(Qualified Teacher Status)

Accredited by the University of Warwick




1 year FT


120 days




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96% of newly-qualified teachers were employed in a teaching role within six months of completing training

70% of newly-qualified teachers are still in the profession after five years

Teaching is far more than a job, it’s a legacy – and training to teach at University College Birmingham could be the start of yours. If you dream of becoming a primary teacher, our PGCE Primary Education course with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) provides you with both the skills and the hands-on classroom experience to embark upon a rewarding career making a real difference in the lives of young people.

Our PGCE course covers content for the development of expertise within the Primary National Curriculum (NS), the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Core Content Framework for trainee teachers across three themes – the reflective teacher, the inclusive teacher and the curriculum expert – enabling you to teach learners aged 3-11. Combining training at our campus with school-based practice, the course enables you to experience teaching and learning practice within schools, helping you develop into a qualified teacher who can plan, deliver and assess learning within your own classroom.

Throughout our teacher training course, you will rehearse and refine your teaching practice, developing expertise and the ability to generalise learning and experience across a range of school contexts. You will also complete a professional portfolio tracking and supporting progression onto school-based placements to achieve the recommendation for QTS, as well as having opportunities to gain additional qualifications to boost your employability.

Why should I choose this course?

  • WORK PLACEMENTS – Take on supportive teacher training placements in a wide range of settings, including early years, primary and special schools
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Study in state-of-the-art facilities enabling you to refine your teaching and learning knowledge prior to placement
  • ENRICHMENT – Boost your employability with additional qualifications in paediatric first aid and mental health first aid alongside your teacher training
  • EXPERT TUITION – Receive support throughout your course from our subject expert lecturers, a personal tutor and school-based mentors
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the University of the Year offering the best Student Support in the UK (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2022)
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

Trainee teachers on our PGCE course have the opportunity to learn in our Early Years Simulation Suite, providing you with a cutting-edge environment to develop hands-on practical skills for the sector. Our learning spaces at University College Birmingham also ensure you have the right environments to build your knowledge, from lecture theatres to interactive group working spaces and extensive library resources.

Course breakdown

The programme consists of three modules which are taught across three blocks. (See under Key Information below for more details on blocks.)


Core Modules

The Inclusive Teacher

Every teacher is an inclusive teacher. The ITT Core Content Framework (DfE 2019) recognises that the quality of teaching is the most significant factor in improving outcomes for all children. This module ensures that trainee teachers can understand policies and procedures around adapting learning, and focuses on SEND, inclusion, behaviour management and keeping children safe in education to support the needs of individual learners in all classrooms.

The Reflective Teacher

This module is launched at our Summer School where we introduce teaching as a legacy, underpinned by ongoing reflective practice. The practice of reflection is threaded throughout the course within taught sessions at University College Birmingham and our strategic partnership of early years and school-based settings. Trainee teachers will critically explore their own practice and will be able to transfer this into their early career and beyond. There will be a particular focus on research-informed practice on learning to read and the teaching of early maths.

The Subject Expert

In this module, trainee teachers will learn about the practice of teaching and learning in depth. Trainee teachers will gain an understanding of the full range of core and foundation subjects in Key Stages 1 and 2, as well as the prime and specific areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). There will be an exploration of the challenges that come with delivering the curriculum, as well as opportunities to critically observe and evaluate classroom practice. Elements of psychology will be explored to enable trainee teachers to meet the need of all children within the classroom.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

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 4/C 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

Also acceptable are equivalency tests in English, Mathematics and Science from and


For those making it through the initial online selection process, there will be a Mathematics and English assessment to provide University College Birmingham with your current level of attainment. We require applicants to achieve Level 1 in both areas of this assessment.

This will be followed by an interview process, after which the evidence from the above selection procedures will be considered. Full details of these procedures will be sent to applicants who have progressed successfully to this stage.

During the interview process, applicants should show a clear interest in and enthusiasm for teaching within the primary age range. Candidates will be asked to talk about a children’s book, why they have chosen it and how they would present it to children, as well as being asked a range of questions on a variety of education-focused topics, such as current educational issues and keeping children safe in education.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

All applicants must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting this course. The University will co-ordinate and fund the completion of the DBS check.

International applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK must undergo the same checks as all other staff in schools and colleges within the UK. All international candidates will be required to supply a police certificate (sometimes known as a “certificate of good conduct”) by an embassy, high commission or consulate. In addition to this, international applicants will also need to be resident in the UK for 6 months prior to the start date of the course for a valid DBS process to occur.

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 on or call 0121 232 2265.

Key information


Cumulative learning will run across the programme in three blocks: Block A – Learn, Block B – Apply and Block C – Refine.

Block A will focus on the beginning of the teacher’s journey and the acquisition of subject knowledge. Block B will begin to consolidate this knowledge, while Block C will extend experience and will focus on QTS, employability and gaining your first teaching position.


Block A – Learn

In Block A, trainee teachers will be introduced to our three key themes – the reflective teacher, the inclusive teacher and the curriculum expert – as they begin their journey to becoming a teacher. During this block, trainee teachers will observe good and outstanding practice in specialist settings, and begin to teach individual and small groups of children while on specialist extended teaching placement. Two master’s level assignments are completed within this block; one on learning to read, which includes input on Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP), and the other on understanding the SEND Code of Practice through adapting teaching, learning and assessment, within one of the board areas of need. 

Block B – Apply

Block B focuses on whole class teaching leading up to teaching the core curriculum areas of English, Maths and Science to a primary class and reflecting on this experience. During this block, trainee teachers will develop their curriculum planning leading to teaching all areas of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation stage during their teaching placements, leading up to planning and teaching for 50% of the timetable.

Block C – Refine

In Block C, trainee teachers will be recommended for QTS following successful completion of their final teaching placement, where they will ‘go solo’, teaching 80% of the timetable and planning for 100%. During their final placement, trainee teachers will plan, teach and assess sequences of lessons and ensure that they are able to plan, teach and assess all areas within their teaching placement. Trainee teachers demonstrate that they are able to achieve this through their school-based tasks and their final viva assessment.

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment requirements will be issued at your induction. 


Teaching will consist of the following:

  • Lead lectures to whole cohort for launching key information
  • Seminar group interactive sessions to promote group discussion and a community of practice
  • Simulation-based education to apply and refine skills
  • One-to-one pastoral support via a personal tutor system
  • Placement school mentor for each trainee when on a teaching placement
  • Online support for trainee teachers while on placement to scaffold and progress as required
  • School-based tasks when in school settings, including ‘shadow of the learner’ observations, subject leaders in school and demonstrating own planning and delivery development
  • ‘Great debates’ using social media, commissioned pieces of work, Department for Education (DfE) legislation and policy and academic papers
  • Portfolio tasks relating to practice throughout the programme
  • Opportunities to observe and be observed at appropriately structured points in the programme, e.g. phonics, maths, planning and delivering a lesson
  • Reflective practice during placements using University College Birmingham proformas

Teaching and learning is organised around continuous programme themes and is dynamic in delivery, facilitating a range of learning experiences including sessions on essential subject knowledge, followed by school-based tasks giving trainees the opportunity to practice, observe and critique.

For example, when trainees learn about maths, they will be taught key terminology alongside developing an understanding of concrete, pictorial and abstract and how these terms apply to a learner developing mathematical understanding.

Trainee teachers will then observe learners through ‘shadow of the learner’ observations as well as teaching undertaken by teachers in school, and will begin to recognise learning maths as a continuum. They will then go onto developing their own lessons, giving them opportunities to rehearse and refine their practice, developing expertise and the ability to generalise their learning across a range of school contexts.



There are no formal written, timed examinations on this course.

Assessments are linked to achieving the teaching standards (DfE 2012) by the end of the programme through the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (DfE 2019) and our own ITT curriculum.

Assessment will take place through responses to school-based tasks, teaching requirements, written assessments and presentations, and a viva at the end of the course.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Additional qualifications and training

Trainee teachers on this course have the opportunity to gain a paediatric first aid qualification and a mental health first aid qualification to enhance your employability.


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

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student or an EU student with settled or pre-settled status, enrolling on a MA/MSc course at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £8,750. The fee for the PGDip course is £6,350, and £9,250 for the PGCE. 

View postgraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on one of our postgraduate programmes (e.g. MSc, MA) in 2022/23, your fee for this academic year will be £14,500 per year.

View international fees

UCBconnect - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, we have created a platform called UCBconnect, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation via text and email to complete your user registration and join UCBconnect. For more information, please visit


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Gaining sector experience is a key element of our primary PGCE course. As a trainee teacher, you will be required to undertake at least 120 days of teaching within school-based settings.

A range of education-based experiences across the course cover knowledge of planning, teaching and assessing the primary curriculum to ensure the DfE requirements for QTS are met.

University College Birmingham has a long and established history of working with schools in our locality and will ensure you experience different age ranges and educational contexts.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, please be aware that opportunities to travel abroad for placements, project work or residential trips may be affected by government travel restrictions. Please visit our updates and FAQs page for information.
My overall impression was so good from the moment I made the initial enquiry on the phone right through to my interview. Staff were extremely helpful and so accommodating. The course is very well organised and the range of placements are invaluable both for your CV and for developing your confidence.

Hannah Thompson PGCE Primary Education with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Primary school teacher

Average Salary: £29,364

Special educational needs teacher

Average Salary: £29,364


Average Salary: £55,235

Primary school teacher (Dubai)

Average Salary: 100,739 AED


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more


Mehnaz’s Story

Mehnaz’s PGCE helped turn her lifelong dream of a teaching career into a reality – and her learning hasn’t stopped there.

Read Story

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