Secondary Courses: Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers the most common queries that we receive regarding secondary teaching courses. Use the links below to skip to the key sections.

Entry Requirements

What GCSEs do I need?

For Secondary teacher training courses you need to have GCSE grade 4 (previously grade C) or above in English and Mathematics or equivalent. If you do not have these, please contact the admissions department for information regarding GCSE equivalencies we will accept. Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations & be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted. You will be required to provide evidence of your original GCSE qualifications.

Contact our Admissions Department ( for clarification. 

How many UCAS points do I need to get onto the undergraduate Secondary QTS courses?

For the Mathematics and Computer Science routes you are required to achieve 96 UCAS points, from A Levels or equivalent (Mathematics require a Maths qualifcation). However the Chemistry route requires 112 UCAS points, also from A Levels or equivalent. 

What equivalent qualifcations are accepted instead of A-Levels?

Depending on the status of your qualifcation (Merits, Distinctions, Passes) there will be an equivalence to UCAS points. We accept qualifcations suchas the below:

Mathematics and Computer Science route

  • BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma grade MMM; BTEC (QCF) Diploma DD 

Chemistry route

  • BTEC (QCF) Level 3 Extended Diploma grade DMM 

If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying.

What degree do I need for the PGCE?

A good UK-recognised Honours degree, or equivalent, preferably 2:2 or above (2:1 in more popular subjects) in the subject you wish to teach. Please note that those degrees of a joint nature require 50%-66% of the degree content related to your subject (*dependant on subject).

How much school experience do I need?

You should have recent experience of teaching and learning in secondary school or sixth form contexts either through paid employment in school/college or through voluntary work/ observation OR be in the process of arranging to gain this before application.

Professional Skills Tests

If you are applying for a teacher training course which starts after 1 July 2013 you will need to take the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy as part of the application process, and ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

Successful completion of these tests will be a condition of any offer you may receive from us but we advise that you should aim to complete these tests before the start of the Summer Term.

For applicants who have applied to the University of Wolverhampton, we offer free Professional Skills Test Support Sessions free of charge on a weekly basis. Visit our Professional Skills Tests webpages to find out more.

These tests do not replace the GCSE grade C or equivalent entry requirement.  

Applications and Admissions

Preparing for ITT Application and Interviews - IoE (PDF 501K, Downloads file)

When can I apply?

Undergraduate Secondary
Applications for BSc courses are through UCAS - visit for full details. Applying early in the academic year (before the 15th Janaury) is recommended, as these courses can be highly competitive.

PGCE Secondary 
Applications for the PGCE are through UCAS - visit UCAS Teacher Training. Applying early in the academic year (Autumn/Winter) is recommended, as these courses can be highly competitive.

How will I find out whether I have got an interview or not?

BSc Secondary with QTS
You will be informed via UCAS, as well as by letter if you have an interview or whether your application has been unsuccessful for the course you applied for. Please be aware that we interview from November until May and your application may still be under consideration during this period. In the event that your application is unsuccessful for the BSc you may be offered an alternative course either in the Institute of Education or Faculty of Science and Engineering.

PGCE Secondary
You will be notified of the outcome of your application via the UCAS website as soon as your application has been processed, as we understand that should your application be unsuccessful, you need to go back into ‘UCAS pot’ so your application can be considered by your next choice.

What will the interview include?

You should generally try to tailor your answers to reflect on the following:

  • Your commitment to, and understanding of, primary, secondary or further education and the role of the teacher/lecturer
  • Effective personal, intellectual and communication skills
  • A positive attitude towards children and working with children
  • Your enthusiasm for, and understanding of, your subject(s) and teaching in general
  • Your ability to converse about any of the current government initiatives.
  • Clear and accurate spoken English

You may also be expected to complete a subject audit dependant on the subject you apply for.

Do I need to bring anything to the interview?

When attending an interview for a teacher training programme you will need to bring the following items with you.

  • Two forms of identification (one photographic)
  • Anything you wish to share… evidence of your classroom experience (portfolio)
  • Pens/pencils

Additional items may be required so remember to check the guidance given in your invitation to interview.  

School Placements

How long will I spend on placement?

PGCE Secondary
Students undertake two placement attachments at two different schools.

Attachment 1: End of September- December (approx. 36 days)

Attachment 2: January -June (approx. 72 days)

School Direct
Students undertake three placement phases at two different schools within the lead school's alliance.

Phase 1: September-December (approx. 36 days) with School 1

Phase 2: Janaury-February (approx. 20 days) with School 2

Phase 3: March- June (Approx. 53 days) with School 1

Where will I be placed for my attachments for Secondary routes?

For the undergraduate and traidional PGCE routes, your school placements are allocated for you and whilst we make every effort to place you at schools near to where you live, you can expect to travel up to an hour one way. You also need to complete school attachments across a range of schools in order to get a broader experience and to prepare you to teach in a diverse society once qualified.

For placements on the School Direct course the lead school will place you within a school within their alliance.

Prospects and Employment

How employable are secondary teaching graduates?

The University of Wolverhampton creates graduates that are digitally literate, knowledgeable & enterprising and have a global outlook on life. Therefore it’s no surprise that six months after completing their course last year, almost all Wolverhampton NQTs (newly-qualified teachers) were employed as teachers. Some were continuing to study alongside their work, in most cases for a modular Master’s degree at the University of Wolverhampton. 

Find our more about a career in Teaching


Prices are dispayed on individual courses pages, however in some cases tuition fee loans may be available. Find out more

DBS and Medical Checks

I already have a DBS, will I be required to have another one?

For all our Secondary teacher training (with the exception of School Direct Salaried and Early Years Employment Based routes) applicants will be required to have a new DBS check that has our name attached to it. However if you are registered a part of the update service you will not be required to have another check. Find out more about the DBS Update Service.

When can I undertake my DBS and medical checks?

Once you have been issued with either a conditional or unconditional offer and you have accepted this, you will be sent your DBS Disclosure Application Form and Occupational Health forms for completion and return. It is advisable that you complete and return these as a matter of urgency to avoid delays later in the academic cycle. However, please note, these documents are usually sent out in bulk mailing in April/May for our September intake.

Will I be charged to undertake my DBS?

For all our Secondary teacher training (with the exception of School Direct Salaried and Early Years Employment Based routes) applicants will be charged the standard DBS costs.

Will I be charged to undertake my medical?

The University of Wolverhampton will not charge you to undertake your Occupational Health Check. However, your GP may charge you to complete the GP Report, which is usually around £40-£90, and your studies will not proceed until you have been fully medically cleared.

Can't find the answer to your question?

Our experts are on hand at open days to answer your questions, where you can also see our excellent facilities. Alternatively you can e-mail us on