Orleans Park Teaching Alliance Business studies (K499)

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

Accredited body
UCL, University College London
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 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

This course will equip you with the skills to be an effective teacher and to have a clear understanding about how to engage learners in this subject. Key skills you will learn include:

  • subject specific knowledge
  • how to plan effectively for different year groups and to enable progression
  • how to help all learners access learning, including those with SEN, EAL or other specific needs
  • how to ask effective questions and deliver insightful feedback
  • how to use assessment purposefully in the classroom
  • your role as a tutor and how to support learners outside of the classroom
  • knowledge of your legal duty in order to safeguard staff and students
  • how to apply for your first teaching post

You will spend the first four weeks of the course at UCL Institute of Education campus in central London focusing on pedagogy and then one day a week throughout the training year. This allows you to receive excellent teaching and share best practice with other trainees in your subject. You will then have two school placements where you will be supported by a mentor. Whilst in school, you will also have Professional Studies sessions with our cohort of School Direct and PGCE students in order to share best practice and learn important skills.

School placements

You will have two school based placements which will run across the majority of the year. The first placement runs from October to January, and the second placement runs from February to June. All of our schools in the alliance are based in Richmond and Twickenham. These are:

  • Orleans Park School (lead school)
  • Christ’s School
  • Hampton High School
  • St Richard Reynolds Catholic College
  • Teddington School
  • Turing House School -Richmond upon Thames school
  • Twickenham School -Waldegrave School -Grey Court School

You will gain experience of KS3 and KS4 teaching in both placements, and have an opportunity to experience KS5 lessons in at least one of your placement schools.

Trainees will build towards having 9-11 lessons a week in both placements, as well as having some periods for observation and supporting in lessons (potentially in another subject). You will have a mentor supporting you throughout this experience and they will provide both formal and informal feedback in order to help you achieve the teaching standards. You will attend in school professional studies sessions alongside whole school staff development sessions and have the chance to support extra curricular activities.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in business studies or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 5 (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.

Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test via Equivalency Testing or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 5. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 5 are accepted. BTEC, Functional Skills or Access course qualifications are not accepted in place of GCSEs.

Personal qualities

We recommend that you aim to gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview. You can organise a visit to Orleans Park School using the Department of Education’ s School Experience website

Other requirements

You should discuss any work experience that has relevant skills to teaching. You place will be subject to a satisfactory DBS check

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 £24,200

About the training provider

Orleans Park Teaching Alliance is a relatively new alliance, however all of the schools in our alliance have a lot of experience in nurturing talent and getting the best out of you in the classroom. Our schools range from faith based schools, to newer free schools, as well as established and successful academies. And still being relatively small, it means that we can ensure your training is personalised to your needs so that you are able to progress confidently in the classroom at your own pace. Our mentors are well trained, supportive and excellent classroom practitioners in their own right. We believe it is vital that we place you with great teachers to help you ‘be the best you can be.’

Our lead school, Orleans Park, was re-awarded an outstanding grade by Ofsted in 2017 who described it as ‘an inspirational teaching and learning environment where pupils can flourish and excel.’ Moreover, they praised how seriously we took our staff training and our focus on ‘getting it right in the classroom.’ It is this which underpins our teacher trainee programme and we have vast experience of successfully training students in a range of different subjects; many who continue to work with us once qualified.

Interview process

You will apply to OPTA directly and have two interviews. We will invite you into our lead school for an interview and a short subject knowledge activity, as well as giving you the chance to tour our school and meet key staff. You will also have an interview with UCL Institute of Education staff who accredit this course for our School Direct programme.

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 make it a priority to support all of our recruits with the necessary help to ensure they can thrive both in their training year and once qualified. This may include specific support from St Mary’s, for example extra support with assignments and directed tasks. Moreover, our sites are accessible for a range of physical, hearing and visual impairments; indeed we have many pupils with similar needs in our schools too.

Our mentors are well-experienced in providing emotional support and, when needed, we have provision in place for trainees who may experience difficulties.

Contact this training provider

020 8891 0187
Orleans Park School
Richmond Road

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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