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Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE (Suffolk and Norfolk Secondary SCITT)


Full-time: One Year

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.


The Suffolk and Norfolk School Centred Initial Teaching Training programmes for Secondary teachers aim to bring together the very best of school centred and academic training to produce competent and confident Newly Qualified Teachers who consider and reflect upon the purposes of education, as well as having high levels of knowledge, understanding and skills in the learning and teaching of young people. 

The Suffolk and Norfolk Secondary SCITT offers both Salaried and Tuition training routes. Both Secondary SCITT programmes are designed to facilitate maximum experiential learning. Trainees on the courses specialise in either Key Stages 3 and 4 or Key Stages 4 and 5. On successful completion of the course, all Tuition trainees will gain QTS and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and be qualified to teach across the secondary range.  Salaried trainees all gain QTS and have the choice of gaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Secondary Specialisms

We offer all of the subjects listed underneath:

  • Art and Design; Biology; Business Studies; Chemistry; Computer Science; Design and Technology; Drama; English; Geography; History; Languages (French, German, Spanish), Mathematics, Music, Physics, Physical Education; Sociology; Religious Education
  • Many subjects are available as specialisms in the age range of 11-16 or 14-19.
  • A two-year part-time course is available in many secondary subjects
  • A five-term part time course is also available starting in September of Year 1 and completing at Easter of Year 2. (Tuition route only)

Course Aims

The Secondary SCITT Programme draws upon partnership arrangements between schools and education providers in Suffolk and Norfolk, to offer a programme of training that is designed to:

  • Prepare trainee teachers to teach across the 11-18 age range in one of the 16 specialist subjects including relevant associated vocational elements
  • Enable trainee teachers to develop a thorough grounding in the academic skills and knowledge that support the role and professional practice of teachers and to demonstrate that they have met the standards of the PGCE award
  • Enable trainee teachers to engage in a reflective and practice-based programme of training and to demonstrate that they have met the Teachers’ Standards

Course Learning Outcomes

The following statements define what students graduating from the PGCE Suffolk and Norfolk Secondary SCITT course will have been judged to have demonstrated in order to achieve the award.  These statements, known as learning outcomes, have been formally approved as aligned with the generic qualification descriptor for level 7 awards as set out by the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)*.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key theories of learning and teaching and an ability to apply these appropriately to professional practice
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of approaches and techniques for a range of research methodologies
  • Demonstrate substantial knowledge and understanding of subject specialisms and the National Curriculum with a critical approach to pedagogy

Mental or cognitive skills

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate own practice using self, peer, student monitoring and research and evaluation techniques
  • Provide evidence on paper and in practice of ability to be a reflective practitioner and set targets for improvement

Subject Specific and Practical Skills

  • Provide evidence that successfully meets the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for your specialist subject and the ability to effectively monitor and assess all aspects of the curriculum
  • Demonstrate effective pedagogical skills and attributes required to teach your specialist subject across the age and ability range and Key Stages
  • Effectively and accurately monitor and assess pupil progress in a range of differentiated activities
  • Demonstrate highly developed skills and competence in professional practice drawing on critical analysis and skills of evaluation
  • Provide an evidence-based understanding of the school and classroom processes of pupil learning, monitoring and assessment

Students applying for the SCITT programmes must apply through the Teacher Training application via:

Please visit for more information. 

Howard Lay's Top 5 Tips

Howard Lay, Executive Principal of Samuel Ward Academy and Chief Executive of the Samuel Award Academy Trust, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the 2014 Graduation Ceremony for the Department of Children, Young People and Education. During his speech, Howard shared his top 5 tips for graduates:

  • Listen to advice but trust your gut. Your goal is to become an authentic teacher. By all means steal ideas but be sure that they align and resonate with your core beliefs. Trust you inner voice.
  • Don't wear your really cool clothes at school. Have comfortable clothes with pockets, which do not reveal attractive or unattractive flesh, and are impervious to all bodily fluids, and getting snagged on pencil sharpeners.
  • You are the adult in the room. Don't get into power struggles with students, where you feel the need to come out ahead by cracking down. Remind yourself: you have already won - you are the teacher. You can be magnanimous, decide on the outcome to benefit all kids, rather than gratifying your ever present sense of control
  • The most important people to get on side are the secretary, the kitchen staff and the caretaker. Make cleaning up at the end of the day a habit out of respect for the cleaner. Its good karma and means that he or she will hustle to your room when someone throws up.
  • Expect to make hideous mistakes. Expect crushing disappointments. Expect to feel like quitting, at least a dozen times. Expect to anticipate holidays with pathetic longing. And know that experienced teachers experience these things too.

Course modules

Course modules

  • Subject specialism
  • Professional studies and research
  • Professional Practice consisting of: Classroom Practice including observation of, and working alongside, experienced teacher/s; Teaching Practice including taking a leading role in planning, organisation of and teaching a class
  • Subject studies
  • Information and Communications Technology

Tutorial and Study Support
Trainees have access to the tutors throughout their course and benefit from formal information sessions to enable them to plan for summative assignments and tasks as well as personal and individual or small group module tutorials. These tutorials include critical feedback on performance and assessment on the module, academic advice associated with each topic and opportunities for trainees to identify concerns related to the module in general.

Each trainee also has a SCITT Tutor to offer support and guidance whilst on placement.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment
A range of assessment techniques is used, including the trainee’s continuing professional development record, practice files, assignments, portfolio of evidence and lesson observations

Good practice is shared and discussed, particularly the need for tutors to model the expected future styles of the trainees. Tutors employ a range of learning and teaching strategies. The trainees encounter a range of approaches that appeal to differing learning styles with opportunities for individual guided discovery, collaborative and group learning. The course meets the professional standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The trainees are asked to attend an induction days in the summer term prior to the course start date in early September.

The course follows the secondary school year and consists of at least 170 days. It is delivered in two parts.

  1. Centre-based Training -  held at venues in Norfolk and Suffolk
  2. School-based Training - Trainees are placed in partnership schools with the majority of trainees placed within 40 minutes travelling distance of their home address


During their time on school, trainees are provided with opportunities to observe good teachers at work and to work alongside them.

All trainees will have experience of at least two different schools; some may have experience of three.

Trainees have substantial teaching opportunities, including individual, group and whole-class teaching.  Salaried trainees may be required to teach up to five hours of their own classes from the beginning of the course while Tuition trainees will begin by observing and assisting in the classroom and take up teaching duties incrementally as the course progresses.

Mentor Training and Quality Assurance
All mentors are invited to attend termly mentor training with additional support visits according to need. Mentors and Professional Tutors receive visits at least termly from a member of the SCITT team. Schools play an important role in assuring the quality of the school-based training, alongside the programme leader and SCITT team.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Further information about the University's relationship with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and Ofsted is available in the PSRB register.

Career opportunities

Opportunities on Completion of the Course
The vast majority of trainees gain their first teaching post in the Eastern Region after the successful completion of the SCITT year.

Fees and finance

Trainees undertaking PGCE through Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT will be charged tuition fees in accordance with SCITT and should contact SCITT directly for further finance related information.

Further Information

  • At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.

Entry requirements