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Secondary teacher training

Explore our routes into secondary school teaching, including our secondary PGCE courses

A secondary school teacher plays an integral role in helping young people harness their potential.

If you want to become a secondary teacher, we provide several routes to a secondary teaching qualification.

Whatever secondary subject you'd like to teach, throughout your teacher training you'll be supported by our tutors and school-based mentors to gain the skills and confidence you need to become an outstanding secondary school teacher. We also offer subject knowledge enhancement courses to help you gain a well-rounded grasp of the curriculum you'll be teaching in secondary school, should you need them.

Here are the teachers' degrees and courses we provide to set you on the path to becoming a secondary school teacher.

One or two-year PGCE courses (Secondary)

A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the teaching profession's gold standard - and ours was graded as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in their 2024 inspection.

If you already have a UK undergraduate degree or equivalent in a relevant subject to the one you'd like to teach at secondary level, you can apply for one of our secondary PGCE courses, studying full-time over one year or part-time over two years.

You'll gain a thorough understanding of your chosen subject and learn how to plan and deliver lessons that bring it to life for secondary students, and reflect on what it means to teach. You'll be supported by tutors, by professional and subject mentors in schools, and by subject knowledge enhancement courses if you feel you need them.

You'll graduate with eligibility for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), ready to begin your teaching career with a qualification that's in high demand. Thanks to our close links with schools across the region, many of our secondary PGCE graduates get teaching jobs in the local area after they complete the course.

We currently offer secondary PGCE courses in the following subjects, but each comprises 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 relevant teaching conditions.

You can study a secondary PGCE in the following subjects:

  • PGCE English
  • PGCE Geography
  • PGCE Mathematics
  • PGCE Modern Foreign Languages
  • PGCE Science (with Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

The University does a really good chunk of mentor training to ensure the mentors are prepared for their mentees. There is a lot of variety to the University days, we’ve had some great workshops on things like voice projection and mindfulness which have been brilliant.

I’ve been lucky enough to already secure a position for next year and that solely has come down to the preparation the University have helped us with.

Harriet Humphries, PGCE Geography

Train to become a secondary teacher while studying a language degree

If you don't yet have an undergraduate degree, we offer several degrees which give you the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) while you study, with a £9,000 bursary to cover your teacher training.

Study one of our undergraduate language degrees and you can begin secondary teacher training during your second year. You'll take some specialised units and go on secondary school placements where you'll teach groups of students.

You'll be expected to complete the same entry and course assessments as any other secondary trainee teacher, so when you graduate you'll have both an undergraduate degree in your subject choice and QTS – so you'll be well-placed to apply for teaching positions in secondary schools as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). 

Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses

As a secondary trainee teacher, you must have a secure curriculum knowledge of the subjects you'll teach in secondary school – and that's where Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses can come in handy.

The courses are free if you've accepted a place on the next intake of an Initial Teacher Training Course from any institution – and you may be eligible for financial support while you complete it.

Take the next step to becoming a secondary school teacher

Learn more about our secondary PGCE courses or our Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses, or take a look at our undergraduate language degrees that enable you to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) while you study.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses

Need to fill some knowledge gaps before you start your teacher training? Boost your understanding and confidence with our subject knowledge enhancement courses.

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