Think North East School Direct Partnership Chemistry (H477)

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

Accredited body
Durham University
Financial support
Scholarships or bursaries, as well as 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
20 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our School Direct programme is accredited by Durham University.

The duration of the course is one academic year and comprises two placements. You will complete one longer placement at your host school, with a second, shorter placement in another school, in the middle.

During each school placement you will be supported by a subject mentor who will support you in developing your practice day to day. You will undertake a range of lesson observations, observing excellent classroom practice, and will further-develop the skills needed to plan and deliver effective learning sequences for students in your subject area.

Alongside your in-school training you will benefit from approximately 60 days of training delivered by Durham University, allowing you to take advantage of the university’s academic and research expertise. This training is organised as three modules, providing an opportunity to explore issues relating to teaching and learning through lectures and seminar groups:

  • Research-Related Professional Practice - These sessions explore classroom-based issues and examine techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment. This module is further-supported by the university’s innovative Professional Opportunities for Development (POD) programme, which enables trainees to participate in training led and delivered by Sedgefield Community College, working in partnership with other local secondary schools. This provides an invaluable opportunity for trainees to see first-hand how educational theory is applied in practice in a range of real-school contexts.
  • Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum - This module draws on the international research expertise within Durham University’s School of Education.
  • Self-directed Study - This module is orientated towards your subject specialism and draws on your experience from school visits and small-scale action research.

Training and support provided by our partner schools and Durham University offer subject-specific training in the following areas:

  • Subject pedagogy - including how to motivate students, questioning strategies, and planning lessons to maximise student engagement and progress.
  • Curriculum sequencing - to develop an understanding of how sequences of lessons can help maximise pupil progress over time.
  • Subject knowledge - addressing your own understanding of the key concepts and skills underpinning the subject.

Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), with 90 credits.

Applications will remain open until 30th June 2023, where places remain available.

School placements

You will be placed in schools for most of your course, totaling a minimum of 120 days across the three school terms. The responsibility for training is shared between our schools and Durham University, providing a supportive professional environment in which you can develop your knowledge, skills, understanding and expertise.

Our School Direct partnership is led by Sedgefield Community College, working alongside Academy 360, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, Excelsior Academy and Wellfield School. Where other training providers may see you placed in schools located far and wide, we are able to work with you to help ensure you are placed in a school that allows you to carry out your other commitments when training.

Across the training year, you will complete two placements. The main Attachment Placement begins towards the start of the academic year and is the main placement school in which a trainee will spend most of their time during the year.

A shorter Intensive Practice Placement takes place in a different school and aims to consolidate understanding of how research and evidence should shape practice. Following this placement, trainees return to their original Attachment Placement where they can apply their improved skills and knowledge to their teaching practice.

At each placement school you will be supported by a Professional Tutor who oversees all aspects of Initial Teacher Training at the school, as well as subject mentor who will support you in developing your teaching practice on a day to day basis.


You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Academy 360
Portsmouth Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR4 9BA
Durham Johnston Comprehensive School
Crossgate Moor, Durham, County Durham, DH1 4SU
Excelsior Academy
Denton Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE15 6AF
Sedgefield Community College
Hawthorn Road, Sedgefield, County Durham, TS21 3DD

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in chemistry 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 in English and Mathematics.

Personal qualities

During the recruitment process, we will be evaluating your potential to become an effective teacher. Our preferred applicants will have the following qualities:

  • a desire to teach and work with young people from all backgrounds
  • effective communication skills and a collegiate approach
  • a passion for their subject and strong subject knowledge
  • a commitment to teaching and the determination to succeed
  • consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct, upholding the public trust in the profession

Other requirements

All successful applicants will be subject to safeguarding checks, which include an enhanced DBS check.

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report, as you are required to meet the standards for ‘Fitness to Teach’.

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 £22,250

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please note that fees are subject to final confirmation from Durham University.

About the training provider

Think North East is a teacher training partnership comprising five schools located across County Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne. The partnership is led by Sedgefield Community College, working alongside Academy 360, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, Excelsior Academy, and Wellfield School.

As our name suggests, we are a partnership with a shared commitment to giving careful thought to all aspects of our initial teacher training programme. We strive to develop teachers who are able to think critically and creatively about their practice in order to make rapid progress in their role as a teacher.

About the accredited body

All of our ITT programmes are accredited by Durham University, which is one of the leading departments for education in the UK and regularly features in the top five in national university league tables and rates highly in world rankings.

Durham’s School of Education leads the way in high quality research and is joint first in the UK for world-leading research impact. Together with their OFSTED outstanding rated Initial Teacher Training provision, they are a major contributor in the field of education.

Interview process

Candidates invited to attend an interview will receive an email with full details of how the interview process will work. Interviews will be held online via MS Teams. The format of the interview is outlined below.

  • You will be asked to prepare a short presentation in advance entitled ‘the area of my subject specialism which most interests and excites me’ and will present this on the day of the interview to members of the interview panel.
  • You will complete a short written task on the day, designed to highlight your logical thinking and organisation.
  • A formal interview will take place, providing an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the teaching profession and contemporary issues in teaching, as well as your desire of becoming a secondary school teacher.

Any offers made by Think North East are conditional on:

  • a DBS check and satisfactory checks to cover any time spent overseas;
  • a satisfactory medical report, meeting the standards for ‘Fitness to Teach’.
  • provision of original documentary evidence of degree and GCSE qualifications (or equivalents).

In some cases, it may be necessary for you to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE) before your training begins, this can be discussed at interview.

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

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report as you are required to meet the standards for ‘Fitness to Teach’. It is important that you disclose any medical condition or disability so that we can look at the best way of supporting you if you are offered a place to train with us.

Contact this training provider

01740 617 777
Sedgefield Community College
Hawthorn Road
County Durham
TS21 3DD

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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