Aspire Community Trust Primary (A363)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Southampton
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
5 to 11
Course length
Up to 1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

Trainees will follow the full university led PGCE teaching programme, with two teaching placements in Aspire Trust schools.

The programme will suit people who aspire to become excellent primary teachers and want to gain an understanding of some of the theory underpinning effective teaching and learning in order to improve their practice. We aim for creative, reflective and dynamic practitioners who are committed to promoting the learning of all pupils in their classes and to help every child make progress in their primary education. Planned and delivered in close collaboration with practising teachers in local primary schools, the primary course introduces you to the whole primary curriculum while providing a secure basis for you to learn how most effectively to plan, teach and assess subjects of the National Curriculum and to organise and manage a classroom, for children aged 5-11 years. The course aims to develop your subject knowledge through a range of teaching and learning approaches: workshops, seminars, lectures and demonstrations, fieldwork and micro-teaching activities, independent and group research, and through reading and writing activities.

There are 4 Modules across the year. Three are 4000 word (or equivalent) assignments for the award of PGCE. The fourth assignment is a practical portfolio that is assessed for the award of QTS. The assignments include a high degree of choice and strongly link theory and practice. As well as preparing you to teach across the Primary Curriculum, you will also have several opportunities to personalise your course and begin exploring areas of specialism such as Science, MFL and English through additional opportunities.

The portfolio for QTS is collated weekly, over the course of the whole Academic Year, with a final submission at the end of the course in June. The three PGCE assignments are handed in across the Academic year - with hand-in dates approximately at Christmas (early January), Easter (late February) and at the end of the course in May/June.

School placements

We aim to provide schools that offer contrasting placement experiences in order to develop a breadth and range of skills. At the beginning of the programme, trainees will be based in their host school for 2-3 days per week for seven weeks with the rest of these weeks spent in University. During the first placement block, one day every two weeks is dedicated to training in the university to allow trainees to integrate theory and practice during the early stages of their training. During the second placement, trainees attend school from Monday-Friday. Whilst on placement, each trainee is allocated a mentor who is the teacher of the class in which the trainee is placed. Trainees will also receive visits from their University tutor to support them in their teaching and professional development.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

If we offer to anyone who needs an equivalency, we would require this to be our own equivalency test (rather than one taken elsewhere) and would administer this.

Personal qualities

We are looking for highly motivated, successful graduates who are committed to a teaching career in the Southampton area. We want candidates who are passionate about working with children and focused on providing the best teaching and learning for all children. We want graduates who have a strong understanding of what being a teacher involves, have strong communication and interpersonal skills and are happy to receive and act upon feedback.

Other requirements

We are committed to safeguarding & promoting the welfare of children & young people & expect you to share this commitment. You will be required do the following before commencement of the programme:

Complete a form describing your state of health which will be checked against the DfE Fitness to Teach regulations;

Provide an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to confirm that there are no criminal offences on your record which should bar you from teaching. Visit for more information.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £21,000

Fee for EU & international students is £19,850

About the training provider

The Aspire Community Trust is a co-operative trust made up of 9 schools in Southampton - 1 secondary school, 5 primaries, 1 junior, 1 infant and 1 special school. Our schools serve pupils from a diverse range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, including many who have English as an additional language. We are very proud of how we promote and celebrate diversity in our schools and we will provide applicants with a unique and rich training experience.

As a group of schools we work together in a close partnership that provides great benefits to the children and staff that we serve. The values of all of the schools within our trust are underpinned by the co-operative values of promoting aspiration, sharing and caring, perseverance, independence, responsibility and enjoyment. However, each school has its own distinctive ethos and ways of working. Although we collaborate closely together, each school is completely autonomous and there is no hierarchy between them.

We have a long established and successful partnership with the University of Southampton. All of our schools are within close walking distance of the university and staff within our schools contribute to the universities training programme. Applicants will have the best of both worlds, a university led and school based training programme.

You will receive the same teaching entitlement as those following the university led programme and will benefit from the full support of university tutors. In addition, you will also benefit from the training experiences and support provided within the Trust.

Interview process

Interviews will be held in one of the Trust schools. If you are invited for interview you will be asked to organise and deliver a short teaching activity with a small group of pupils from the school. You will also be interviewed by senior members of staff from Trust schools and one or more members of the university course team. We also ask you to undertake a short task to satisfy ourselves of your capability in written English. Decisions about acceptance are only made when all assessments are collated and discussed by the interview panel. We would encourage all prospective students to spend time in a Primary School so you are informed about the school environment, to confirm your own wish to teach and inform your own views. As these views will be explored at interview, you need to be able to reflect on aspects of what teachers and schools do and be able to talk convincingly about teaching in primary schools.

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

We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities and other needs. SEND is a very important element of training throughout the PGCE and trainees who have personal experiences of SEND are of real benefit to our programmes as they bring a wealth of experience. Our trainees with disabilities will benefit from the full package of support provided by the University of Southampton. This includes:

Neurodiverse Trainees (including Trainees with dyslexia, ADHD and ASD) meet together for an informal session, led by a tutor with significant SEND experience. This group supports one another throughout the course, with individual, personalised input from the tutor as required.

Trainees with Physical Disabilities are always accommodated as appropriate and a wide variety of modifications are available. For example, a student with a hearing impairment may be supported by our enabling services, as well as by their Personal Academic Tutor with services such as remote transcription available - we work with individuals to ensure that their needs are met both when in University and when teaching in schools.

We recognise that teaching can be stressful. The University offers a variety of services for Trainees who may be suffering from anxiety or depression, for example trainees can access talking therapies via the University Enabling Services. Trainees are also encouraged to make full use of their Personal Academic Tutor.

The course team are able to personalise many aspects of the programme to accommodate needs on an individual basis, to enable successful completion of the course.

Contact this training provider

Swaythling Primary School
Mayfield Road
SO17 3SZ

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training 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 chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (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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