Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the INSPIRE course and when does it start?

The course starts at the beginning of September each year and runs until June. 

What qualifications do INSPIRE graduates gain?

Students who successfully complete all elements of the course receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) awared by Canterbury Christ Church University and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

What qualifications do INSPIRE applicants need?

All applicants must have a postgraduate degree in a highly relevant subject, normally either chemistry, physics, maths or engineering.  

Applicants must also have a GCSE grade C or equivalent in Maths and English to meet the requirements to train to teach.  

There are a number of criteria used for selection. Please read the INSPIRE selection criteria [PDF] carefully before submitting an application.  

Do applicants need to have worked or volunteered in a school before?

We strongly encourage all applicants to gain experience in a school or working with young people before applying to train to teach.  

What subjects can INSPIRE students train to teach?

Students on the INSPIRE course train as Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Physics with Maths specialists.  In general, most teachers teach only their specialist subject post-16.  However, in the UK most science teachers teach all three science subjects up to the age of 16. 

How long are the INSPIRE school placements?

INSPIRE students undertake placements in two different schools in and around the London area:

  • the first school placement runs from mid-September to December
  • the second school placement runs from January until the end of May

What types of school do INSPIRE students carry out their placements in?

We work with a number of state-funded partner schools across London. These include:

  • co-educational and single sex schools
  • comprehensive schools
  • grammar schools
  • academies

We match students with schools based on location and the suitability of the student to the school's requirements. 

Do INSPIRE students receive a bursary?

Students from within the European Economic Area are eligible for teacher training bursaries from the Department for Education. 

The level of bursary received is dependent on the candidates’ subject specialism. More information is available on the DfE Get into Teaching webpages

Do INSPIRE students pay course fees?

There are course fees payable, for more information of fees please see the INSPIRE course pages on the Canterbury Christ Church University webpages, see Fees and Addiotioanal cost section. 

Where can I find out more information?

If you are interested in finding out more about the programme informally then please contact the INSPIRE programme manager Dr Jenny Cooke at inspire@imperial.ac.uk.