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Primary (School Direct) with Qualified Teacher Status PGCE

If you’re passionate about embarking on a teaching career, the PGCE Primary (School Direct) enables you to immerse yourself in practical experience from the outset.

Fully prepared for a teaching role
School Direct courses have high levels of employment and student satisfaction. You will be recruited as a trainee and based mainly in one of our partner school alliances, so you will become a valuable part of a school team from the start.

With intensive support in the classroom and the guidance of University experts, you will be fully prepared for the practical demands of primary teaching. This includes teaching your chosen subject as well as the wider National Curriculum.

As part of the course, you will undertake two assessed teaching placements in good schools to broaden your experience. You will be supported throughout by our ‘outstanding’ trained school mentors and link tutors.

You will also spend time at the University to develop your understanding of what it takes to become a great teacher.

A first class learning experience
With a rich heritage in teacher training dating back over 150 years, we have a strong reputation for nurturing successful, confident and forward-thinking primary teachers.

In our 2015 Ofsted inspection, we received an ‘outstanding’ rating for the quality of our work. Our Primary Leadership Team was praised for putting students at the heart of all they do and for ensuring they have excellent career outcomes.

Our students were described as “highly motivated and passionate about working with children,” keen to be fully involved in the everyday life of schools.

The power of partnerships
As one of the major Initial Teacher Education providers in the East Midlands, we have longstanding partnerships with more than 300 schools across the region, including rural, multi-cultural and inner city schools.
For the School Direct course, we have joined forces with a network of partner schools which work in clusters to support you on placement. Ofsted described our relationships with these partnership schools as ‘excellent’.

Specialisms to suit you
You can tailor your studies to match your own interests and career plans. Depending on your preference and any prior experience, you can choose to specialise in teaching Early Years (3–7 year olds), Primary (5–11 year olds), or Later Years (7–11 year olds).

Each route includes a Subject Enhancement module to help you advance your skills in specific areas. You will also undertake a study of school-related issues at masters level.

Relevant, up to date and challenging
At a time when rapid policy shifts are transforming the educational landscape, we will help you to meet the challenge of change in the modern classroom. This is an intellectually stimulating course which will keep you up to date with all the latest developments.

You will be taught by a highly competent and qualified team of tutors, including published authors and influential researchers whose work is helping to shape the future of the profession. 

Entry requirements

You will usually need an undergraduate honours degree (preferably 2:1) or an equivalent qualification. You will also need GCSE grade C or above in English Language, Maths and Science and a wide range of recent experience in UK primary schools.

You will be required to have successfully completed the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy in order to secure a place on the course. We offer Skills Test preparation days to help you to gain the knowledge to successfully complete the tests.

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this course.

Course modules

You'll study modules such as:

  • An Introduction to Reflective Teaching
  • Effective Learning and Teaching: English, Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Subject Enhancement
  • Reflective Practice in Action
  • Effective Learning and Teaching in Science and the Wider Curriculum
  • Understanding the Child as a Learner: Theories and Models of Learning and Teaching for Professional Practice
  • Understanding the School as a Learning Community.

Assessment methods

All assessments relate to your school placements; you will complete two assessed teaching placements and additional enhanced school opportunities, which will provide you with the challenging and exciting experience you need. There will be in-depth project-based reports on school-based issues.

You'll also have the opportunity to reflect and discuss your developing knowledge of teaching your subject, as well as present two academic posters and provide an oral update on our own growing subject knowledge.

Sponsorship information

We offer a 10% discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.


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

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