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Nottingham Institute of Education

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Nottingham Institute of Education

Primary Education PGCE

This teaching degree provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to become primary school teachers. Time is spent both in the University and on classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals.

The award of PGCE is offered at two levels:

  •     Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
  •     Postgraduate Certificate in Education (where 60 Masters-level credits can be gained).

Both of these are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate degree will allow fast-track entry to Masters courses. The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course. Successful completion of the course will lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of a first teaching post in the primary age range (5 to 11 years). You will focus on primary education across both key stages, a National College for Teaching and Leadership (formerly the Teaching Agency) requirement which is essential to gain an overview of development and progression throughout the complete primary age phase. There may be an opportunity to place an increased emphasis on either Key Stage One (five to seven years) or Key Stage Two (7 to 11 years) during your school based training.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  •     A UK Honours degree or equivalent, at a minimum 2:2 which can be related to the Primary Nation Curriculum
  •     GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at minimum grade C or equivalent, these must have been gained prior to application
  •     Disclosure and Barring Service and Prohibition Order checks passed prior to enrolling
  •     Professional ITT Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy passed prior to enrolling
  •     two references - one academic and one vocational.

Applicants must evidence a minimum of ten days mainstream UK school experience (paid or voluntary) in a Key Stage 1 or 2 class in their application. This must have been within the last two years and completed prior to interview.

Applicants will need to undertake an interview as part of the selection process.

If necessary, you can take a relevant GCSE as a private candidate.

Course modules

The course structure is designed to meet the current and developing changes in primary schools in the United Kingdom. The module structure allows sufficient flexibility to address the planned governmental curricular changes, as well as reflect effective research based practice both nationally and internationally. It is vital that the entire primary curriculum is reflected across the course and is supported by a professional studies module and is closely linked to the professional placement. The course structure is designed to support trainees in the early stages of their career as well as providing a lasting support for their future careers.

The course’s four modules run concurrently throughout the year. With the exception of Primary Professional Practice, which is taught at level 6, each module is offered at either level 6 or masters level.

Primary Professional Practice

This module aims to develop you as a teacher who exercises responsibility: for your pupils as individuals and as members of groups within and beyond the school community; and for productive interaction both with professional colleagues including teaching and support staff in school, staff from external agencies, and with other adults, including parents and carers; and for your own professional development.

This module aims to equip you with theoretical and practical understanding and experience of:

  •     planning, setting high expectations and appropriate targets;
  •     monitoring and assessment; and
  •     teaching and behaviour management.

Learning and Teaching: Professional Studies

This module is designed to support you in developing:

  •     knowledge and understanding of a wide range of professional practices and a constructively critical approach toward innovation in professional practice;
  •     an informed stance in relation to key issues in education;
  •     a capacity to express your professional values through high quality work in all areas of the curriculum.

Learning and Teaching: Primary Curriculum and Related Pedagogy

You will be expected to work proactively to further your professional development to enable you to plan, teach and assess across the range of subjects specified by the primary national curriculum including RE, as well as cross curricular themes and strands, at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (EYFS and KS3).

This module is designed to support you in becoming:

  •     a reflective practitioner who is confident and capable of furthering the progress and achievement of learners;
  •     a well-researched and knowledgeable professional who can use formative assessment strategies to plan for teaching which promotes learning for all children; and
  •     a leading practitioner who is able to contribute to the long term aims of learning for both individuals and schools through identifying next steps in both learning and teaching.

Primary Education Independent Study

This module is designed to support you in:

  •     engaging in an independent, professional enquiry; and
  •     developing a focus for your own research and in depth study.

It will also support you in becoming:

  •     a confident professional with the knowledge and understanding of related pedagogy in English, maths and science to enable you to teach effectively across the age and ability range for which you are trained;
  •     an active contributor to the knowledge base of teaching and learning; and
  •     a research informed practitioner who has a research oriented approach to the development of your professional practice.

Sponsorship information

Bursaries up to £3,000 are available to train to teach Primary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 1 Years
PGCE Full-time £ 13,900 (Whole course) International 1 Years

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