Entry requirements

Entry requirements for programmes leading to QTS are stipulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ITT criteria 2012. These are:

  • An Honours degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent (Ordinary degrees cannot be accepted)
  • GCSE in English (or York St John University approved equivalent) at Grade C/Level 4 or above
  • GCSE in Mathematics (or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C/Level 4 or above
  • GCSE in Science (or York St John University approved equivalent including GCSE Human Physiology, GCSE Human Biology, Intermediate GNVQ Science or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C/Level 4 or above.

In addition, applicants must also:

  • Have a minimum of ten days' classroom experience in a UK state primary school, with at least five days in the last twelve months. For those with a third class honours degree, all ten days must be within the last twelve months. Other experience such as international experience in a primary school will be considered though applicants maybe be required to complete the required UK state primary school experience before the start of the course. Please see School Based Experience for guidelines.
  • Satisfy the institution that they have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching.
  • Take part in an interview designed to assess their suitability to teach.
  • Obtain a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure check and/or any other appropriate background check.
  • Obtain a satisfactory medical report.
For the full-time programme successful applicants will normally have an 2:1 honours degree from a UK higher education institution, or the equivalent.
For the part-time programme lower degrees will be considered if there is sufficient additional relevant experience to support the application.
Anyone applying for an initial teacher training (ITT) course is required to have passed the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course.
Once you have submitted your application to us, you will need to arrange to take and pass the tests, ideally before interview.

Months of entry


Course content

The key aim of the PGCE Primary programme is to deliver a high quality initial teacher education programme that is up-to-date with current developments in education and the primary curriculum and will equip you with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes to become outstanding Early Years practitioners and primary teachers.

There are two University centred PGCE routes, enabling you to choose the one most appropriate to your circumstances in terms of managing your studies around existing work and commitments. Both lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS):

  • Full-time route: 39 weeks to complete starting in September and ending the following July with 120 days of school-based training

Visit the UCAS website to apply for the full-time PGCE programme (course codes below).

  • Part-time route: Two years to complete starting in September and ending the following summer with 120 days of school-based training.

Upon the award of QTS you will be qualified to teach across the full 3-11 age range although you will specialise in specific Key Stages within the programme assessed school experiences. You choose one of two options:

The ‘Lower’ option will cover the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ages 3-5 and Key Stage 1 (KS1) ages 5-7

The ‘Upper’ option will cover Key Stage 2 (KS2) ages 7-9, and 9-11

Across all routes, programme teams work closely with partnership school colleagues to support you in developing your professional practice, providing you with excellent opportunities to engage in wider professional issues relating to pedagogy and the curriculum. The programme is integrated with school-based experience and training to ensure that your developing professional practice is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of educational theory and current local, national and international research.

You will be expected to critically engage with educational issues and develop as reflective practitioners, able to evaluate and adapt your practice to meet the needs of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. The University provides a strong centre-based opportunity to develop and share good practice in order to enhance the experiences of all student teachers.

Information for international students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (in all areas of the test) or equivalent.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa & Immigration webpages.

Fees and funding

A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

You can also look at our Postgraduate funding webpages: https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees--funding/

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details