Taught course

Secondary Education RE

York St John University · School of Education

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for programmes leading to QTS are stipulated by the DfE (ITT Criteria 2017). These are:

  • GCSE in English (or approved equivalent) at grade C
  • GCSE in Mathematics (or approved equivalent) at grade C
  • GCSE in Science (or approved equivalent) at grade C (for those student teachers undertaking the Secondary PGCE in sciences)
  • a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent
  • a pass in both the professional literacy and numeracy skills tests.

In addition, applicants must also:

  • Have recent and relevant experience within a secondary school setting and applicants should preferably have at least two weeks of secondary school experience prior to applying for a place on the programme, or have this planned. At least two weeks school experience will be expected prior to joining the programme. This might be for example, in a teaching assistant role or a voluntary placement. Please see School Based Experiencefor guidelines.
  • Take part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach.
  • Obtain a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure check and/or any other appropriate background check.
  • Obtain a satisfactory medical report.
  • Have passed the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy prior to entry.

For this programme successful applicants will normally have at least a 2:1 honours degree from a UK higher education institution, or equivalent, although applicants with a 2:2 are accepted if they can demonstrate certain aptitudes at interview. This degree is subject related to the PGCE applied for. In some circumstances candidates without a subject specialist degree may be considered if, for example, they can provide evidence of strong subject knowledge, and have at least an A ‘level in the subject.

In addition applicants must satisfy the institution that:

  • They have the intellectual and academic capability needed to meet the required teachers’ standards, that they possess the appropriate qualities and characteristics, attitudes and values expected of a teacher
  • That they can read effectively and are able to communicate clearly and accurately in Standard English
  • That they meet the requirements for physical and mental capacity for teaching

All applicants will need to satisfy the institution that they meet these criteria through their application form, an interview, a medical check and a criminal record check.

Candidates invited to interview will be asked to complete a ‘Prior Achievement’ booklet that enables them to match their current experience against the Teachers’ Standards. This supports tutors in giving successful candidates relevant pre-course tasks to complete to enable them to be fully prepared for the start of the programme.

Interviews for the PGCE secondary programme, for both the university-centred RE programme and school centred (School Direct) programme, will be conducted in a school setting by members of the university academic staff in collaboration with school-based staff and in accordance with the practices and procedures currently employed by the PGCE Secondary Partnership. As part of the interview activities applicants will be expected to undertake a short teaching and learning activity with pupils.

At interview applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to, experience of and understanding of secondary education in addition to demonstrating their intellectual qualities. They will also be assessed on their ability to communicate effectively with others and on their knowledge of current educational issues. In addition, candidates will be required to demonstrate an appropriate level of competence in literacy to reflect the M-Level demands of the programme.

Months of entry


Course content

The key aim of the PGCE Secondary RE programme is to deliver a high quality, current and relevant programme of training that equips student teachers with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes they need to become outstanding teachers in our local and national secondary schools.

The PGCE Secondary programme is a community of learning with partnership at the heart of the programme. University based staff work together with schools, mentors, subject communities, local and national subject communities and other education professionals to support you in developing your professional practice, providing you with excellent opportunities to engage in wider professional issues relating to pedagogy and the curriculum. The programme is integrated with school-based experience and training to ensure that your developing professional practice is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of educational theory and current local, national and international research.

Information for international students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (in all areas of the test) or equivalent.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa & Immigration webpages.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

You can also look at our Postgraduate funding webpages: https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees--funding/

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Subject Administrator for Secondary Education
+44 (0)1904 876865