PGCE & Masters

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Successful completion of the Leicestershire Secondary SCITT programme will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Secondary; the first National Professional Qualification in the professional framework of standards and qualifications for teachers. 

The Professional Standards for Teachers form an important element in the assessment of trainee’s progress in all areas of the course and particularly in respect of their practice of teaching in their school placements.  However, whilst they comprise a significant part of the overall assessment of trainees’ progress, they do not constitute the only criteria for assessment, nor are they exclusively related to work in schools. Trainee’s work in the University and written coursework will also contribute to their progress in respect of the Standards and for successful completion of the PGCE and Masters units.

Assessment will be made against these and against the generic criteria for course assessment. Trainees can find a complete set of the Teachers’ Standards in the Trainee and Subject Mentor Handbook and by clicking on the DfE link below:

Secondary PGCE

The Secondary PGCE course includes two, 30-credit Masters level modules that must be completed by all trainees so that, in addition to being recommended by the SCITT for Qualified Teacher Status, successful trainees will graduate with either-

PGCE M:  Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary)
at Masters Degree Level


PGCE H:  Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary)
at Honours Degree Level

The PGCE certification is awarded by the University of Leicester.  Most Universities will allow trainees to transfer the credits* they have gained during their PGCE (M) course to their Masters programmes.

*Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points.

The Masters level work is graded as a pass. In the event that a student does not complete their assignments at Masters level, they will be able to pass at the lower professional (H) level, which will still lead to Qualified Teacher Status, but will not carry masters level credits towards further academic and professional study.

Masters level work is embedded within the wider training programme to aid students in developing a broader and deeper critical understanding and reflective capability in their emergent practice. As such, the assignments which make up the masters level component of the course bring together academic frameworks concerning issues around reflective practice, learning and teaching with developing classroom practice. The merging of these approaches is internationally recognised as the most effective vehicle for enabling the development of high quality teachers.

Guidance - The two assignments which combine to provide the 60 credit masters level element of the course, are both written to enable trainee teachers to develop the critical aspects of their emergent practice. Both assignments utilise approaches which will be useful, if not central, to the continuing professional development of those involved once they have qualified and have entered full-time teaching posts. As such, the first assignment focuses on helping student-teachers open up the pedagogical ‘black-box’ of the classroom and wider department, leading to more rapid induction into the world of high-quality teaching using an internationally recognised framework which has a 100 year track record in developing outstanding practice.

The second assignment is based on the use of action research, allowing student teachers to develop areas of interest and/or concern to strengthen their work as they move through the second half of their course. This gives students and mentors a level of freedom in deciding on a pertinent area of study, including the specific pedagogical contexts in which such issues are to be explored. As with the first assignment, the detail of the approach developed will be informed by engagement with literature and evidence before the practical outcomes of intervention within the classroom are considered.

Module Assignment One
There is a considerable degree of evidence that early, deep and proactive consideration of planning, teaching, learning and evaluation and the links between them aid new teachers in developing their practice more rapidly than might otherwise be the case in traditional ‘craft’ based models. A vehicle which is becoming widely accepted as central to realising this critical approach is that of Lesson Study. Lesson Study works through a form of ‘team pedagogy’ where the student teacher works with experienced teachers to plan, execute and evaluate a ‘research lesson’. This assignment will involve student teachers in working with their mentor and other members of staff to complete a Lesson Study cycle, leading to a written assignment which includes a portfolio of evidence (2,000 words equivalent, may include other media such as videos, etc) from the process and a commentary (3,000 words) critically assessing the learning which has taken place.

Module Assignment Two
This module will focus on developing the student teachers’ capacity to carry out and lead action research approaches to develop learning and teaching interventions. The focus of each action research project will be agreed between the student and mentor and will give students an opportunity to develop an area of their pedagogic practice. As with assignment one, the student teachers will be required to fuse the academic and practical so as to give them a secure theoretical foundation for informing and aiding them in extending their classroom skills and understanding. The assignment will take the form of a verbal feedback of the issues and outcomes (10 minute presentation) together with a supporting written assignment (4,000 words).