The University of Nottingham Physics (F3X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

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 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

The PGCE course is a one-year full-time programme. When at university you will be part of two learning cohorts, your subject group and a Schools and Society group. In subject studies you will explore: the principles which underlie the teaching of your particular subject; varied and detailed approaches for effective teaching and learning; how educational theory illuminates subject teaching. In Schools and Society studies you will explore the wider issues of becoming a teacher such as child protection, special educational needs, inclusivity etc.

You will spend at least two thirds of your time working in schools, and the remaining time in University. The course starts with a two-week introduction to the course, including two days spent in your first placement school.

First Placement

From week three of the course you will spend most of your time in your first placement with regular days returning to the University to reflect on, and develop, your practice.

You return to the University either side of your Christmas break to work with your peers, reflecting on your experiences in school and preparing for your next teaching placement.

Second Placement

During this placement you will become part of the school community and work professionally as a member of a team. Following an induction in school, you gradually build up your teaching across the age and attainment range. By week 3, you will be teaching approximately two-thirds of a teacher’s timetable.

You will return for several University-based days that focus on a range of professional development issues and allow for contact with peers and tutors.


The PGCE course is a Masters level course incorporating two 30-credit modules entitled ‘Schools and Society’ and ‘Learning and Teaching’.

For the award of the PGCE and to achieve Teacher Standards, you must have reached the required standard in both the theory and practice elements of the course. In keeping with the nature of the course, which is vocational and postgraduate in approach, there are no written examinations.

Practical Teaching is assessed by University tutors, school-based mentors and coordinators, and External Examiners. Account is taken of your work over all school-based elements of the course and your own written records of such work.

On the course, you are required to submit various pieces of work related to your subject and Schools and Society programmes. The assignments may be written pieces or presentations and may include collaborative work.

School placements

The School of Education has a strong and well-established partnership of approximately 100 secondary schools. Our partner schools are mainly situated in Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, Derby City, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. There are also partner schools in Leicestershire and Staffordshire. Our Partnership Committee, and working groups for each subject, work with School of Education staff in planning, developing and monitoring our courses. All our school based mentors and coordinators attend mentor development sessions throughout the academic year.

You will undertake two extended placements in at least two schools, enabling you to gain a broad experience of different educational settings. The course starts in early September and finishes at the end of June/early July. In week one of the course you will begin your first school placement, where you will be based for the autumn term. From January to June your main teaching practice will be in a different, contrasting setting.

When deciding placements we take account of the needs of individual students such as parental/caring commitments, prior experience and home location. You can be assured that the tutors do consider the placements very carefully and your existing skill set may be considered in relation to the tutors’ knowledge of schools’ specialisms and developments. Travel times vary from placement to placement but we aim to keep any commute to within an hour.

In the summer term there is an opportunity for you to undertake a placement in an alternative educational setting i.e. sixth form college, special needs school, to further broaden your experiences.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

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 able to offer an equivalency test to University of Nottingham PGCE offer holders only.

You are only able to take the equivalency test once.

There is no charge to take the test.

We do not accept any other equivalency tests.

Personal qualities

During the recruitment process, we will be focussing on your potential to be a great teacher. The qualities we look for in applicants are:

  • a desire to teach and work with young people from all backgrounds
  • effective communication skills
  • a commitment to work hard on the course: Teaching is a job where you can really make a difference to young people’s lives
  • determination to succeed: Success rates on the Nottingham PGCE course are high. It isn’t because the course is easy!
  • a readiness to listen and share
  • a flexible approach to learning and teaching

Other requirements

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 on the course.

You will be subject to safeguarding checks which include an enhanced DBS check.

Before a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status can be made we will need to be assured of your proficiency in English and mathematics.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

About the training provider

The University of Nottingham has been involved in teacher education for over 120 years and our postgraduate Initial Teacher Education provision is one of the largest in the country; courses inspected during our latest Ofsted visit were rated ‘outstanding’.

We offer primary and secondary routes, emphasising practical school-based training, supported by an exploration of established and current educational theory and thinking. We have a clearly articulated set of strands and phases outlining the development of specialised teacher knowledge over the year, supporting our students to understand, and take ownership of, their professional development. Our courses are designed to challenge students’ ideas on learning and teaching and enable them to experience and develop for themselves a wide variety of styles and techniques to use in the classroom.

University tutors working with our beginning teachers were successful and innovative teachers in schools and are now experienced teacher educators committed to developing the next generation of teachers.

With a strong partnership with schools in the region, all of our courses are underpinned by a shared ethos and work toward shared aims. Our students are highly rated locally and a large proportion of them go on to work in partner schools each year.

The University of Nottingham ITE courses are popular and large cohorts offer excellent peer support throughout the course. We have a strong emphasis on emotional wellbeing, supporting our beginning teachers to develop their own identities and embed work ethics that enable them to thrive and enjoy teaching as a profession.

Interview process

We endeavour to make our interview process as stress-free as possible to enable you to get the most from the experience. When you come for interview, there are likely to be other applicants being interviewed alongside you. You will not be in competition with the other applicants – in fact, we are keen to see that you can work collaboratively with others.

The criteria we will use for selection at interview are:

  • an awareness of current educational issues
  • a realistic and positive view of schools and schooling
  • an open and enquiring mind
  • clear reasons for wanting to teach
  • motivation and commitment to teaching all pupils
  • maturity and self confidence
  • an appropriate level of subject knowledge in your subject

International students

We can sponsor Student visas, but this is not guaranteed.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

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 on the course.

The University of Nottingham is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable teaching and learning environment and we work closely with our partnership schools to ensure that any student who has a specific need is supported to thrive as a beginning teacher. We believe the teacher workforce should reflect the diversity of school communities.

We have a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of students with special needs and disabilities. The School of Education is supported by our wellbeing team who work with students when necessary to ensure they access all available support from the University but also to support with any issues that specifically relate to being a student teacher.

We have many examples of supporting students with a range of needs and, in the past, have worked with students to plan placements in advance that accommodate their needs and mediated needs with partnership schools to ensure additional support is in place.

You are welcome to discuss any special needs or disabilities with us at any time during, or after, the application process.

Contact this training provider

0115 951 5151
The School of Education
Jubilee Campus

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching 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 speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (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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