PGCE Primary QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) (Primary 3-7 and Primary 5-11 years pathways)

This postgraduate course is accredited by the University of Birmingham.

Overview (NV)

PGCE Primary QTS

Course length
1 year full-time
Fees (Home/EU)
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Fees (International)
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If you would like to study for a PGCE and have less than three years of experience working with children, UCB’s PGCE Primary QTS course will provide you with the necessary skills to teach in a primary school environment. 

There are two pathways available on this course. If you would like to teach 3-7 year olds, you will focus your studies on the Foundation Stage (pre-school) and Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2). If you would like to teach 5-11 year olds, you will focus on Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (years 3 to 6). 

These course pathways will concentrate on themes related to primary education that address key government priorities such as curriculum management, working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and working with children who use English as an Additional Language (EAL). 

On completion of this course, you will be a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and will have the knowledge, skills and training to work in a mainstream school or in a school for children with special needs.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Past students rate it very highly, commenting that the content is intellectually stimulating and the teaching methods are very effective.
  • You will develop your professional career in education as you specialise in the rewarding area of teaching and learning and receive high quality support from your lecturers.
  • You will increase your career prospects and employment opportunities through working in one of our partnership schools.
  • You will be able to efficiently manage a curriculum, how to deal with a range of professional issues and critically evaluate the principles of teaching.
  • By studying both the theoretical and practical elements of teaching, you will develop a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to teach in a primary school environment.
Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching & assessment

Teaching is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced lecturers and a typical teaching week will have up to 26 teaching contact hours made up as follows:

  • Large group teaching: 26 hours of lectures per week. 38 weeks in total. 
  • Smaller group teaching:  seminars may be featured as part of the lecture sessions
  • Tutorials: 1 tutorial each week with Professional Development Tutor. Additional tutorials may be timetabled in response to specific aspects of the programme.
  • Placement: 120 days
  • Field trips and visits: Approximately 8 visits to outside venues are arranged each year, but this is not fixed. These visits take place in the university based part of the programme.

Individual study

In addition you are likely to need to commit 10 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. UCB Online provides a 24 hour access to learning and support material.


An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:

  • 3 modules, one of which includes a school placement portfolio
  • Professional Development Portfolio which serves to provide evidence that the Teacher’s Standards have been met
  • 2 assessed placements (an 8 week placement which includes two weeks of preparation time, and a 12 week placement which includes two weeks of preparation time).

Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements

Degree: You will need a degree with a grade of 2.2 or above in a discipline of Early Childhood Studies, Childhood Studies, Education Studies, Psychology, Sociology, English, Mathematics, Dance, Drama, Performing Art, Sports or similar. 

Level 2 Requirements: You need to have a GCSE at grade C/4 or above (or its equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject (BTEC Level 2 science is also accepted at Merit or above). International qualifications are also accepted, they must be recognised by NARIC as equivalent and meet the requirement for The National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training. In some cases, English Language may not be accepted from the country of origin.

Department for Education: Pass the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests 

Work Experience: You will also need to have experience of working with children through placements or voluntary or paid work in schools.

Additional: Students must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) before starting this course.

Professional skills test 

Trainees starting an initial teacher training (ITT) course from September 2015 will be required to pass the professional skills tests before starting their course. Once you have submitted your application to us, you will need to arrange to take and have passed the tests before we can select you for interview. 

If you would like to speak to someone about the skills tests, contact the Professional Skills Tests candidate help desk. The helpdesk can be reached on 0845 450 8867, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Alternatively email any queries to

Applying for the professional skills test

It’s important that you are equipped with the right information before booking, and bring with you the right documents when attending the skills test centres. Any candidates that do not follow the below process will be turned away, and may lose their first free attempt at taking the skills tests. 

Booking the skills test:

You can book your skills test once you have submitted your application through UCAS Teacher Training. You can book in advance of this as long as an application is submitted before you attend the test centre.  

What you need to bring:

Two forms of identification - a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID this can be for example a debit card. More information can be found on the STA website.

You'll also need to bring proof of your teacher training application. Evidence that will be accepted:

  • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training
  • correspondence from your school or university
  • a copy of a completed UCAS Teacher Training application form
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university 

For more information please visit the STA website or the Get into Teaching website.

Placements (NV)

Work placement

You will spend a minimum of 120 days within our partnership schools working alongside our trained professional mentors. They will work with you to build your confidence so that you can gradually take responsibility for teaching a whole class. 

We will help you recognise your strengths and develop plans and targets to achieve the highest standard possible for the children you work with and help you to become a successful teacher.

Employability (NV)


Successful completion of this course will lead to the award of a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) you will be able to work in both mainstream schools or in a school for children with special needs. Depending on your specialism, you will be qualified to work with 3-7 year olds or 5-11 year olds in a primary school setting.


hired@UCB is our new student and alumni support service designed to provide a single reference point for information, advice and guidance regarding opportunities to develop and demonstrate employability and enterprise skills. 

Based on the 7th floor of our Summer Row campus, in newly refurbished facilities, the hired team comprises of specialist and qualified staff with knowledge and experience of: 

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Placements, work experience and volunteering
  • Employer engagement
  • Part-time and seasonal work
  • Internships, apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Graduate schemes and alumni support
  • Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency 

Find out more about hired@UCB services.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.

RusKhsar Ijaz

Ruskhsar Ijaz

PGCE Primary QTS

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Mehnaz Nazir

Mehnaz Nazir

PGCE Primary QTS

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Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

PGCE Primary QTS

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