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Why study this course

Our highly respected PGCE primary course is designed to exceed 120 days spent on school placement

Placements are across at least two different school settings, which will enable you to make links between theory and practice

BGU has almost 160 years of experience in education and upholds an excellent and long-standing national reputation within the field

Our academic modules are designed to complement your time spent on school placement, and are designed to best prepare you for a career in teaching.

Course summary

The School Direct Training Programme is school-led initial teacher training. School Direct is available in primary and secondary schools across England and offers a training route to achieving qualified teacher status (QTS). Through our partnerships, there are training places available in a range of areas.

Key facts




1 year

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Click here for more information on our current School Direct partnership schools.

There are two separate School Direct training options:

School Direct Training Programme (non-salaried)

An employment-based route available to high-quality graduates with relevant experience. You will apply to a cluster of schools via the DfE, and be based in a home school for the majority of your course. You will undertake a placement in an alternative school.

School Direct Training Programme (salaried)

An employment-based route available to high-quality graduates with at least three years’ work experience who will earn a salary whilst they train. Click the below links for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies for both the Primary and Secondary courses. You will undertake a placement in an alternative school.

For further information about School Direct please visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website.

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module will enable you to undertake meaningful reflection of your experiences, enabling the development of professional and subject knowledge. You will use critical incident analysis models and develop your understanding of theories of learning and reflective practice.

This module provides opportunities for you to undertake professional small-scale research in order to develop an understanding of educational theory and current issues in teaching practice.

Entry requirements

For all School Direct specialisms you will normally need:

  • GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) in English Language, Mathematics and Science. Please see our list of accepted equivalents.
  • A relevant honours degree at a 2:2 classification or above; please see below for the degree subject requirements for individual specialisms. (Where the degree result is to be awarded in the year of application, we will require a predicted degree classification as part of an academic reference provided on the application)
  • Experience – please see below information below
  • Declaration of Health
  • DBS (formerly the CRB) Enhanced Disclosure

When shortlisting for interview, we will consider the following aspects of your qualifications:

  • GCSE grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
  • A Level grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
  • Degree Class and relevance of content
  • Additional relevant qualifications


Experience in a relevant setting is important as it will help you to make sure that you are aware of the role of a teacher in the twenty-first century. The course is intensive and demanding and you need to be aware of what a career in the teaching profession entails.

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) – formerly the CRB and Health

In addition you will be required to obtain a satisfactory Declaration of Health Form, or if required, a medical examination. In addition, all students will need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)). A successful Enhanced Disclosure is required before commencing the course.

If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email enquiries@bishopg.ac.uk

Apply directly to your chosen cluster via the apply now button.

How you will be taught

The course will include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, tutorials, school-based training and will lead to a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the end of the course. The university-based sessions are very much a starting point for the training undertaken in schools through observation and working alongside experienced teachers.

You will attend sessions on campus alongside attentional training delivered through the school direct cluster.


We offer a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops, independent study and school-based training. Assessments include written assignments with strong links between theory and practice.

Careers & Further study

The teaching profession has a well-structured career pathway which moves progressively from initial teacher training (ITT) through to Early Career Teacher (ECT) status. On passing your induction, your career can develop with opportunities to work towards NPQs (National Professional Qualifications), or progress towards leadership positions, such as Deputy Head teacher, and perhaps a Headteacher. Alternatively, you may decide to focus on other roles within school, such as SEND Co-ordinator, or perhaps further develop your postgraduate studies to a full Masters degree.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

At BGU we have so much support available for our students, the type of support that has won us awards recently in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2023, such as the Chaplaincy team, the Student Advice team, CELT, BGFutures and representatives at the Students’ Union.

sport and fitness memebership

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process.

Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

"As a mature student, I chose to retrain as a teacher following an Arts-based career by accessing a School Direct programme, which was an amazing, fast-paced and well-delivered beginning to a new adventure. With the fantastic, faultless support of an inspirational team of colleagues from Greenwood Academies Trust and Bishop Grosseteste University, I snapped up an offer for my NQT year at Skegness Junior Academy (my placement school) in September 2020. Despite the current challenges we face, I feel well prepared, with countless training opportunities and guidance and I am really enjoying my new position."
Claire Smith, School Direct Primary