PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Mathematics

Accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted)

Course details

If you're passionate about mathematics, and want to share your knowledge in the classroom, then our PGCE is perfect for getting started as a secondary mathematics teacher. We'll develop your confidence in maths as well as your ability to help young learners understand and appreciate the beauty of the subject. You'll have the opportunity to work with many different groups of learners in various situations, helping them build their maths skills and understanding of how they apply the subject to real life.

You will study the teaching and learning of mathematics at Key Stages 3 and 4, with some work on post-16 maths and the progression from primary school to Key Stage 3. Our highly-experienced teaching team will use a range of teaching methods to enhance your studies (particularly focusing on ICT), and by working closely with fellow students you'll share experiences and reflection to put your education into focus. We'll give you the skills and knowledge you need to make it as a highly successful maths teacher, so why not try a new and rewarding career in education?

You'll begin by understanding the needs of individual learners, learning to notice, understand and implement key teaching strategies. Working with individual groups of pupils in school, you'll gradually building up to the teaching of whole classes in the second phase. This will involve fostering the appropriate levels of learning in pupils, corresponding to the requirements of the Teachers' Standard.

We believe that experience is not enough - what is vital is to be able to unpick and reflect on experiences. You'll deconstruct classroom learning activities into their constituent parts, and then build them up again and implement them in the classrooms. Your personal tutor will meet with you throughout the year to discuss your progress, and your subject mentor will support your development towards QTS at your placement. Most placements are in Cumbria or Lancashire, but some may be available in London, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man.

Programme Specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the Programme Specification (PDF)

Please see the selection criteria section below.

Selection criteria

A minimum UK 2:2 honours degree or recognised equivalent qualification is required. Your degree must contain evidence of a substantial and appropriate level of subject knowledge. All successful applicants must have met this requirement by 31 August 2016.

If you don't have an undergraduate degree but do have a Masters or other higher qualification, your application will be considered by our academic tutors on a one-to-one basis.

GCSE grade C or above in English language and mathematics or recognised equivalent qualifications. Preference will be given to those who hold these qualifications at the point of application and all successful applicants must have met this requirement by 31 July 2016.

Successful completion of the QTS skills test in literacy and numeracy by 31 July 2016.

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check prior to starting the course.

Satisfactory Occupational Health medical check prior to starting the course

Evidence of a satisfactory level of literacy on the application form and a satisfactory personal statement.

Evidence of motivation and appropriate professional values. A strong personal statement conveying an enthusiasm for the subject, for working with young people and for teaching and learning.

A satisfactory academic (University) or a satisfactory professional reference if it is more than 5 years since academic work.

Evidence of the potential to work at Masters level.

We strongly recommend that you obtain a minimum of 5 days secondary school experience in a mainstream UK secondary school observing a class in your chosen teaching specialism before applying.

At interview, all candidates undertake a range of tasks including a micro-teaching task; group discussions; individual interview; subject knowledge tests; and other written tasks as appropriate, including testing of literacy levels and the ability to think and write at Masters level.

There are currently no AP(E)L opportunities for entry to this programme.

Making your application

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website www.ucas.com provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk

This course can lead to a fulfilling career as a mathematics teacher at a secondary school. With qualified teacher status (QTS), you will be able to apply for positions immediately after graduation.

Our Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment provides easy online access to course information and materials, relevant web links and an online discussion board. We have a well stocked library and Learning Gateway offering flexible study spaces, and you can also take advantage of the Library and Student Services (LiSS), which provides learning resources, equipment, student advice, skills training and study space.