PGCE Mathematics Education - 1 Year with QTS PGCE - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This initial teacher training course equips you to share your interest in maths with young people and inspire them to fulfil their potential. There is currently a shortage of maths teachers, and so there are excellent job prospects. Our course prepares you for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is an essential qualification for teaching maths in state-maintained schools.

The course has two strands. The first strand is based at the University and provides a solid grounding in theory and practical issues. The second strand is based in partner schools where you will undertake practical teaching experience.

This programme is also offered as part of our School Direct route.

The Government is keen to encourage high-quality maths graduates into teaching, and so bursaries of up to £25,000 are available for students training to become Maths teachers in 2016/17.

In addition to Government bursaries, students on this course are also eligible for many of the University of Sunderland scholarships. Full details of the Sunderland scholarships available to you can be found on the Entry requirements tab of this course.

The University of Sunderland has a heritage of teacher training which dates back to 1908 so you can be confident that our courses are excellent preparation for a teaching career in which you can inspire young people to realise their potential.

If you require additional support with your maths subject knowledge, for example if you have not completed a maths degree, then we offer Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses.

You will be training alongside other people who have the same career aims as your own. Previous trainees have found that the support you can receive from, and give to, others will make a significant and important contribution to your progress.

Course content

PGCE Course content

September – January

  • Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
  • Master's Module 1: Development of Learning: A Case Study – you will identify an educational intervention and explore its use, impact and influence upon the learning of one or more pupils
  • Subject Studies related module

January – June

  • Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
  • Master's Module 2: Negotiated Individual Study in Education – you will undertake a piece of action research into an educational issue
  • Subject Studies related module

120 Credits 

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, project work and group work as well as placements and work-based learning.

Assessment methods include written work, evidence profiles and assessment of your teaching practice.

Our experienced teaching staff are all trained teachers; past Ofsted inspections have noted this and commented 'current university tutors are skilled practitioners who make excellent contributions to training that help to develop trainees' strong subject knowledge and awareness of related teaching skills. All staff ensure they are and remain highly informed of best practice in their subjects.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Secondary partnership

The University of Sunderland forms part of a secondary partnership that includes more than 230 schools and colleges. This means that there are wide opportunities for placements during the professional year.

The course is based at our Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The Campus is on the banks of the River Wear and is less than a mile from the seaside. It’s a vibrant learning environment with strong links to educational institutions and a constant exchange of ideas and people. The campus also includes the Prospect Building – which mirrors our City Campus Gateway style in the main reception area. It also is home to the main campus library as well as several catering areas, which look out onto the river. Prospect underwent a recent 1.25m re-development to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the modern day student.

Staff at the university work hard to ensure there is strong communication and positive relationships between the university and its partner schools. Staff in schools are well aware of their roles and responsibilities. There is a high level of coherence in training between the schools and the university, and between generic and subject training, all of which helps trainees progress.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on education topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.


The David Goldman Informatics Centre

St Peter's Campus, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from people seeking a career change, and we are pleased to receive applicants from graduates in any subject area. Mathematics graduates can expect direct entry to the PGCE programme.

For direct entry to the PGCE, you must hold an honours degree (normally 2.2 or above) or equivalent which includes substantial elements of mathematics study. Graduates of other subject areas will be required to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course first as a condition of entry to the PGCE programme. (The university runs both a 36 week (Sept – June) SKE course and a 24 week (Jan – July) SKE course. If you are shortlisted, we will invite you in for interview. Arrangements regarding the SKE course would be discussed at the interview, if this applies.

All applicants are required to have GCSE mathematics and English language at grade C or above or equivalent* (see below). We will consider applicants who are in the process of obtaining the relevant GCSEs. Completion of the Teaching Agency skills tests prior to the course starting is an additional requirement, please see details below.

Additional requirements:

  • Successfully complete QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy as designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership
  • DBS Enhanced Disclosure
  • Completion of our in house medical pro forma

We encouraged you to gain experience of schools through direct observation of teaching and learning and/or by working with young people in maths-related or other educational activities.

Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, no sub section below 6.

After 6 April 2015 you must take your IELTS exams at one of the test centres listed on the UKVI website. If you took your IELTS exam before 6 April 2015 this does not apply, and your qualification is still valid regardless of which test centre you used.

*GCSE mathematics and English equivalents are:

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance


The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Government scholarships

The UK Government is keen to encourage high-quality graduates to train as teachers, and so offers bursaries to attract more people into teaching.

For more information and to check the eligibility criteria, please see

Funding for teacher training maybe available for eligible graduates who are starting their training in the 2016/17 academic year on postgraduate routes including the non-salaried School Direct programme.

Funding amounts will vary depending on the subject you intend to teach and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.

University of Sunderland scholarships

Students on this course are entitled to a Get There Scholarship. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found on the University of Sunderland Scholarships page.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for any of the above scholarships, please contact:

The Scholarships Team
Tel: 0191 515 2865

Employment & careers

Everyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England and Wales needs Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This course leads to QTS and, on successful completion, you will become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme:

According to recent research, twice as many teachers find their work extremely enjoyable when compared to professionals with careers in marketing, IT and accountancy. Almost half say they regularly experience a ‘natural high’ at work.

The starting salary of a Newly Qualified Teacher is over £22,000, with extra if you work in London. Teachers are likely to see their salaries rise by an average of 30 per cent after their first four years in the job.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"I would recommend this PGCE course to anybody considering teaching as a career."

David Lange

David Lange


"The subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) have helped me develop my mathematical thinking and armed me with various effective strategies and approaches to teaching maths.

"In particular, prompted by reflections on the teaching we experienced on the SKE course, during my PGCE year I looked at teaching using a 'guided based discovery learning' approach where the student is encouraged to discover a concept, rather than just being told by the teacher (rote learning style) and have found this to be very effective.

"I have been well supported and challenged by the University's maths team who clearly want to develop excellent maths teachers and the reputation of the PGCE at Sunderland University was definitely a factor in me choosing this course. I would recommend this PGCE course to anybody considering teaching as a career."

Apply for this course

Applications for entry must be submitted through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT).

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 16th February 2017
  • Time: 2:00pm-7:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Gateway, City Campus, University of Sunderland

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
John Below

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name PGCE Mathematics Education - 1 Year with QTS
Classification PGCE
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

Honours degree (2:2 or above) with emphasis on mathematics

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