Secondary Education RE PGCE

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.

York St John University
Course fees
2017 - 2018 Full-time Home & EU students: £9,250, International (non EU) students: £10,000 per annum
Full-time only
How to apply
Through UCAS with the code Y75 YSJ

Course overview

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.

Course structure

The Secondary PGCE programme is structured in phases (introductory, developmental and consolidation) and within each phase, you are expected to reflect upon your learning and make effective links with curriculum and pedagogy through relating theory to practice. 


The programme is made up of four modules, two of which are based on Subject Studies and two on Professional Studies, as follows:

  • Introduction to Subject Specialism
  • Teaching Strategies: Planning for Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Subject Specialism
  • Understanding Learning and Teaching and School Experience
  • Emerging Professional and School Experience


How will I study?

The teaching teams in both Subject Studies and Professional Studies integrate their modules to run throughout the course of the programme rather than delivering them as separate modules. This approach ensures that links are strengthened between the modules and that the programme provided is holistic and inclusive. The two Professional Studies modules also include the Masters Level work and Secondary School Experience. All modules will be delivered by a combination of school and University based staff.

The programme employs a range of learning and teaching strategies, including enquiry based and active learning approaches. You are encouraged to develop a strong sense of your personal professional identity as subject teachers and are nurtured to develop your own philosophy and values about secondary education. Tutors and school-based mentors are available to guide and facilitate you. You will undertake research based activities to deepen your understanding of secondary practice and related subject knowledge. This has proven to be an effective approach in learning how to become a teacher to promote reflection on practice and learning. There are also a range of enrichment opportunities within the programme such as trips and events and the opportunity to engage with the wider professional RE community.

Assessments are spread across the duration of the programme with timely feedback on your work. Alongside academic assignments you will be assessed in school experiences with your progress being tracked during the year to ensure you are making the progress we expect towards meeting the teachers’ standards.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


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.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2016 / 17

The tuition fee for 2017 entry to this postgraduate course is £9,250 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate Loan: A new Postgraduate Loan is now available to help you pay for your Master’s course for students commencing in the 2016/17 academic year. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

Fees & Funding


Overseas 2016 / 17

The tuition fee for 2017 entry to this postgraduate course is £10,000 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding



Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.