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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, April

  • Course Duration

    12 months full time, 18 months part time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    12 May 2017

Course content

St Mary's aim to teach and learn alongside creative, reflective and dynamic practitioners who are committed to teaching.

The programme encourages students to increase their understanding of teaching and learning processes in order to develop and maintain the high levels of enthusiasm, ability and passion necessary within the teaching profession.

The University looks for those who wish to learn from challenges and seek a higher capacity to know more.

In line with the University Mission Statement, the programme seeks to prepare teachers for both religious and secular schools at home and abroad with special provision for those intending to teach in Roman Catholic and other Christian schools.

Primary Pathways

-Full-time X100 (One year)
-Part-time X103 (18 months)
-PE Specialism 2TYR (One year)

Why St Mary's?

The Primary PGCE programme provides an intense training experience which combines academic rigour with personal and professional learning experiences. The training is designed to meet the needs of each trainee to support and develop the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to start a teaching career.

In preparation for your teaching role, you will be trained across the 5-11 age range, developing knowledge and practice to support your development of:
-Critical understanding of educational theory.
-Reflective practice linked to professional standards.
-Practitioner research and a wide range of educational issues to understand the unique characteristics of children and their learning needs.
-Subject specific knowledge and creative ways to enthuse and educate children.

St Mary’s Primary and Secondary Initial Education courses have been judged by Ofsted, the government department that regulates teacher training, to be ‘outstanding’ - the highest grade attainable in an OfSTED inspection.

The courses were deemed to be outstanding for both ‘overall effectiveness’ and the ‘capacity for further improvement and/or sustaining overall quality’ following the inspection, which was conducted in March 2011.

Career Opportunities

A career in teaching offers the same rewards that you would expect from a graduate position with good salaries and opportunities for career progression.

Graduates from the PGCE are in great demand in teaching posts throughout the UK. Of the 2016 Primary PGCE graduates, over 97% of trainees were in employment within six months.

Course Content

The PGCE Primary programme runs over three school terms from September to July, with taught sessions five days a week. The programme structure incorporates a balance of learning experiences through a mixture of University, school and educational settings which will support you on your learning journey.

You will spend 80 days on campus and 120 in school-based training. Teaching and learning is presented and assessed through a variety of formats including essays, a portfolio of evidence, audits and visual presentations. Modules for Master's support your development across all areas.

Through this programme you will develop the skills and experience necessary to be a primary teacher. You will attend subject specific sessions, lectures and seminars designed to develop awareness and understanding of general professional issues, the content of the National Curriculum and practical issues such as lesson planning and assessment.

You will be supported to develop your knowledge and understanding of the school curriculum and to apply your pedagogic and subject knowledge creatively in preparation for your role as a future leader of learning. You will also engage with relevant research literature and develop the skills of a reflective practitioner in the Master's modules.

In addition, Physical Education is also a strength of the PGCE due the facilities and expertise of the staff, which provides opportunities for students to extend their understanding in this area. Modules are provided in non-core subjects of the national curriculum with additional time given to ideas of curriculum innovation and cross-curricular teaching.

Important current educational initiatives and changes also form an important part of the programme. Professional Studies underpins your learning and is dedicated to exploring the core pedagogical skills you require in practice, alongside key issues of equality, inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

All modules work in cooperation and the Master's modules allow for a deeper understanding of teaching and learning.

Key Facts

-Close partnership between the University and primary schools in all aspects of the course
-Educational theory closely related to practical reality of the classroom
-Emphasis on the core subjects of the national curriculum, PE and computing
-Strong tutor/teacher support
-Special provision for those wishing to teach in primary schools that have a distinctive religious ethos
-Support for those with an area of interest in SEND and EAL
-High employability rates for PGCE Trainee Teachers
-98% completion rate
-Ongoing support into your NQT year and your career beyond
-Ongoing Master's study opportunities at discounted rates

Teaching Assessment

Assessments are used to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge that is gained while on the course both in schools and on campus. This is done through a range of methods:
-Audit of subject knowledge for maths, English and science
-Practical sessions.

Assessment is ongoing and tracked against the Teachers Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements. Assessment is ongoing while on school placements.

Visit the Primary Education - PGCE page on the St Mary’s University, Twickenham website for more details!






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