The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering PGCE primary courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. The Ofsted report states that “such is the confidence of schools that trainees from the University of Birmingham are of high quality, employment rates for both primary and secondary phases exceed national averages by some margin. Trainees display excellent professional qualities: they are clear that good teaching leads to pupils who are interested in their work, enjoy learning and behave well.”
As well as offering outstanding teacher training courses, we are one of the few universities that awards 120 credits for successful completion of our courses, which we award at Masters level. For those who successfully complete their induction year there is an opportunity to transfer credits to the MA Teaching Studies course, which is awarded on completion of a 60 credit dissertation.
The primary programmes meet all aspects of government requirements for Initial Teacher Training. We are able to offer applicants a choice of two routes, so that you can prepare as a teacher across the full 5–11 age range or specialise instead in early years teaching (3–7 age range). Both programmes last for 38 weeks; the equivalent of 19 of which will be spent in schools.
General Primary programme
Students on the General Primary (5–11 years) programme follow a range of courses that address the statutory curricula for the core and foundation subjects alongside Professional Studies, which considers whole school issues.
Early Years programme
This programme allows you to focus your training on work with children aged from three to seven years of age. You spend time in nursery classes, as well as teaching children of school age in both Reception and Key Stage 1 classes. You follow the same range of courses as those on the General Primary programme, in addition to an advanced study of early years education.
School-based experiences are a central part of these programmes, with an opportunity for you to experience a range of ages within different schools. Both programmes also feature a range of professional courses to help you plan, teach, and develop your classroom skills. The programmes are designed, in conjunction with partnership schools, to meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The high quality personalised support, ensures that the majority of our students exceed the teachers's standards at an outstanding level (Ofsted report 2013)
Download a summary of the Postgraduate Diploma Primary Education (PGCE Advanced) General Primary or Early Years course (PDF, 82KB)
If you are interested in teaching young children, but would prefer to train as a mathematics specialist, information may be found on our Primary Education (SSPIP) in Mathematics course page. If you would prefer to teach older pupils, information on our Secondary courses may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page.
All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignments. In addition students will need to complete two teaching placements and meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
School Studies 1:
(20 credits Level M)
This module, which consists of university based seminars and school based practical experience, will offer opportunities for you to develop your understanding and practice of teaching. In particular, the planning and evaluation of learning experiences for small groups, supported by exploration of the place of your subject within national frameworks and initiatives which will include at least one area of cross-curricular concern.
School Studies 2:
(20 credits Level M)
These university based seminars will enable you to develop an understanding of the needs of learners within the 3-11 age group. You will also reflect on the teaching placement (School Placement 1) in your school and learn to plan and evaluate teaching experiences which will consider the role of learners.
School Studies 3:
(20 credits Level M)
The university based seminars will enbable you to develop an understanding of the needs of learners within the 3-11 age group. You will reflect upon your teaching placement (School Placement 2) in school, and continue to learn to plan and evaluate teaching experiences which consider the role of learners.
School Studies 4:
(20 credits Level M)
During these university based seminars, you will develop an understanding of the needs of learners within curriculum areas in the 3-11 age range. There will be university seminars on whole school issues and reflection on the teaching placement.
Teaching Experience 1:
(30 credits Level 3)
You will observe lessons and teach on average half a normal teacher’s timetable, providing relevant documentation for every lesson taught. You will have discussions with tutors, mentors and teachers focus on pupils’ learning and the experience of teaching.
This module is closely linked with the School Studies modules where the theoretical underpinning of the practice is discussed to enable the students to analyse the ideas in practice. Much of the module will depend upon your individual work as a practitioner and reflecting upon practice.
Teaching Experience 2:
(10 credits Level M)
This module will explore your continuing reflective and analytical development as you review your teaching and learning. It is closely linked with the School Studies modules where the theoretical underpinning of the practice is discussed to enable you to analyse the ideas in practice.
The contact time will allow you to develop your theoretical framework and to develop pathways for future personal and professional development.
Fees for 2015–16 are: £9,000 (UK/EU full-time), £14,140 (overseas full-time).
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Home/EU students will be eligible to apply for statutory support from their relevant funding agency. Government training bursaries may be available depending on your subject and degree classification.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
The General Years programme is now full and closed for 2015-16 entry. There are a few places left for the Early Years programme.
Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal.
Early Years: X121