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 all undergraduate and postgraduate secondary courses you need to have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (previously Grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English and Mathematics. If you are unsure whether you hold an acceptable GCSE equivalent qualification for ITT, please contact our Admissions Department for clarification.

Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations and be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted.

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

For the Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics routes you are required to achieve 96 UCAS points, from A Levels or equivalent. Mathematics require a Maths qualifcation and Physics requires a Physics qualifcation at grade C.

The Geography route requires 80 UCAS points, including Geography.

The Chemistry route requires 112 UCAS points, including Chemistry A-Level at grade C.

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:

Chemistry route

  • BTEC (QCF) Level 3 Extended Diploma grade DMM 

Geography route

  • BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma grade MMP; BTEC (QCF) Diploma DM 

Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics route

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

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 first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification.

How much school experience do I need?

We no longer ask for any school experience as a requirement for our Primary Education courses. Instead, if you are invited for an interview we will assess your readiness to train to teach..

Professional Skills Tests

Applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses are required to have passed the professional skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy before the start of the course. Further information is available on the Department for Education website.

You can register for the skills tests before applying for teacher training. You must take the tests after you have applied and you will need to provide evidence of your application when you attend the test centre. If you are offered a place following interview, you will have to pass both the Numeracy and Literacy skills tests as one of your conditions of acceptance before the course starts.

We also offer support with the taking and passing of the professional skills tests. To find out more about the kind of support we offer, please follow this link to our webpage.

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

Applications and Admissions

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 January) is recommended, as this course can be highly competitive.

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

School Direct Tuition and Salaried Secondary Education
Applications for the PGCE are through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). 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 Education routes
You will be informed via UCAS and the university 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 July and your application may still be under consideration during this period. In the event that your application is unsuccessful you may be offered an alternative course.

PGCE and School Direct Secondary Education
You will be notified of the outcome of your application via UCAS and the university as soon as your application has been processed.

What will the interview include?

The interview has both verbal and written components and is designed to identify your strengths and areas for development. It will audit a mixture of key stage 3 and GCSE content that covers the history curriculum. You will be sent information on how to prepare when you are notified of your interview.

The main purpose of the interview is to:

  • give you an insight into the nature of the course, the teaching profession and to assess your commitments to it
  • explore your subject strengths and areas for development
  • assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • assess your readiness to train to teach
  • assess knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for history in schools
  • answer any of your questions about the course.


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.

  • A form of identification (this must be photographic)
  • Evidence of your qualifications (certificates)
  • 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?

Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom. We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. 

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 displayed 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 applicants) 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 information, about how to complete your DBS Disclosure Application Form and Occupational Health forms online for completion and return. Please note, this information is usually sent out in from May for our September intake.

Will I be charged to undertake my DBS?

For all our Primary teacher training (with the exception of School Direct Salaried) 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. 

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