Secondary Mathematics

Teacher in classroom
  • UCAS code(s): G1X1
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: One year full-time

Secondary teaching at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.”
Solomon Ortiz

This teaching degree provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to teach Mathematics at secondary level. Time is spent in the University and in classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals ready to begin teaching in secondary schools.

The award is offered at two levels. Both are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate award will allow fast-track entry to Masters courses:

  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course, successful completion of which will lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)*.

The course aims to develop an understanding of the specialist subject in the context of the National Curriculum. This covers the principles involved in the teaching and learning of the subject across the full age and ability range and the professional values and practice, subject knowledge and understanding commensurate with the particular subject specialism. This includes how children learn and how they develop cognitively, socially and physically and the understanding, skills and personal qualities necessary for managing the learning environment.

All trainees undertake a module concerned with the wider context of schools and education. This develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for your first teaching post in a secondary school. It also builds a foundation for further professional development. Elements of this module include both whole cohort keynote lectures and seminars, many of which are led by mixed groups of trainees supported by tutors. This allows you to meet the Teacher Standards by making secure connections between issues in school and your own professional practice.

* The title of this award is subject to change due to an ongoing government consultation. For the latest information, please visit

What you'll study

We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

This course has a practical emphasis where the teaching of Mathematics in the school classroom is clearly in evidence. The skills and methods of teaching Mathematics in an effective way are fully explored and are underpinned by research findings.

The course aims to develop confidence and competence in teaching Mathematics in the secondary age range, either 11-16 or 11-18. It provides trainees with an understanding of the importance of the school National Curriculum and current government initiatives. Students gain the ability to plan and evaluate teaching and learning situations and to practice classroom-teaching skills, broaden knowledge of available technologies and how they may be used in school mathematics and understand how children learn mathematics, including the difficulties they experience. Emphasis is given to the pedagogies of teaching and learning and how children acquire mathematical concepts.

  • Module structure

    This secondary Mathematics teaching degree is based around five modules which are core to all trainees. Despite this the course is designed to be flexible, allowing you to undertake some credit-bearing modules at either level 6 or masters level, allowing you a significant amount of choice in identifying the focus of your study within modules in order to meet your own development needs and appropriate to the context of your professional practice placements.

    Trainees on the courses will complete 120 credit-points full-time over a school academic year. This spreads their total study hours over a longer period that that of a university academic year. Additionally, the professional focus of the courses will mean that much learning will take place in schools.

    The curriculum has been organised so that you will gain substantial support for the study of all modules at the start of the course through front-loaded University-based sessions, before your placements begin. The Learning and Teaching in the Subject module will largely be completed in this period, meaning that you will have clarity about academic expectations and your tutors will have an insight into required support. The other modules will be completed at different stages during the year to ensure both reasonable workload and to allow for the progressive impact of the Learning and Teaching in the Subject and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context modules (underpinned by the Skills of Enquiry module which is assessed across these two modules) on the Secondary Education Independent Study and Secondary Professional Practice modules which run right until the end of the courses.

    Secondary Professional Practice (0 credits)

    This module aims to develop you as a teacher who exercises responsibility: for your pupils as individuals and as members of groups within and beyond the school community; and for productive interaction both with professional colleagues including teaching and support staff in school, staff from external agencies, and with other adults, including parents and carers; and for your own professional development. It aims to equip you with theoretical and practical understanding and experience of: planning, setting high expectations and appropriate targets; monitoring and assessment; and teaching and behaviour management.

    The aims of the module are to:

    • Develop you as a teacher in your subject and the wider context;
    • Provide you with opportunities to put your knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and attributes into practice in school; and
    • Enable you to critically evaluate and consistently improve your practice.

    Learning and Teaching in the Subject (20 credits)

    This module aims to develop your understanding of the key concepts relating to education in your subject. This will form the basis for implementing a pedagogical approach in the classroom. You will identify and reflect upon recent educational research in your subject and consider the potential impact of this on your developing identity as a reflective teacher. This will result in an understanding of what might be considered ‘best practice’ in schools. You will explore modes of delivery that ensure engagement with and enjoyment of the subject and will develop the range of practical skills associated with this. Upon completion of this module you will be able to shape and deliver vibrant learning experiences in your subject.

    The aims of the module are to:

    • Develop your understanding of the frameworks, curricula and specifications relevant to your subject;
    • Develop your subject knowledge, your understanding of subject pedagogy and your ability to apply this to your professional practice;
    • Develop your ability to critique research and resources relating to your subject; and
    • Develop your ability to use reflection as a tool for improving your practice.

    Secondary Skills of Enquiry (20 credits)

    This module aims to develop your skills of enquiry, enabling you to critically review and evaluate theories, knowledge, concepts, research and debate from a wide range of sources. It aims to foster skills in synthesising and articulating your approach to learning and teaching that will then form a foundation for the devising of high quality learning experiences in your subject and the wider context. You will then implement these in your professional practice.

    It should be noted that this module is integrated with the Learning and Teaching in the Subject and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context modules. The teaching and learning in this module is explicitly supported by these modules and the assessment for this module is undertaken through these modules.

    The aims of this module are to:

    • Develop your ability to identify, review and critically assess appropriate sources;
    • Develop your ability to synthesise and articulate your approach to teaching and learning;
    • Enable you to use enquiry to improve your professional practice; and
    • Enable you to develop and deploy transferable skills as a basis for your continuing professional development.

    Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context (20 credits)

    This module aims to develop you as a teacher who exercises responsibility: for your pupils as individuals and as members of groups within and beyond the school community; and for productive interaction both with professional colleagues including teaching and support staff in school, staff from external agencies, and with other adults, including parents and carers; and for your own professional development. It aims to equip you with theoretical and practical understanding and experience of: planning, setting high expectations and appropriate targets; monitoring and assessment; and teaching and class management.

    The aims of the module are to:

    • Develop your deep understanding of the fundamental principles of schools, learners and the learning process;
    • Develop your critical awareness of the factors that enable learning for the individual;
    • Develop your personal and professional skills and knowledge required to teach; and
    • Develop your team-working and communication skills required to forge positive relationships.

    Secondary Education Independent Study (60 credits)

    This is a synoptic module encouraging critical reflection through personal development.

    The module will engage you in independent, professional enquiry that supports progress through the Secondary School Experience module. Working from a provided list of current themes relevant to your specialist subject you will develop a focus for your own research and in depth study based on your studies in the other modules.

    The module will support you in conducting professional enquiry in relation to the knowledge and understanding of related pedagogy to enable you to teach effectively across the age and ability range for which you are trained. It will lay the foundation for your entry into the profession as an active contributor to the knowledge base of teaching and learning.

    The aims of the module are to:

    • Develop your research and professional enquiry skills;
    • Enable you to reflect on your own practice and implement changes based on your reflections; and
    • Provide you with opportunity to use professional and academic sources within your own practice.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Further information on what you'll study

Professional accreditation

We are accredited by the UK Government's National College for Teaching and Leadership as a provider of Initial Teacher Training courses. Successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This means you can be employed as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in a school to complete your induction year.

Bursaries and scholarships up to £20,000 are available to train to teach Mathematics.

How you’re taught


University-based modules: Learning and Teaching in the Subject, and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context, are assessed at the end of the modules with reflection against the Teacher Standards. You will also conduct a piece of research-based, professional enquiry within the classroom, which is assessed by a formal written report and presentation of findings. A separate, formal assessment also takes place in practical teaching.


School or college experience is central to the PGCE degree and at least 24 weeks are spent on placement in at least two different secondary schools or colleges. During the first phase, two days of school or college experience each week for three weeks are spent in school leading up to a six-week block placement. Trainee teachers are gradually given more responsibility and increase their contribution in both the classroom and to the corporate life of the school.

The second phase begins with a two day, weekly attachment for the first three weeks of the spring term, leading up to the final assessed 13-week block placement. In both placements the training programme is planned by mentors to allow progressive acquisition of the skills, knowledge and understanding students need to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Students are formally observed on a regular basis by their subject mentor as well as receiving a number of visits from the University, to monitor their progress, support their development and undertake their assessment.

Careers and employability

The vocational nature of the PGCE Secondary and the fact that successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) means that graduates are ideally placed to pursue a career as a teacher in a secondary school or college.

Links with industry

We involve industry experts in our courses in a number of ways:

  • We consult with employers when we design and update our courses.
  • We ensure you are prepared to meet the demands of the workplace by continually checking the currency and validity of our courses with employers.
  • You will have the opportunity to have a work placement (if not already in paid or voluntary employment).
  • Employers may input directly into your course through guest lectures, projects, and other work-related activities.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

You will need:

  • a good UK honours degree or equivalent, at a minimum 2:2 with at least 50% focused on subject areas that are very closely related to the subject that you wish to teach; and
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at minimum grade C or equivalent. These must have been gained prior to application

Other requirements:

  • an interview; and
  • a Disclosure and Barring Service check; and
  • a Prohibition Order check; and
  • Professional ITT Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy (pass); and
  • two references - one academic and one vocational; and
  • It may strengthen your application to have had some experience in a classroom in a UK mainstream school, setting or college, although this is not an entry requirement. If you do wish to gain some experience prior to your application, you can find out more about how to arrange this on the  NCTL's School Experience Programme webpage.

In exceptional circumstances applicants may be considered who do not have a strong degree match, but who have other relevant qualifications, including an A-level in the subject and extensive professional experience. We do not accept Ordinary degrees. The key consideration is if you are able to demonstrate knowledge of the subject that is commensurate with graduate level understanding.

After interview, strong candidates who are not able to demonstrate graduate level subject knowledge may be offered a place on the course, dependent on successfully completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in that subject prior to commencing their teacher training year. For further information about our SKE courses, see our website.

If necessary, you can take a relevant GCSE as a private candidate. Find out how to do this on the AQA's website.

Further information on entry requirements

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course (SKE)

If your degree content does not meet the requirements you may be eligible for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) in Mathematics course, which will give you the necessary subject knowledge prior to undertaking the PGCE.

How to apply

You can search for courses on the UCAS Teacher Training website, and apply using a two-tiered process. Apply 1 allows you to choose three teacher training courses. If you are unsuccessful in Apply 1, you can choose to apply for alternative courses during Apply 2.

Find out how it all works on the UCAS teacher training website.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Professional ITT skills tests

If you apply for a teacher training course, then you must pass professional ITT skills tests in numeracy and literacy as part of the application process. You must have passed these tests before you start the course.

Registration and booking for the skills tests is available on the Department for Education website.

Find out more about the tests and how to prepare for them with our teacher training skills tests FAQs sheet.

Fees and funding

Course fee for 2018 entry

CourseHome / EU tuition fee
PGCE Secondary Maths£9,250

Home students can apply for a student loan for tuition and maintenance fees. In addition students may be eligible for maintenance or special support grants. More information on the funding for Initial Teacher-Training courses can be found on and the National College for Teaching and Leadership website.


Bursaries up to £20,000 are available to train to teach Maths.

Your eligibility for financial support, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject in which you train and your degree classification, or highest relevant academic qualification.

Course fee for 2018 entry

CourseInternational tuition fee
PGCE Secondary Maths£12,900

Still need help?

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