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Course content

The School Direct Tuition PGCE route is for high quality graduates who are looking to secure training and final employment at a specific partnership school whilst following a PGCE programme. This route allows you to apply to one of our partnership schools for your main training placement and provides University and school-based training along with 60 Masters level credits leading to the award of a PGCE at the end of the programme. Trainees are responsible for tuition fees and may be entitled to bursaries and student loans.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake up to 60 days of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you will spend at least 120 days training in schools.

Your University tutor will be available to assist you throughout your training, and your lead SD school will ensure that you have high-quality school placements where you will learn from experienced teachers.

Teaching on the course will model a range of teaching strategies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and personalised learning. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, classroom based investigations, other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

All University-based elements of the course take place at the Walsall Campus where we have state-of-the-art learning facilities.

Typical modules may include

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘collaborative’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of Information Technologies in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.

The course comprises ofa main school placement and a second school placement together with periods of University-based tuition. 24 weeks of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools.

Additional training will take place in partner schools other than your SD 'placement' schools such as a Primary school experience and enhancement opportunities in special school settings. Support is available throughout your training from your university tutors and from a team of experienced teachers accredited by the University as your School Direct tutors.

Career path

The School Direct Tuition PGCE in Secondary School Teaching leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), and allows you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school. As a School Direct trainee you will move into employment with your lead school or you will be supported to find a teaching position within their alliance or within the much wider Wolverhampton partnership. However you are not guaranteed employment upon completion of the course.

In secondary schools you could move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility for:

  • a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

You could progress to a senior management position such as a deputy or assistant head and, of course, headteacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive.

Following successful completion of this PGCE award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education.

What skills will you gain?

If you complete the course successfully, you will be awarded PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status and you will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age phase.

The course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching in at least two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development.

Who accredits this course?

This course leads to the academic award of PGCE and the professional qualification of QTS – Qualified Teacher Status. The University will recommend students who have demonstrated competence in the Teachers’ Standards to the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the award of QTS.

The award of QTS is essential to work as a qualified teacher in a school in the United Kingdom.


Visit the Secondary Education: Psychology - School Direct (Training) - PGCE page on the University of Wolverhampton website for more details!

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