Taught course

Primary Education (PGCE)

Northumbria University · Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) of a UK university or a recognised equivalent qualification. The content of the applicant's previous education must provide the necessary foundation for work as a primary school teacher. Applicants should have the equivalent of a GCSE grade C or above in mathematics, English language and a science subject, but applications may be made before these have been obtained. Within the previous year, and prior to application, applicants must normally have at least 15 days of experience in mainstream UK schools in Key Stage 1 and/or Key Stage 2 and this should be itemised on the application form.

Months of entry


Course content

All primary education programmes at Northumbria are now category A (The highest possible category) after our recent OFSTED inspection.

This PGCE programme forms a practical introduction to teaching, providing students with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach children aged 5 - 11 years. It provides students with the opportunity to study part of the programme at masters level to gain 60 credits towards a masters degree. Students will be able to develop their strengths from their own degrees through individual projects that will contribute to their prospects for employment in schools as future co-ordinators.

During the year-long programme students will gain a good knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2. The programme covers all aspects of the primary school curriculum. There is a substantial amount of school experience, covering a range of activities, such as observation, group and individual tasks, and taking responsibility for planning and teaching a significant proportion of the normal class timetable.

There are three assessed school placements which build the student’s experiences and skills from guided work in small groups to being fully responsible for a class for 80% of the timetable in the final placement. 19 weeks of this programme are spent in schools. Students work in a minimum of four different schools during the programme, and teachers in these partnership schools have a central training role during each focus and assessed placement. The placements provide an extensive opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced teachers. The students benefit greatly from this, as they gain experience across the primary age phases

Assessment is through placements, assignments and a project. Students gain experience of group presentations that are not assessed. They collect and reflect upon their own development in portfolios of evidence towards the National College for Teaching and Leadership standards for Qualified Teacher Status. These require students to be successful in all areas, and from the outset each student is involved in auditing their own learning and setting targets for their own professional development. They are supported by professional tutors throughout the programme.

The programme is aimed at preparation for teaching in maintained and independent infant, junior, primary, first and lower middle schools with the possibility of career opportunities in other areas of education.

The high quality of Initial Teacher Training at Northumbria University is well recognised. As a result, the trainees from this programme are viewed as highly employable by schools across the country.

Please Note: we do not accept deferred applications for this programme

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of 5.5. Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCE
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 243 7900