TARGETjobs black logo

Manchester Metropolitan University

Sector menu
Manchester Metropolitan University

Primary Education with QTS

Manchester Metropolitan University has a national reputation for initial teacher education which has been established over 100 years.  Our Department of Primary Teacher Education has a team of over 40 primary teaching staff who between them have expertise in all primary curriculum subjects, enabling us to offer a wide range of specialisms.  The majority of teaching staff are actively involved in research, linked to our Education and Social Research Institute, one of the leading UK centres for educational research.  We have an Initial Teacher Education Partnership with over 500 primary schools and strong community links across the North West region, ensuring we can offer our trainees a diverse range of placement experiences.

Our aim is to train confident teachers and reflective practitioners who will have strong prospects for employment and career progression.   Trainees have access to Manchester Met's dedicated Careers and Employability Service and within the PGCE programme are supported in securing their first teaching appointment. 

After graduation we continue to provide support and advice to our Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), including online resources, conferences and peer networking.

Our full-time PGCE Primary Education provides intensive training leading to Qualified Teacher Status ('QTS') for early years establishments and primary schools in the 3-7, 7-11 or 5-11 age range. 

School-based training is combined with taught sessions at university and independent study.  Applicants can choose our University-led ('Core')  PGCE training route, or one of our School-led ('School Direct') routes, both of which lead to QTS.  We work in partnership with 18 school alliances in the North West of England to offer School Direct places (salaried and non-salaried).

University-led ('Core') route

Trainees typically spend around 12 weeks in university during the year, including a block at the start of the course, combined with at least 120 days of school-based training, in at least two different schools.  Manchester Met organises placements.

School-led ('School Direct') route

Trainees are attached to a lead school within an alliance of schools - Manchester Met works in partnership with 18 school alliances across the North West region.  Depending on the term times of the school(s) involved they will typically spend around 30 weeks in school and around four weeks in university for taught sessions.  Placements are organised by the lead school.

On both routes trainees will experience school-based training in at least two different schools, and have the opportunity to undertake an inclusion placement with a focus on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). The School-led also includes a visit to a Key Stage 3 setting.  Throughout the PGCE trainees are supported by a personal tutor, experienced teaching staff and mentors in university and at school.

Candidates can apply for both School Direct and University PGCE routes; both have the same entry requirements.  Successful completion of either route includes 60 Masters level credits.

Early Years route (Manchester only)

This route mirrors the PGCE Primary Education programme, with an Early Years focus.  Completing this course will enable practitioners to teach in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. 

Applications for PGCE routes starting in September 2017 should be made online via UCAS Teacher Training which is expected to open in late October this year.  Early application is recommended as places are limited.  Please check our entry requirements before applying.

Assessment Only Route to QTS in Primary sector

Experienced, but unqualified graduate teachers, wishing to complete a formal qualification to gain Qualified Teacher Status may be eligible for this route.  It will suit those who have taught in at least two schools or colleges, and who have substantial experience in two consecutive age ranges. It is not sufficient for candidates only to have experience of two schools.

Entry requirements

Applicants must possess a 2:2 honours degree (or international equivalent), and five GCSEs including English Language, Mathematics and Science, at grade C or above (Grade B desirable for the three mandatory subjects) at the point of application. Evidence of substantial (at least three weeks) experience in a UK primary school within the last two years required, completed prior to application.

If you are due to graduate or have graduated within the last three years your principal referee must be a University lecturer.  An additional reference will also be required from the school in which you undertook your placement. Failure to provide the above will result in your application being made unsuccessful.

Applicants currently domiciled outside the UK may apply pending appropriate UK school experience on the condition they also possess substantial school experience outside the UK.  This must be made explicit in the personal statement. 

Professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy

All PGCE applicants will need to pass pre-entry Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy.  The Faculty of Education offer support sessions to help applicants prepare for tests, but tests must be booked externally.

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check and satisfactory health check are also required.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course modules

PGCE Primary Education (Manchester and Cheshire Campuses)

Professional practice units typically include:

  • Teaching Studies Unit: Becoming and being a professional teacher
  • Core Curriculum Studies: English, Mathematics, Computing
  • Foundation Subject Studies
  • School-Based Training: Whole Curriculum Focus

PGCE Early Years (Manchester)

This course mirrors the PGCE Primary course, with an Early Years emphasis. Completing this PGCE course will qualify practitioners to teach in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The Core and Foundation units make direct reference to the Foundation Curriculum - its content and pedagogy.

The Teaching Studies unit is delivered by an experienced Early Years tutor and the two assessed, block placements will be organised to provide experience in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.

Assessment methods

For each assessed placement there is a 'grading criteria' based upon the Qualified Teacher Standards. All assessments are recorded in a document so that trainees can see their progress both during and between placements. The grading criteria uses the full set of Standards so that progress can be monitored by each individual trainee, their personal tutor, their visiting tutor and their school mentor.


All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

The University will organise your placements - we do not expect you to do this. Starting with the trainees term time postcode we match this with placement offers from schools. Trainees are expected to travel up to 1.5 hours each way from where they live and to arrive in their school 45 minutes before the school day commences. Travel by public transport may involve a number of changes e.g. train and bus. We take into consideration special circumstances, such as, disabilities, cultural requirements and medical conditions. In addition, we match carefully to ensure a breadth of experience across different key stages. You will need to budget for travel costs to your placement. You may be able to claim back a contribution if you do not have a bursary or you have to travel over a specified distance set by the Faculty. If you are applying through the School Direct route, the lead school will take responsibility for arranging all practice credit units including placement experiences. You should expect some travel to other schools e.g. for your second placement. You may also need to budget for student membership of professional bodies.

DBS Checks - Before starting on your course, you must undergo a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (Enhanced Disclosure). At the time of going to press, you do not have to pay for your first DBS check. If you cannot attend a DBS session at the University before the start of the course, you can use the UK Post Office Document Certification Service, which costs approximately £10. If you are not a UK citizen, or if you have lived in one country outside the UK for six or more months in the last five years, you must where this is possible obtain a police clearance certificate from the country in which you resided, in addition to the Disclosure and Barring Service check. You must supply a certified translation if the certificate does not automatically include this. Costs vary and can include fingerprint and translation fees where required. Returning students, who have already had a DBS certificate from Manchester Met and who need a second DBS certificate, for example, due to a suspension of study, are required to pay the DBS fee. You may also need to budget for student membership of professional bodies.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 1 Years
PGCE Part-time £ 15,500 (Whole course) International 1 Years

Get in touch today and increase your future employability