Primary and Early Years Education with QTS - PGCE

  • Course Code: 3-7 age phase: X110 (FT) 5-11 age phase: 338B (FT) 5-11 age phase: 3FN2 (PT)
  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time, Part Time
  • Location: City South

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Do you have a passion for educating children, supporting their academic and personal growth at a key stage in their development? Is your aim to become a reflective, critical and enquiring primary school teacher? Then our PGCE Primary and Early Years course is for you.

What's covered in the course?

Our aim is to help you become a committed, confident and creative teacher so we’ll train you in the essential tools you need to kick-start your career in education. You’ll increase your ability to handle the ever-evolving teaching environment, and by the time your course is complete, you’ll be in a position to continue developing your understanding, knowledge and skills throughout your professional life.

Why Choose Us?

  • Consistently high employability rates, with over 98% of PGCE Primary graduates in employment or further study six months after completing this course (latest DLHE survey results 2016/17).

  • We support you with the job application process as part of your course.

  • Gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree.

  • We have strong relationships with hundreds of primary schools in the region. Schools are committed to the quality of experience they offer our trainees.

  • Our team of experienced teachers, who have held senior positions in schools, are there to support and guide your progress.

This course is open to International students

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Paul Purser.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • St Martins Church of England
  • Summerville School

And in jobs such as:

  • Reception Teacher
  • Teacher

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

We normally require a Bachelor's Honours degree at 2:1 level or above from a UK higher education institution or a recognised equivalent in a subject that provides the necessary foundation for work as a primary teacher although we will consider applications from those with a 2:2 degree.

Trainees expecting to take a specialist module in a core subject, Special Educational Needs or Early Years must have an appropriate degree or be able to demonstrate equivalent understanding and experience.

GCSE at grade 4 (formerly grade C )or above (or its equivalent) in English, mathematics and a science subject is also necessary at the point of enrolment.

 Download the GCSE equivalencies for this course  

Applicants must meet Department for Education requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Other requirements

While not essential, you may wish to gain some experience in Primary School before attending an interview.

International Students

Entry requirements here

International Students

Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.

Apply now

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2020 FT 1 year £9,250 per year Apply online now
PT 2 years
TBC
Apply online now

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2020 FT 1 year £12,800 per year Apply online now

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Course codes:

FULL TIME 

  • 3-7 age phase: X110 
  • 5-11 age phase: 338B 

PART TIME

  • 5-11 age phase: 3FN2

All applications need to be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website. For more information on how to apply for a teacher training course please visit the UCAS how-it-all-works information page. The UCAS Teacher Training helpline number is 0871 468 0 469.

We also offer the full-time programme through School Direct with the following schools:

Visit the UCAS Teacher Training website for details on how to apply.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Financial Support

Although this is a postgraduate course, current PGCE students are eligible for the finance support package available to full-time undergraduates. You may also receive a Teacher Training Bursary of up to £30,000 per year, subject specific.

Find out more

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits):

Core Curriculum
20 credits

The PGCE Primary and Early Years programme provides high quality initial teacher training for those wishing to teach in primary schools and early years settings. This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of the core subjects (Mathematics, English and Science) and prime and specific areas of the EYFS in the context of learning and teaching in the primary school and early years settings. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to the importance of trainees’ subject knowledge in the primary school and EYFS curricula. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to the teaching of the above subjects/areas and to meet the needs of all learners.

Foundation Curriculum
20 credits

The PGCE Primary and Early Years programme provides high quality initial teacher training for those wishing to teach in primary schools and early years settings. This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of the foundation subjects for key stages 1 & 2 (History, Geography, Art, Music, Computing, Design & Technology, Physical Education, Foreign Languages and Religious Education) and certain prime and specific areas of the EYFS including Physical Development, Understanding the world (not ‘science’ elements) and Expressive Arts and Design. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to the importance of trainees’ subject knowledge in the primary school and EYFS curricula. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to the teaching of the above subjects/areas and to meet the needs of all learners. Trainees will develop an understanding of cross-curricular approaches and how they support the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in the foundation subjects /areas of learning.

School Based Training 1
0 credits

This module belongs to the School Based Training strand of the programme. Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, School Based Training 1, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to meet the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical experience. You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment. Schools will undertake to provide trainees with a variety of opportunities to observe best practice which addresses the trainees’ development needs. You will be able to implement theory and evidence-based understanding on an on-going and development basis into your teaching into the classroom.

School Based Training 2
0 credits

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, School Based Training 2, enables you to build on and demonstrate your mastery and achievement of the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical, school-based experience. You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment. You will be able to implement theory and evidence-based understanding into your teaching into the classroom and within a professional, safe and supportive community of practice become a confident, creative and committed teacher demonstrating a working understanding of and progress towards, the professional standards that underpin learning and teaching in a primary or early years settings. You will be assessed against the current professional competences for teaching through a learning, teaching and assessment strategy that describes the stages of development as emerging, establishing, embedding, and enhancing.

Professional Studies and Leadership
20 credits

This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of teaching and leadership in the context of primary school and early years settings. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong practical understanding of the importance of trainees’ wider professional awareness and responsibilities in the primary school and EYFS settings. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to teaching and meeting the needs of all learners.

Course structure

This postgraduate course can be taken over one year full-time or two years part-time.

It offers you an academic qualification, the Primary and Early Years Education PGCE, but you will spend 120 days working in schools and gaining valuable real-life experience.  

You’ll also learn by attending workshops and group discussions, but this course is mainly practical and very hands-on.

You can choose to focus on:

  • Learning to teach young people between the ages of three and seven (not available part-time),
    or
  • Learning to teach young people between the ages of five and 11.

All trainees learn to teach across the range of subjects in the Primary National Curriculum, but there is a strong focus on English and mathematics.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll take a Professional Studies module where you can choose to focus on a National Curriculum subject area, depending upon demand.

Students looking to teach children aged three to seven years old will focus on Early Years for this module. 

Part-time PGCE Primary Education 

We offer a part-time route for our general Primary PGCE (5 - 11 years). The part-time route might be ideal for you if you're looking to change career, to earn while you learn or if for personal circumstances you're unable to pursue a teacher training programme on a full-time basis.

The part time route will be offered as Primary General 5 to 11 and will run from September 2020 to July 2022. The part of the PGCE programme taught here at the University will run on the same two days per week across the first and second years. These are likely to be Thursdays and Fridays leaving you with the rest of the week to study and/or attend to your other commitments.

The school-based training days do not have a a fixed number of days each week but will be agreed flexibly between the placement school(s), us at the University and you as the trainee teacher. You will need to complete 120 days in school with a fairly equal split across the two years. While the majority of your time on placement will be on part-time basis (to be agreed individually), each year of the course you will need to spend at least two weeks in your placement school on a full-time basis (at least 10 days each year). 

Assessment methods

There are assessments on course work, teaching practice and the achievement of The Department for Education for the award of QTS. You will also undertake written assessments and some presentations derived from both faculty-based modules and school experiences. Academic work will need to be of the high standard required of postgraduate level 7 study.

Standards for the award of QTS are assessed in a number of ways, including course work, school experience assessments and evidence portfolios.

Further study

While studying for your PGCE, you’ll be made fully aware of opportunities to study with us in the future.

If you are ambitious to gain a Masters Degree, successful completion of the PGCE will give you 60 credits towards this. Specific courses include the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) and the Masters in Educational Leadership (MEL).

Trips and Visits

You may go on a variety of different visits depending upon your module choices, which will give you ideas and inspiration for projects you can use in the classroom.

Examples include tours of Warwick Castle or a visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which will give you an opportunity to find out about ways in which you can bring subjects, such as history and art, to life for your pupils.

You’ll also consider how you might plan a trip including appropriate safety and risk assessment.

Employment opportunities

Our commitment to developing graduates with the skills and experience employers need means that within six months of graduating, 100 per cent of our PGCE Primary and Early Years graduates are in employment or further study. (DLHE Survey 2016/17).

Whatever subjects you choose, we focus on giving up-to-date knowledge. The real-life experience you gain on placements can also give you a real head start in the career stakes.

Placements

We work hard to maintain strong relationships with more than 900 primary schools in the region. All have signed a Partnership Agreement pledging their commitment to offering our trainees a high-quality experience.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

Our graduates are highly successful in finding teaching posts and many take jobs in the area.

Your course, with its high level of practical content, plus the fact that in your second placement you’ll be teaching 80 per cent of the time, means you are well-placed to go after job opportunities as they arise.

The amount of time spent gaining real classroom experience means you could end up working in one of the schools that you visit.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.

Campus

In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Paul Purser

PGCE Primary and Early Years Education Course Director

Having completed a Science degree, Paul undertook a PGCE and qualified in 1990. He has always led Science within school in addition to his teaching and leadership commitments. Alongside this he developed his skills in whole school leadership, leading year groups and phases within school.

This range of experience enabled Paul to become deputy head of a large three form entry primary school and children's centre. He gained the NPQH while deputy head teacher.

Paul's last post was as a head teacher in Walsall, before joining the the Science team at Birmingham City University in September 2012.

Grant huddleston

Grant Huddleston

Senior Lecturer in Physical Education

Grant is senior lecturer for Physical Education. He has spent the last two years teaching on the BA (QTS) Primary, PGCE Primary Education (QTS), BA and PGCE Secondary Physical Education (QTS) courses. In 2019, Grant will add the BA (Hons) Secondary Physical Education (QTS) degree to that list. He gained a PGCE in Higher Education and Fellowship of Higher Education in 2019.

Read Grant's full profile

Gary Pykitt BA (Hons) QTS, PGCE, PGDip.

Senior Lecturer in Primary Education/Primary and Early Years Partnership Manager/School of Education Health and Safety Coordinator

My association with the then University of Central England in Birmingham started in November 1997 when I was interviewed at Westbourne Road for the four year BA (Hons) in Primary Education with QTS course which I started in September 1998 and successfully completed with First Class Honours in June 2002.

I commenced my teaching career as an NQT in September 2002 at a large semi-urban primary school in Burton upon Trent. I worked there for just under six years, undertaking many different roles, in addition to my primary role as a Key Stage Two class teacher, including: History Subject Leader, Interactive Whiteboard Manager and ICT Coordinator, Head of Key Stage Two and School Based Tutor for Birmingham City University trainees.

My career at Birmingham City University started in September 2007 when I joined the Professional Studies team as a visiting lecturer one day per week, teaching the new cohort of BA (Hons) QTS trainees, exploring issues around teaching and learning and equality. I enjoyed this very much and during my time teaching in schools had always enjoyed supporting trainees on Teaching Practice; I saw this as a positive development in my career.

I was appointed as a full-time Senior Lecturer in Primary Education with a heavy involvement in the Primary and Early Years Partnership team and began this leg of my career on 1 April 2008. I enjoy my role very much and relish in the challenges that each day brings.

Damienne Clarke

Senior Lecturer in Professional Studies and History

Prior to joining Birmingham City University in September 2013 my background was in Primary Education and I worked in six primary schools over a twenty three year period.

I graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1989 and then completed a PGCE at the University of Durham.

After qualifying in 1990 I taught for ten years in two primary schools in the North East where I undertook a variety of subject and curriculum leadership roles (History, Music, Curriculum Co-ordinator). In 2000 I relocated to Leicestershire where I taught for a further thirteen years.

As a class teacher I was Key Stage 2 based, predominately in Year 6. I also taught Music and French in Foundation Stage and KS1 for a number of years.

During my time in Leicestershire I undertook many varied teaching/leadership and management roles, including Assistant Head Teacher, then Deputy Head Teacher of a large primary school in Loughborough and Acting Head Teacher of a smaller Leicestershire primary school. I also taught a module (Planning for an Integrated Curriculum) on the Loughborough Encompass GTP for three years in addition to my role in school.

I have been an active member of the Governing Bodies of three primary schools.

My last post before joining BCU was as Head Teacher of a Leicestershire primary school (August 2010 to August 2013).