Postgrad Cert in Education (PGCE) Secondary (QTS)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary (with Qualified Teacher Status QTS)

Full time: 10 months


The Secondary PGCE forms a practical introduction to teaching, providing student teachers with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach secondary age children, including at post-sixteen enhancement. The strong emphasis of the course is on learning from experience through reflection and enquiry.

Your course during COVID-19

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University study experience.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation.


The Secondary PGCE

The Secondary PGCE forms a practical introduction to teaching. You will develop the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach secondary age children. You will also gain experience of teaching at post-16 level.

We offer the following Secondary PGCE courses:

  • English
  • Geography 
  • Mathematics 
  • French
  • French with German 
  • French with Spanish 
  • German with French 
  • Spanish with French 
  • Secondary Science with Biology Specialism 
  • Secondary Science with Chemistry Specialism 
  • Secondary Science with Physics Specialism

The course has a strong focus on learning from experience, through reflection and enquiry. This process of reflective enquiry underpins the development of teaching skills. It also forms the basis for the written work submitted as part of your PGCE.

During the PGCE you will undertake 60 credits of master's-level modules. The course modules are rooted in school and classroom practice. They work to complement your experiences - enhancing outcomes and your professional development.

You will graduate with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) if you:

  • complete these components
  • meet the Teachers’ Standards through your practical engagement in schools

An understanding of the relationship between theorypractice and research underpins the PGCE.

Placement/s in partnership school/s are planned to take place across Semester Two (this may be subject to change in 2020-21 if further periods of restrictions are imposed by the UK government, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic). This provides a firm practical and theoretical foundation for the professional journey towards becoming an outstanding practitioner.


During your training at Newcastle University you will:

  • develop the core knowledge, skills and understanding expected of newly qualified teachers
  • extend your awareness of effective teaching in your subject area through subject-based/curriculum studies

The course emphasis is on enhancing the learning, progress and welfare of young people. The research interests of our staff support these key interests.


The course starts in early September and continues until June. The course structure follows school term dates as opposed to university semesters.

In 2020-21 Newcastle University sessions will take place during semester one. These will be in-person or online. Other learning, training and discussion opportunities include:

  • workshops
  • seminars
  • 1:1 tutorials
  • lectures
  • conferences
  • online interactive video observation

School placements will begin either just before, or immediately after the Christmas break.

Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, if periods of heightened restrictions are imposed by the UK government, the modules may be further amended. The mode of delivery includes flexible learning (a mixture of online and in-person learning).


Related Degrees

All related programmes


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2020 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.



Full time: £9,250*

*The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.


Full time: £18,600

See the Department for Education website for postgraduate teacher training funding opportunities.


EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements


A 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent. At least 50% of your degree should be in the subject that you intend to teach. We may accept closely related degree subjects.

GCSEs or O Levels (grades A–C/ 4-9) in English language and mathematics, or equivalent.

Work experience

It is desirable for you to have spent time working and/or observing in a UK secondary classroom before applying. Experience is advantageous as it will inform your application and any later performance in the selection process

Modern language applicants

If you are applying for Spanish you should have at least some elementary French.  

Foreign nationals applying for a modern languages PGCE should:

  • have spent six months living in the UK 
  • had employment as a foreign language assistant in a state school in England

Further information 

Individual course entry requirements are available on the UCAS Teacher Training website.

Please contact us for advice if you:

  • don't meet our entry requirements
  • need further information on related degree subjects

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

If you need help to meet our English Language requirements, we can provide support with extra tuition.

Read more about UK visas and immigration requirements.

How to Apply

We offer the following Secondary PGCE courses and more information can be found on the UCAS Teacher Training website

  • English (Q3X1)
  • Geography (F8X1)
  • Mathematics (G1X1)
  • French (R1X1)
  • French with German (RX11)
  • French with Spanish (RXD1)
  • German with French (RX21)
  • Spanish with French (RX41)
  • Secondary Science with Biology Specialism (C1X1)
  • Secondary Science with Chemistry Specialism (F1X1)
  • Secondary Science with Physics Specialism (F3X1)

There is a specialised application process for this course. You must apply via the UCAS Teacher Training website, not through Newcastle University's postgraduate application system.


Under National College for Teaching and Leadership regulations, the University is unable to offer places on its PGCE courses without a selection process that includes a personal interview. The selection day consists of a:

  • individual presentation
  • written task
  • subject-related (GCSE/A-level) exam question
  • individual interview

You should have some experience of the English school system, usually through school observation visits. Successful applicants also need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and undergo medical assessment. This is to confirm 'fitness to teach' before starting the course.


PGCE Admissions
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3666