Education - Secondary (School Direct Route)
1 year full-time
The course aims to provide you with professional and academic training in preparation for your role as a secondary teacher. Underpinning the course is a belief that successful teachers need to understand how children learn and that this is best achieved through a combination of theory, practice and reflection.
The Durham PGCE Secondary Course has been developed in partnership with schools, and offers a strong practical element, with student teachers spending a substantial part of the year (around 120 days minimum) in school. You will follow the Core programme and activities with your School Direct Lead School taking responsibility for your placements. On the course, you will have opportunities to develop an understanding of the values and issues which underpin education and are encouraged to develop and articulate your own beliefs. The responsibility for training is shared between schools and the University, which together provide a supportive professional environment in which you can develop your knowledge, skills, understanding and expertise.
The course is organised into three modules:
- Professional Issues in School-based Education
- Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
- Self-directed Study
The Professional Issues in School-based Education relates to the Durham University ITE Curriculum and is delivered through the Research Related Professional Practice programme (RRPP).
The RRPP is designed to bridge the gap between research and professional practice. It encourages trainees to focus on key subject specific threshold knowledge linked to deep thinking in terms of how to teach in order to have maximum impact on pupil learning.
Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self-directed Study assignments are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school community, particularly those that impact the success of children as learners.
The Self-directed Study module draws on the aspect of teaching and learning in a small-scale action research piece of work, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.
These Masters modules provide an opportunity to consolidate theoretical knowledge, through lectures and mixed subject and phase seminar groups taught during a Reflective Practitioner Conference. In addition to covering Teachers’ Standards, these modules will enable assessment work to be carried out for the award of PGCE.
On successful completion of the course, our beginning teachers have 90 credits and QTS.
The course is delivered full-time, starting in early September and continuing over 10 months. During this time, you will experience a blend of University teaching interwoven with school experience.
Please note that the course does NOT run to university terms
As part of the PGCE course, you will gain a significant amount of school experience, usually around 120 days over the course of the year. The School Direct Lead School arranges and oversees the placement aspect and provide workshops, support with teaching and guidance on teaching practice. University partnership tutors will also provide support for students before, during and after school placements.
The University sessions will be delivered as a blended approach with some online teaching, asynchronous and synchronous, as well as face to face opportunities. Lectures provide supporting frameworks of key theories and concepts with follow up seminars being used as peer-assisted learning opportunities and dialogic approaches to teaching and learning. The seminar mode of delivery reflects the nature and approach to teaching in the classroom and supports the additional aspects of professional development programme.
Throughout the year students are encouraged and required to work in teams which will enhance cohort cohesion as well as support professional and academic development. Students will therefore learn from their peers as well as their academic and professional tutors. Students will be able to analyse a range of classroom perspectives and stakeholder viewpoints, triangulating between theory, practice and policy.
Please check UCAS for courses being offered this year.
- Applicants must possess or expect to achieve a degree; please see department web pages for subject specific requirements. The equivalent of a UK lower second class honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of science or a similar subject. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
- A demonstrable interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
- Applicants with non-standard qualifications, for example, access routes into higher education are welcome to apply
- We welcome applications from mature applicants pursuing a career change.
Your interpersonal qualities and your potential to achieve professional skills relating to the Teachers' Standards will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to an interview. The interview processwill involve an individual interview with a pre-prepared presentation element and a series of tasks designed to illustrate your potential to meet the Teachers' Standards by the end of the course.
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure will be provided.
If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Caroline Emery, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check.
Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.
Fees and funding
Full Time Fees
|Home students||£9,250 per year|
|EU students||£22,750 per year|
|Island students||£9,250 per year|
|International students||£22,750 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
School of Education
There are a wide range of roles that are available to qualified teachers ranging from classroom teaching, specialist subject lead, phase lead, middle and senior management groups.
For further information on career options please view our department pages.
School of Education
We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff and around 650 postgraduate students (including our PGCE students, both primary and secondary). We are also supported by numerous partners from schools and colleges. We have strong international links, welcoming students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from all over the world.
For more information see our department pages.
- Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
- 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2023
- 7th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2023
- Top 10 in The Guardian University Guide 2023
For a current list of staff, please see the School of Education pages
Research Excellence Framework
Ranked joint 1st nationally for Research Impact and 1st nationally for outputs
Our School of Education is set in beautifully landscaped gardens above the River Wear and overlooks both the Castle and Cathedral. As well as an attractive work environment, it offers excellent study facilities, including a department library with a wide range of books and periodicals.
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