Postgrad Cert in Education (PGCE) Primary (QTS)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Primary (with Qualified Teacher Status QTS)

Full time: 10 months


The Primary PGCE course forms a practical introduction to teaching, providing student teachers with the professional expertise, knowledge and understanding to teach children aged five-11 years. The strong emphasis of the programme is on learning from experience through reflection and enquiry.

Your course during COVID-19

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University study experience.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation.

The Primary PGCE is built upon a consideration of the relationship between theory, practice and research.

Practical placements in schools will normally take place across 120 days during the course. This provides a firm foundation for the professional journey towards being an outstanding practitioner.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure this is possible in 2020-21, this could be less if further periods of restrictions are imposed by the UK government, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The course consists of school experience, primary professional studies and curriculum studies. The focus on professional studies and curriculum studies will prepare you to deliver the National Curriculum in school. You will cover: art; design and technology; English; geography; history; information and communication technology; mathematics; music; physical education; religious education; and science.

The time spent on placement builds your confidence and competence as a classroom practitioner.

The course benefits from positive and longstanding relationships with a number of partnership schools. This enables a wide range of experiences to be gained across a range of contexts. Course modules are firmly rooted in school and classroom practice.

The PGCE covers the five–11 age range.

You will undertake a combination of academic and professional study in order to achieve recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

During the PGCE you undertake 60 credits of Master's level modules. If you successfully pass all components, you graduate with the PGCE at Master's level and are recommended for QTS.

We also offer expertise in historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives on education, including:

  • social justice
  • the Institute of Diversity and Equality Practitioners award
  • training in philosophical enquiry for children

Our graduates are high-quality professionals who meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status and exercise the professional judgement required to promote the highest quality education in the contexts in which they work. They engage actively with enquiry-based learning, research and theory in order to continuously develop professional knowledge.


The course begins at the start of September and completes in the following July.

It is delivered by the education section of the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences working in strong partnership with local primary schools. This partnership provides a wealth of experience and opportunities for critical reflection on practice.

The course covers all aspects of the primary school national curriculum and provides experiences of both Key Stages 1 and 2.

School placements provide you with the opportunity to take charge of the whole class for sustained and substantial periods, with support from an experienced teacher. The course is mostly structured around school term dates rather than university semesters.

Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, if periods of heightened restrictions are imposed by the UK government, the order of modules may be amended and the mode of delivery may include flexible learning (a mixture of online and in-person learning).

Related Degrees

All related programmes


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2020 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.



Full time: £9,250*

*The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.


Full time: £18,600

See the Department for Education website for postgraduate teacher training funding opportunities.

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:2 honours degree. Before you apply you also need GCSE or O level passes (grades A–C/ 4-9), or equivalent in:

  • English language
  • mathematics
  • a science subject

It is desirable for you to have spent time working and/or observing in a UK primary classroom before applying. Experience is advantageous as it will inform your application and any later performance in the selection process.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

If you need help to meet our English Language requirements, we can provide support with extra tuition.

Read more about UK visas and immigration requirements.

How to Apply

We offer the following Primary PGCE course:

  • Primary (X100)

There is a specialised application process for this course. You must apply via the UCAS Teacher Training website, not through Newcastle University's postgraduate application system.


Under National College for Teaching and Leadership regulations, the University is unable to offer places on its PGCE courses without a selection process that includes a personal interview. The selection day consists of a:

  • individual presentation
  • written task
  • mathematics task
  • individual interview

You should have some experience of the English school system, usually through school observation visits. Successful applicants also need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and undergo medical assessment. This is to confirm 'fitness to teach' before starting the course.


PGCE Admissions
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3666