PGCE Primary Education QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)

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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Teaching is far more than a job.

For many, teaching is a calling. An opportunity to engage and inspire children and enable them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive. Finding different ways of helping all children to learn is immensely rewarding and at University College Birmingham, we are committed to supporting our students to become excellent teachers able to adapt to a fast paced and ever changing sector.

Our PGCE Primary QTS course not only gives you the professional theory and knowledge you will need to teach and excel in a modern primary school setting, but also the invaluable, hands-on experience of working where it counts. The classroom.

At University College Birmingham, you will be supported on your journey to becoming a teacher by a highly dedicated team with experience and expertise across all areas of the primary curriculum.

Whether your aspiration is to work in a mainstream school or one for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), completion of this course will lead to Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) status, enabling you to start your journey in a profession which boasts a competitive salary, generous pension and financial support while training. 

As part of the course, there is the opportunity to specialise in teaching children from ages 3-7 for students who are more interested in working in the EYFS and Key Stage 1.

For students who are more interested in working in Key Stage 1 and 2, there is the opportunity to specialise in teaching children aged 5-11.

For those students who specialise in the 3-7 age range, there are two school placements in either nursery or reception, year 1 or year 2. For those who choose the 5-11 age range, there will be school placements in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Preparing students to meet the diverse needs of children is at the heart of our course and we provide the opportunity for all students to gain valuable experience working in a special school. Our students also have the opportunity to develop their own interests and expertise in teaching through a school-based legacy project.

Kick-Start Scheme

As a new student studying this full-time PGCE, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). The scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials or selected items on campus. You might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Ready to take the leap?

To be eligible to apply, you will need a minimum of a 2:2 in any BA or BSc (Hons) degree. You will also need to ask yourself which age group you’d like to teach:

  • 3-7 year olds – focus is Foundation Stage (pre-school) and Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2)
  • 5-11 year olds, focus is Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (years 3 to 6)   

Either pathway leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and enables teachers to work in any year group across the primary age range.

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What our staff and students say

Why choose this course?

  • Practical application - Increased career prospects through working in one of our partnership schools
  • Real-world experience - Assessed placements in either a primary or early years setting. These take place in two blocks - 8 weeks in the autumn term and 10 weeks in the summer term. In addition, there is a SEND School Placement for 2 weeks
  • Develop your knowledge - Intellectually stimulating content and effective teaching methods with high quality support from lecturers
  • Specialise your studies - Training that concentrates on themes that address key government priorities – behaviour management, SEND and children who use English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Career-boosting skills - Professional skills and theory to critically evaluate the principles of teaching

Open days

Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about University College Birmingham and the areas you are interested in studying. Discover more about our wide range of courses and cutting-edge facilities at our next postgraduate open day.

Accreditations and Endorsements

University of Birmingham Accreditation -Partnership Logo

Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching and 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

Applicants will be considered if they expect to acquire the necessary qualifications before the start of the training programme

Degree: You will need a degree classification of 2.2 or above in any degree discipline 

Level 2: Additionally, you will also need GCSE at grade C/4 or above in;

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science*

*The following Level 2 Science qualifications are acceptable

  • GCSE Single Award in Chemistry, Biology or Physics
  • GCSE Science Double Award
  • BTEC Level 2 in Science with a Pass profile

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. UCB will co-ordinate and fund the completion of the DBS check.

International qualifications: 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 (NCTL) for Initial Teacher Training. In some cases, English Language may not be accepted from the country of origin. If you are unsure whether your qualifications are suitable please contact admissions or call 0121 232 2265.

Placements (NV)

Work placement

Professional Studies Placement 1 including Legacy Project

(Non-credit bearing)

Students will undertake a placement in practice for 11 weeks and will carry out a project that reflects a particular area of interest.

Professional Studies Placement 2 including Special School Experience

(Non-credit bearing)

Students will undertake a second placement for 13 weeks and have the opportunity to experience practice in a special school.


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)

Graduate careers

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 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 in new facilities on the ground floor of Moss House, the hired@UCB team comprises 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 and apprenticeships
  • 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.

Mehnaz Nazir

Mehnaz Nazir

PGCE Primary QTS

Read more

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

PGCE Primary QTS

Read more