Primary Education PGCE

UCAS code X100

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About this course

All primary education programmes at Northumbria are now category A (The highest possible category) after our recent OFSTED inspection.

This PGCE programme forms a practical introduction to teaching, providing students with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach children aged 5 - 11 years. It provides students with the opportunity to study part of the programme at masters level to gain 60 credits towards a masters degree. Students will be able to develop their strengths from their own degrees through individual projects that will contribute to their prospects for employment in schools as future co-ordinators.

During the year-long programme students will gain a good knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2. The programme covers all aspects of the primary school curriculum. There is a substantial amount of school experience, covering a range of activities, such as observation, group and individual tasks, and taking responsibility for planning and teaching a significant proportion of the normal class timetable.

There are two assessed school placements which build the student’s experiences and skills from guided work in small groups to being fully responsible for a class for 80% of the timetable in the final placement. 120 days of this programme are spent in schools. Students work in a range of different schools during the programme, and teachers in these partnership schools have a central training role during each focus and assessed placement. The placements provide an extensive opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced teachers. The students benefit greatly from this, as they gain experience across the primary age phases.

Professional Skills Test for Trainee Teachers

Entrants for Initial Teacher Education programmes from September 2013 entry need to be aware of the Government regulations regarding mandatory ‘Professional skills tests for trainee teachers’, in numeracy and literacy. These will be taken immediately after application and prior to any offer being made.

Applicants are advised that they will receive one free test and two resit opportunities which will be self-funded. If applicants fail three tests, resits will not be allowed within a 24 month period, therefore it is strongly advised that applicants visit the Department for Education website to obtain further information and sample practice papers. Applicants may find the following link helpful:

Teacher -Training -Skills -Test

We offer additional support to all of our applicants, in advance of their mandatory National Literacy and Numeracy Test, which should be complete by the point of enrolment. For further information please contact Admissions on 0191 243 7900 or email

Please Note: we do not accept deferred applications for this programme

Assessment is through placements, assignments and portfolio work. Students gain experience of group presentations that are not assessed. They collect and reflect upon their own development in portfolios of evidence towards the National College for Teaching and Leadership standards for Qualified Teacher Status. These require students to be successful in all areas, and from the outset each student is involved in auditing their own learning and setting targets for their own professional development. They are supported by professional tutors throughout the programme.

The programme is aimed at preparation for teaching in maintained and independent infant, junior, primary, first and lower middle schools with the possibility of career opportunities in other areas of education.

The high quality of Initial Teacher Training at Northumbria University is well recognised. As a result, the trainees from this programme are viewed as highly employable by schools across the country.

Course info

UCAS Code X100

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Education and Lifelong Learning

Location Coach Lane Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2015

Primary Education PGCE