Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

Secondary Education (Design and Technology)

This teaching degree provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to teach design and technology subjects at secondary level. Time is spent in the University and in classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals ready to begin teaching in secondary schools.

The award is offered at two levels. Both are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate award will allow fast-track entry to masters courses:

  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course, successful completion of which will lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The course aims to develop an understanding of the specialist subject in the context of the National Curriculum, the principles involved in the teaching and learning of the subject across the full age and ability range and the professional values and practice, subject knowledge and understanding commensurate with the particular subject specialism. This includes how children learn and how they develop cognitively, socially and physically and the understanding, skills and personal qualities necessary for managing the learning environment.

All trainees undertake a module concerned with the wider context of schools and education. This develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for your first teaching post in a secondary school. It also builds a foundation for further professional development. Elements of this module include both whole cohort keynote lectures and seminars, many of which are led by mixed groups of trainees supported by tutors. This allows you to meet the Teacher Standards by making secure connections between issues in school and your own professional practice.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a good UK honours degree or equivalent, at a minimum 2:2 with at least 50% focused on subject areas that are very closely related to the subject that you wish to teach; and
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at minimum grade C or equivalent. These must have been gained prior to application

Other requirements:

  • an interview; and
  • a Disclosure and Barring Service check; and
  • a Prohibition Order check; and
  • Professional ITT Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy (pass); and
  • two references - one academic and one vocational; and
  • applicants must evidence a minimum of ten days mainstream UK Secondary school experience (paid or voluntary) in their application. If already completed, this experience must have been gained within the last two years. You may be working towards gaining the relevant experience required at the time of application but this must be completed before the start of the course and you should reference this in your application.

In exceptional circumstances applicants may be considered who do not have a strong degree match, but who have other relevant qualifications, including an A-level in the subject and extensive professional experience. We do not accept Ordinary degrees. The key consideration is if you are able to demonstrate knowledge of the subject that is commensurate with graduate level understanding.

After interview, strong candidates who are not able to demonstrate graduate level subject knowledge may be offered a place on the course, dependent on successfully completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in that subject prior to commencing their teacher training year. For further information about our SKE courses, see our website.

If necessary, you can take a relevant GCSE as a private candidate. Find out how to do this on the AQA's website.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course (SKE)

If your degree content does not meet the requirements you may be eligible for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) in Design and Technology course, which will give you the necessary subject knowledge prior to undertaking the PGCE.

Course modules

Our PGCE course in design and technology is designed to ensure that trainees engage in cutting edge activities at the forefront of technological education. Trainees will experience stimulating and exciting projects which explore established and new materials and technologies. This not only raises expertise, knowledge and skills, but also establishes a strong foundation for innovative curriculum development, raising the expectations of young people's experience in secondary schools.

The course is designed to support trainees in becoming specialist Design and Technology teachers. Trainees are guided at interview to specialise in one of two GCSE pathways:

  • Design and Technology (including Resistant Materials, Textiles and Electronics; or
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition.

Studies will provide an understanding of the nature and philosophy of design and technology in schools for the age phase 11-16. Trainees maximise their learning opportunities through innovative lesson planning and class management, based on a sound understanding of the importance of effective assessment and monitoring strategies. They gain an understanding of the broader responsibilities of the design and technology teacher in the general school community and its local and national settings. Also covered is health and safety training (D&TA accreditation / Food and Hygiene certification).

Module structure

  • Secondary Professional Practice
  • Learning and Teaching in the Subject
  • Secondary Skills of Enquiry
  • Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context
  • Secondary Education Independent Study

Assessment methods

University-based modules: Learning and Teaching in the Subject, and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context, are assessed at the end of the modules with reflection against the Teacher Standards. You will also conduct a piece of research-based, professional enquiry within the classroom, which is assessed by a formal written report and presentation of findings. A separate, formal assessment also takes place in practical teaching.

School or college experience is central to the PGCE secondary degree and at least 24 weeks are spent on placement in at least two different secondary schools or colleges. During the first phase, two days of school or college experience each week for three weeks are spent in school leading up to a six-week block placement. Trainee teachers are gradually given more responsibility and increase their contribution in both the classroom and to the corporate life of the school.

The second phase begins with a two day, weekly attachment for the first three weeks of the spring term, leading up to the final assessed 13-week block placement. In both placements the training programme is planned by mentors to allow progressive acquisition of the skills, knowledge and understanding students need to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Students are formally observed on a regular basis by their subject mentor as well as receiving a number of visits from the University, to monitor their progress, support their development and undertake their assessment.

Sponsorship information

Bursaries are available.


Please note the fees for 2018/19 are still being confirmed. The fees below for 2017/18 should be used as a guide.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time September 2019 £ 9,250 per (Home) 1 Years
PGCE Full-time September 2019 £ 13,900 per (International) 1 Years
PGCE (professional) Full-time September 2019 £ 9,250 per (Home) 1 Years
PGCE (professional) Full-time September 2019 £ 13,900 per (International) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
City Centre Campus Nottingham NG1 4BU East Midlands

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Admissions Team
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)115 848 4460