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Full time September PGCE 36 weeks distance learning

About the course

PGCE iQTS at the University of Sunderland is an internationally-recognised programme that leads to Qualified Teacher Status for England and Wales. This is recognised as an international gold standard for teaching and learning across the world.

The PGCE iQTS course blends applied teaching theory and practice in three taught modules and one extended teaching practice module of 120 days. It has been developed so that it can be delivered to Primary ‘homeroom’ teachers (all subjects) and Secondary subject specialist teachers. It is a 36-week full-time course, completed in one academic year, which must be undertaken in an international setting.

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Entry Requirements

When completing your application, you will need the consent of your school and a suitable mentor. The University of Sunderland will need to approve the school and designated mentor.

Along with your application, you will need to upload the forms which can be found on our website – all of which must be completed in full by your school and mentor. Multiple versions can be uploaded if they are signed/completed separately.

You will also need to submit a strong personal statement as part of your application which will be crucial in how your application is assessed.

 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Rob Murphy

"I trained as an actor for many years, but when I moved to Thailand almost six years ago, I began working as a teacher. Two years ago, I joined an international school as a primary and drama teacher. I gained knowledge and a passion to teach, but there were still many things I didn’t understand. To obtain a real understanding of how to improve school life for students, I wanted to further my knowledge and use my passion to make sure I could be the best teacher I could be.

For me, studying for the PGCE iQTS wasn’t just about ticking a box – it was about furthering my teaching and challenging myself to grow. I have always loved being part of a nurturing environment and I couldn’t think of a better university than Sunderland. The second I met my course leaders, I knew that not only did they have the knowledge to help me grow, but also a genuine passion for improving and celebrating teaching.

I’m only midway through the course, but so far, I’ve loved gaining a deeper understanding into why I was doing things the way I did previously. I can explain why I teach in this way and have gained insight into why this works, giving me the ability to reflect on a much deeper level.

My aim is to be the best possible teacher, to share my passion for my subject and help my students develop, whatever their needs. Feeling confident in my teaching and being happy and excited about my work is better than any pay rise. This course has reignited my desire to improve, and even outside of lessons, think about how I can be more inclusive, supportive, and communicative. It’s given me the tools to not just do my job well, but to lead and improve constantly.

If anybody was thinking about studying for the iQTS course, my advice would be to DO IT. Although it's a lot of work, every single session is taught by an academic who wants to share their story and encourage questions. Since joining the course, my hunger for learning and developing has truly awakened.

If you’re unsure whether this degree is for you, ask yourself if you want to be a better teacher. If the answer is yes, then there’s no better place in the world than Sunderland."


£1,000 tuition fee reduction for international postgraduate students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000 tuition fee reduction


All international students studying on-campus undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Application Procedure

Contact: student.helpline@sunderland.ac.uk / 0191 515 3000

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1. Care Leaver status - (on 1 September of your year of entry)
You must be aged under 25, a home student studying full time, undergraduate course or full-time taught Post Graduate programme and at least one of the following: spent 13 weeks or more in the Care of the Local Authority between your 14th and 16th birthday, were privately fostered until the age of 16, were 'looked after' until you were subject to a Special Guardianship Order.

2. You must be a (i) full-time undergraduate student or full-time postgraduate student on a taught programme.
You must be anyone who is aged 25 or over by 1 September 2019 and applying for, or currently studying, full-time at the University of Sunderland. You must be either studying for an undergraduate degree (includes Foundation degrees, Extended degree programmes and Top-Up degrees) which will start in 2019, applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland postgraduate degree.


1. Estranged students - (on 1 September on your year of entry)
Studying a full-time, undergraduate or taught postgraduate course, UK (Home) student, you are irreconcilably estranged from both parents/carers.

This means that either: You have had no contact at all with your parents/carers for at least 12 months and this is unlikely to change OR
You can demonstrate on other grounds that you are irreconcilably estranged from your parents (e.g. in exceptional circumstances, or assessed as independent by Student Finance England or by a local authority because you are estranged from both parents/carers).

2. You must be a full-time undergraduate or full-time postgraduate taught programme student.
You must be aged 25 or under by 1 September 2019. And either:
a) Applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland undergraduate degree (includes Foundation degrees, Extended degree programmes and Top-Up degrees) which will start in 2019.
b)Applying for, or currently studying, a full-time University of Sunderland postgraduate degree.

*You must be a 'Home' student
If you are classed as an ‘EU’ or ‘International’ student, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

*If you are applying for or studying one of the following courses then you are not eligible for this scholarship:
• Continuous Professional Development (CPD) course.
• English for Academic Purposes (EAP) language course.
• PHD students

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 cash scholarship for each year of study (including placement year) for care experienced or family estranged students.


For full-time home undergraduate and postgraduate students under the age of 25 on 1 September 2019 for care experienced or family estranged students.

Application Procedure

If you indicate that you are a Care Leaver on your UCAS application form you will automatically be sent a letter and an application form, once you have an unconditional offer with us. This is usually at the end of August. Alternatively, if you inform us that you are an Estranged Student via online enrolment you will also automatically be sent a letter and an application form.

For students who apply directly/via clearing, if they inform us during online enrolment that they are care experienced or estranged we will send them an email outlining how to apply.

We will request confirmation from local authorities or Student Finance England of your eligibility for this Scholarship. If you choose not to disclose your care experienced or estranged status at enrolment stage you can inform the Access to Higher Education team directly by emailing care.contact@sunderland.ac.uk.

You may apply for this Scholarship at any point throughout your course; however, payments will not be backdated for previous years’ study. If you are eligible for the We Care Scholarship you may also qualify for an additional support package.

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