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School of Environment, Education and Development

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PGCE Secondary Mathematics
Train to teach secondary level Maths and gain Qualified Teacher Status.

PGCE Secondary Mathematics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

Secondary PGCE courses - The University of Manchester

This course will train you to teach mathematics across the 11-16 or 11-18 age range. It will prepare you to teach the National Curriculum, GCSE and A level. Completion of the 10 month course leads to both a postgraduate qualification and qualified teacher status (QTS).

The course combines master's level academic study of mathematics education with a range of practical experiences. Approximately two-thirds of your time will be spent in partnership schools and colleges developing practical teaching skills with the support of trained mathematics mentors who are experienced teachers. The University works with a large variety of schools, comprehensives, grammar schools, specials schools, pupil referral units and sixth form colleges, which allows us to personalise your school experience to your individual needs.

Your practical training will be underpinned by education theories, ideas and concepts, and by enhancing your awareness of current educational issues and developments.

Mathematics is an exciting and creative subject and you will construct your own understandings through working collaboratively on engaging, challenging tasks and reflecting on your experiences.

What our students say:

Excellent tutors, very experienced and knowledgeable about all areas of teaching and education.


The course will help you to develop your:
  • understanding of how children and young people learn mathematics;
  • ability to differentiate teaching styles to meet learners' individual needs;
  • motivational and behavior management skills;
  • ability to assess and record learner achievement and raise expectations;¿
  • awareness of historical and cultural roots of mathematics and their relevance to the classroom;
  • appreciation of how mathematics can contribute across the curriculum; and
  • understanding of wider educational issues and current debates in mathematics education.

The University-based sessions will enable you to reflect on teaching learning and pedagogy as well as encouraging you to observe how children learn, including:

  • reflections on mathematics subject knowledge and pedagogy;
  • misconceptions in mathematics;
  • the history of mathematics;
  • the role of proof in the mathematics classroom;
  • the National Curriculum and current debates in mathematics education;
  • planning lessons;
  • assessment for learning;
  • differentiation;
  • managing pupil behavior; and
  • keeping records and using data to support pupils' progress.

Special features

  • Top university to study a PGCE in the North of England (Good Teacher Training Guide 2017).
  • Rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted.
  • Extensive classroom experience supported by experienced mathematics tutors and mentors.
  • 92% of our graduates in a teaching post within six months of completing the course - consistently better than the North West average (The University of Manchester 2013-2016).

Additional course information


Your University tutors will provide excellent support for your academic work and personal needs, whilst school/college mentors will provide advice and guidance whilst you are on placement. The culture of team working and best practice sharing amongst students provides you with a support network available when you need it the most.

Teaching and learning

The structure of our PGCEs includes both school-based and University-based learning. On our secondary PGCEs, around two thirds of your time will be spent in secondary schools, academies or colleges on placements. You will also need to undertake self-directed study in the evenings and weekends, such as background reading, creating lesson plans and completing written assignments.

In University-based sessions, a wide range of teaching methods are used, including seminars, group discussion, practical workshops, lectures and presentations. You will be an active participant and driver in your own development as you make the transition from subject expert to excellent mathematics teacher.

On placement in schools and colleges, you will observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced teacher, who will also act as your mentor. We will endeavor to allocate you to a placement which will secure the optimum educational benefit for your professional development needs.  There will also be opportunities to work in a primary setting and to teach in at least two different secondary schools. Teaching hours are established to reflect the time that is required to spend on planning and assessment, particularly in the early stages of your placements. Your mentors will help you to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment and improve your teaching skills.

What our students say:

'I received excellent support and assistance from my school mentor and all the staff in the department. Everyone was always very willing to help and give advice. Overall a great placement with tons of support!'

Coursework and assessment

Your school and University experiences are formally assessed. Both your mentors and tutors help you to record your achievements and set targets. During each placement, a University tutor will observe you teach and at the end of each school experience you will receive a report from your mentor. The report will grade you in the following areas:   Teaching; Planning, Differentiation and Assessment; Learning Environment and Wider Professional Responsibilities. The grades are awarded by your mentor in conjunction your University tutor.  These reports, together with your record of achievement and development facilitate your progression as a teacher.

You are also required to complete a number of written assignments, which will allow you to gain a maximum of 60 master's level credits. On-going guidance and support to complete these assignments will be available from your University tutors.

Scholarships and bursaries

Generous, tax-free funding is available to the best graduates training in a range of subjects. You could get a £20,000 bursary or be awarded a prestigious scholarship - which provides additional support and benefits throughout your training year. You could also receive an additional £10,000 payment once you are in teaching.

Information about additional funding options for September 2018 can be found on the Department for Education website

Home/EU students may be eligible for a repayable tuition fee loan. Home students in England may also be eligible for a repayable student maintenance loan. The loans support available to PGCE students is similar to what is available for undergraduate students and information about government financial support for undergraduate students is available here

If you have graduated in the last three years from The University of Manchester with a 1st class honours degree, you may also be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship .


Your University-based learning will take place at The University of Manchester's Oxford Road campus, adjacent to Manchester's city centre. The campus is easily accessible by road or by an extensive network of public transport including trains, trams and buses.

Our Oxford Road campus is home to The University of Manchester Library and the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. The University's library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK.  Studying with us will open up a wealth of learning resources to you, including over four million printed books, more than 500,000 ebooks and access to over 40,000 electronic journals and hundreds of online databases. The University Library houses a mathematics education section with current text books and materials. There are extensive online resources including up to date research journals. We also have an excellent resource base in the secondary mathematics teaching room.

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons offers you a stimulating 24/7 environment for study. It is the UK's first digital library and home to the most up-to-date IT facilities, a range of versatile learning spaces and a relaxing cafe area for breaks or meeting friends.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: