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The Bedfordshire Schools' Training Partnership

Psychology PGCE with QTS

Postgraduate Certificate Education with QTS

The Subject Knowledge for Teaching Psychology QTS Course is continually revised and updated in order to respond to feedback from trainees and mentors and to take account of ongoing government initiatives and legislation. It has been planned to include a range of experiences that will allow trainees to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness to become good music teachers. There are three elements that contribute to this: the Subject Knowledge for Teaching course itself; the generic Professional Studies course and the two school placements. Making coherent links between these three elements is essential if trainees are to exploit the course to its full potential and make the most of their development opportunities over the course of the year. 

Course Aims

The overall aim of the Psychology component of the QTS course is to foster the development of professional skills, knowledge and attitudes needed by teachers of Psychology in order to engage, stimulate and promote pupils’ learning.

Trainees will consolidate their subject knowledge, considering further its intrinsic features from the perspectives of classroom teaching and learning.  Through discussion with the practicing teachers leading the course, trainees will develop awareness and understanding of the influence that particular aspects of their subject will have on work with pupils in the classroom.  By the end of the year trainees will have acquired the ability to see and interpret educational situations in new ways and have gained a growing awareness of their capabilities and potential as teachers, working both individually and in groups.

Course Objectives

  • The Psychology Subject Knowledge for Teaching course will at all stages, reinforce the overall aims of the course. In particular, the Psychology component will enable trainee teachers to:
  • develop an appreciation of the place and role of Psychology within the 11 - 16 curriculum (where appropriate) and at post-16
  • gain a deeper insight into the nature of the Psychology curriculum and the different ways to carry out stimulating activity
  • to develop an understanding of a range of ‘assessment for learning’ strategies
  • to gain and appreciation of the links between the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda and their work as classroom teachers of Psychology
  • become familiar with the specifications, frameworks and initiatives relevant to Psychology for Key Stages 4 and 5
  • gain an understanding of the ways pupils learn and develop a variety of teaching approaches that will support all pupils in achieving their potential
  • be confident and enthusiastic in communicating the subject to pupils of all abilities throughout the secondary age range
  • consider and apply an appropriate and effective range of teaching and learning strategies to both the  attainment targets and programmes of study of Psychology
  • plan, prepare and put into operation appropriate units of work and lesson plans and be able to analyse and evaluate these in the light of experience
  • prepare pupils at all levels for assessment at Key Stage 4 and post-16 qualifications (this maybe in an additional subject at KS4)
  • become confident and competent to engage in the professional role and responsibilities of a Psychology teacher

Each half term throughout the course, trainees will revisit their subject audit (originally completed at pre-course conference7th July) to re-evaluate their own personal knowledge of Psychology in order to identify any gaps or areas of weakness in their ‘subject knowledge for teaching’. They will work with their mentor to develop their own set of targets and implement an action plan to remedy these during the course. Subject Leaders and our Quality Assurance team will monitor and support progress throughout the year.

Teaching and Learning strategies

The subject application sessions involve a mixture of tutor-led presentations, trainee discussions and presentations and focused activities integrated into a workshop-style format. Sessions will include pre-session reading and investigation and research in school. Discussion, reflection and comparison of experience are also seen as an important element in the taught sessions.

Trainees are expected to discuss and reflect upon their work and that of other teachers through the mentoring process.

The Bedfordshire Schools’ Training Partnership believes that a spirit of intellectual enquiry should match the practical competence of teachers, focusing on how to stimulate and support effective and worthwhile learning of all pupils. A balance of these attributes is essential for proficiency in the classroom.

Psychology Content 

During the course trainees will become acquainted with the content and nature of the Psychology curriculum 14 - 18 and will develop a language to describe the teaching and learning of Psychology. 

Relevant literature such as the specifications, OFQUAL, OFSTED Reports, and the National Strategies will provide a framework to describe Psychology, the variety of activities, outcomes of related activities and ways of promoting Psychological skills in the classroom. 

 A wide range of exemplar resources and methods will be used that allow trainee teachers the experience of different approaches. Trainees will reflect on their experiences and consider the implications for the classroom.  

Specific aspects of classroom organisation and management of the Curriculum and the National Strategies will be introduced including promoting current literacy and numeracy requirements in lessons. 

The appropriate use of ICT in teaching and learning will be addressed throughout the course. Sessions will involve trainees in discussions, presentations of work and practical activities. Each session is supported by relevant subject reading. (see reading list for suggestions)

Trainees will be encouraged to develop these skills in an additional subject (Psychology is not always taught at KS 3 or 4) and will be supported to do this. Second subjects for Psychology trainees typically include Sociology, health and social care or Child development. 

Support for all our trainees :

  • a dedicated mentor within your placement school.
  • weekly Subject Knowledge for Teaching (SKfT) development sessions with Subject Leader (4-6pm, most subjects on Tuesday).
  • weekly Professional Studies development sessions (4-6pm on Thursday).
  • access to the full range of University of Bedfordshire facilities - including the library (Tuition fee trainees)
  • access to the University of Bedfordshire library (Salaried trainees)
  • termly visits from all SKfT Subject Course Leaders and our Quality Assurance team to monitor and support trainee  progress and development

Entry Requirements

  • You need to have, or to be obtaining, a Degree or an approved equivalent in your chosen teaching subject or have a qualification which is directly relevant to it.
  • You also need basic GCSE A-C (or recognised equivalent) qualifications in English and Mathematics.
  • You need to have passed your Numeracy and Literacy Skills tests
  • If you have qualifications from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you will need to provide proof of equivalency from the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)

We do recruit from all sections of the community and we always appoint on merit - regardless of disability, gender, race and religion.
Our aim is to appoint applicants who have the necessary talents, commitment and enthusiasm to become effective teachers.

As a trainee teacher you will have extensive contact with children and before you start the course you must have appropriate DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance




  • The overall aim of the Psychology component of the QTS course is to foster the development of professional skills, knowledge and attitudes needed by teachers of Psychology in order to engage, stimulate and promote pupils’ learning

  • Type: Post-Grad
  • Duration: Year 1
  • Subject Area: Post-Grad
  • Fees: £9,000

  • Location: Clifton, Bedfordshire