The University of York Mathematics (G1X1)

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

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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

This course will prepare you to teach effectively at KS3 and KS4 (11-16), specialising in your subject area. During your PGCE, you will get to grips with up-to-date thinking and the latest research in teaching and learning. You’ll benefit from our expertise as a leading centre for curriculum development, professional training and research.

Trainees come to the course with a range of qualifications, employment backgrounds and interests. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to work collaboratively, sharing your experience, knowledge and technical expertise. Activities emphasise teamwork and require you to share the responsibility for your learning.

Throughout the course, you will be guided by mentors in your placement schools and supported by your university tutors.

Trainees complete three Masters-level written assignments (one per term) during the PGCE course on themes such as lesson observation and teaching evaluation. This course is worth 60 Masters-level credits (each module is worth 20 credits), which you can put towards a Masters degree through accreditation for prior credited learning (APCL). The practical teaching requirements and formal written assignments are designed not just to provide evidence that trainees have reached the required Teachers’ Standards but also as useful learning activities in themselves. A key feature of the York course is that theory and classroom practice are completely integrated. Assessment is continuous, across all aspects of the course.

Our secondary PGCE programmes prepare trainees to teach across the 11-16 age range. As part of the Post-16 Enhancement we offer trainees a range of experiences to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills for teaching at Post 16.

The Department of Education is located in Derwent College, on the west part of our Heslington campus. Your university sessions will take place in a variety of locations around campus. School placements take place in York, North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Hull and Teeside. We consider a daily commute to school placement of up to three hours in total (one and a half hours each way) to be reasonable on a professional training course such as ours is. We assist trainees who meet eligibility criteria with travel costs associated with school placements.

School placements

School experience forms the backbone of the PGCE course and a large proportion of the training year is spent in placement schools. Trainees will complete a week’s primary school placement at the start of the course, a two day per week placement in the first term plus two continuous teaching placement blocks in their first placement secondary school (each about five weeks) and a continuous block teaching placement in a different secondary school from February to May. There is also a two week placement in June.

Of the four school placement opportunities described above, two are teaching placements and occur in contrasting secondary schools. These two teaching placements offer opportunities to learn from experienced teachers and hone your professional skills. You’ll spend time observing and supporting lessons, before moving on to teach lessons by yourself, building up to a 50% teaching timetable by the end of your first secondary placement.

In your second teaching placement school you’ll take responsibility for teaching classes, supervised by an experienced teacher. You’ll gain experience teaching students of different ages and abilities, helping with assessment, coursework and examinations, as well as parents’ evenings and school outings. By the end of your second teaching placement your timetable will be made up of at least 50% teaching and 25% other contact time.

Over the two placements you’ll have opportunities to observe, plan, teach and assess pupils at a wide range of attainment in Key Stage 3 and 4. You should also get some post-16 experience in at least one of your teaching placement schools.

You’ll be expected to get involved in wider school life by, for example, working as a form tutor, taking part in meetings, contributing to extracurricular activities and communicating with parents and carers.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Your degree subject should be in mathematics 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.

Internal equivalency tests are available for any successful applicants who require them in order for an offer holder to meet the GCSE requirements of a conditional offer made.

Personal qualities

During our recruitment of PGCE candidates, we are looking for applicants who demonstrate a genuine passion for entering the teaching profession, an awareness of current education issues and enthusiasm for their subject. We are also looking for people who have excellent communication skills (spoken and written) and who are organised, reflective and adaptable.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic entry requirements, all PGCE candidates will be required to:

  • obtain an enhanced DBS check (plus overseas police checks for any countries where 12 months or more have been spent in the last ten years)
  • complete an occupational health check
  • meet the Department of Education’s English Language requirements (international students only)

We may ask you to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as a condition of your offer.

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 £21,950

EU students are classified as international students as per government regulations.

About the training provider

“Studying at York means you’ll graduate with more than a qualification.

You’ll be immersed in knowledge and opportunities that will encourage you to grow and succeed. You’ll be encouraged to think differently and benefit from outstanding teaching and learning outcomes.

The PGCE programme provided by the University of York is delivered by a friendly team of tutors who are passionate about both their subject areas and teaching. We pride ourselves on the supportive and approachable learning environment we provide to our teacher trainees and the positive feedback we receive about students’ learning experience.

In its most recent evaluation, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) awarded our PGCE programme a Grade 2: Good.”

Interview process

All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an in-person interview on campus. In particular circumstances (e.g. an applicant is currently living and working abroad) a remote interview via Zoom may be offered. This decision will be made by our PGCE Admissions Team.

The selection process comprises of a range of activities including:

  • an introduction to the course structure;
  • a short, subject-specific presentation regarding how you would use an item or artefact to enhance learning in a secondary classroom;
  • an individual problem-solving task;
  • an observed small group discussion;
  • a written task to test your subject knowledge;
  • an individual panel interview with a subject specialist.

You will be interviewed by members of the PGCE team from the University and colleagues from partner organisations (e.g. current and former teachers, local authority partners, etc.) Full details of the selection arrangements will be supplied to all candidates invited to interview.

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 University of York actively promotes inclusivity and we have a dedicated team who can advise and support students with a disability or long-term health condition. If you disclose any individual requirements to us, we will do our utmost to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are made so you can feel supported and able to fully engage with your PGCE course.

Examples of how we can offer support include:

  • working with you to find suitable school placements;
  • ensuring that you have a ‘Student Support Plan’ in place, if necessary, which will include any assessment requirements you may have (e.g. extra time for assignments);
  • providing learning materials and resources in accessible formats;
  • signposting to specialist colleagues who can advise about funding support for students with a disability.

The Department of Education is an open and friendly department and we provide support to all students studying with us. If you have any queries or concerns about accessibility before you start the programme or when enrolled, we encourage you to get in contact and we will be happy to assist you.”

Contact this training provider

01904 323460
University of York
Department of Education
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

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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