University of Leicester Social Sciences (L35X)

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

Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

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
Website
http://www.le.ac.uk/pgce

Contents

Course summary

The PGCE Social Science course aims to prepare you to meet the Teaching Standards fully and to teach Advanced level Psychology and/or Sociology with confidence.

The PGCE Social Science aims to:

  • Introduce you to the variety of strategies and techniques available to the teacher in the modern education system;
  • Model the above strategies and techniques in University sessions;
  • Provide a set of principles which will allow you to operate as effective practitioners in new and challenging situations;
  • Introduce you to wider issues which confront Social Science teachers;
  • Inform about current developments in education which impinge upon their role as Social Science teachers.

All training will be done as a Social Science group, sometimes joining with other subjects in the Humanities. In addition, all students may be required to teach one or more subject outside of their specialism including Sociology, Psychology, Criminology and/or Health & Social Care. It is also possible that students may teach some RE, History or Geography at KS3. All students will teach the PSHE curriculum at some point during their time in schools.

The Social Science subject specialism will cover a range of topics for example:

  • Psychology/Sociology curriculum and pedagogy
  • Controversial/Sensitive issues in Social Science
  • Research Methods including statistics in Social Science
  • Examination and Assessment Issues

Continuous assessment is used throughout the course and there are no examinations.

Selection for the Social Science course is based on the general qualities required by the University of Leicester course as a whole. However, there are three other issues that applicants need to note:

  • You may be expected to teach Sociology and Psychology, as well as other subjects with social science content (e.g. Health and Social Care, Criminology) as part of your school placement.

  • As the Social Sciences have a limited presence in the pre-16 curriculum and especially the KS3 curriculum, successful applicants will show that they have the knowledge to teach outside of the social science curriculum, usually in the form of some Humanities pre-14 or Vocational teaching pre-16. To support Social Science students with this they may, at times, form part of a Humanities subject group along with History, RE and Geography specialists for generic sessions.

  • As competition for places on the Social Science course is fierce, early application for a place on the course is advised.

School placements

You will undertake two secondary teaching practicums in our Partnership Schools. Leicester is ideally placed to offer the opportunity to work in both inner city and rural environments, with pupils from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. We try to place students in contrasting schools to ensure you have a rich and varied experience in your initial training year and that you have the opportunity to teach across the 11-18 age range.

The placements are referred to as ‘Phase A’ and ‘Phase B’ placements.

Phase A

In planning your placements, your subject tutor will try to balance the distance you are asked to travel with your individual needs and our knowledge of our wide range of school partners.

After induction you will spend 8 weeks in your Phase A placement school. You will build on existing experience and develop new skills with support from the school’s Coordinator for Initial Teacher Education and a subject mentor (co-tutor) who will oversee your professional development during the placement and liaise closely with your university tutor who will also support you. During this placement you will be expected to fulfil a 50% teaching timetable.

Phase B

During your second placement you will spend about 14 weeks in a different school, also supported by a mentor, ITE Coordinator and university tutor. During this placement you will be expected to fulfil a 66% teaching timetable.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in social sciences 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 equivalency tests from EquivalencyTesting.com or A Star Equivalency.

Personal qualities

The PGCE is a challenging course, and we are looking for applicants with a wide range of skills, knowledge, experiences and an aptitude for teaching. These skills include the ability to form relationships, good communication, commitment to learning and teaching and reflective qualities.

Other requirements

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report. The University will provide more information about this should you be offered a place.

All offers are subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure. We will provide instructions regarding the DBS application process once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course.

If you have lived abroad for over three months or more in the past five years you may be required to complete an Overseas Police Check. We will provide further information should you be offered a place.

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 £16,850

PGCE students can apply for loans from Student Finance England and may be entitled to a [tax-free bursary] - (https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training/bursaries-and-scholarships-for-teacher-training)

Please note that International students will not be eligible for bursaries offered by the Department for Education. For more information, please visit the [Get into Teaching website] - (https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training/bursaries-and-scholarships-for-teacher-training)

Financial support from the training provider

The University of Leicester offer a range of scholarships and funding. Please visit our [website to find out more]: (https://le.ac.uk/study/postgraduates/fees-funding/scholarships-discounts)

About the training provider

The School of Education has a long and successful history of teacher training and a strong reputation for producing graduate teachers prized by schools.

The School of Education is located in the heart of Leicester, identified in recent research as one of the most affordable study destinations in Britain. We are within five minutes’ walk of both the railway station and the main University of Leicester campus with its student support services and award-winning library.

The School of Education works in partnership with over 150 local schools. They represent an unusually varied and interesting range of institutions, including rural village schools, suburban and inner city schools and academies, and special schools. Many of the schools have a diverse, multi-ethnic population. Training to teach here provides the solid foundations to teach in a range of different contexts.

We are also a proactive partner with individual schools and alliances who offer the University of Leicester PGCE via the School Direct and SCITT training routes. Our close and collaborative relationship with partner schools ensures that, whichever training route they choose, University of Leicester PGCE students benefit from the same wide-ranging but consistently high quality experiences.

Interview process

Candidates who pass the screening stage of the recruitment process will be invited to attend an interview at the University of Leicester. If you are a school direct applicant you will also be invited to an interview at the lead school. The interview at the University of Leicester will typically last a full day and will include a tour of the School of Education.

You will be introduced to a written subject task that you will complete on the day. The interview is not a daunting process but rather a discussion about your suitability and preparation for going into teaching. During the interview, you will explore any additional preparation needed to help put you in the best possible position to engage successfully with the course from the start.

Where Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are available for the subject this will be discussed with you at interview. If it is considered essential for you to complete a SKE then it will be made a condition of any offer of a place.

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

The School of Education’s AccessAbility Tutor will contact all students who declare a disability and offer advice about the support which they may be entitled. We ask students to tell us how their disability may affect their learning and any adjustments they needed in order to access their studies.

These requests, with students’ permission, are passed on to the relevant tutors, lecturers and schools so that they can accommodate all student needs.

Students can contact the School of Education’s AccessAbility Tutor and the University’s AccessAbility Centre for further advice or to report a problem.

Some examples of how we support students with disabilities include:

  • Accessible school placements provided for students with a physical disability.

  • Tutors who are sensitive to the needs of students with mental health difficulties.

  • Slide presentations and resources are made available to all students at least 24 hours before a session takes place.

  • The AccessAbility Centre provides after hours appointments for PGCE students who are on placement and unable to attend during the day.

  • Disabled parking permits are provided to enable students with physical disabilities to park close to university buildings.

  • A variety of lesson planning templates is discussed with students with dyslexia to identify one that meets their needs and aids progression.

Contact this training provider

Email
EdEnquiries@le.ac.uk
Telephone
0116 252 3676
Website
http://www.le.ac.uk/pgce
Address
21 University Road
Leicester
United Kingdom
LE1 7RF

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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