2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

PGCE Secondary Teaching with QTS

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
1 year

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
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About this course

Become a superb Secondary teacher at LJMU. Graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the 11-16 age range.

  • 3 minute watch - hear from secondary teachers who studied teacher training with LJMU. Prepare for a career as an innovative and creative secondary teacher on a course delivered in partnership with schools committed to ensuring your success;
  • Choose from a range of subject areas (see the Details tab for more information);
  • Teach across the 11-16 age range with additional post-16 teaching opportunities;
  • Become an inquisitive, creative and reflective practitioner
  • Study full-time, over 10 months;
  • Spend 120 days in a 'Home School' placement with a mid-course 'Alternative' placement to ensure experience in a range of school settings.

Our PGCE Secondary programmes are designed to prepare you for a career as an innovative and creative teacher. You will be trained by highly experienced academic staff and school mentors.

The professional experience you acquire during your studies, alongside University input will enable you to develop your ability to plan, teach and manage learning in different settings and socio-economic contexts.

The University has a well-established reputation for delivering innovative approaches to teacher education. Our academic team is made up of successful teachers who maintain strong links with schools and professional bodies, ensuring you receive the most up-to-date training and key insights into the field during your course.

Our emphasis is on developing teachers who are reflective practitioners able to apply a deep understanding of the curriculum, learners and learning to provide the very best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children, with a positive impact on their development and achievement.

The professional experience you acquire during your studies, alongside University input will enable you to develop your ability to plan, teach and manage learning in different settings and socio-economic contexts.

Courses can be viewed on the government's Get into Teaching website.


  • Kallum's story

    Kallum is head of the department of design technology in a secondary school in St Helens. He had a varied career before entering teaching, then studied on a postgraduate teaching degree in Design T...

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Professional body recognition

Our Initial Teacher Education courses are monitored by Ofsted - the Office for Standards in Education.

In June 2023, Secondary Initial Teacher Training received a “good” rating following a rigorous 4-day inspection. Ofsted noted many strengths in provision, which are noted below.

Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum that goes beyond the DfE’s core content framework and is underpinned by appropriate and pertinent research. Student teachers discuss and debate relevant theory in the centre-based training and are given opportunities to apply their understanding in placement schools.

Trainees’ professional and subject-specific studies are clearly and purposefully interwoven at this partnership. For example, trainees get a secure grounding in generic pedagogy, as well as the subject-specific knowledge that they need to teach their subject well. Tutors and mentors help trainees to understand the connections between what they are learning and how to use and apply this knowledge in placement schools.

The provider has developed a network of strong relationships with partner schools. Communication between the different partners is a strength. Furthermore, all partners display a strong commitment to supporting the ambition of social justice for all pupils. Student teachers understand the importance of breaking down barriers to learning for disadvantaged pupils and for pupils with SEND and also learn about ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils in their care.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Full-time PGCE students are eligible for the same range of financial support as undergraduate students.

You will have access to:

  • a non means-tested student loan to cover your tuition fees
  • a means-tested student loan to help cover your living expenses
  • a means-tested maintenance grant, which does not have to be paid back
  • a means-tested LJMU Bursary worth up to £500, which does not have to be paid back

For the latest information about bursaries and funding, please visit the Get Into Teaching website.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Teacher Training employment prospects at LJMU are extremely good, with most subjects exceeding the national averages.

The PGCE course is intended for those preparing to enter the teaching profession and most of our students go on to achieve their career goal, working in state or independent schools and colleges. Teaching provides a variety of pathways leading to specialist roles ranging from pastoral to subject leadership and on into school leadership positions.

Having gained teaching experience, a number of graduates move into associated professions such as educational psychology, consultancy, and in the education service sector outside of schools.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Reflecting on Teaching and Learning
40 credits

This module is designed to enable student teachers to systematically develop, demonstrate and critically reflect on evidence of competence across all areas of the LJMU ITE Curriculum to ensure that the Teachers’ Standards are met at the end of the programme and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) can be awarded.

This module focuses on the teaching placement (minimum 120 days) in a Home School and an Alternative Placement. Students plan and evaluate their school-based practice and are supported by mentors and tutors who assess their progress against the LJMU ITE Curriculum. To pass the module and meet the competency requirements, student teachers must pass the placement experience and triangulation process. Student teachers must also complete a Early Career Profile (ECP) outlining targets for early career development.

Optional Modules

Becoming a Professional Teacher
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop student teachers' understanding of both subject-specific and general pedagogies, and to develop competent and knowledgeable teachers with an understanding of learning, teaching and assessment.

Students will reflect on theoretical and practical understanding of subject and / or phase teaching, including subject knowledge and teaching approaches. Taught sessions will include curriculum models and delivery, early mathematics, early reading and writing, classroom management (inc. behaviour) and effective teaching methods. Pedagogical approaches will focus on the teaching of core and foundation subjects, including teacher explanations, modelling, questioning and dialogue, group, adapting teaching and independent learning including stretch and challenge, etc. Students will also learn how to effectively assess and record progress, including both formative and summative methods of assessment.

Education and Schooling
20 credits

This module provides an option to complete a postgraduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme with an alternative exit award WITHOUT recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). In this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the contemporary policy landscape of education and schooling in England, with reference to educational research and scholarship, informed by personal observation of practice.

Pathways to QTS

  • Primary Key Stage 1/2 (5-11 years) with QTS
  • Primary Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 (3-7 years) with QTS
  • Primary with Mathematics Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS
  • Primary with Physical Education Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS


An insight into teaching on your course


We offer the following Secondary pathways at LJMU:

  • Art and Design: Secondary with QTS
  • Biology: Secondary with QTS
  • Chemistry: Secondary with QTS
  • Computer Science: Secondary with QTS
  • Design and Technology: Secondary with QTS
  • English: Secondary with QTS
  • Geography: Secondary with QTS
  • History: Secondary with QTS
  • Mathematics: Secondary with QTS
  • Modern Foreign Languages: Secondary with QTS
  • Physical Education: Secondary with QTS
  • Physics: Secondary with QTS
  • Performing Arts (Dance): Secondary with QTS
  • Performing Arts (Drama): Secondary with QTS
  • Religious Education: Secondary with QTS

Study hours

University-based study includes: 

  • a full-time block of three weeks at the start of the course in September
  • one day per week until January
  • six one-week study blocks at university between October and June
  • a number of conference days throughout the year

You will undertake a significant amount of independent study and preparation to support your course assignments and school-based work (planning, preparation and assessment).

Teaching methods

You will learn via lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, group discussion and reflection, problem solving and micro-teaching. You will also make use of our online learning environment.

You will be allocated a mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your mentor will be supported by your LJMU Liaison Tutor who will stay in regular contact throughout the course visit your school several times to monitor your progress. Additional professional development sessions are organised in school during placements.

Tutorial support is an important part of the LJMU learning process and you will receive a personalised service that will enable you to set targets and achieve your potential. Your Personal Tutor will support your academic and professional development and will meet with you formally during the year.

Applied learning

You will spend 120 days spent on school placement.

Placements are organised in our partnership schools in the Greater Merseyside area. For the majority of the training you will gain your teaching experience in a 'Home School' with a six week placement in an 'alternative' school after Christmas.

Your school training involves the preparation and delivery of learning sequences and lessons to small groups and whole classes of learners, with expectations and workload increasing during the course. This work is supported by a Teacher-Mentor who will enhance your professional learning experience in school.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment methods include: critical reflections on research and practice, small scale research projects, the design and analysis of learning experiences, presentations and a portfolio of professional activities.

You will need to monitor your progression towards achieving the professional standards required for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and maintain a professional development portfolio.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

You will have access to all of the classroom and teaching facilities provided by your placement schools as well as the expertise of educational professionals at LJMU.

Based in the new Education Building in the heart of the Mount Pleasant campus, the School of Education features a wide range of cutting-edge facilities, including a pedagogy room, lecture rooms, computing facilities and a nearby Outdoor Learning Zone for our Natural Curriculum projects. Students also benefit from independent study spaces, a close-by cafeteria and library, and access to student welfare and support.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

Have a first-degree classification normally a minimum of 2.2 Honours or equivalent from a UK university, or equivalent overseas qualification

GCSEs and equivalents

Have at least a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English Language and Mathematics or their equivalent (which must be approved by LJMU)

International requirements


    IELTS overall 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements

    Receipt of satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Certificate prior to enrolment

    Completion of a medical questionnaire, for medical clearance by the LJMU Occupational Health team, to confirm Fitness to Teach.

    If an applicant needs to improve their subject knowledge, they may be asked to complete a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course.

  • RPL

    RPL is not accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

If you want to join a PGCE with us, you will need to apply through the Apply for Teacher Training service here https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training

2024 entry: Courses can be viewed on the government's Get into Teaching website. Given the popularity of some specialisms and the limited number of places, we recommend applying as early as possible to avoid disappointment.


Applicants will be assessed for their:

  • depth of relevant subject knowledge
  • potential to work effectively at Masters level
  • ability to work with others in teams
  • ability to manage people and projects


Applicants will be expected to demonstrate:

  • an interest and enthusiasm for their chosen subject area
  • an ability to make learning exciting and meaningful to young people in a range of contexts
  • commitment to supporting learners in areas of challenging social context
  • enthusiasm and resilience


You should live within reasonable travelling distance of the University and our partner schools for the duration of the course.

Selection events

Our selection events will comprise of an individual interview. Those applying for PGCE Modern Languages will need to complete a written task. Certain other subjects will also require a subject-specific task to be completed.

Full details of the interview process in each subject will be sent to you in advance of the selection event.

Prior to entry

You will need to meet the Department for Education's standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure, will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer."

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.