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Education (Secondary RE) Graduate Diploma,Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE)

PGCE Secondary RE Education

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


University centred training

The key aim of the PGCE Secondary RE programme is to deliver a high quality, current and relevant programme of training that equips student teachers with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes they need to become outstanding teachers in our local and national secondary schools. 

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 support you in developing your professional practice, providing you with excellent opportunities to engage in wider professional issues relating to pedagogy and the curriculum. The programme is integrated with school-based experience and training to ensure that your developing professional practice is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of educational theory and current local, national and international research.

You will be expected to critically engage with educational issues and develop as reflective practitioners, able to evaluate and adapt your practice to meet the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds.

The most recent Ofsted report for the PGCE Secondary programme (June 2011) rated York St John University ‘outstanding’ for its secondary teacher education. The key strengths outlined in the report are as follows:

  1. A very coherent pattern of training ensuring that all elements combine effectively to promote high-quality outcomes for trainees.
  2. Excellent communication, mentoring and link tutoring across the partnership ensuring that all those involved in training and assessment work successfully together to secure outstanding trainee progress.
  3. A well-designed and focused RE programme which provides trainees with excellent opportunities to develop a high level of subject knowledge and expertise.
  4. A positive pattern of enrichment activities which helps promote the trainees’ understanding of their subject and of wider issues related to inclusion and diversity.
  5. Very effective systems for tracking trainees’ progress and setting targets for improvement which ensure that trainees are actively engaged in the process of reflecting on their performance.
  6. Strong recruitment procedures ensuring that trainees who are selected have the qualities required to become effective teachers and are well-supported from the outset of their training.
  7. Strong programme leadership and management which is very proactive in anticipating change and responding to initiatives within the subject and the wider educational world.

This established programme covers the key issues involved in secondary education, delivered by well-qualified and experienced teaching staff with a commitment to professionalism and excellence. Employment statistics indicate that employment rates for graduates of this programme are above the national average.

The programme is full time Monday to Friday, starting in September and ending in July the following year. It also involves 120 days of school based training.  


School centred training

We also offer a school centred training PGCE route (School Direct) where Teaching School Alliances work in partnership with York St John to offer PGCEs in a range of subjects, inlcuding English, mathematics and science. For more information on this route please visit the School Direct webpages.


What qualifications do I need to apply?

Entry requirements for programmes leading to QTS are stipulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ITT criteria 2012. These are:

  • GCSE in English (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C or above
  • GCSE in Mathematics (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C or above
  • A first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent 

In addition, applicants must also:

  • Have recent and relevant experience within a secondary school setting and applicants should seek at least two weeks of secondary school experience prior to applying for a place on the programme. This might be for example, in a teaching assistant role or a voluntary placement. Please see School Based Experience for guidelines.
  • Take part in an interview 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. 

For this programme successful applicants will normally have 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. Applicants' degrees must have significant components of direct relevance to the PGCE subject they are applying for.

Candidates invited to interview will be sent a ‘Prior Achievement’ booklet to complete that enables them to match their current experience against the Teachers’ Standards.  This supports tutors in giving successful candidates relevant pre-course tasks to complete to enable them to be fully prepared for the start of the programme.


QTS Skills Tests

Anyone applying for an initial teacher training (ITT) course is required to have passed the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course.

Once you have submitted your application to us, you will need to arrange to take and pass the tests, ideally before interview.

Please refer to the skills tests guidance for more information.


How much does it cost?

All fees are subject to review. Please visit our finance pages for up-to-date information about fees and funding. Please visit the dedicated PGCE funding pages to find out what funding is available to you.


How do I apply?

Applications are made online through the UCAS Teacher Training website - www.ucas.com

The UCAS Institution Code for York St John is Y75 YSJ and the course code for the PGCE Secondary RE is V6X1


How can I find out more?

For general information call our Information Hotline T: 01904 876598 E: admissions@yorksj.ac.uk

For specific information about the programme visit our Initial Teacher Education website

For the school-centred PGCEs refer to the Faculty of Education & Theology School Direct website