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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Teacher Training Routes

There are several routes into teacher training. Your path into teaching will depend on the subject and age group you would like to teach as well as your work experience, qualifications and learning style.

In this short guide, you’ll find information about initial teacher training (ITT) qualifications. If you are interested in talking to us about whether a PGCE at the University of Southampton would be right for you, simply register to talk to one of our experienced tutors and we will support you through the consideration and application process.

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Types of PGCE programme

PGCE students at board

We deliver a variety of teacher training programmes and every programme is embedded in our culture of excellence in teaching. Each course is delivered by an excellent team providing a combination of practical teaching experience and world-class, cutting-edge research.

Choose your teaching phase

Which age group would you like to teach? We offer both primary and secondary PGCE programmes. Our primary programmes are designed to support trainees to teach pupils aged 4-11. Our secondary programmes are designed to support trainees to teach pupils aged 11-16.


On our PGCE primary course, you will benefit from a unique combination of experienced school mentors, academic expertise from tutors, and the support of your fellow trainee teachers. Before long, you’ll be leading small groups of learners, preparing lessons, and reflecting on your progress! Linking theory and practice will give you the strong foundations needed for a successful long-term career in teaching.

Many primary schools are looking for teachers who can lead subject areas, so we offer all our trainee teachers the chance to specialise and personalise your course. There are a range of options including physical education, mathematics, and additional activities such as e-safety, PSHE, children’s literature, outdoor learning, special educational needs, and modern foreign languages. There’s also the chance to spend two weeks in Kenya as part of your course – this is an amazing opportunity to gain an insight into the realities of how education can really change lives.


Choose this route and you will be ready for the challenge, creativity, and variety of a secondary school. We immediately get you into the classroom so you can learn the practicalities of lesson planning, behaviour management, and assessment. Your tutor, mentor, and other departmental colleagues will support you with lesson planning and observations, feedback, and resources. There’s always someone by your side.

At the University of Southampton, we provide subject-focused seminars, workshops, and practical sessions, so you learn in a variety of interesting ways. Under the guidance of experienced University academics, you also spend time with your fellow trainee teachers, reflecting on your learning. Through linking theory to practice, while analysing and evaluating your learning, you will become an excellent, reflective, classroom practitioner. Training to teach in a world-class university means, no matter which course you select, you’ll get the best possible start to your new career.

Choose your programme


Both University-led and School Direct routes involve spending at least two-thirds of the course in two different schools. You can choose a University-led course if you’d like to spend more time with us in university, learning more about the National Curriculum, the theory of education, and participating in seminars and lectures which stretch your knowledge. You can draw on our expertise and have two similar length placements. Our partnership includes schools across Southampton, Hampshire, Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Wiltshire, and the Isle of Wight.

School Direct

Both University-led and School Direct routes involve spending at least two-thirds of the course in two different schools. If you want to immerse yourself in one school with a short placement at another, a School Direct course could be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

PGCE Placements - What PGCE placements are there?

Our partnership covers an extensive area, which enables us to offer a wide range of school experiences, from large urban secondary schools to small rural primary schools.

Study abroad opportunities - What study abroad opportunities are there?

As well as the relationships we maintain with local schools and colleges we have developed relationships with schools across the world. Most recently some of our trainees took part in a short teaching experience placement in an impoverished area of Kenya.

What qualifications do you need to become a teacher?

To become a teacher in a state-maintained school in England and Wales you will need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). More information can be found on the .gov website.

Many trainee teachers choose to complete a PGCE. A PGCE is an internationally recognised advanced qualification which is awarded with a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. A PGCE is an additional academic qualification that includes QT(L)S.

During a PGCE you will engage with the latest education research to ensure that you are grounded in relevant theory to take directly onto school placement. We pride ourselves on giving our trainees a strong academic foundation of knowledge from which they can develop as a classroom teacher.

Our PGCE programmes also include master's level credits. Which you can top-up to achieve a full master’s level qualification.

What qualifications do you need to start teacher training?

The entry requirements for our programmes include…

  • GCSE passes or equivalent, at Grade C or above in English language, mathematics, and science
  • Good honours degree

Find out more about the specific entry requirements for our programmes on the course pages.

How much does it cost to train to become a teacher?

The cost to train to become a teacher will depend on your programme as well as the teaching phase and subject you would like to teach. There is a variety of government funding available for teacher training, including bursaries which change every year.

Visit the Get into Teaching DfE website for current information or register to talk to one of our experienced tutors.

What can you do with a PGCE?

Our graduates go on to achieve teaching positions at primary, secondary, and further education levels. In the UK and internationally. A PGCE is an internationally recognised advanced qualification


Let us know if you have any questions. Register to talk to one of our experienced tutors and we will support you through the consideration and application process.

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