Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Primary (5-11 years)

Start date
September 2021
1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

September 2021
AED 57,428 which can be paid in instalments
Scholarships available for all students up to 40%

Across the globe schools are seeking dynamic and highly qualified teachers to support pupils learning into the future. 

Designed for those who want to teach pupils aged 5-11, our teacher training programme in primary education is based on both the UK and UAE standards.

PGCE Primary Education is accredited by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education
The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teacher training and research in a wide range of areas of educational practice and policy. Its staff have been working closely with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which is responsible for the growth and quality of education, on the development of this high-quality, teacher training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Primary Education. 

The one year full-time PGCE in Primary Education will prepare you for entry into the teaching profession as a reflective and critically aware practitioner through a significant emphasis on research-led teacher education. The programme will include key elements delivered by staff from the University of Birmingham in Dubai supported by senior teachers in schools. It is designed to help you plan, teach and develop your classroom skills within the primary age range. Time within our teacher training programme will be spent developing necessary subject knowledge in English, Mathematics and Science alongside consideration of whole school issues such as Managing Behaviour.

School-based experiences are a central part of the primary education teacher training programme which also features a range of professional courses to help you plan, teach, and develop your classroom skills. The high quality personalised support will ensure that the majority of students exceed the teachers' standards at an outstanding level (Ofsted report 2013).  

    • The PGCE Primary Education programme, which has been approved by KHDA, supports the Ministry of Education's aim of enhancing the status of teachers in the UAE and provides opportunities to share the School’s high quality provision internationally.
    • Listen to The Conversation: Why are we facing shortage of Teachers? which discusses issues such as why go into teaching, how to train to become a teacher, and the realities of training to be a teacher with PGCE students.

How to apply for a PGCE in 9 easy steps!

If you are a student or teacher and wish to receive further information and updates about this teacher training programme, please email


Should I apply for the PGCE Primary or the PGCEi?

The PGCE Primary programme is a full-time programme for those who are not working in an educational setting but would like to pursue a career in teaching 5-11. The Primary PGCE has two school placements arranged by the University which form part of the Teaching Experience module. 

Our PGCEi programme is a blended part-time programme which does not presently have a placement component, as it is expected that students are already employed in an educational context during the course of their studies. The PGCEi is also neither phase (Primary/Secondary) or subject specific.


As Dubai International Academic City celebrates a decade of excellence, we are honoured to welcome one of the world’s top 100 universities, University of Birmingham, to our vibrant and diverse higher education community. University of Birmingham’s commitment to knowledge transfer through cutting-edge research makes it an ideal partner of choice, contributing to the enhancement of the UAE’s vision of creating innovative and enduring solutions that meet the demands of key sectors of development such as STEM and Education.

Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City

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September 2021
The tuition fee is AED 57,428, which can be paid in instalments. 

There is no bursary for these courses but there is an opportunity to apply for a scholarship. Find out more about the scholarships

How To Apply

To find out more information about our application process please visit our 'How to apply page' before starting your application. Alternatively, start your application for 2022 entry.

Our Standard Requirements

To be considered by the University of Birmingham you will need to meet our general entry requirements. 

All applicants must have:

  • A degree (equivalent to a UK Bachelors Degree of at least 2:2 or above) or a recognised equivalent qualification and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree has not already been awarded.
  • Proof of sufficient English and Mathematics from your high school leavers certificate (This should be the equivalent of a C grade at GCSE level, please allow us to help you clarify your equivalent grade).

If you are unsure about the equivalences of your qualifications please do not worry, simply contact our team and we will do this for you.  Please contact  or Text, Call or WhatsApp us on +971 (0)55 182 8937

All shortlisted candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to an interview in either Dubai, Birmingham or by SKYPE.

International Requirements

As part of the admissions process you will need to provide the following information on your application form. 

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your qualifications
  • References 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should outline your previous academic achievements and experience of working with children. It should include details of any schools you are already working in or schools you are associated with. You should also include details of what you to gain from the course and how it will help you develop as a teacher (approximately 500 - 700 words). 

Evidence of qualifications

You need to supply evidence or transcripts of your degree in the medium of English as specified by the entry requirements outlined on the course page. This will normally be a minimum of a 2.2 or equivalent. 

You will also need to provide evidence that you achieved 6.5 (6.0 in each subject) in your IELTS test. For those without a first degree studied in the medium of English an IELTS score of 6.5 is required.

Evidence is required of a 2.2 plus for GCSEs in English and Maths or equivalent.


Two references will be required one academic and one professional. Your professional reference should preferably be someone who can comment on your suitability for working with children. The references should provide supporting evidence in relation to the personal statement and your suitability for the course. You will therefore need to approach your referees to ensure that you are able to provide current contact details. 

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning will be used in the teacher training programme. These include university-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students. The specialist university tutors are experts in their field and will lead dedicated subject programmes. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.

The Primary English component will form an essential part of your work on the PGCE in Primary Education course. It has been designed to develop your skills in the planning, teaching and assessment of Primary English, including speaking, listening, reading and writing. Your teacher training will include taught sessions at university, directed tasks in school, group tasks, directed self-study and independent study and research. These elements of your teacher training are linked, to ensure coherence and the integration of policy, practice and theory. Strong subject knowledge is a vital element of being an outstanding teacher. The course is designed to help you develop English subject knowledge in your own context, build confidence with subject specific terminology, and develop your understanding of the nature of pupils progression in Primary English.

The Primary Mathematics component aims to prepare you to teach mathematics effectively, confidently and enthusiastically across all primary ages. Through undertaking the course you will develop your knowledge and understanding of an appropriate mathematics curriculum within a current and contemporary context. You will also develop and extend your mathematical subject and pedagogical knowledge with a particular focus upon effective teaching strategies, calculation methods, relevance, relational understanding, Mastery, reasoning, problem solving and using and applying. A wide range of children's errors and misconceptions across all primary mathematics topics will be highlighted and discussed, and a variety of teaching and learning strategies to appropriately address these will be modelled and explained. You will also develop your knowledge, understanding and ability to use a range of resources (including ICT), creative and exciting approaches, planning principles and strategies, cross-curriculum methods and formative assessment to fully support pupils mathematical engagement, progress and achievement. All aspects of this teacher training course will be supported and informed by a range of contemporary and seminal primary mathematics and pedagogical research. You will be provided with the opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their teaching and the pupils development within mathematics.

The ‘whole school issues’ part of the teacher training programme is concerned with aspects of education that are of importance to all intending teachers, irrespective of their particular teaching subjects. It is designed to provide a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students.

School Collaboration

During school placements you will apply what you have learned whilst continuing to develop your practice through team teaching, supported solo teaching and observing experienced teachers. Your school based mentors and University link tutors will facilitate the development of your teaching pedagogy and subject knowledge throughout your placements.

As the course progresses, you will develop increasing confidence and expertise in selecting from a repertoire of
learning activities that are supported by appropriate use of resources and technology.

Your University of Birmingham qualification is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. 

Career progression

Following successful completion of the PGCE year, students have the option to study the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Studies.  An MA in Teaching Studies can then be undertaken with includes an additional dissertation. The School also plans to offer postgraduates continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and allied professionals in the near future. 

Katrina - Primary Education


“The academic staff worked hard to ensure we were fully prepared for the life of a teacher and provided me with the right skills and experience to flourish in my career.” 

Katrina Crowley, Alumni, Primary Education