The PGCE programme in your chosen subject will give you the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the PGCE award. The PGCE carries 60 credits at Masters Level which could later contribute towards a Master’s Degree in Education (180 credits).
The programme covers a wide range of topics set out by the DfE in the Core Content Framework that you will address as a teacher. These include managing behaviour, curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, professional behaviours as well as challenging disadvantage. The topics are research informed and are regularly revisited during the year in various contexts. This approach allows continual reinforcement and deepening of your knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, and development as a professional, teacher and subject specialist.
The course duration is approximately 180 days. You will spend approximately 60 days outside of the classroom on many aspects of teaching. Most of these 60 days of training will be at the Lancaster campus. A number of days will be subject specific, designed to develop your knowledge of how to teach your subject known as Pedagogy for Learning (PFL) days. On these days both School Direct and university based students are taught together which supports a community of practice. The other 120 days will be in two contrasting school placements. For these placements you will be supported by both school and university colleagues to meet the standards for QTS.
The course is assessed in two different ways. The programme curriculum and placement involves continuous and formative assessment by school and university colleagues culminating in a pass/ fail summative judgement for the recommendation of QTS using all the accrued evidence. You will develop an electronic portfolio during the year to submit as evidence your development of the necessary knowledge and skills. The two Master’s level modules are assessed by the submission of four written assignments on teaching and learning in your subject and wider educational issues. The four written assignments are spread across the year to try to even out workload and two of them are formative to help develop your Masters level writing towards the two summative assignments. They enable you to deepen and demonstrate your growing knowledge and understanding essential to being a competent classroom practitioner.
The University of Cumbria and its legacy institutions, St Martins and Charlotte Mason colleges, have a long history of training successful teachers.
The University of Cumbria works in partnership with over 700 schools based across a wide geographical area including Cumbria, North Lancashire and London.
As the University is multi-site the schools used for placement depend on the campus a student is based at (i.e. Students based on the London campus attend placement in London).
Schools are selected based on their current OFSTED grading and their understanding of the University’s programmes and grading criteria. Schools provide a trained professional mentor who is supported by a dedicated university based academic tutor (Partnership Tutor).
Students will undertake three assessed placements that increase in length as they progress through the course experiencing over 120 days in a school setting. Students will experience all primary age ranges depending on the programme selected. From student feedback the average travel time to placement is as follows; less than 30 minutes - 53%, 31 to 60 minutes - 40%, 61 to 90 minutes - 7%. The University places a limit of 90 minutes travel time to placement.
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.
Your degree subject should be in biology 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 are happy to accept GCSE equivalency tests from:
A Star Equivalency
We’re looking for evidence of motivation and appropriate professional values. A strong personal statement conveying an enthusiasm for the subject, for working with young people and for teaching and learning.
A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check.
Satisfactory Occupational Health medical check prior to starting the course
A satisfactory academic (University) or a satisfactory professional reference if it is more than 3 years since academic work.
Evidence of the potential to work at Masters level.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
Stated fees are subject to confirmation.
About the training provider
We are the University of Cumbria, where people are at the heart of all we do. We uplift our students to achieve everything they’re capable of and make a difference in their chosen profession. As a growing, multi-campus university home to over 10,000 students, our mission is to provide you with skills to set you apart in the jobs market. In fact, 96% of our graduates go into employment or further study within 15 months of graduating (HESA, 2020). If you have a passion for enriching the lives of children and young people through learning, we have the resources and experience to help you become the best educator you can be, from a personal tutor and a course tailored to suit your needs; to intimate classes where academics know you personally.
With over 100 years of experience in teacher training, we nurture aspiring teachers to develop the knowledge and confidence needed to inspire young people, closely supported by expert academics. We work with more than 20 school alliances across the whole of the UK, providing trainee-teachers with the opportunity to hone their skills in a real school setting perfect for them. Our campus-based and school-direct programmes are defined by placement experience, preparing you to enter a teaching role as soon as you graduate. What’s more, our PGCEs are informed by cutting-edge innovation, provided by our research centres.
Start your teaching journey in Lancaster, Carlisle or London with the University of Cumbria.
You may be invited to attend an interview for this programme and these will take place with our course team. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive full information about the day in advance so that you can prepare.
All candidates undertake a range of tasks including a micro-teaching task, group discussions, individual interview and subject knowledge tasks to test the ability to think and write at Masters level.
Interviews are currently held virtually via Microsoft Teams. This is subject to change.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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 are committed to widening participation and provide a range of services to enable those with disabilities or specific learning difficulty (SpLD) to access their chosen course. These adjustments include adjustments to formal timed examinations, digital recorders, assistance in the library, an individualised Disability Action Plan and access to a range of non-medical help services such as practical support, note taking, specialist mentoring and study skills is also offered. All of our campuses have accessible learning and teaching spaces as well as adapted residential accommodation. The University provides a variety of assistive software and has collated more than 100 free accessibility apps for general use, and provides specialist hardware such as larger keyboards and mice, and adjustable height desks.
Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team provides various types of support to help you maintain or improve your wellbeing whilst you study. We have a range of counselling, psychotherapy and other mental health professional available for one-to-one appointments, workshops, and group work. We can also provide information, advice, on mental health, as well as signposting you to local services in the community.
We provide a supportive and nurturing environment where we know you as an individual, not a number, ensuring you are treated equally, fairly and with respect, whatever your needs. Support and adjustments are offered to enable you to meet both the academic and professional outcomes of your course.
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
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).