Primary Education PGCE

UCAS code X100

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About this course

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At Northumbria University our approach to creating a distinctive learning experience is simple but powerful.  We have the right people, the most relevant courses and we work with you, at every stage to maximise your potential.

To find out more about our distinctive approach click here

All primary education programmes at Northumbria University are graded ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Northumbria University is a centre of excellence for initial teacher education, the Primary Education PGCE course 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.

caption: Primary Education PGCE school placement.During the year-long Primary Education PGCE course 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 whole class teaching. 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:

Skills Tests

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


Ofsted Our Initial Teacher Education courses are rated as Outstanding by Ofsted and in 2014 ranked us as 7th overall in the UK. 


Placements When you want to get hands-on experience of teaching we can support you. All of our programmes offer the opportunity for experience in educational settings. 

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

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates here.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach click here.

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