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PGCE Primary (Early Years)

Course Description

This dynamic, placement-focused programme enables you to become an enthusiastic and stimulating teacher, ready to inspire young children. Learn to teach the relevant curricula and build your understanding of how young children think, develop and learn. Supported by our inspirational staff, this programme will enable you to build the skills needed for a career in Early Years Foundation Stage settings and in Key Stage 1 in primary schools.

Key features

Choose a programme with a national reputation for its quality.

Learn to teach and assess all the Areas of Learning for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the required subjects of the national curriculum for Key Stage 1 with confidence and creativity.

Benefit from the high-quality teaching of experienced university tutors, who provide inspirational learning opportunities for you, based on pedagogical research and innovative current practice.

Engage in your own research about early years education and gain up to 60 credits at master’s level.

Become an outstanding teacher of young children as you progress through 24 weeks in three different placements, supported by expert mentors. You will be placed in a nursery setting, a reception class and a Key Stage 1 class during the course.

Benefit from close partnerships with a very diverse range of schools and educational settings across the whole of the South West of England, London and internationally.

Connect with a number of high-quality teaching schools across the South West with Plymouth University’s School Direct Programme.

Course details

You’ll combine 14 weeks of campus-based lectures and seminars with three different placements totalling 24 weeks. Learn to teach Areas of Learning for the Early Years Foundation Stage, the core subjects of the national curriculum for Key Stage 1 as well as an introduction to the non-core subjects. You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and through independent research.

Throughout the year you’ll reflect upon your professional development as a teacher, bringing together your understanding of educational theory with your developing knowledge of outstanding practice. Your first two placements will be in early years settings, where you will learn to provide exciting learning opportunities for young children. In your final placement, which will be in Key Stage 1, you will take on – as closely as possible - the full responsibilities of a qualified teacher. You will be supported with your preparations for your first teaching post as a newly qualified teacher (NQT).


Non-academic requirements:

Suitability for the PGCE Primary Early Years programme is judged on a range of factors including academic qualifications, ability to work with other people and a real interest in learning and teaching young children.

When selecting applicants for interview the admissions tutor will consider all parts of the application including personal statement and references. You may find the personal statement and reference sections on the UCAS website useful.

Experience in education settings:

You are required to have done a minimum of ten days recent observation experience in a government funded UK school or early years setting. This experience will need to have been completed either within 12 months prior to your application or within the academic year previous to the start of the programme, whichever is the earliest.

You are expected to arrange visits to local educational settings, and to be able to discuss your observations of children within the learning environment at interview.

You will need to give details of your experience within your application.

A further reference from the setting will be required if you are offered a place on the programme.

You will need to pass your professional skills tests (PST) and qualified teacher status (QTS) tests prior to the start of the programme. For more information please visit the Department of Education website.

All offers made for this programme are subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check.

You are required to complete Fitness to Teach health screening.

Applications for this programme are made via the UCAS Teacher Training site.

All short-listed applicants are invited to an interview. You'll be sent an article to read beforehand, as well as suggestions for further research on a current topic, such as phonics. On the day there will be a presentation to give you information about the PGCE programme and an opportunity for you to ask questions. You'll be involved in a group discussion about the article and have a paired interview with a tutor on the PGCE course.

We are looking for people who can talk about educational issues and children's learning, drawing on their own personal experiences as a learner and on their observations of teachers in primary schools. There is also an audit of your English and maths skills with a short test. At the end of the process, we want you to be clear what the programme offers, what you can expect from us and what our expectations are of you.

International applicants

If English is not your first language then we’ll need evidence of your proficiency in English as follows:

IELTS at level 7 with 7 in all four components or GCSE in English Language at grade C or above.
If you have gained an IELTS at level 6 to meet the undergraduate entry requirement for an undergraduate degree in the UK, and then completed the degree, this meets our entry requirements.
If you have gained an IELTS at level 6.5 to meet the postgraduate entry requirement for a postgraduate degree in the UK, and then completed the degree, this meets our entry requirements.

Visit the PGCE Primary (Early Years) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, mathematics and a science subject, and an honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent, from a recognised university (masters and PhDs also count towards entry requirements. A masters degree will be considered as a second class upper degree and a PhD as a first. This will also apply to international applicants. If you have overseas qualifications you can check your compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC.

Course Fees

UK/EU: £9000, International: £12,250, Islands: £9000

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