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Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary)

The Course | Modules | Case Study | Teaching Agency Bursaries

These pages contain everything you need to know about the course, including what you will study, entry requirements, assessment, careers and how to apply. Please click on the links to go directly to the area of interest to you. Alternatively, just scroll down and you'll see everything you need to know about the course.


About The Course

Key Facts

Awards: Postgraduate and Professional graduate
Institution code: B38
UCAS TT codes: see table further down page
Duration: 1 year full-time, normally up to 2 years part-time
Start date: September and April
Typical offer: 2:2 degree classification and 10 days experience
For details on fees and funding, click here

This course can be taken full or part-time, studying for 3-7 age phase or 7-11 age phase.

The full-time course is for one year with 120 days in school and 60 days training. School placements are carefully structured to ensure gradual development of your confidence as an effective teacher through building up experiences by working with other trainees, link tutors and teachers. Placements begin in the Autumn Term with a non-assessed placement when you will share organisational responsibilities with another trainee. The longer placements follow in the second and third terms and there is a one week enrichment placement.

Depending on the age range you choose, you will be trained to teach all National Curriculum subjects. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is also studied for those on the 3-7 routes with an emphasis on the core subjects and ICT.

The part time course begins after Easter each year, a start date that is very effective for a four or five term completion. It is possible to extend the course for longer (six terms) or, up to a maximum of three years. You should be aware that the majority of the assessed work is completed in the first three terms on all routes. With considerable school experience, normally as a trained teaching assistant, it may be possible to complete the course in three terms.

The part time route involves only one day per week of attendance at the University for lectures and workshops. This is supplemented with significant, additional self study. The course lasts for three terms and subsequent terms focus on school-based training. Much of the study and communication is in the form of blended learning, so access to internet facilities outside of the University is essential.

Most part time route trainees spend two days per week in school and one day per week in the University at the start of the course. However, you will need to complete one full week in school in the first part of the course, followed by five consecutive weeks in the penultimate term and a block of six weeks in the final term. This route is particularly appropriate for graduate career changers and for people who enjoy distance learning. You will need extremely good time management skills, energy, a capacity for independent study and an ability to manage several tasks in parallel.

Our recent Ofsted Report (2010) shows that we are highly successful and that we have 'High quality trainees with the potential to be good or better teachers'. Download the full report here >>>

Our trainees' strengths include:

  • their self-motivation in identifying and securing their own professional development;
  • their well-developed personal qualities, which allow them to establish productive relationships with staff and pupils, and create a good climate for learning in the classroom;
  • their professional attributes and personal qualities, including their commitment and self-motivation in relation to their own professional development.

UCAS Code Course
X125 Lower Primary (3-7 age group) (Full-time) Postgraduate
X175 Upper Primary (7-11 age group) (Full-time) Postgraduate
X122 Lower Primary (3-7 age group) (Flexible) Postgraduate
X172 Upper Primary (7-11 age group) (Flexible) Postgraduate


What You Will Study

At present you register for the course at Post Graduate level, gaining 60 masters credits (level 7) or you can gain a professional graduate qualification with either 60 credits at level 6 or 30 credits at level 6 and 30 at level 7. The modules relate to the professional role of the teacher, the need to be a reflective practitioner, to developing your own knowledge of subjects and areas taught within primary schools and early years setting and how you teach to support children in effective learning.

The course will include lectures, seminars, workshops, Independent Study, tutorials, school-based training and will recommend you for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The University-based sessions are very much a starting point for the training undertaken in schools through observation and working alongside experienced teachers.

View the modules on offer in this course >>>


Entry Requirements

You will normally need:

  • GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) in English Language, Mathematics and a Science at the time of application;
  • an honours degree at a 2:2 classification or above (Where the degree result is to be awarded in the year of application, we will require a predicted degree classification as part of an academic reference provided on the application).
  • Experience - please see below information below
  • Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy
  • Declaration of Health
  • DBS (formerly the CRB) Enhanced Disclosure

Please see our list of accepted equivalents, please click here for English equivalents, Mathematics equivalents and Science equivalent qualifications.

When shortlisting for interview, we will consider the following aspects of your qualifications:

  • GCSE grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
  • A Level grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
  • Degree Class and relevance of content
  • Additional relevant qualifications

Experience in a relevant setting is important as it will help you to make sure that you are aware of the role of a teacher in the twenty-first century. The course is intensive and demanding and you need to be very sure that you understand and are suited to a career in the teaching profession. It is also important to obtain as we look for evidence of recent experience on your application form, and you will also need to talk about your recent experience in a relevant setting at interview, reflecting on what you have learned.

When shortlisting for interview, we will consider the following aspects of your experience:

  • Days in school observing practice, recency and breadth
  • Days of teaching
  • Other relevant work experience

As a general rule, 10 days or more in a relevant setting would be a good starting point for you to get an interview for the Primary PGCE.

Skills Tests
All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). Applicants to ITT courses which start after 1 July 2013 will be required to pass the skills tests before starting their course and this will be a condition of your offer if it applies to you.

The numeracy and literacy skills tests do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement and are taken online at any of approximately 150 test centres throughout the UK. If successful at the interview stage, this will form part of your conditions of offer. Please click here for further information.

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) - formerly the CRB and Health 
In addition you will be required to obtain a satisfactory Declaration of Health Form, or if required, a medical examination. In addition, all students will need to pay 44 for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)). A successful Enhanced Disclosure is required before commencing the course.

If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Admissions team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email admissions@bishopg.ac.uk.

BG is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination.


What Our Students Say

"After deciding that primary teaching was what I wanted to do, this course was chosen because of the very practical-based syllabus - much of the time is actually in schools, which is what I wanted, but even in when we are doing University College-based seminars, many of them are hands-on and interactive."
Abbi, PGCE Primary student

"Whilst studying for my PGCE I have found myself working alongside lots of people of different ages and backgrounds, some of whom brought a wealth of experience to the course and others which recent education experience."
Jess, PGCE Primary student

View a more in-depth student case study >>>



We offer a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops independent study and school-based training. Assessments include written assignments, group and individual presentations, ICT based assessment, peer assessment and practical teaching in partnership with schools.


Careers & Further Study

The teaching profession has a well structured career pathway which moves progressively from initial teacher training through to newly qualified (NQT) status to qualified teacher. On passing your induction year, your career can escalate through to advanced skills teacher (AST), a Deputy Head teacher, or even a Head teacher.


How to Apply

All applications to this course are made through the UCAS Teacher Training, an online application system from 21 November 2013. This will guide you through the steps you will need to take and register your application. You will find a full set of instructions on the UCAS website which will make filling out your application as easy as possible.

If you require any further information or advice please click here or you can contact the Admissions Office on 01522 583658.

View Our Prospectus

You can get more details on BG and the courses we offer by taking a look at our new prospectus. Download a PDF version or request a printed copy by visiting our Prospectus Request page.

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