2023/24 entry

PGCE School Direct Initial Teacher Training non salaried

Start date(s)
Study mode
Full time
Course duration
1 years

Tuition fees

Home fee

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:
0151 231 5175
International admissions

Send a message >

About this course

Take the School Direct route into Primary or Secondary teaching with LJMU and gain Qualified Teacher Status and invaluable classroom experience.

  • Train within a school setting and be involved in school life from the first day of term
  • Choose from Primary or Secondary teacher training routes (see Details tab for more information)
  • Follow a curriculum developed and delivered in partnership with outstanding local schools
  • Learn from expert teachers
  • Prepare for a career as an innovative and creative teacher in one of LJMU's excellent partner Lead Schools

School Direct is a route into teaching featuring a school-centred approach. Bursaries are available on the programme, depending on your degree classification and subject area. Training includes substantial time spent in school led by outstanding teachers.

School Direct is offered via a series of school consortia, each with a Lead School which works with LJMU to develop their training programme. As each School Direct programme is unique, you are advised to check full details of training and requirements with the Lead School.

Applications for School Direct places are made to Lead Schools via UCAS. The interview and selection process is conducted by school staff in association with LJMU.

All courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status and support the development of your: critical understanding of educational theory and practice, reflective practice linked to professional development and practitioner research skills for effective teaching and learning. Your training will also enhance your understanding and the application of your subject knowledge

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Full-time PGCE/PGDE students are eligible for the same range of financial support as undergraduate students

You will have access to:

  • a non means-tested student loan to cover your tuition fees
  • a means-tested student loan to help cover your living expenses
  • a means-tested maintenance grant, which does not have to be paid back
  • a means-tested LJMU bursary worth up to £500, which does not have to be paid back

Subject-specific bursaries are available to support those training to teach. The amount of bursary depends on your subject and degree classification. Find out more at Get into Teaching.

Confirmed 2023/24 Bursaries:
The following subject areas are now subject to a £27,000 tax-free bursary:

The following subject areas are now subject to a £25,000 tax-free bursary:

The following subject areas are now subject to a £20,000 tax-free bursary:

Design and Technology
The following subject areas are now subject to a £15,000 tax-free bursary:

If you are eligible for a bursary you do not need to apply for one; once you are enrolled at LJMU you will begin receiving payments from the beginning of your course.

Bursaries are often available to those training to teach in a variety of subjects. Please refer to the Get Into Teaching website for more details when they are published.

Alternatively, if you have a good first degree, you can apply for a scholarship from professional subject bodies such as the IoP, RSC, IMA and BCS. Find out more at Get into Teaching.

Please be aware non-UK national trainees in languages and physics are now eligible for bursaries and scholarships.

For the latest information about bursaries and funding, please visit the Get into Teaching website.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Many schools involved in School Direct are seeking to fill a vacant post at the end of the course, though there is no guarantee of employment.

During your training there will be ample opportunities for engagement with relevant local employment organisations including schools and teacher recruitment agencies through on campus events.

You will be encouraged to join the relevant professional association for your subject or area of study, providing the opportunity to engage with wider networks of teachers and others interested in your chosen area.

Most of our students go on to work in schools and colleges, locally and nationally, in the state or independent sectors.

Teaching provides a variety of career pathways leading to specialist roles in schools and colleges ranging from pastoral care and subject leadership right through to school leadership positions.

Having gained experience in teaching, a number of graduates move into associated professions such as educational psychology, consultancy, and roles in the education service sector outside of schools.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

We offer a choice of Primary and Secondary routes via School Direct.

For 2023/24, our School Direct Lead Schools are:

  • Archbishop Blanch School
  • Cheshire Vale Teaching School Alliance (Tarporley High School), Cheshire
  • Knutsford Academy, Knutsford
  • Matthew Arnold Primary School, Liverpool
  • Merseyside Alliance for Initial Teacher Training, Liverpool
  • Palmerston School, Liverpool
  • North West Learning Partnership
  • Turton School, Bolton
  • Wirral Schools Collaboration, Wirral
  • The Heath School, Runcorn
  • Weatherhead High School, Wirral
  • Wigan & West Lancashire Catholic School Direct (Astley)

Optional modules

Becoming a Professional Teacher
20 credits

Becoming a Professional Teacher
20 credits

This module aims to enable students to systematically develop, demonstrate and critically reflect on evidence of competence in all national Teachers' Standards relating to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Strategic planning and evaluation of school-based practice.

This module focuses on the teaching placement (minimum 120 days) in a Home School and Alternate Placement, including the tracking and recording of mentoring and progress against the Teachers' Standards. To pass the module and meet the competency requirements, trainees must pass the placement experience and triangulation process, with evidence of progress recorded in the LJMU ITT Tracker, QTS Training and Development File and Placement Experience Files. Trainees must also complete a Career Entry and Development Profile (CEDP) outlining targets for early career development.

Reflecting on Teaching and Learning
40 credits

Reflecting on Teaching and Learning
40 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of subject and general pedagogies, and support you to become a competent and knowledgeable teacher with an understanding of learning, teaching and assessment.

This module applies a critical incident analysis approach to reflecting on and developing knowledge and expertise of key pedagogical and didactic approaches to learning, teaching and assessment

Education and Schooling
20 credits

To develop a critical understanding of the contemporary policy landscape of education and schooling in the United Kingdom, with reference to educational research and scholarship, informed by personal observation of practice.

This module provides an option to complete a postgraduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme with an alternative exit award WITHOUT recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), as outlined in the relevant programme specification. When a student enrolled on such a programme opts to remain on the programme working towards a non-QTS exit award, they will be transferred from the relevant 7118xBEC Becoming a Professional Teacher module onto 7518EDU Education and Schooling The student will typically end their placement experience (teaching practice) at this point. This will typically happen at the end of Phase 2 (March) after a referral placement has been attempted.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Although you will spend the majority of your time teaching in school there are regular university-based training sessions at the LJMU Mount Pleasant Campus in the City Centre. Some of your training may be delivered by and in partner schools.

As this is a postgraduate course, you should expect to undertake a significant amount of independent study and preparation, not only to support your course assignments, but also your school-based work.

Teaching methods

School based training involves the preparation and delivery of learning sequences and lessons to small groups and whole classes of learners, with expectations and workload increasing during the course. This work is supported by your teacher-mentor who will support your professional learning experience in school.

The course is delivered through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, group discussion and reflection, problem solving and micro-teaching. We also make full use of the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

This intense programme is tightly focused on providing you with the skills and knowledge required. Tutorial support is an important part of the process and you will receive a personalised service that will enable you to set targets and achieve your potential.

Your Personal Tutor will meet with you to monitor your progress, provide guidance and advice and set targets for your development.

You will also be allocated a Teacher Mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your mentor will be supported by an LJMU Tutor who will visit school several times during the year to monitor your progress.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

A variety of assessment methods are used during the course including: critical reflections on practice, literature review, small scale research projects and design and analysis of learning experiences.

During your training, you will monitor your progression towards achieving Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) and will need to maintain an appropriate professional development portfolio to support this.

A final assessment will be based on observation of your teaching practice and the evidence base that you develop during training.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

You will have access to all of the classroom and teaching facilities provided by your chosen school as well as the expertise of educational professionals at LJMU.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a minimum a 2:2 honours degree (some Lead Schools will require a 2:1).  You should check the individual requirements on DfE Apply.

GCSEs and equivalents

  • GCSE Grade 4/C or equivalent in English, Maths and Science for Primary teaching and English and Maths for Secondary teaching - level 2 numeracy and literacy not accepted

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    • significant experience in a school or other employment context
    • A minimum of 10 days’ work experience in a UK Primary or Secondary school is normally required prior to commencing the programme. We can help to arrange this for successful applicants

International requirements


    • IELTS score 7.0 (Minimum 6.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • a demonstrable interest in teaching within the curriculum area/age range. You could show this in a number of ways – time spent in schools, knowledge of a chosen curriculum area, relevant practical experience.
    • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a selection event 
    • All offers are conditional on applicants meeting the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children with a satisfactory Enhanced DBS Disclosure
    • a school willing to employ you as an unqualified teacher while you train


  • RPL

    • RPL is not accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

If you want to join a PGDE or PGCE with us, you will need to apply through the Apply for Teacher Training service here https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training.

Applications can be made via Apply to the Lead School. Each applicant will be considered in consultation with an LJMU Admissions Tutor and may be asked to attend a selection event in school.

Selection is based on performance in teaching and written tasks and interviews which may involve the school's learners. The selection process will be led by the schools' Teachers and Senior Leaders and may involve LJMU Tutors.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.