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PGCE Primary Education (QTS)

Course Description

This course provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to become primary school teachers. Time is spent both in the University and on classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals.


The award of PGCE is offered at three levels:
1. Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
2. Postgraduate Certificate in Education (where 60 Masters-level credits can be gained)

All of these are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate awards will allow fast-track entry to Masters courses. The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course. Successful completion of the course will lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

What will I study?

A distinctive feature of our course is the curriculum breadth we offer. We provide modules in Teaching Primary English, Teaching Primary Mathematics, Teaching Primary Science and Teaching the Wider Curriculum. The Wider Curriculum module encompasses an introduction to the full range of foundation subjects along with RE and ICT. We also offer an introduction to the teaching of primary modern foreign languages for all trainees.

The Applied Studies in Education module provides an opportunity to engage critically with a wide range of educational issues, themes and thinking, as well as a very practically oriented preparation for periods of school based training. As part of this module, all trainees develop their subject specialism for the primary classroom in preparation for the future responsibility of subject leadership.

Developing an understanding of the primary curriculum, you will develop your subject knowledge as well as your understanding of curriculum purposes and progression. You will learn how to plan and resource your teaching in ways that engage and inspire young learners. In developing practical teaching and organisational skills, you will learn how to plan, teach and assess effectively. Understanding progression in learning, according to the diversity of needs and abilities of all pupils, will enable you to create an effective teaching environment that promotes and supports children’s learning. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the professional requirements for teachers along with an appreciation of the need for continued professional development throughout their career.


The taught part of the course involves interactive lectures and seminars. There are no exams as coursework and teaching experience are assessed. Trainees undertake focused preparation in the core subjects (mathematics, english and science) and the full range of foundation subjects (history, geography, art, design and technology and physical education).

Students will also receive an induction into citizenship and the teaching of primary modern foreign languages. Creative cross-curricular approaches to teaching are developed and trainees are supported in strengthening their understanding of their specialist subject as it relates to the primary curriculum.


Approximately two-thirds of your year will be spent in primary schools. There are three periods of School-based Training: an initial placement in school during the autumn term, followed by two major block placements (a nine week period in the autumn and spring terms and a nine week block at the end of the course). There is also a ten day enhancement opportunity in the spring term, which will broaden your experience and will be organised based on each individual's needs and interests.

The school based training may be in city centre, suburban or semi-rural locations. This variety provides opportunities for a wide range of teaching experiences and lays a good foundation for your professional development. Course members are encouraged to develop increasing levels of self-reliance, independence, enterprise and capability to manage their own learning.

Visit the PGCE Primary Education (QTS) page on the Nottingham Trent University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

good UK honours degree or equivalent, preferably at a minimum 2.1 which can be related to the Primary National Curriculum; GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at minimum grade C or equivalent, these must have been gained prior to application; a minimum of ten days mainstream UK school experience (paid or voluntary) in a Key Stage One or Two class (this must have been within the last two years and be completed prior to application); a Disclosure and Barring Service check; Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy. Applicants will need to undertake an interview as part of the selection process.

Course Fees

Please see our website for current course fees

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Recipient: Nottingham Trent University
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