Course details

Subject area


Start date(s)

2020, 2021

Study mode(s)

Full time (1 year)

Course overview

Teaching secondary-age children is your chance to share your passion for your subject and inspire the next generation.

Teaching children isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Every subject is different, which is why we make sure our support is centred on subject-specific knowledge, up-to-date teaching practices and, most importantly, your specific needs as a trainee teacher.

All our PGCE Secondary courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the award of a level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

The Student Contract

Your health and wellbeing is important to us which means that we may need to adjust elements of our courses to take into account COVID-19-related government restrictions. However, please be assured that we will do our utmost to limit any impact this has on your university experience. If you have any questions about your course, please contact us at hello@leedstrinity.ac.uk

PGCE Virtual Open Day

Interested in training to become a teacher? - come to our PGCE Teacher Training Virtual Open Day.

Find out about our range of Primary and Secondary PGCE courses, the application process and financing your studies.

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Financial support

You may be eligible for a scholarship or discount to help fund your postgraduate studies.

Find out more

About this course

There are three stages to your PGCE Secondary.

Stage one – Introduction to teaching (September to November)

Training at University

You’ll spend your first five weeks at University, taking part in seminars and workshops that prepare you for training in school. You will also spend several orientation days in your placement school, getting to know the teaching team and pupils that you’ll be working with.

Your training will focus on:

Professional Learning and Teaching for 21st Century teachers

You’ll learn research-informed techniques and strategies to tackle issues that you will face in your training placements. These strategies will help to develop your understanding of teaching and learning, the secondary curriculum and educational policy.

Subject knowledge and applied pedagogy

In these sessions, our subject teacher experts will give you a good understanding of what it means to teach your subject. You will study the school curriculum, and understand how other expert teachers have taught it successfully. You will also learn how to plan sequences of learning that address the needs of your pupils so that you can develop your practice and have a positive impact on their learning.

School-based training

After you’ve completed your first five weeks, you’ll start your first placement which will last for eight weeks. This will give you the chance to put into practice what you’ve learnt so far in a collaborative working environment. You’ll work closely with your subject mentor based in your school.

Stage two – Developing your teaching practice (December to March)

University-based training

Your University-based training will comprise the same elements as stage one, but you’ll focus on building on the knowledge you’ve already developed to prepare for your next school-based training block. You’ll spend one week at University. 

Preparation week

Before your second placement, you’ll again spend time in a school for one week to observe and familiarise yourself with the routine and teaching practice.

School-based training

In January, you’ll complete a second placement in a different school. This will give you the chance to deepen your knowledge of how students  learn and extend your practice in helping that learning, in a new context. This long placement, which is split across stages two and three from January until June, gives you the chance to develop your practice in a school and with pupils that you will get to know really well. This gives you a very good opportunity to make a positive impact on progress in that school.

During your second placement, you’ll spend a minimum of eight weeks in a new school, teaching more lessons and ensuring that you’re teaching classes from both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. At this point, you’ll become more of an independent practitioner.

Stage three – Preparing for your teaching career (March to June)

University-based training

Having developed and applied your subject and curriculum knowledge, you’ll spend several days at University during your placement, consolidating your practice and completing activities that will prepare for your teaching career. We also run a one-week conference for all trainees.

School-based training

You’ll stay in the same school for at least nine weeks, teaching more classes from both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, as well as the chance to observe and sometimes teach at Key Stage 5. Having extended experience in the same placement means that you will be able to really develop your practice well, and show that you are having a positive impact on the pupils you teach. At the end of this placement you’ll present evidence on this impact, which will inform your final grade.


The module details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

We believe that the most effective path to becoming an outstanding teacher is a gradual one, filled with plenty of support and opportunities to put what you’ve learnt into practice in stages. That’s why we’ve designed our PGCE Secondary courses in three main stages.

Each stage consists of a University-based training block and school-based training block.


1 - Introduction to teaching

September to December

Five weeks’ University-based training

Three weekly Serial Visit Days at your first placement school

Eight weeks’ school-based training

2 – Developing your knowledge

December to March

One week of University-based training

One Serial Visit Week at your second placement school

Nine weeks’ school-based training

3 – Preparing for your teaching career

March to June

One week of University-based training

Ten weeks’ school-based training

Learning and teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and a personal approach to helping you achieve your academic and professional potential. We have a strong tradition of supporting student employability, with relevant skills embedded in the curriculum.

The key themes of our strategy are:

  • student confidence
  • professionalism
  • social responsibility.

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

For over 50 years, we have developed a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • The right tools and technology
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Throughout your placement, you’ll be assessed based on the elements of teaching you’ll be doing every day – from observations and lesson plans, to marking work. You’ll complete a progress portfolio to collate evidence of your teaching practice, which will be assessed against Teachers’ Standards.

You’ll also complete two level 7 Master’s assignments to test your ability to be critically reflective and research-led in your approach to teaching. These will count as 60 credits towards an MA Education.

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

  • A good honours degree with a significant proportion in Business​/Economics.
  • GCSE Grade C (or 4, or accepted equivalent) in English and Mathematics. We offer GCSE equivalency tests to those who have a conditional place on the course but do not already have these qualifications. We accept GCSE equivalencies from the provider Equivalency Testing. Please contact admissions@leedstrinity.ac.uk​ if you are unsure. ​
  • Suitable personal and intellectual qualities required for teaching in secondary schools.
  • Commitment, attitudes and values appropriate to that of a secondary teacher.
  • The ability to read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written standard English.
  • The capacity to meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach. All successful candidates will be asked to complete a health assessment as part of the entry conditions to the programme.

NB: Candidates with third-class honours degrees will be considered on an individual basis, and normally only if candidates have additional qualifications and/or significant relevant professional experience.

At Leeds Trinity, we treat every applicant on their own merits and value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement. Strong applicants also have experience in secondary schools.

In addition to the above essential entry requirements, successful applicants also tend to have:

  • Advanced level qualifications (or equivalent) in Business/Economics.
  • Experience of observing the teaching in a secondary school in this country.

If your initial application is successful, we will invite you to the next available Interview Day.

We encourage applications from students who may not match the academic profile outlined above but who can demonstrate that they have developed their subject expertise by working for a substantial period of time supporting the teaching of Business/Economics in a secondary school context.

An offer of a place is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure Certificate and a satisfactory medical. If you are offered a place you will be sent the information regarding both of these checks.

This course is not available to Tier 4 students.

Please get in touch for further advice on 0113 283 7123 or admissions@leedstrinity.ac.uk.

The Leeds Trinity GCSE Equivalency

If you don’t have (or cannot provide proof of) the required GCSE qualifications, we’ll offer you the opportunity to sit a GCSE Equivalency exam when you’ve received an offer and made Leeds Trinity your firm choice. The results can only be used to progress on to programmes at Leeds Trinity University.

Student Finance

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.

Additional costs

We advise students to budget for the following in addition to annual tuition fees:

  • Recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
  • Field trips may occur during this course and they will be either fully or partly subsidised by the University. More details will be provided at the start of the course.
  • You'll need to include placement/s travel and associated costs too, however the University will contribute a standard amount towards your total expenditure.
  • The University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online

How to apply

Apply through the UCAS Teacher Training website

You can make three choices.

There’s no set deadline, but once the course is full, it will be closed to applications on the UCAS website. Complete all sections of the application form in full.

Attend an interview

If you’ve applied for a University-led or SCITT PGCE, you will be notified through UCAS Track if you’ve been invited to an Interview Day.

You’ll have an individual interview with a member of staff,  which will vary depending on the course you’ve applied for. If you’re invited to an interview through our University-led route, you’ll receive an email from us that explains everything you need to know about your interview.

This includes the date, time and location, as well as what to prepare beforehand and what will happen on the day, so it’s really important to read this email very carefully. 

For School Direct PGCEs, you may receive an email or a letter directly from the school which will clearly explain your interview date and time and what you need to prepare for your interview.

You will always be notified by UCAS Track if your application has been unsuccessful.

Read more about our PGCE Secondary University-led interviews.

Receive your offer

You’ll receive a letter letting you know if you’ve been made an offer or if you’ve been unsuccessful at the interview stage. UCAS Track will also be updated.

All offers are conditional on the following criteria being met:

  • Produce evidence of qualifications
  • DBS check
  • Medical check
  • The current skills tests will be replaced with a new system where trainees will be assured against a set of fundamental Mathematics and English skills by the end of their initial teacher training.
  • You may be asked to do a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to boost your subject knowledge.

Accept or decline your offer

When you’ve received decisions on all your choices, you’ll then have ten days to make your final decision on which offer(s) to decline/accept, You won’t be able to do this whilst you have applications without a final decision, this is so that you can make your final choice having all of your options open to you.

You’ll do this through UCAS Track.

Present your documents

You’ll be asked to provide your GCSE and degree certificates at interview, If you’ve accepted an offer from Leeds Trinity University, we’ll send you an offer letter which will include a request for you to provide other information to us. If any documents are not presented at the interview,  you’ll need to present these documents in person at Leeds Trinity University’s Student Administration office.

Receive an unconditional offer

When you’ve met all the conditions of your offer, it will become unconditional on UCAS.

Find out more

Get more information about this course and Leeds Trinity University Teacher Training with a prospectus.

Request a PGCE prospectus

Why Secondary?

Teaching secondary-age children is your chance to share your passion for your subject and inspire the next generation. Teaching children isn’t aone-size-fits-all approach. Every subject is different, which is why we make sure our support is centred on subject-specific knowledge, up-to-date teaching practices and, most importantly, your specific needs as a trainee teacher.

How we’ll support you throughout your training

Our School Partnerships team will source your placements for you, taking into account your passions, preferences and personal circumstances. 

You’ll be allocated a subject tutor, who will work with you to ensure you’re prepared and ready to go into school.