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PGCE Secondary Engineering (QTS)

Course Description

This course provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to teach Engineering at secondary level. Time is spent in the University and in classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals ready to begin teaching in secondary schools.


The award is offered at three levels. All are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate awards will allow fast-track entry to Masters courses:
1. Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
2. Postgraduate Certificate in Education

The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course, successful completion of which will lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

What will I study?

The course aims to develop an understanding of the specialist subject in the context of the National Curriculum. In particular, the principles involved in the teaching and learning of the subject across the full age and ability range and the professional values and practice, subject knowledge and understanding commensurate with the particular subject specialism. This includes how children learn and how they develop cognitively, socially and physically and the understanding, skills and personal qualities necessary for managing the learning environment.

All trainees undertake a module concerned with the wider context of schools and education. This develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for your first teaching post in a secondary school. It also builds a foundation for further professional development. Elements of this module include both whole cohort keynote lectures and seminars, many of which are led by mixed groups of trainees supported by tutors. This allows you to meet the Teacher Standards by making secure connections between issues in school and your own professional practice.

It will combine taught modules, school and further education college placements, and visits to industry enabling trainees to become confident and competent teachers of engineering. The course will provide trainees with:

1. an understanding of the nature and philosophy of engineering in schools and of its place in the curriculum
2. knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for design and technology
3. a capability to maximise learning opportunities through innovative lesson planning and class management, based on a sound understanding of the importance of effective assessment and monitoring strategies
4. an understanding of the broader responsibilities of the teacher in the general school community and its local and national settings
5. health and safety training (DATA accreditation).


University-based modules: Learning and Teaching in the Subject, and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context, are assessed at the end of the modules with reflection against the Teacher Standards. You will also conduct a piece of research-based, professional enquiry within the classroom, which is assessed by a formal written report and presentation of findings. A separate, formal assessment also takes place in practical teaching.


School or college experience is central to the course and at least 24 weeks are spent on placement in at least two different secondary schools or colleges. During the first phase, two days of school or college experience each week for three weeks are spent in school leading up to a six-week block placement. Trainee teachers are gradually given more responsibility and increase their contribution in both the classroom and to the corporate life of the school.

The second phase begins with a two day, weekly attachment for the first three weeks of the spring term, leading up to the final assessed 13-week block placement. In both placements the training programme is planned by mentors to allow progressive acquisition of the skills, knowledge and understanding students need to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Students are formally observed on a regular basis by their subject mentor as well as receiving a number of visits from the University, to monitor their progress, support their development and undertake their assessment.

Visit the PGCE Secondary Engineering (QTS) page on the Nottingham Trent University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Pete McGuire

2765.jpg I came to NTU after 18 years in industry.

While studying for the PGCE I gained a job from my first interview at a local school that was prepared to keep the position open until I completed the PGCE. I was promoted to Assistant Subject Leader on completion of my induction year! Next year I will introduce my Engineering subject specialism to the department, which is testament to the excellent training provided by NTU and the schools involved in the partnership. In five years I hope to be Subject Leader.

The pace of the course has been faster and more structured than my undergraduate experience. The support has been fantastic both at subject and cohort level. Less competitiveness amongst other PGCE students lends itself to team working which has been invaluable throughout.

Having a wife and two children to support financially has been hard but life changes have been made to accommodate. Time management has been challenging with term holidays being spent working on assignments / planning etc. The structure of the course has been designed really well to ensure that assignment deadlines are directly after the holiday, which worked really well for me. The support and guidance provided from my course leader and her team has helped to focus on the tasks that have been relevant to the week / month in hand.

Only a few universities offer Engineering as a PGCE. I believe that there is a shortfall of young engineers within the industry. I feel that by becoming a teacher I can inspire some young blood into considering the industry.

You learn from good, knowledgeable lecturers that have been outstanding teachers in the past. The structure, pace and relevant milestones of the course has made it meaningful to the required stages of personal development. Subject areas covered in depth on the course include ECM, monitoring and assessment, workshop skills, health & safety, electronics, food safety, reflective practice, behaviour management, policies, pedagogy and so much more! The skills you learn on the PGCE course include pedagogy, classroom management, behaviour management, National curriculum, 14 to 19 strategy, electronics, health and safety, AFL, lesson planning etc which are all relevant to current and future working.

I wouldn't be in a position to teach without the PGCE. The structure, support and guidance throughout makes the PGCE at NTU challenging, achievable and thoroughly enjoyable.


Entry Requirements

a good UK honours degree or equivalent, preferably at a minimum 2.2 in a related subject; GCSE English and Mathematics at minimum grade C or equivalent, these must have been gained prior to application; school observation experience (it is essential as a guideline NTU request that you have at least two weeks' experience); Disclosure and Barring Service check; Professional Skills Tests; applicants will need to undertake an interview as part of the selection process. International applicants require IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements.

Course Fees

Please see our website for current course fees

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