PGCE School Direct Pathway (Primary 3-7 and Primary 5-11 Years)

This postgraduate course is accredited by the University of Birmingham.

Overview (NV)
Course length
1 year full-time
Fees (Home/EU)
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Fees (International)
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If you require any further information about our School Direct Programme please contact Gerard Doyle , 0121 227 7164, .

Course overview

UCB’s School Direct course is run in conjunction with Wilson Stuart School and Birmingham Nursery Schools Teaching Schools Alliance. This course differs from our PGCE primary QTS route as the majority of your training will be spent in your work placement and you will attend university only one day per week. 

You will work in a school environment for four days per week and attend UCB for one day per week. As well as choosing which primary age group you would like to teach (3-7 years or 5-11 years), you will havethe opportunity to choose whether you specialise in mainstream or special education needs teaching.  

School Direct is an alternative route into teaching. This school-led approach is designed to enable schools and accredited Initial Teacher Training providers to work together to provide high quality training to develop high quality teachers. 

University College Birmingham works in close partnership with a number of schools in developing this course. With our partners we offer two School Direct routes, the salaried route and the tuition fee route.

Why should I choose this course?

  • You will be able to teach in a primary and early years environment for four days a week, continuing to build on your practical teaching experience.
  • You will be able to efficiently manage a curriculum, deal with a range of professional issues and critically evaluate the principles of teaching.
  • You will be able to increase your career prospects and employment opportunities.
  • You will get high quality support throughout the course as you develop your professional career
  • 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 one day per week. You will be taught amongst a small group with weekly tutorials available. In addition to your four days a week in school we offer visits to outside venues which are arranged each year, as part of the university based programme. 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
  • Professional Development Portfolio which serves to provide evidence that the Teacher’s Standards have been met
  • 3 assessed placements 

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

Salaried route

2.1 Honours degree with at least three years working experience.  

Tuition fee route

2.2 Honours degree with relevant experience of working with children e.g. from placements or voluntary/paid work in schools.  

You need to have a GCSE at grade C or above (or its equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject and pass a skill test in English and maths . 

UCB welcomes a range of degree disciplines such as Early Childhood Studies, Childhood Studies, Education Studies, Psychology, Sociology, English, Mathematics, Dance, Drama, Performing Art, Sports or similar.

Professional skills test and DBS

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

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

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

As part of this course, you will work four days a week in one of our partnership schools at Wilson Stuart School, Colmore Partnership Teaching School Alliance (CPTSA) or Birmingham Nursery Schools Teaching Alliance (BNSTA). You will study in UCB for the remaining day of your working week.

Employability (NV)


Successful completion will lead to the award of a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There is an expectation that successful completion of the course will result in trainees being offered employment by one of the schools involved in their School Direct provision – however, this is not guaranteed. 


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.