Study routes

Picking the right route to take when training to teach can be confusing. Our guide below has information on the three different routes available with the University of Leicester, so you can make an informed choice.

There are three different ways you can study for the Leicester PGCE and qualify to become a teacher:

  • By applying directly to the University for our University-led course
  • By applying to one of our School Direct partners
  • By applying to one of our School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) partners.

Whichever study route you choose, your PGCE course will cover the same core elements, including taught sessions, a minimum of 120 days in school on a variety of teaching placements and two written assignments.

What routes are available?

How the routes compare

University-led PGCESchool Direct PGCESCITT PGCE
Taught Sessions Delivered on campus by academics, subject specialists, practising teachers and visiting experts. Course content is the same as the University-Led PGCE, though some elements are delivered by the School Direct provider in the school environment. Other elements are delivered on campus as with the University-Led PGCE. Sessions are delivered by current practitioners, from the partnership of schools, with some input by University tutors.
School placements We organise your placements, drawn from a wide range of schools in and around Leicester and the surrounding counties. Your Lead School organises your placements within the Teaching Alliance schools. The SCITT organises all placements, within their network of schools.
Employment prospects Last year, 95% of our PGCE students gained a full time teaching post within a year of graduating. School Direct providers will be assessing you for possible future employment when recruiting you to their PGCE programme. However, a job is not guaranteed. While not guaranteed, many trainees will find full-time employment within their SCITT partnership following the conclusion of their training.

Not sure which route to choose?

We've put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you decide which route is right for you:

Do I have access to transport?

If you apply for School Direct, you will need to be able to travel within the cluster of schools and to the University.

Do I want to be part of a family of schools, and to be part of the school community from day one?

School Direct and SCITT courses can offer this.

Would I prefer to have a more diverse range of placements?

Our University-led course can offer you this, because we're able to draw from a huge range of partnership schools.

Would I prefer to be employed in the same family of schools in which I trained?

School Direct and SCITT partners may look to employ you at the end of your PGCE year, although this isn't guaranteed. Over 95% of our University-Led PGCE students are settled in a teaching post after 12 months, and many of our students go on to gain employment within partnership schools, whichever route they follow.

If I study on a SCITT course, will I still attend the University of Leicester?

No. Although SCITT students register with the University and have access to our facilities, you will be based within a school environment. Our tutors may deliver some elements of training related to the Masters level elements of the programme, but your training will not take place on the University campus. However, as a University of Leicester student, you will still have access to the facilities and support that is available to all our students.

If I study on a School Direct course, will I still attend the University of Leicester?

Yes! All School Direct students will benefit from the experience of our tutors and have opportunities to share ideas with students on our University-Led PGCE course. The number of days spent at University will vary from one School Direct provider to another.

If I study on a School Direct course, which elements will be delivered within school?

All your teaching experience placements will be organised within the Teaching Alliance. In addition to this, some School Direct providers may opt to deliver part of your training within the school environment. Where this is the case, experts from within the Alliance will deliver some of the taught elements of the course which for other PGCE students are covered in a University setting.

If I study on a School Direct or SCITT course, will I be paid?

Our SCITT and School Direct PGCEs are unsalaried. School Direct students are required to pay tuition fees to the University. SCITT students pay fees directly to the school provider. SCITT and School Direct students are eligible to receive the same bursaries as other PGCE students.

More information

Find out more about individual routes and our partners by following these links:

If you're still unsure, or you need general advice on the course and how to apply, our PGCE team is here to help.

Alternatively, come along to one of our regular Routes into Teaching events to find out more about your options and chat to representatives from all routes.

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