PGCE Primary Education (5 - 11 years)

Quick links: Entry Requirements | Fees and Funding | How to apply

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

We are delighted to announce that the School of Education will be offering the PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Birmingham’s Dubai campus, which will open this autumn, offering students a teacher training course of the highest quality. 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.

Staff within the School of Education 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.

Designed for those who want to teach pupils aged 5-11, our teacher training in primary education programme is based on both the UK and UAE standards. School-based experiences are a central part of this 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, ensures that the majority of our students exceed the teachers' standards at an outstanding level (Ofsted report 2013).  

The School of Education’s well established and renowned teacher training programmes in teacher education are due to commence in September 2018 at the Dubai campus. This one year full-time teacher training programme will prepare you for entry into the teaching profession as a reflective and critically aware practitioner.  It does this through a significant emphasis on research-led teacher education which will include key elements delivered by staff from the University of Birmingham in Dubai supported by senior teachers in schools.

The programme, which has been approved by KHDA, will support the Ministry of Education's aim of enhancing the status of teachers in the UAE and provide opportunities to share the School’s high quality provision internationally.

Download the flyer for the Teacher Training courses in the University of Birmingham Dubai (PDF)

Further information

View the FAQs which are specific to the PGCE programme in Dubai (PDF).  Alternatively view General FAQs for the University of Birmingham Dubai.

If you are a student or teacher and wish to receive further information and updates about this teacher training programme, please register your interest with Dr Christine Szwed, Strategic Director of Overseas Programmes (Dubai). Email

Mohammad Abdullah

Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City

“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.”

Suitable for those interested in becoming a teacher across the full 5-11 age range the Primary Education Teacher Training programme with PGCE is a full time one year postgraduate programme. The programme is designed to help you plan, teach and develop your classroom skills within the primary age range. Time within our teacher training programme is spent developing necessary subject knowledge in English, Mathematics and Science alongside the consideration of whole school issues such as Managing Behaviour.

The Primary English component forms 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 students’ will develop their knowledge and understanding of an appropriate mathematics curriculum within a current and contemporary context.  They will also develop and extend their 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. Students will also develop their 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.  Students will be provided with the opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their teaching and the pupils development within mathematics.

This teacher training programme is designed to meet recognised teacher standards in the UAE and UK and time is spent in placement schools to develop the necessary experience and skills.

Why study this course

  • Achieve a globally recognised teaching qualification that is taught, assessed and accredited by one of top universities in the United Kingdom
  • Develop as a teaching professional while remaining in the UAE
  • Improve your employability by developing a portfolio that demonstrates a wide range of professional competencies
  • Routes to an MA in Teaching Study are available upon successful completion of the course
  • Work with world-class tutors and educators
  • Develop a global approach to education
  • Our University programmes have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted
  • The programme has been approved by KHDA

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee which is set at 53,220 AED for 2018/19 entry.


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

Entry 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.
  • A GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics (or an equivalent qualification).
  • A minimum of a week’s work experience with children in a school or other recognised setting.

If you are unsure about the equivalences of your qualifications do get in touch with us as Admissions tutors are happy to consider applications on a case by case basis. 

Find out more about international entry requirements 

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

Additional information:

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 (5.5 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. The references should provide supporting evidence in relation to the personal statement and suitability for the course. You will therefore need to approach your referees to ensure that you are able to provide current contact details. 

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 2018 entry.

The Primary and Secondary programmes are founded on our long-standing expertise in teacher training in education and combine the phase, curriculum and learning and teaching expertise of specialist tutors with centre-based teacher training at the University.

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are 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.

Specialist university tutors are experts in their field and lead dedicated subject programmes. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.

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.

As the University of the Year for Graduate Employment in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015-16, Birmingham is the UK’s number one university for securing a graduate-level job. 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