School of Education and Childhood Studies

PGCE teacher training & School Direct

The University of Portsmouth offers two training routes to becoming a qualified secondary school teacher: the PGCE programme and the School Direct route. Whichever route you choose, you will find yourself supported by university tutors and school-based mentors as you progress towards your target of becoming an ‘outstanding’ teacher.

The strong relationship between our partner schools and the School of Education and Childhood Studies means that over 80% of our trainees obtain jobs in the local area at the end of their course. 



Our one-year PGCE programme trains you to deliver lessons based in strong subject knowledge and reflection on what it means to teach. With an outstanding review from Ofsted for our teacher training programmes, close links with many schools in the south of the UK and excellent feedback from our graduates, Portsmouth is ideal for your training.

You will be supported by tutors in your University learning, by professional and subject mentors in schools, and by subject knowledge enhancement courses if you feel you need them.

The PGCE has three interconnected strands: Curriculum Studies, Professional Studies and School Experience, where the skills and knowledge you gain in the taught sessions can be practised and built up through real-life teaching conditions.

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School Direct

School Direct is a new way of training teachers which puts schools at the heart of the process. School Direct allows schools to request training places directly; select the accredited provider of teacher training they want to work with; agree the content and focus of the training programme depending on their needs; and negotiate with the provider on how the money for training should be divided. Most importantly they can choose and recruit the candidate they want – with an expectation that the trainee will be employed by the school or wider partnership of schools at the end of the course.

We are delighted to be working with our lead schools, Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth as the lead school for the wider Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, Bohunt School in Liphook, Hampshire, and Bishop Luffa School in West Sussex.

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PGCE information

We award the primary PGCE for the Portsmouth Primary SCITT, and provide subject-based PGCEs in seven subjects:

We also offer the PGCE Further Education and Training, which will allow you to train to teach in further education environments, and the dual-award Postgraduate Certificate of Education and Master Français Langue Etrangère.

Fees and funding

As a full-time PGCE student (home or EU), you will be liable for fees, although no fees are required to be paid 'up-front'. You can, however, pay in advance if you wish.  Please visit our fee calculator for further information.


PGCE trainees may be eligible for considerable financial support. For full details see the Student Finance department's PGCE and CertEd pages, where you can find out exactly what support you are entitled to. Financial support for future academic years may vary, please check for updates. Overseas students should note that they are not eligible for this funding, and graduates of the University should note that this course is not eligible for the alumni scholarship scheme. 

Topping up subject knowledge

As a Trainee teacher you must have a secure curriculum knowledge of the subjects you will have to teach in school. Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses aim to boost your knowledge to prepare for the challenges of the classroom. The courses are FREE if you have accepted a place on the next intake of an Initial Teacher Training Course from any institution. 

We do not currently offer Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses, but in order to prepare for your PGCE at Portsmouth alternatives are available in the following secondary subject areas:

Science (Chemistry / Physics):

There are a variety of courses available. Some may be done online. If you are considering an online course then it should contain an element of practical work. Examples of such courses can be found at:

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL):

School Direct Information

We are an approved provider of the School Direct programme, working with schools in the south east.

Our Lead Schools for 2017

We are delighted to be working with our lead schools, Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth as the lead school for the wider Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, Bohunt School in Liphook, Hampshire, and Bishop Luffa School in West Sussex. More information about the subjects available at these lead schools can be found below:

These lead schools will have more information about the course on their websites and on their UCAS entry profiles.

The course

Applicants applying for these routes will train alongside our existing PGCE students, having access to the ‘outstanding’ training provided by the University of Portsmouth as well as working closely with their lead school. Successful completion of the course results in Qualified Teacher Status as well as the award of the prestigious PGCE, with the option of studying for Masters level credits as well. Full details about the course can be viewed in the PGCE section above.

The school direct route may better suit applicants with some experience of working in a school environment already or those who are looking to change careers, although the course is open to those just graduating from university as well.

The same tuition fees and bursary arrangements that apply for the PGCE apply to this School Direct route. Your lead school will obviously take a key role in shaping and customising your training, though, as a potential future employee of the school.  All applications for teacher training are now made through UCAS at

If you have any questions about School Direct at the University of Portsmouth please e-mail

Further Teacher Training information


In their most recent inspection, OFSTED (2011) graded our ITT provision as 'outstanding', the only 'outstanding' grade given to any secondary ITT provider in the country during that inspection year. Some of the key strengths noted by inspectors were:

  • the highly effective way in which trainees are prepared to teach their specialist subjects
  • the provision clearly meets local needs, as shown by the high proportion of trainees who secure employment in partnership schools
  • very high quality mentoring, including the high quality of feedback and target setting, that supports trainees’ good or better progress

Diversity and equality for PGCE trainees

The School of Education and Childhood Studies is proud to be a multi-cultural community, committed to the attainment of equality of opportunity.  

We value diversity and strive to ensure that our trainee teachers are provided with a safe, supportive and welcoming environment, here at the University and in their school placements.

We are particularly committed to the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority trainees on the PGCE course and in schools in this area.

We have exceeded our target for new ethnic minority entrants to the ITT programme at Portsmouth.

We now have, on average, 10% recruitment of trainees from ethnic minority backgrounds.

We have managed to increase our number of trainees through a variety of successful initiatives and procedures.  

We have:

  • An experienced teacher from an ethnic minority background to offer expertise and advice
  • Contacted and liaised with local community leaders and with several ethnic minority support groups
  • Advertised in specialist journals for trainees from a minority ethnic background
  • Organised conferences, lectures and seminars on race and religious awareness for trainee teachers, mentors and University staff
  • Provided additional support to trainees as necessary and in particular through the provision of specific induction, extended ICT support and knowledge of the British education system
  • Reviewed selection procedures and revised our interview practice
  • Consulted with past and existing trainee teachers to assess their needs and to evaluate our support network

We are:

  • Continuing to advertise in specialist journals
  • Planning individual support packages for trainees from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Providing supplementary race awareness to trainees and staff
  • Holding recruitment talks to community language and EAL tutors