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What makes PGCE: School Direct Secondary at Worcester special?

This course provides an immersive and inspiring, school-centred training route into teaching. The innovative design and delivery of content is different from other PGCEs, as it is led by our partnership schools who oversee the curriculum you follow, either individually or as part of a network.

Our excellent relationships with partner schools allow them to work closely with us to ensure you gain practical teaching experience tailored to suit the needs of the organisation. We provide state-of-the-art facilities to support your subject knowledge and placement experience - enabling you to deliver teaching with impact whilst gaining your qualification.

Graduates enjoy excellent employability prospects and the majority of our partner schools offer early career teaching posts to our School Direct Trainees.



Key features

  • Immersion in the life of a school and all the daily challenges and requirements that it entails.
  • Taught sessions offering specialist subject guidance in University and in a contextual setting in your School Based Training. These are led by your School Direct Alliance and build on your University based professional studies.
  • Work with trained mentors in your development as a teacher during two contrasting placements to put your learning into practice and develop your teaching skills for practical results.
  • Course elements exploring wider issues of education and society enhance your prospects as a future leader in the profession.
  • A choice of enhancement activities help enhance your expertise and career prospects, from Teenage Mental Health, Citizenship and PSHE, Education in Climate Emergency, English as an Additional Language, Special Educational Needs and Disability, Technology Enhanced Learning, Second Subject, Educational Research. Aspiring Leaders is an additional enhancement that runs towards the end of the course.
  • Unparalleled personal and academic support throughout the programme, from colleagues in school and tutors in University.
  • With 60 credits at postgraduate level and a strong international reputation, a PGCE can take you anywhere, from Masters study to a job on the other side of the world.
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Postgraduate Open Day

Book a place at our Postgraduate Open Day, on Saturday 22 April 2023 between 10am - 2pm, to learn more about this course, get a feel for our campuses, and meet your lecturers. 

Book here
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It’s not too late to apply for a PGCE

You can still apply for a PGCE. Don't be tempted to rush an application together as fast as you can, you still want to make sure that your application is as good as possible.

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Thinking of Teaching? PGCE Secondary: Virtual Taster Events

Our virtual taster events are a great opportunity to find out more about studying our PGCE Secondary courses at Worcester. Find out everything you need to know about the courses and ask us any questions you have.

The next PGCE Secondary virtual taster events are:

Tuesday 7th March 4-5:30pm

Tuesday 25th April 4-5:30pm


Book your place
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject area. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (formerly grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English Language and mathematics (or equivalent) (for 2022 entry, applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer equivalency test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: 

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this.  You may already be part of the DBS update service. Find out about the update service here. As part of the DBS process you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Other information

To help you prepare for your interview you can expect questions covering the following:


  • the subject knowledge required for teaching the subject curriculum in school
  • your ability to critically reflect on your prior experiences in relation to your future development as a teacher
  • your understanding of the UK education system and the wider role of a teacher
  • how you have overcome challenges in your life and shown resilience
  • how you plan to meet the academic and teaching demands of the course.

In addition, we are looking for enthusiasm, commitment, and potential. Clear verbal and written communication skills are integral to this which you will have an opportunity to demonstrate throughout the interview.

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential.
  • Interviews will be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

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Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place
Course content

What will you study

Modules within this course are linked to your specialist subject, professional studies and related assessments. You will undertake some modules in your specialist area and others related to professional studies where the focus is related to pedagogy and practice. Modules relating to professional studies are the backbone of the course and feed into subject sessions, your work in school and related teaching. Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full course content details. 

You will be supported by a range of experience professionals including a school subject mentor, a school professional mentor who will oversee your training in school and your university subject tutor. 

Enhancement Activities

You may select one Enhancement Activity (EA). There are currently seven EAs available: SEND, Teenage Mental Health, Education in Climate Emergency (ECE), Citizenship & PSHE, EAL, Technology Enhanced Learning and Second Subject.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

This EA gives you the opportunity to think further about the principles and practice of successful teaching of students with ‘special educational needs’. This EA will include a 2-day placement in a Special School setting arranged by the University.

Teenage Mental Health

This EA will help you to identify and understand poor mental health in your students and the factors which impact on both good and poor mental health. You will learn reliable strategies to help yourself and the students in your classroom to cultivate well-being.

Education in Climate Emergency

This EA will give you the opportunity to explore the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required to support teachers, learners and school communities in our time of climate crisis.

Citizenship and PSHE

This EA provides a real opportunity to explore some of the principles which underpin effective citizenship and PSHE education and put some of these principles into practice.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

This EA will introduce you to EAL learners and give you some insight into the way languages are learnt. It will also give you practical advice on supporting EAL learners in mainstream classrooms, and provide a closer look at the language in the curriculum and the demands this places on EAL learners.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

This EA provides the opportunity to use and assess these electronic resources in a subject-specific context to enhance the learning process for the pupils.

Second Subject

We are currently offering this EA to PE trainees who would like to begin developing a second subject in mathematics or science.

Aspiring Leaders

The Aspiring Leaders is an additional EA that will be run towards the end of the course. You will be invited to apply during the PGCE course.

This EA will give you the opportunity to understand how schools are run and your role within the school. Trainees who choose this EA have an opportunity to gain a greater insight into the difference between the academic and pastoral roles within schools by speaking to experienced staff about the differences.

"Our high quality programmes and innovative teaching methods prepare and train the very best professionals. Worcester graduates have made a huge difference in the field of education."

Catriona Robinson, Head of School of Education

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

You will benefit from taught sessions in your subject specialism and in professional studies in University, a School Based Training programme run by your School Direct Alliance and professional studies in your placement school. Your mentors build on taught sessions in their work with you in school, and you will have opportunity to plan, rehearse and practice what you have learnt in taught sessions during your placements in two contrasting schools.

At the heart of good teaching is the desire to promote learning, and the love of learning. Nothing is taught until it is learnt. To achieve this, the programme aims to develop teachers who are:

  • skilled and inspirational subject specialists
  • confident and reflective practitioners
  • effective communicators who can work in partnership
  • informed intellectuals who promote a love of learning
  • resilient professionals able to demonstrate high standards of personal conduct


The course is assessed in two strands:

• Professional practice

• Subject studies

The programme aims to train you to meet the Teachers’ Standards (2013) for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Two assignments provide the opportunity to gain 60 credits at Master’s level. The course is taught in an holistic fashion with constant re-visiting of themes, topics and skills.

The modules are:

Module 1: Developing Learning and Teaching

This module builds on taught sessions in the autumn/winter terms and school experience. This culminates in Assignment A that is submitted in January and is assessment at Masters’ level.

Module 2: Evidence Informed Teaching

This module focuses on school experience in the later section of the course and develops research skills to support you towards becoming an evidence informed practitioner. This culminates in Assignment B in the summer term that is marked at Masters’ level.

Plus a professional portfolio which provides evidence of meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE 2013)

This portfolio focuses on your school experience.

The overall PGCE course is assessed as pass or fail and requires you to pass all three components.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

Visitors at a University of Worcester open day

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Where could it take you?

There are excellent prospects in teaching, Early Career Teachers (ECTs) have one of the highest employment rates of all graduates and are very much in demand, especially those who have trained in a shortage subject.

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Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.
Eve McGlynn

Eve McGlynn

After finishing my undergraduate degree at Birmingham University, I took a year to assess my options before applying for the School Direct teacher training programme at Worcester. In this time, I worked for an estate agents and as a secretary in a doctor’s surgery. I always say that it was this year that prompted me to start my teacher training; I knew after sitting at a computer for a year that I needed a career that involved working more actively and with people.

Before applying for a training programme, I did some research on the style of training that might best suit me. I opted for the School Direct programme with Worcester University and Stour Vale Academy Trust as it would enable me to get straight into the classroom and spend more time learning ‘on the job’ than in university. This approach really appealed to me; after spending so much time in further education and office-based jobs, I just wanted to be in a school setting! My training year was everything I hoped it would be: quality subject sessions in university, quality professional studies (provided by both the university and trust) and quality mentoring in my placement schools.

Three years on from my training year, I am working at my first placement school, Redhill in Stourbridge, which is part of Stour Vale Academy Trust. I was supported through my NQT year by a mentor within my department and kept in contact with both Worcester University and the mentors at Stour Vale who all took interest in my developing career.

I am now the Coordinator for KS4 English at Redhill, as well as having mentored trainees for two consecutive years. In September, I will be mentoring one of our NQTs and supporting the mentors of our School Direct trainees. I have also kept in contact with the subject mentor for English at Worcester University and have delivered sessions on developments in the subject to the new cohorts for three years running. My experiences with both establishments have been extremely positive and I owe a huge degree of my success to their expert mentorship and training programmes.

Charlotte Bridges Hereteach

Charlotte Bridges - Hereteach

In my previous career, I worked as an IT Engineer, building and supporting systems. Part of my role included running training courses for the customers, which I thoroughly enjoyed. When I started considering a career change, teaching seemed like an obvious path for me to take based on my past experiences.

The support from the Schools Direct program was fantastic right from the moment I submitted my application. I felt that being part of the INSET days in September and being in school on the first days that pupils arrived gave me a huge advantage as it gave me an opportunity to see the school, get started again after the summer and it allowed me to find my feet as both staff and students were settling back in. The professional studies sessions provided were well organised and gave insight into theory being put into practice as well as visiting other schools and seeing how they are run differently.

I am now teaching in the Computer Science department, I feel I have had so much support throughout the year. Staff across the whole school have been supportive and approachable in particular, my NQT Mentor and line manager have always been available to help if needed.

Dr Joe Hodgskiss

Dr Joe Hodgkiss

In my previous career, I was working in finance, advising companies how to invest their money and manage risks. I had been into South Bromsgrove a few times to do some finance education sessions and really liked the feel of the place. I think this, along with having children of my own, caused me to reconsider my career choice.


The Schools Direct program was excellent. It felt like we got a good balance of theory from the University sessions, and then how to directly and practically apply the theory through the professional mentor sessions in school.

I am now teaching in the maths department and get good support from my subject mentor and the school. I have also been on an “aspiring leader” program, which has been great for meeting and discussing approaches with people from other subject areas.


Erin Kennedy Psychology

Erin Kennedy, Psychology

‘My time at the University of Worcester was both enjoyable and valuable. The tutors managed to minimised the impact of the pandemic and ensured that we still received the best quality training despite learning remotely. Our university subject tutor made our subject sessions engaging and picked placements that were a perfect match for us. During my first placement and now my ECT year, Cleeve School has been helpful in providing new opportunities and supporting my development as a teacher.’



How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2023/24 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2023/24 will be £15,800 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You can get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or have a disability.

Some courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, trips, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. More information and guidance on costs are available from the Home Office. You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Not sure about your subject knowledge?

Build up or refresh your existing knowledge with a Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course programme before the course.

Subjects offered:
Biology, Chemistry, Computing*, Design & Technology (Food), English, French*, German*, Maths*, Physics, Religious Education, Spanish*

*All delivered by external providers. All other SKE courses are delivered by the University of Worcester

Find out about the bursary.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply now

Applications for PGCE courses should be made online through the government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website for detailed information on how to apply for a PGCE.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Secondary PGCE Office

Administration enquiries