University-led postgraduate training

One option for achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) is to complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) at a university or college. They work with school partnerships to offer placements with at least two schools as part of your training.

University-led courses run both full-time and part-time, over one or two years. Your training will include spending time at the university or college you successfully apply to – working with other trainees and being taught by university staff.

You’ll also spend plenty of time in your placement schools – a minimum of 24 weeks. This will help you develop your practical teaching skills and ability to manage and plan classes effectively. These school-based elements of the course also play an important role in assessing your performance in the classroom and preparing you for your first job as a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

University-led courses account for just over half of the teacher training places in England, and are available across the country – so there are plenty of options when it comes to location.

You can search for courses on the UCAS Teacher Training website.

To find out more, you can speak to a Teaching Line adviser on Freephone 0800 389 2500.

More than 90% of newly qualified teachers rate their training highly

Earn up to


as a leading practitioner.

*Conditions apply

Watch this video for helpful tips on getting into teaching, from real trainees and experienced teachers. Transcript (PDF, 48KB)

I'd been out of education for nearly 20 years, and even though it was difficult, I thoroughly enjoyed my learning journey. 

Allison Kitchin, primary teacher

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Upcoming events

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  • School Experience days

    27 April 2015 AT 08:30

    Join us for a day – on any day between 27 April and 1 May – to experience school life and find out more about the School Direct programme.

    Killingworth Open
  • Teacher Training Taster Day

    27 April 2015 AT 08:45

    Find out if Secondary School Teaching may be for you. If you think you may want to become a secondary school teacher then join us to find out more. You will have an opportunity to experience the School in action, observe learning in your chosen subject area and talk to current trainees, teachers and learners. 

    Coggeshall Open
  • Inspiring Leaders Teacher Training School Direct open event

    27 April 2015 AT 15:30

    Please drop into this event to discuss how to apply for school direct, how the course is run, funding avaliable, places within local schools. There will be opportunity to talk to course leaders. We are looking forward to meeting you and answering your questions.

    Nottingham Open
  • University of Reading Information Evening

    27 April 2015 AT 16:00

    The University of Reading hosts regular Information Meetings to explain School Direct and other routes into Initial Teacher Training. 

    Reading Open