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Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

PGCE Primary 3-7 years


About the course

This one-year PGCE course focuses on the 3-7 year age phase, covering the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 curriculum.

It has been designed to enable UK trainees to graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The programme derives from close study of the child as a developing individual and interactive member of a group. Emphasis is placed on the quality of the classroom as a stimulating environment designed to accelerate learning and development.

You’ll learn through a variety of teaching and learning strategies, which include: lectures, tutorials, inquiry-based learning, practical workshops, group teaching experiences, and staged teaching practices. Teachers from our Partnership Schools contribute to the recruitment process, to the planned and taught elements of the course, and act as mentors on teaching practice placements.

What you'll study

You’ll study the following areas

  • Curriculum pedagogy and learning in early years

  • Core subjects: English, mathematics and science, plus sessions covering national curriculum foundation subjects

  • Home-school experience – a minimum of 5 days spent in school prior to starting taught University sessions

  • Autumn cluster experience – school-based days focusing on specific areas

  • Two school experience block placements

  • An exploration of key professional aspects of early years practice such as behaviour management and of observation and assessment techniques and how these can meet the diverse range of children’s needs.

Assessment information


Assessment is based on a series of coursework assignments.


Assessment takes place in schools and includes the use of a Teaching and Professional Development Profile (TPDP). You’ll also be assessed on your achievement of the Teacher’s Standards. Assessment of teaching ability is based on performance as a teacher in the classroom.

School experience

A total of 120 days are spent in schools during the programme, supported by school mentors, class teachers and University-based tutors.

Teaching staff

Fees and funding

Home: £9,250

The way your course is funded depends on the route you take. 

You could access a Get Into Teaching bursary or scholarship. Your eligibility, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject in which you train and your degree classification, or highest relevant academic qualification.

If you’re looking to train on a non-salaried postgraduate teacher training course but are not eligible to receive a bursary or a scholarship, you could be eligible for a tuition fee and maintenance loan.

We offer two ways to complete our PGCE with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

International: £15,400



School Direct training

The University works in close partnership with a wide range of schools, academies and teaching school alliances. You complete most of your school experience in one host School Direct establishment with a further 30 days in another school to ensure that you gain experience of different teaching environments. Academic theory will be delivered at the University campus.

School Direct institutions may offer ‘salaried’ places to suit graduates with at least three years’ work experience. You’ll be employed by the school and earn a salary as you train.

Provider-led training

The University selects the two schools in which you complete your school experience. We work in a range of schools, academies and teaching school alliances to ensure you are able to put theory into practice in high-quality, supportive settings.

Entry requirements

UCAS Teacher Training Application Criteria

  • All candidates must be graduated by the time they begin the course.

  • GCSE Maths English and a Science subject at grade 4 or C or above (or equivalent). BTEC/OCR qualifications must be at Merit or Distinction grade.

  • Acceptance to the course requires a criminal convictions self-disclosure, followed by a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure (formally known as CRB). It also requires a medical check.

Other criteria used to select candidates for interview

  • Degree class – a good honours degree is expected, but candidates with a lower class degree who show otherwise exceptional qualities may be invited for interview. Higher degrees are common amongst candidates.

  • Degree subject(s) – Preference is given to subjects within Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum and key areas of learning in the Foundation Stage curriculum.

  • A A/S Level and GCE/GCE O level profile (or equivalent qualifications) – We are looking for good grades here with a wide spread of subjects across the primary curriculum.

  • Letter of application on the UCAS Teacher Training form – We particularly look for insights into the philosophies of Early Years education, along with clarity of expression and grammatical correctness.

  • Reference(s) on the UCAS Teacher Training form – we particularly look for strong support and a referee’s evidence that a candidate has shown a commitment to Key Stage 1/Foundation Stage teaching. Personal qualities such as industry, dedication, punctuality, good attendance records and a sense of humour are viewed with favour.

  • Evidence on the UCAS Teacher Training form of a commitment to teaching primary age children – This takes many forms but successful candidates always show they have recently spent time in a Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 classroom.

  • Other interests including PE and musical abilities – Schools are still willing to recruit NQTs with these strengths.

At interview

The interviewing procedure requires candidates to take part in three different and distinct experiences.

  • A written task requiring two different written responses to a set text and associated questions

  • A group interview consisting of two exercises

  • An individual interview

Written task

The written task requires candidates to read a text about the teaching of English and to provide a written response to several comprehension questions. This identifies your ability to read effectively, and also your ability to write in clear Standard English.

The second part requires candidates to answer a set question related to their recent experiences in Early Years settings. This enables you to update your experiences gain since application, and prepare a focused approach to the questions within the personal interview.

Candidates are also able, throughout this process, to identify areas where they have already made progress in reaching some of the Standards, and where they need to address those areas of target. This process of appraisal enables you to present your skills in self-evaluation. It also allows the reader to consider your higher order reasoning, and ability to address an academic task. The written task enables the interview panel to make judgements on your ability to meet the Standards within the required time limit.

Group interview

Group interviews are focused on English and mathematics with consideration and evaluation of how these subjects are taught in an Early Years setting. The purposes of this section are to help all candidates relax, interact with each other, and show what you know about Early Years education.

Individual interview

This consists of a series of questions designed to gain information about your knowledge and understanding of Early Years Education, and of your reasons for wanting to be a teacher in this setting.