Taught course

Primary Education (School Direct)

York St John University · School of Education

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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 School Direct 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.

The primary PGCE School Direct programme offers a one year school-centred route into teaching. You will either elect to take the lower primary (EYFS & KS1) or the upper primary (KS2) route and your assessed school placements will focus on your desired age range. However, upon the award of QTS you will be qualified to teach across the full 3-11 age range.

The school-centred PGCE programme offers everyone involved opportunities to work in close partnership and we have established excellent partnerships with several teaching schools within the north of England. This allows us to 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.

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

UK students
International students

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

Subject Administrator