School Direct Training Programme (Primary)

Teacher with pupils in classroom
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: One year full-time


Primary teaching at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

School Direct is a training route which allows you to work and study within a school of your choice while studying towards a postgraduate qualification (PGCE) degree and Qualified Teacher Status.

Why choose this course?

This is an innovative training route which allows you to choose the school, or group of schools, in which you train with an intention, but no absolute guarantee, that they will employ you once you successfully graduate. School Direct is run as a partnership between a lead school, other schools in their alliance and an accredited teacher training provider.

We have established successful partnerships with schools to offer both School Direct salaried and non-salaried courses for Primary and Secondary teaching:

  1. The School Direct Training Programme
    This is open to all graduates (including those who expect to complete their first degree prior to the September start date). You will pay tuition fees and may be eligible for student loans, and a bursary or scholarship.
  2. The School Direct Training Programme (salaried)
    This is an employment-based route into teaching for high quality graduates with three or more years' career experience. You will pay tuition fees and be employed as an unqualified teacher by a school who will pay you a salary.

The School Direct route, enables you to work within a school and train in the classroom, supported by qualified teachers and mentors. You will also spend time studying at the University as you progress towards gaining a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status.

School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with NTU. The schools involved have an excellent history of involvement in teacher training and a long history of supporting trainees to become confident and effective teachers.

You can apply to more than one school with School Direct and you apply directly through UCAS. Interview and selection will be conducted by both staff from NTU and from the school.

Primary places available September 2019

You can view the places available with our partner schools for 2019 entry on our School Direct places list.

Secondary Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship

Our Teacher Apprenticeships are available to your employer if they wish to support your development and certification as a qualified teacher through this route. This is funded through the Apprenticeship Levy that your employer pays.

Apprentices experience the same course as our School Direct trainees, beginning with the pre-course induction in the summer preceding the course and continuing throughout your year of working as an unqualified teacher. During this time you will be reflecting on and developing your practice, supported by your study of learning and teaching. You are therefore part of our community of developing teachers, and as such you are supported by our experienced professional academics. In the Autumn term following the course, you will then undertake an End Point Assessment to determine whether you have successfully completed the apprenticeship.

The entry requirements are the same as those for School Direct, and applications are made through UCAS. If you are interested, do get in touch for more information, and do please encourage your employer to get in touch with us.

What you'll study

The School Direct course is a flexible approach to teacher training. The majority of your time will be spent in the school, training in the classroom and supported by experienced teachers and mentors. You will also spend time studying at the University.

At the University you will study for the same award as other postgraduate teacher trainees except that the delivery will have more emphasis on being trained within a school environment and will involve more staff from schools:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with 60 credit points at Masters level)
  • Professional Certificate in Education.

Successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)* and a postgraduate qualification.

You will be a registered student with NTU and your qualification will be an NTU award. This means that NTU has responsibility for the quality of your training and you will benefit from the combined expertise of the University and lead placement school. The exact form of the delivery of the year will depend on the school to which you apply.

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

  • Module structure

    This teaching degree's structure is designed to meet the current and developing changes in primary schools in the United Kingdom. The module structure allows sufficient flexibility to address the planned governmental curricular changes, as well as reflect effective research based practice both nationally and internationally. It is vital that the entire primary curriculum is reflected across the course and is supported by a professional studies module and is closely linked to the professional placement. The course structure is designed to support trainees in the early stages of their career as well as providing a lasting support for their future careers.

    The course’s four modules run concurrently throughout the year. With the exception of Primary Professional Practice, which is taught at level 6, each module is offered at either level 6 or Masters level.

    Primary 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.

    This module 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.

    Learning and Teaching: Professional Studies (20 credits)

    This module is designed to support you in developing:

    • knowledge and understanding of a wide range of professional practices and a constructively critical approach toward innovation in professional practice;
    • an informed stance in relation to key issues in education;
    • a capacity to express your professional values through high quality work in all areas of the curriculum.

    Learning and Teaching: Primary Curriculum and Related Pedagogy (40 credits)

    You will be expected to work proactively to further your professional development to enable you to plan, teach and assess across the range of subjects specified by the primary national curriculum including RE, as well as cross curricular themes and strands, at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (EYFS and KS3).

    This module is designed to support you in becoming:

    • a reflective practitioner who is confident and capable of furthering the progress and achievement of learners;
    • a well-researched and knowledgeable professional who can use formative assessment strategies to plan for teaching which promotes learning for all children; and
    • a leading practitioner who is able to contribute to the long term aims of learning for both individuals and schools through identifying next steps in both learning and teaching.

    Primary Education Independent Study (60 credits)

    This module is designed to support you in:

    • engaging in an independent, professional enquiry; and
    • developing a focus for your own research and in depth study.

    It will also support you in becoming:

    • a confident professional with the knowledge and understanding of related pedagogy in English, maths and science to enable you to teach effectively across the age and ability range for which you are trained;
    • an active contributor to the knowledge base of teaching and learning; and
    • a research informed practitioner who has a research oriented approach to the development of your professional practice.

Further information on what you'll study

Professional accreditation

We are accredited by the UK Government's Department for Education 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.

Careers and employability

It is expected that you will continue be employed by the school or group of schools in which you trained, after you gain your teaching qualification. However there is no absolute guarantee of employment once you finish.

You will gain a recommendation for Qualified Teaching Status if you successfully complete the course and therefore can apply to other schools as a Newly Qualified Teacher in the event that you are not employed by your training school.

You will work within the school or group of schools to which you applied. You may also be expected to spend time in a range of other key stages, or schools to observe best practice and expand your practical experience.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • Enhance your communication skills
  • Enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • Boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

97% of our PGCE Primary Education postgraduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17, Postgraduate all including ProfGCE).

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • A 2:1 honours degree is preferred, but strong applicants with a 2:2 in a degree related to National Curriculum subjects, or to education or child development, more generally, will be considered;
  • GCSE Mathematics, English and Science at minimum grade C / 4 or equivalent. We accept the GCSE equivalency taken via Applicants with pending qualifications will be considered.
  • 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 online;

Other requirements:

  • An interview with both the training school and NTU is part of the selection process;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service and Prohibition Order checks and a satisfactory health check passed prior to enrolling;
  • Professional ITT Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy passed prior to enrolling; and
  • two references: one academic and one vocational.

Further information on entry requirements

Professional ITT skills tests

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 enrol on your course, but we advise you to take them as soon as you can, or you may miss out on vital pre-enrolment information.

Registration and booking for the skills tests are available online.

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

How to apply

Applications to this teaching degree are made through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). To apply, click the Apply online button at the top of the page.

See the places available for 2019 entry with our partner schools on our School Direct places list.

You can search for courses on the UCAS Teacher Training and apply using a two-tier 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.

When completing your application, do consider the particular features of the school, federation or alliance to which you are applying and make sure your personal statement recognises these.

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.

Fees and funding

Course fee for 2019 entry

CourseHome / EU tuition fee
School Direct Training Programme£9,250 

As a School Direct trainee, you will be entitled to the same financial support as trainees on other postgraduate teacher training courses.

If you are a UK or EU trainee, you should be eligible for a student loan, maintenance loan and maintenance grant to cover the cost of your study and will only start paying the loans back when you start earning over £21,000 per annum.

You may be eligible to receive a training bursary, dependent on the subject you train for and a degree classification. Find out more at

Still need help?

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