University of Sunderland
English (Q3X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
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
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Our popular English course aims to provide you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills needed to become an effective and innovative teacher of English.

We will extend your awareness of the range and scope for English as a subject in schools today, provide opportunities for you to experience, and explore a variety of approaches.

As an English teacher, you will encourage generations of young people to discover the power and beauty of literature, enabling them to develop their own skills in communication and expression.

For more information please visit;

Interview process

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have taken the necessary steps, as requested by the Government to close University Campuses, including our Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s.

We have worked hard as an institution to put procedures in place to support our applicants and current students during this difficult time. The School of Education team are still accepting teacher training applications and are still organising interviews for those applications which are successful for September 2020 intake.

Our interview process will be organised in the same way as before with an email being sent to those who need to attend. Interviews will take place online through Skype.

Before the interview takes place you will receive an email from the Interview Officer who will work with you to schedule a time with the interviewer.

If you live outside of the UK we will be able to perform Skype interviews when required.

How school placements work

Initial Teacher Training courses at the University of Sunderland are run in partnership with a wide range of nurseries, schools, academies, colleges and other educational settings including specialist alternative provision settings and dedicated SEND settings. This ensures that all trainees have a wide and varied experience in different types of settings as an integral part of their training.

Currently we have partnerships with over 200 settings covering many local authorities and all phases of education. As a trainee teacher following a Secondary PGCE programme you will spend a minimum of 120 days on placement working and studying in a number of partner settings. Placements are sourced by our Placement Team who work very closely with academic colleagues to find you bespoke placements. You will work with trained mentors who are experienced members of the school, academy or college staff. They will help support you in your training, further your interests, helping you become the best secondary teacher you can be.

Prior to starting the programme, trainees are encouraged to spend time on a five-day Pre-Programme Placement, assisting and observing in a primary school of their own choice. This ensures that trainees starting the programme have recent and relevant experience in school settings and they understand the diet of education that primary school pupils experience before transitioning to middle or secondary schools. This experience also provides an understanding of current education practice that is built upon during lectures at the University and in the Teaching Practice which follows.

Students following a University based PGCE programme spend three days per week in their placement school undertaking observation and preparation for their later assessed period of teaching. The remaining time in these weeks is spent at University consolidating their experience and learning subject related content alongside wider education theory and practice. Trainees undertake a number of assessed full weeks of teaching, all of which we aim to ensure take place in a single setting. At the end of this placement, targets and feedback from the setting are used by tutors and placement team to help find a complimentary setting for your second teachingpractice.


The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £12,000

Financial support

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 will usually need a 2:2 (or above) honours degree from a UK Higher Education institution or an equivalent qualification and be deemed suitable to train to teach by the School of Education at the University of Sunderland.

You should also have GCSE grade C or above in Mathematics and English, or equivalent qualifications. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. We will only accept equivalencies from

Personal qualities

We do not look for a one size fits all model of a trainee teacher – quite the opposite. We are looking for people who demonstrate a passion for developing the learning experiences of young people. An awareness of young people is an advantage and may come from a wide variety of sources. We do, however, look for trainee teachers who are willing to have a go; eager to engage, and up for a challenge. We create confident, competent teachers and a willingness to take on board feedback and use it to develop is something we look for.

Other requirements

In addition to academic qualifications, you must also:

  • Have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (supplied by the University once applicant passes interview)

  • Complete a medical pro forma (based on DFEE Circular 8/92) (supplied by the University once applicant passes interview)

  • The Government have stated that they will be removing the Professional Skills Test condition for all Teacher Trainees from March 2020. “A new process for assessing numeracy and literacy will be introduced for ITT starting in 2020” We will update all applicants on any changes in the assessment of literacy and numeracy when we receive it.

About the training provider

The University of Sunderland is an ambitious university with a global reach. We have 20,000 students at our four campuses worldwide – two in Sunderland on the North East coast, one in London and our newest in Hong Kong. The University has been awarded Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework which demonstrates our high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

The School of Education have recently been voted 2nd in the U.K (1st in England) for it’s Undergraduate Education courses according to the Guardian University League Tables, 2020. We are extremely proud of this accolade.

According to our most recent Ofsted report, some key strengths of our provisions are strong communication and positive relationships between the University and its partner schools, and the commitment of trainers in partnership schools to the all-round development of the trainees. Our comprehensive courses will give you the skills needed to make a real difference in educating the next generation, as well as thrive on a personal level with a rewarding career.

With 110 years-worth of experience of training teachers we are highly regarded in the local area, with links to 230 schools and colleges.

  • All our Primary and Secondary ITT courses are accredited by the Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA ) for QTS (Post Compulsory Education and Training does not award QTS)

Training with disabilities and other needs

We celebrate and value the diversity of all students and staff, working to ensure that all are welcome in our community and do not face discrimination or encounter barriers with regard to their disability.

Please contact the Disability Support Team for disability-related queries:

Email: Tel: 0191 515 2952

Contact details

0191 515 3000
Edinburgh Building
City Campus
Chester Road


Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Sir Tom Cowie Campus
St Peter’s, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR6 0DD
Yes A

Support and advice

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

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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