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Postgraduate study
Initial Teacher Training

Primary Education (with QTS) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Develop your knowledge and skills across a range of curriculum studies, qualifying you to teach at primary level.


Course overview

You cover professional skills, subject understanding, pedagogy, research and theory, with a focus on developing your subject knowledge and exploring teaching theories. Throughout the course, you embed this knowledge and refine these skills, enhancing your own practice with placements and reflecting through action research.

On placement, you practice teaching strategies, learn how to manage a classroom environment and develop an evidence-based approach from skilled professionals. By carrying out practical work in a school setting, you apply your knowledge in the real world. You also engage in research and subject enhancement projects to develop your skills further.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Core Curriculum

Enhance your knowledge of the core subjects of English, maths and science. Develop a strong understanding of how they are taught and the transitions into and from the primary phases. Identify and address misconceptions within the subjects and the role of assessment.

Developing Learning, Teaching and Pedagogy

You gain a detailed overview of the core concepts underpinning learning, teaching and assessment, which is the starting point for becoming a professional teacher in the compulsory sector. You focus on the core pedagogical knowledge and skills that trainee teachers require.

Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Pedagogy

You enhance and extend approaches to learning, teaching and assessment in a variety of complex and challenging ways. You underpin your learning and teaching with evidence-informed strategies and develop the skills required to evaluate your own practice rigorously and consistently.

Professional Practices

Two school-based placements enable you to link theory to practice. On placement you are given increasing levels of responsibility and are expected to engage with all aspects of school life.

Wider Curriculum

Enhance your knowledge of the foundation subjects within the primary and wider curriculum, including enrichment and ethos. Explore core aspects of geography, history, design and technology, art and design, computing, modern foreign languages, music, religious education and physical education. Develop a strong understanding of how these subjects are taught to pupils and the transitions into and from the primary phases. Identify and address misconceptions within the subjects and the role of assessment.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through lectures and seminars in university and through professional practice in schools.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through essays, reports, lesson planning and portfolios.


Entry requirements

The Department for Education states that all accredited initial teacher training providers ensure that all entrants, as part of the provider’s selection procedures, have taken part in a rigorous selection process to assess their suitability to train to teach.

The following admission criteria applies:

  • GCSE grade 4, or standard equivalent, in English, maths and science (qualifications in key and functional skills at level 2 are not equivalent to GCSEs in breadth of content). If you have not achieved the standard equivalent, you can sit an equivalency test at
  • first degree, or equivalent, from a higher education institution. Students who do not have a 2:2 but are able to demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study may be considered
  • ability to demonstrate capacity to meet the Teachers’ Standards
  • verification of your identity either from your birth certificate, or an acceptable, alternative document
  • satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check which considers the children's barred list and whether a trainee has previously behaved unsuitably for work with children and been removed from a programme or would have been had they not left. Further checks are carried out for international applicants to consider events outside the UK
  • completion of a Declaration of Suitability for Teacher Training document
  • submission of two references. Referees must confirm that they know of no reason why you cannot work with children. Admissions will also check there are no breaks in your employment or education history
  • successful completion of a formal interview and selection process.

The interview and selection process includes:

  • a formal interview where you will be interviewed by two members of the teaching team
  • a presentation about a reading activity
  • a reflective and a classroom-based scenario task
  • a data task.

Once you are advised of your interview and selection date, you should plan enough time to complete all tasks on the same day.

For guidance, you will need approximately one hour for the interview, and you will be allocated a three hour window to complete the scenario and data tasks (reasonable adjustments will be considered if required). The process determines whether you possess the appropriate attitudes and value expected of a teacher. It also assesses whether you demonstrate intellectual and academic suitability for the course, including:

  • fluent communication skills
  • writing that reflects a high standard of accuracy
  • an ability to use data and graphs to interpret information, identify patterns and trends to draw appropriate conclusions.

Upon completion of the interview and selection process, you will be asked to give an evaluation of the day, so that we can continually monitor and improve our processes.

The Department for Education requires that we see all original certificates when you enrol.

IELTS entry requirements for international applicants is level 6.5 or above. International qualifications will be checked for equivalency by the International Admissions team.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

You are supported to prepare for the next steps in your teaching journey as you progress to meet teachers’ standards. Develop your professionalism and employability, receiving advice and guidance in relation to recruitment and selection. The course ensures that you are ready to progress to professional development through the Early Career Framework in your first teaching role as an early career teacher.

Work placement

You complete two professional placements and gradually build up your teaching experience while observing and working with colleagues. You experience the life of a teacher by fully immersing yourself in the school environment. You benefit from the support of a curriculum mentor and professional mentor, providing feedback and working with you to set targets. Mentors are highly trained and effective educational practitioners who provide you with information, advice and guidance throughout the course. We are partnered with a diverse range of schools and settings across the Tees Valley to give you contrasting experiences where possible. Placement in schools is dependent on several variables and while we will endeavour to take your location preferences into account, you should be prepared to travel across the Tees Valley.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 a year

More details about our fees

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


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Initial Teacher Training

Providing the Tees Valley with informed and resilient trainees, equipped with the knowledge and skills to forge successful teaching careers within the early career framework.

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