can lead to formal accreditation.

Your classroom practice is supported by a subject based Curriculum Mentor who will support and mentor you throughout your placement. They will model exemplary practice in planning, teaching and assessment. You will also be guided by a Professional Mentor in each placement school. Your health and wellbeing are a priority, and you are supported by our enthusiastic and dedicated staff to ensure you fulfil your potential.

You will attend Subject Knowledge days throughout the year to enhance and further your subject knowledge via the most recent research and reading, as well as having the opportunity to network with teachers in other schools.

This is a bespoke course and we will encourage you to enrich and expand your experience beyond your two placement schools and experience what the Trust can offer. Our inclusive schools enable you to work with students from a diverse range of social backgrounds, from SEND to the most able.

If you join us, our team will ensure you are supported to fulfil your potential, and become the best teacher possible to inspire the future generation.

About the accredited body

We work in partnership with Bright Futures SCITT, a dynamic high-quality provider of teacher training who accredit our QTS course. Bright Futures SCITT have a proven track record of providing teacher training in the North West. Our partnership ensures you will be given access to the widest range of training resources of the highest standard to ensure you are as well prepared as possible for your career in teaching.

Interview process

Your application will be reviewed by the Subject Lead and the School Lead and if successful, you will be invited for interview. There will be a short unseen written task to review your grammar, spelling and punctuation and your ability to articulate your points clearly.

We will also ask you to deliver a twenty minutes session to a class of Year 7 pupils on a pre-prepared topic related to the subject you wish to teach. We give you plenty of time to prepare and the support of the class teacher to help you deliver to the best of your ability. Our applicants relish the opportunity to be in front of a class, often for the first time, as it is a chance to reinforce and feel confident in their career choice.

This will be observed by some members of the interview panel and will establish your confidence, enthusiasm and communication skills. We will be looking at your personal, interpersonal and communication skills throughout the interview process.

Finally, there will be a formal interview which will draw on the tasks performed during your time spent with us. This will be an opportunity for us to talk further and to discuss your subject knowledge, reflection on any experience you have had in a secondary school, your knowledge of current secondary education issues and your commitment to a career in teaching.

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

TCAT is an inclusive Trust, for both pupils and members of staff, and everyone is treated as an individual. Our Secondary schools vary in size: we have small, medium and large schools within the Trust including a large split site school. Every school is accessible and has additional modifications to support the members of staff and pupils working within. We would encourage anyone with disabilities or other needs to come and visit our schools to experience our environments and we endeavour to accommodate every applicant that applied to train with us where possible.

Staff within the trust and alliance of schools would support students in identifying the most appropriate solutions to potential barriers to learning. This includes students with disabilities, specific learning differences, long standing health conditions, mental health conditions, Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and sensory impairments.

Contact this training provider

01925 263919
TCAT Professional Development Centre
Broomfields Road, Appleton

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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