Think North East School Direct Partnership
Physics (J533)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Durham University
Financial support
Scholarship, bursary or 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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
28 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

Our School Direct programme is accredited by Durham University and follows the same structure of their secondary PGCE courses. Alongside the in-school training and practical experience offered by all Think North East partner schools, you will benefit from approximately 60 days of training at Durham University, allowing you to take advantage of the university’s academic and research expertise.

The duration of the course is one academic year and comprises two placements. Both placements will be in schools within the Think North East Partnership (Sedgefield Community College, Academy 360, Durham Johnston, Excelsior Academy, Wellfield School). The first (Preliminary) placement will run from September to December, with the second (Main) placement running from January until June.

From the start of the programme you will be able to observe, first hand, how experienced teachers establish routines and build relationships with new classes. You will also be assigned a mentor, who will support you throughout your training.

During the first few weeks of your first placement you will:

  • observe experienced teachers as they build relationships with new tutor groups and teaching classes;
  • be attached to a tutor group;
  • attend ‘Research Related Professional Practice’ study sessions at Durham University, focusing on topics such as safeguarding, teaching and learning strategies, and behaviour management;
  • be given time to help you to understand school policies and subject specific schemes of work;
  • be assigned your own timetable, allowing you to observe and support the classes you will be teaching later in the placement.

Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Applications close 30th June 2020.

Interview process

Selection Days will be carried out throughout the year as long as places remain available. Successful applicants will be asked in advance to prepare a short presentation entitled ‘my favourite area of my subject specialism.’ On the day, you will be asked to complete a short written task and a formal interview will take place providing an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and 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;
  • 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.

How school placements work

Across the training year you will complete placements in two schools from within the Think North East Partnership. The first placement will run from September to December, with the second placement running from January until June.

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, 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 ensure you are placed in schools that allow you to carry out your other commitments when training.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £20,500

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.

Financial support

You could be eligible for either:

  • a scholarship of £28,000
  • a bursary of £26,000

With a scholarship or bursary, you’ll also get early career payments of £2,000 in your second, third and fourth years of teaching (£3,000 in some areas of England).

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Physics or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



You must have

  • an undergraduate degree in your chosen subject area, 50% of which should be relevant to the subject you will teach;
  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above (or suitable equivalent) in both English Language and Mathematics.

If your undergraduate degree is not in the subject you are looking to teach, but you do hold an A-Level in your chosen subject, you may be able to apply for the course subject to successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.

Other requirements

Offers of a training place with Think North East are conditional on completion of a satisfactory DBS check.

A five day Primary School Experience must also be completed before QTS is awarded. This may be done before training commences, or during the training year.

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, 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

Our courses are all accredited by Durham University. The university is ranked within the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2020, with a record 18 subjects also featuring in the World Top 100.

Durham University is also ranked amongst the world Top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2019. Nationally, it is consistently ranked in the top ten UK universities and is ranked fifth in the Guardian University Guide 2020.

Such rankings demonstrate the university’s excellence in teaching and research, combined with a positive student experience.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are able to provide full access and support for candidates with disabilities and other needs. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your specific needs and how we could support you.

Contact details

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


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Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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