School DirectApply via UCAS

    Course Overview

    Duration: One year full-time
  • School Direct programmes last one year and are largely designed by teachers, for teachers. The course is structured based on the specific skills employers are looking for in NQTs, and therefore employability levels are extremely high on completion. School Direct programmes offer trainees the chance to train in school whilst achieving a PGCE. The programmes offers opportunities to train to teach across all phases; Early Years, Primary and Secondary.

    The University works in partnership with a wide range of groups across the South West. These partnerships include: Teaching Schools, Co-operative Trusts and Church Schools. Our University is well known for the outstanding quality of our trainees, and this course offers trainees the chance to perfect their transferable teaching skills within our key partner schools.

    In 2014-2015 88% of Primary trainees were employed and 100% of Secondary trainees following study.

    The University of St Mark and St John as also been highly praised and recognised, Ofsted (2014) ‘The partnership’s effective use of local diversity and wider links which ensures that trainees have breadth and variety in their training, so making them highly employable.’ and Ofsted (2014) ‘The quality of training is good overall and meets the needs of the phase specialisms well.’


    Providing you meet the entry criteria, you have two options for the School Direct programme:

      • Non-salaried: Open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees may receive a bursary of up to £30,000 from the Department of Education. This is the perfect route for graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one.
      • Salaried: Perfect for high-quality graduates (usually with a first class or upper second honours degree) who already have experience in a school. Trainees will earn a salary as an employee of the school, and will partake in a minimum of 60 days of training. You will also be invited to train at another school for variety of experience. During your training, you will have the support of school-based trainers and University trainers.


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All modules are compulsory:

1st Year

For primary trainees:

  • Inclusion & the primary classroom: Managing difference
  • Understanding the child: a personalised approach to children’s learning
  • Developing a philosophy of learning & teaching across the primary curriculum

For secondary trainees:

  • Becoming a teacher: Pedagogy & philosophies of learning
  • Inclusion in the secondary classroom: appreciating diversity
  • Understanding the learner: A personalised approach to learning & assessment

Entry Requirements & Fees

Career Opportunities

The School Direct programme leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). School Direct is very attractive to potential employers because all training is undetaken in schools which gives graduates a wealth of practical classroom experience.

ALUMNI OF School Direct

Current Students


Course Leader

Leading this course is Kate Brimacombe, a highly experienced education professional with research specialisms in teaching and learning in HE, recruitment and collaborative learning.


    More Information

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    Our Partnership with Schools: University of St Mark & St John trainers will work with partnerships to ensure that you receive the very best in teacher training. Once you have identified a suitable partnership, you may apply for the programme by visiting the UCAS website. Please see our list of School Direct Partnerships 2017-2018 with UCAS codes and fees.

    School Direct Bulletin: Read the latest School Direct Bulletins.

    See our PGCE Schools Direct Primary Presentation or our PGCE and SD Secondary Presentation

    For more information and to see the latest developments in School Direct and Teaching follow us on Twitter.