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.

The Primary PGCE is built upon a consideration of the relationship between theory, practice and research, with 120 days spent on placements in partnership schools. This provides a firm foundation for the professional journey towards being an outstanding practitioner.

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). This includes successful completion of the Department for Education tests in numeracy and literacy prior to commencing the course. 

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.

Students who pass the PGCE with QTS have the option to continue their studies on a part-time basis on the  MEd Practitioner Enquiry. The MEd focuses on teaching and learning in school settings and draws on the experience you acquire through your day-to-day teaching. Students choosing this option benefit from fast-track entry, which enables them to complete the MEd Practitioner Enquiry in two years.

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 validated by SAPERE 

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 are undertaken in each of the three terms.  During these periods you 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.

Related Degrees

All related programmes

Fees & Funding

2019-2020 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.



Full time: £9,250*


Full time: £9,250*

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


Full time: £17,370

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


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

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2019 and 2020 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

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

Before starting the course you need to complete and pass the Department for Education numeracy and literacy tests.

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.

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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