Taught course

Secondary Education (School Direct)

York St John University · School of Education

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/Level 4
  • GCSE in Mathematics (or approved equivalent) at grade C/Level 4
  • GCSE in Science (or approved equivalent) at grade C/Level 4 (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

Months of entry


Course content

York St John University's Initial Teacher Education Partnership is committed to preparing outstanding teachers through inspiring training in creative school partnerships, focused on understanding, expecting pupil progress and developing professional expertise.

The PGCE Secondary Partnership demonstrates commitment to the wider York St John University ITE Partnership vision through our shared aim of ‘Developing outstanding teachers in an outstanding partnership’.
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 develop outstanding student teachers who are:
  • transformative and creative professionals
  • highly motivated and committed
  • autonomous and independent
  • enquiry based practitioners
  • self-reflective practitioners
The programme is committed to delivering outstanding education and training that is current and relevant and that provides excellent opportunities for student teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of their subject and wider educational issues, so that they are equipped to be outstanding teachers and leaders with both a strong subject and a wider professional identity.
PGCE School Direct programmes are offered in a range of subjects. This route is largely school-based with time out each week for academic sessions.
All PGCEs include modules in Professional Studies as well as subject studies. Professional Studies focuses on school issues that are common to all teachers. These reflect local practical issues with a focus on reflection, integration, theory and practice.

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

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

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

Course contact details