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Postgraduate courses

Initial Teacher Education (QTS)

Start your teacher training in September 2022

Choose from one of our PGCE options and work towards your QTS status.

Apply with Department for Education

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We offer 4 different routes for your PGCE study, so that you can choose the option that suits you best.

Get to know the differences between our options.

CourseDurationPlacementsQTS
Primary (University Centred) PGCE - full time 1 year full time Two thirds of the course is on placement in schools (1 in autumn term, 2 in spring and summer terms) Yes
Primary (University Centred) PGCE - part time 2 years part time First placement part time, second and third placement full time Yes
Primary (School Direct) PGCE 1 year full time Autumn, spring and summer placements Yes
Secondary (School Direct) PGCE - 12 subjects available 1 year full time Autumn, spring and summer placements Yes

Find out more about each course below, or apply now through the Department for Education.

Apply through Department for Education

Find your route

Primary (University Centred) PGCE

The Primary PGCE (University Centred) combines academic study on the York St John campus with school-based experience. You will work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) recommendation.

On campus you will critically engage with educational issues and develop as a reflective practitioner. You will be introduced to all core and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum and Early Years framework. There is a focus on how to support learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

You will spend a minimum of 120 days in school-based training. As well as school experience placements, there are opportunities to observe children in other settings such as nurseries.

This course can be studied full time over 1 year or part time over 2 years. For the 2 year part time course, academic input is part time. Your first placement will be part time but placements 2 and 3 will be full time.

Go to course

"I have found that the lecturers are extremely knowledgeable, supportive and welcoming. The course has helped me to prepare for my teaching career by offering unique opportunities and experiences."

Rachel Green, Primary PGCE (University Centred), 2020

"I have loved all the opportunities the PGCE course has to offer. With a rich number of placements, an excellent supporting staff and plenty of support outside the lecture room, York St John is the perfect place to come for anyone with an ambition to teach."

Joseph Brewer, Primary PGCE (University Centred), 2020

"I chose York St John because: I love York as a city, the university's city centre location, and the opportunities the university offers to study abroad. I am exceedingly thankful I chose the university because not only have I made amazing friends for life, but the staff could not be more encouraging and supportive along every step of the way."

Tylar Siddle, Primary PGCE (University Centred), 2020

Primary (School Direct) PGCE

On a Primary PGCE (School Direct) you will train in a school as you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) recommendation.

You will be based in one of our partner schools from the start of your course. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current primary and early years curriculum, including core and foundation subjects. We also emphasise the importance of meeting the individual needs of children from diverse backgrounds.

There are academic sessions both at university and within school which are designed to integrate theory and practice and develop a deeper pedagogical knowledge.

Go to course

"Since my placements were based in contrasting school settings, I feel really prepared to take on my NQT year after graduating."

Lucy Anderson, Primary PGCE (School Direct), 2020 - St George’s

"I feel I have grown in confidence as the course has progressed, and the course design has supported this as the teaching percentages gradually increased. I have also really enjoyed the academic side of the course and have felt this complemented my teaching. Completing a reflective essay helped my own practice and made learning theories extremely relevant."

Jessica Rose, Primary PGCE (School Direct), 2020 - Campus Stockton

"YSJ's reputation as a training provider is well known and I have not been disappointed. I have found the program to be supportive and I have enjoyed the subject knowledge days such as the Football Association training day."

Daniel Rice, Primary PGCE (School Direct), 2020 - Campus Stockton

Secondary (School Direct) PGCE

On a Secondary (School Direct) PGCE you will be fully immersed in your school placements from the start.

We offer the following subject specialisms: 

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Religious Education

Most of your learning will take place in one of our partner schools, with time out each week for academic sessions on campus. These academic sessions will underpin and support your school based practice. You will also explore wider educational issues, reflecting local and national policy. 

Go to course

"The course is run and delivered by a passionate team who are highly regarded in their fields. I particularly liked the fact that if there were any concerns, they were addressed and dealt with quickly and professionally."

Robert Gerrard, Secondary Chemistry PGCE, 2020

"The subject tutors have a wealth of experience and knowledge helping to support you throughout the PGCE year. The mixture of academic support, personal wellbeing services and effective school partnerships make York St John's PGCE course a superb platform to begin a career in teaching."

Will Lawn, Secondary PE PGCE, 2020

"No problem was too small to contact the partnership about. Any questions or worries I had were communicated effectively between the university and the alliance, the partnership continually helped me along the way. Their communication and support kept me going!"

Megan Hardcastle, Secondary English PGCE, 2020

Hear from our partner schools

"The high quality of professional care and support that York St John invests in ourselves and our partners exemplifies the reason we enjoy working together with them so much."

"Our students get the best of both worlds... excellent in school support from teachers and leaders, combined with great University support from staff who are trained and experienced as teachers/school leaders themselves. Our students are trained to be reflective practitioners, able to apply relevant theoretical learning to practical classroom practice in order to have maximum impact on all learners."

"Ebor Academy Trust is proud to have a strategic role in supporting and delivering ITT in partnership with YSJ and partnered schools. These links and commitment ensure the practical components are closely linked to both university and alliance content, providing a firm foundation for supporting and improving teaching skills. We are proud of the deep rooted and shared vision the partnership has in supporting trainees in their training year and beyond."

"Our students feel well-supported and well-equipped to launch a successful teaching career due to the collaborative nature of the programme and the experiences that we are able to supply, by working together as providers of a high-quality teaching training course."

"The York St John School Direct PGCE programme develops our student teachers into competent and confident professionals who learn that intellectual endeavour, criticality and personal reflection are key to developing outstanding teaching practice. The valuable and integrated academic modules on the PGCE course which are delivered in partnership between York St John and Alliances enables our training teachers to become epistemic agents who actively search for theories and research that can underpin and inform their teaching practice while on placement. This in turn prepares our teachers to become responsible professionals who are intellectually curious and recognise the social responsibilities of education as they prepare for their NQT year and beyond."

"We decided to work with YSJ because they were the only HEI who offered a partnership in the true sense of the word - valuing professional expertise and judgement in schools, alongside the academic expertise and support available in the university. YSJ also uphold the same moral principals of ITE as we do at Macmillan and are committed to training and supporting all ITTs to become the best teachers that they can possibly be for the good of the students that they will be educating."

"MSTA greatly value the partnership with YSJ, particularly the support for the programme in Middlesbrough and individual support for our students. The shared expertise is a real strength for our schools and students and contributes to the strong and talented workforce development in our local area."

"Our close partnership with York St John allows us to offer student teachers excellent school-based training across our alliance of schools with the confidence that this is underpinned by the highest standards of academic teaching and robust theory. We work with York St John University as a close team, dedicated to providing the highest quality teacher training. The passion and expertise across the partnership is as good as it gets: our trainees are confident in the knowledge that we (Polaris) have been training great teachers for six years, and YSJ for a hundred and eighty years!"

"I have worked with YSJ for a number of years now; the relationship between the Partnership is superb. I am fully supported by my colleagues at YSJ and always considered during strategic planning and developments made to the course. I believe that YSJ are always at the forefront when it comes to educational change and prioritise communications with their Partners to provide a challenging and rewarding ITE curriculum. My colleagues at YSJ are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable and I find them a pleasure to work with."

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