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.
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.
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.
Our team of experienced teachers, who have held senior positions in schools, are there to support and guide your progress.
If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Paul Purser.
Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We normally require a Bachelor's Honours degree at 2:2 level or above from a UK higher education institution, or a recognised equivalent.
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.
Applicants must meet Department for Education requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit (physically and mentally) and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
Starting: Sep 2020
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.
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.
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.
We would like all applicants to make a fully informed decision about joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending sometime in a school and considering the role of the teacher will prove to be invaluable.
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:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for most Secondary teacher training courses and Primary Mathematics.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following modules (totalling 60 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.
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
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
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
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.
This course seamlessly blends research-informed academic study with hands on school experience from day one. It offers a blend of critical thinking and practice-based learning to ensure you develop as a confident, committed and reflective practitioner.
It offers you an integrated and creative approach to initial teacher training that values diversity and respect for all backgrounds and the opportunity to gain experience working with children from a wide range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.
The course will enable you to explore different models of teaching, the many ways children learn and a range of approaches to managing behaviour in the classroom. You will develop an understanding of how to engage, motivate and assess learners through a creatively planned curriculum that will take into account the needs of different learners and positively impact on learners’ outcomes.
This postgraduate course can be taken over one year full-time or two years part-time.
The structure of the course includes both school-based and university-based learning and is designed to meet the needs of each trainee teacher and to support and develop the skills, knowledge and professional attributes you need to become an outstanding teacher.
The course leads to the award of 60 credits at Level 7 and you will spend at least 120 days in schools developing the professional understanding and knowledge you need to meet the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS.
You'll choose from:
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. If you're looking to teach children aged 3 - 7, you will focus on Early Years for this module.
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 two days per week across the first and second years.
The school-based training days do not have 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).
You will be assessed through a range of methods to include audits of subject knowledge, written assignments and presentations. Academic work will need to be of the high standard required of postgraduate (Level 7) study.
Assessment of school based training is ongoing and will take a range of evidence into consideration, to include planning sequences of learning, teaching observations, evidence of effective marking and feedback. You will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards (DfE 2012). You will need to meet the requirements of Part 1 and Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards to be recommended for the award of QTS, so high standards of professionalism are essential.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).