The University of Sheffield English (Q3X1)

Postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

A postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) 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 PGDE courses include credits towards a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 19
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our mission is to open minds to the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning by developing reflective, creative and inquiring teachers. Our course prepares you to teach your specialist subject(s) to pupils in the 11-19 age range.

You can find out more about your subject by clicking here and scrolling to Modules.

The course is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which offers exactly the same teaching experience as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), but with additional Masters credits, meaning that you will be able to complete your Masters with us as soon as you qualify as a teacher.

You will spend two thirds of the year in school, and one third at the University, giving an excellent blend of practical experience and also a chance to reflect and make use of the research expertise of University-based tutors.

To complement your development as a teacher you will complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring key issues relating to your subject and your role.

Key Features of the Sheffield Course

  • A dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students.

  • Excellent school partnerships. Our longstanding relationships with schools enable us to ensure continuity for students, and many of our partnership schools are closely involved in the University-based parts of the course.

  • A strong subject-specific cohort. You will have the chance to develop working relationships with your peers whilst in the University, which provides you with a support network once out on placement.

  • The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching.


Your progress in developing the skills of a teacher will be continually assessed throughout the year. You will always be kept aware of your progress and given opportunities to focus on specific areas where necessary.

Your academic work is carefully timed to ensure that you are able to manage your workload. Your Masters assignments are assessed by your University-based tutors, who offer extensive support and guidance to ensure that you are able to succeed.

School placements

You will undertake four periods of school experience:

  • One week in a primary school early in the programme
  • An eight-week placement between October and December
  • A 13-week placement between January and May
  • A 2-week enrichment/enhancement placement in June

In all curriculum areas you will also have the chance to visit a number of additional schools as a part of the University-led parts of the PGDE. These visits will focus on specific themes such as working with pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) or supporting examination groups and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of schools beyond your main placements. Student teachers rate these visits very highly and appreciate the chance to develop a clear view of the kind of school in which they want to begin their careers.

We work with over 40 schools in Sheffield, Barnsley, Derbyshire, Doncaster, North Nottinghamshire and Rotherham. This range of inner-city, suburban and rural contexts provides rich opportunities for diverse and balanced experiences in schools, and we work hard to secure you two contrasting placements. Subject tutors, who will know you well, arrange your two main placements, taking into account personal circumstances such as child-care and any additional needs you may have.

On each main placement you are allocated a subject mentor who supports your development within the department. Your mentor meets with you on a weekly basis to discuss your progress and to help you identify any support you may need. Our mentors are highly trained and well supported by subject tutors meaning we are able to offer excellent continuity between the university-centred and school-centred elements of the course.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

If less than 50% of your degree is in your specialist subject you will be required to undertake an SKE course as a condition of entry.

As this is an 11-19 course we are preparing students to teach up to A-level and will normally take into account the balance of your degree content and profile of GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and results to assess your suitability for the programme.

If you have non-standard qualifications you are welcome to contact us to discuss your eligibility.

Your degree subject should be in English 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 do not accept equivalency tests from third party organisations. If you are required to take an equivalency test, we will provide full details about our own test(s) at interview. There is no charge for our tests.

Personal qualities

We consider six key elements when selecting students for our PGDE programme:

  • Commitment to teaching
  • Insight into the realities of teaching
  • Resilience
  • An analytical approach to problem solving
  • Enthusiasm for your subject
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

We will consider your strengths in each area during the selection process, including when considering your application form.

Other requirements

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills or an equivalent qualification. Further details on equivalent qualifications can be found here.

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. Full information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.

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 £21,400

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment and complete Safeguarding training. Information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.

Additional costs to cover non-UK criminal clearance checks may be levied where necessary, and will be payable by the student. Further information can be found here

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to and from school placements. However, financial support may be available to those students without a bursary, decisions are made on an individual basis.

Further information about fees, funding and additional costs for the PGDE can be found here

Financial support from the training provider

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to and from school placements. However, financial support may be available to those students without a bursary, decisions are made on an individual basis.

About the training provider

The University of Sheffield has a long-standing reputation in Initial Teacher Education (ITE); we’ve been training teachers and educational professionals for well over 50 years. Our highly qualified team includes a blend of university-based tutors and seconded school-based staff, enabling us to offer outstanding teacher development.

We focus on training student teachers to use their powerful subject knowledge to create interesting, relevant and innovative teaching. Our students will develop the skills to become transformative teachers who make a positive impact on the outcomes of pupils and have the capacity to become future leaders in the profession.

We currently have over 40 schools in our partnership enabling us to offer an excellent range of school experiences.

Our ITE course not only leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but also awards the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), which is professionally and academically recognised. We aim to develop the ability of student teachers to think and act reflectively to a high level with both a theoretical and practical knowledge of how to teach.

The University of Sheffield is a world top-100 university (Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2022). As a member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence. Our Students’ Union has been voted best in the UK for the past 5 years in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards.

Find out more on our website.

Interview process

Once we receive your application we will consider a number of factors in making our decision about whether to interview you:

  • Do you demonstrate a clear interest in becoming a teacher?
  • Do you have strong references that suggest you have the capacity to train to be a teacher?
  • Do you have strong subject knowledge, or an awareness that you need to develop this further?
  • Have you written a strong personal statement, demonstrating your commitment to teaching, your passion for your subject and an understanding of the realities of the profession?

Whilst school experience is not a requirement prior to interview, we find that candidates are more confident if they have spent at least some time in schools beforehand. However, if this is not possible, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the course and arrange school experience following the selection process.

Depending on your subject, your selection day will take place either at the University or in a partner school^, and will consist of the following elements:

  • Introduction to the course
  • A task designed to ensure that your subject knowledge is strong
  • A chance to interact with other candidates (where possible), and to reflect on this experience
  • A written task
  • A formal interview, carried out by a University tutor and a school representative
  • A reflection on interaction with pupils

You will be sent relevant materials for the day in advance.

^ Where appropriate, the selection day may take place remotely.

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

As a student teacher at The University of Sheffield you will have full access to support if you have a disability or additional needs. Full information is available here.

Additionally, we work closely with all our school partners to ensure that your needs are met whilst on placement, offering support and adaptations where necessary.

The more we know about your additional needs, the easier it is for us to support you to succeed in your development as a teacher.

Contact this training provider

0114 222 8177
The School of Education
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
S10 2TN

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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