QTS Apprenticeship Route plus PGCE

Study level: Professionally Accredited Programmes
A male teacher helping a student using a laptop.

Our QTS Apprenticeship Route plus PGCE (also known as a Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship) is a nationally recognised work-based route into teaching and is available at primary and secondary level in England.

Start date



In schools

Course code

TT01QTSAP - Primary
TT01QTSAS - Secondary

Study mode

Work-based learning with online study


1 year full-time
2 years part-time
(plus End Point Assessment)


Apprenticeship levy funded

Age phases


Course overview

Funded through a school’s Apprenticeship levy, this course is an alternative route to traditional initial teacher training and offers a postgraduate-level qualification leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), no tuition fees, and the opportunity to earn while you learn.

Apprentices are employed by their school for the whole academic year (or two years for part-time trainees). This enables you to fully immerse yourself in school life and get practical experience of teaching in the classroom from the outset.

  • The course is offered at Primary level (5-11 age range) and across a range of subjects at Secondary level (11-16 and 11-18 age ranges). It's also offered for the 14-19 age range in subjects which are usually only taught in Key Stages 4 and 5.
  • You can start the course in February, July or November. This allows for an introductory element of the course to be studied before the start of a new school term.
  • As the course is online, you are able to study with us from anywhere in England. Your school will be required to meet our criteria, and we are able to support them through this process.
  • Your personal university tutor will work closely with you throughout the course both on a 1-1 basis and within a small group cohort. You will also have regular guidance from an experienced in-school mentor, who will receive initial and ongoing training and support from us.
  • Up to two in-person educational conferences provide opportunities for trainees to come together and share experiences. Accommodation and sustenance are included for ‘in-person’ conferences.

Accreditation and professional recognition

Department for Education

Department for Education

This course is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE) for the 2023/24 intake1.

Course details

The Level 6 Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship course leads to QTS. Upon successful completion, trainees will also be awarded a Level 7 PGCE for no extra cost to the trainee or school.

  • The full-time route is 12 months, plus 3 months to complete the End Point Assessment.
  • The part-time route is 24 months, plus 3 months to complete the End Point Assessment.

The End Point Assessment must take place within three months of successful completion of the course.


  • This is an introductory module comprised of two online short courses that trainees need to complete before starting the PGCE modules.


  • This module develops your understanding of educational psychology, neuroscience and contemporary educational theory on behaviour. You will explore how children learn, what influences behaviour and what strategies and interventions are effective for promoting good teaching and learning.


  • This module develops your knowledge of subject pedagogy, effective lesson planning and application of statutory codes for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as well as principles of assessment and feedback practices.


  • This module develops a reflective and self-critical approach to teaching. You will be required to demonstrate effective practice via critical evaluation and systematic analysis of your own teaching practice in line with The National Teachers’ Standards in England (Department for Education 2012).


  • This module is practice-based and runs throughout the course. You will be encouraged to set, review and show you can meet targets related to your professional practice and demonstrate your teaching competency. Over time, you will build up your teaching timetable from around 50-70% in module 1, up to 80% in module 3.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

Entry requirements

You will have achieved the following minimum requirements to be eligible to apply for our QTS Apprenticeship Route plus PGCE:

  • A degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • A standard equivalent to grade C/4, or above, in GCSE English and mathematics examinations.

If you intend to train to teach primary aged pupils, you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C/4, or above, in a GCSE science subject examination.

In addition to these academic qualifications, you must also:

  • Demonstrate you hold the right to work and study in the UK and have been resident in the UK/EEA for the last 3 years. For exceptions to this please see Annex A of the Apprenticeship funding rules 2023 to 2024.
  • Not already be on a programme which is Government funded.

Fees and funding

Student Full-time Part-time
UK Apprenticeship levy funded   Apprenticeship levy funded  

This course comes at no cost to the student as it is fully funded by the employer’s Apprenticeship Levy.

How to apply

  • First speak to your school leadership and check they are willing to support you through the apprenticeship. Then email the NITE team with details of your employing school.

    Email us

Frequently asked questions

  • You’ll be employed by a school in England as an unqualified teacher for the duration of the apprenticeship, training to teach on-the-job. In most cases, this will be a school you’re already working at, or have an existing relationship with. If you are a graduate, currently working as an unqualified teacher or teaching assistant, the course offers new opportunities for career progression and higher earning capacity.

  • The course is designed to be highly practical to help trainee teachers develop their craft in schools under the supervision of skilled school-based mentors and experienced university tutors.

    Underpinned by the best available evidence of ‘what works’ to improve teaching and learning, and designed to complement your teaching or placement role in school, our online course consists of webinars, podcasts, videos, research and tutorials. Our platforms are interactive and engaging and promote independent and peer learning. All the course content and materials are available online, enabling you to study and revisit them as required.

    The course comprises four modules and is typically studied over one year (three school terms) or two years (six school terms) if studying part-time. You’ll receive guidance from a school-based mentor trained by the university, weekly contact with your university tutor and you will be visited in school by a university assessor.

    The modular structure of the course is blended in approach. It combines online distance learning with practical in-school support.

    A 15-credit module consists of 150 hours of learning, which comprises a mix of teaching and independent study.

    The PGCE with QTS (tuition-fee funded) will be delivered via online technologies and methods and utilise an online portfolio to evidence your professional development.

    During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to access an experienced team, including university tutors, progression coaches and student experience officers, who will support your studies through feedback and dedicated live tutorials.

  • Assessment is varied and designed to aid learning. It includes lesson observations, case study research, oral presentations and written assignments. You will also receive visits to your school from a University Assessor, who will observe your teaching and provide feedback on your progress.

    A Practical Teaching Practice module runs throughout the course, and regular feedback helps you to develop your skills. At the end of the course, a final assessment is made on whether you meet the Teachers’ Standards.

    As with all Apprenticeship programmes, you will also complete an end point assessment (EPA) after the course is completed, which is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the learning acquired throughout the course.

  • This course is not written specifically for SEND settings, there is currently no Apprenticeship Standard for SEND Teacher. However, if your school can meet the requirements and is willing to put you through the apprenticeship, then you can do the course. Your second school placement must also be hosted by a mainstream setting. Please ask your school to get in touch with us to discuss the requirements.

  • Our QTS Apprenticeship Route plus PGCE is a formal Initial Teacher Training qualification for trainee teachers in England. The qualification accredits the teacher to teach in state-maintained schools in England. Many independent schools now also prefer their teachers to hold this award.

    The course also provides 60 Level 7 credits that may be transferred as prior learning credits for future study at master’s degree level.

    On successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

    • Teach effectively and skilfully to enable pupils in your lessons to progress in their learning.
    • Critically reflect on what impacts pupil learning, using relevant educational research and evidence from your own teaching to inform and improve your practice.
    • Reflect on and analyse your own teaching and research, into both teaching theory and practice, to identify improvements and increase your confidence and self-efficacy.
    • Synthesise, apply and critically evaluate pedagogical theory and literature to adopt relevant high-quality strategies and teaching methods within your individual context.
  • The PGCE with QTS provides successful trainees with excellent preparation for master’s level study.

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, National Institute of Teaching and Education (NITE) and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


    Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure may be required. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.