Taught course

Early Primary Education (PGCE)

Northumbria University · Teacher Education

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Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree. Applicants should have a GCSE grade 4 (grade C) or above in Mathematics, English Language and a Science subject prior to submitting their application.

Applicants should be aware that this is a programme designed for students unable to access traditional ITE programmes who have the skills or experience to be a motivated distance learner. Applicants must be in a position to undertake two assessed placements in England for 8 weeks (part 1) and 9 weeks (Part 2).

At interview applicants will attend a detailed presentation about the programme and then be expected to take part in the preparation and presentation of a group task and group discussions. An individual interview will be conducted with a member of the University education staff and a local head teacher. Applicants must have a rationale for wishing to undertake a Blended Learning programme rather than a full time PGCE and be prepared to discuss this at interview.

Admission is subject to a suitable DBS Enhanced Certificate and a satisfactory health check.

For programmes which begin after April 2020, applicants are no longer required to undertake the professional skills tests in English and Maths, but there remains a requirement for trainee teachers to demonstrate competency in the use of English and Maths in a professional context. Northumbria students will be supported in developing these skills over the course of their programme and their competency assessed before recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Months of entry


Course content

This is a two year Part-Time Distance Learning PGCE Programme with a focus on the 3-7 year group.

Northumbria University is a centre of excellence for initial teacher education, this innovative high quality distance learning Early Primary course has been specifically developed to provide a route for students wishing to achieve a PGCE in Early Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status. It has been especially designed to facilitate students who prefer both a school based and distance based route into teaching and require a longer trajectory of study due to work and life commitments. Students complete the programme in two years.

This Early Primary course is divided into two parts. Both Part 1 and Part 2 consist of: on line study with directed tasks to be completed in an experience school, module assignments and an assessed teaching placement. This is supported by two university weekends and occasional study days. ICT confidence and access to a personal computer with a broadband internet facility are essential requirements

The Early Primary course is designed to support students towards achieving the Standards for QTS.

PGCE Early Primary students gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Early Primary National Curriculum with particular focus on the 3-7 range, whilst obtaining a broad range of experiences. Students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to work independently as a self-motivated distance learner with support from their curriculum and professional tutors online.

This is a route designed for highly motivated people, from all walks of life. It enables them to have the opportunity to enter a hugely rewarding profession. In following this route you will receive an excellent introduction to the teaching profession.


The content of the programme will reflect the curricula requirements of the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum for England. There will also be tasks and assignments that will relate to the extended life of a school, educational theory and a wider understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the teacher.

Our PGCE students experience great success in entering teaching straight away. Career opportunities include teaching in maintained and independent nursery, infant, primary, and first schools, as well as in other areas of education, such as Children's Centres and other early years settings.

Please note: we do not accept deferred applications for this programme.

Information for international students

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCE
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 227 4453