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

Start date
September 2023
1 year Full Time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Annual fee 2023-2024
AED 63,414
Scholarships available for all students up to 40%.

The University of Birmingham Dubai has been appointed by the DfE as an accredited pilot provider for the new iQTS Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme.

Designed for those who are new to education and want to teach pupils aged 5-11, our full time Primary PGCE with iQTS is the only in-person ITT (Initial Teacher Training) programme in the UAE in line with UK Teacher Standards, incorporting two teaching experience placements across our established partner schools. 

Am I eligible?

To apply for iQTS you will need to have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a UK or non-UK university or other institution
  • A maths qualification equivalent to GCSE grade 4/C
  • An English qualification equivalent to GCSE grade 4/C
  • A science qualification equivalent to GCSE grade 4/C for teaching children aged 3-11
  • Excellent written and verbal English language skills with a minimum IELTS score of 6.5

Full details may be found in the Entry Requirements section.

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. The University of Birmingham Dubai Education staff have been working closely with the UK Department of Education on the development of this high-quality, teacher training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education (PGCE) with iQTS.

The one year full-time PGCE with iQTS 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 supporting classroom 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).  

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 with iQTS or the PGCEi?

The PGCE Primary programme with iQTS 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 with iQTS 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.

We are delighted that our School of Education has been recognised as a global leader in teacher training in being selected as a pilot provider for iQTS. I look forward to welcoming the first cohort of students to the University of Birmingham Dubai’s iconic new campus in September. “We’re committed to delivering study programmes that give students in Dubai the opportunity to graduate as high-achieving and employable – ready to make a valuable contribution to society, so we ensure our academic offer delivers the innovative experiences that every student needs to develop and grow.

Professor David Sadler, University of Birmingham Dubai Provost


Annual fee 2023-2024
AED 63,414

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 apply for the PGCE Primary with iQTS (5-11) programme you must submit evidence of:

  • a bachelor’s degree at grade 2.2, or equivalent, from a UK or non-UK university
  • achieving a standard equivalent to grade 4/C in GCSE mathematics
  • achieving a standard equivalent to grade 4/C in a GCSE science (biology, chemistry or physics) subject
  • achieving  a standard equivalent to grade 4/C GCSE English
  • demonstrate proficiency in the English language (you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, the equivalent score in another English language testing system, or to have completed some of your education in English, for example, a degree studied in English)
  • deemed suitable to train to teach in England and in the country in which you will train to teach (passing a range of relevant background checks including an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service 'DBS' check in the UK).
  • Two references (from previous employers and/or your University if you have only recently graduated) confirming your suitability to train to teach and work with children.

All shortlisted candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to an interview and assessment day, in person during mid June 2022.


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 (You must be resident in the UAE for the programme duration)
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your qualifications as above
  • 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 Bachelor’s degree at 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 if your bachelors degree is not in the medium of English.

Evidence is required of a grade 4/C GCSE (or equivalent High School certificate) in a Science and Maths.


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.

As the only in-person iQTS pilot provider from 2022, students of the Primary programme with iQTS will benefit from face to face sessions at our new campus in Dubai international academic city. University based sessions will include 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.

The Primary PGCE with iQTS will mirror the experience of the UK PGCE QTS programme, providing a mixture of assessed practical input and experience, Masters level academic input and a portfolio record of teaching experience, assesed through competency accross the UK Teachers’ Standards and Core Content Framework.  The 60 credit M-level teaching qualification is composed of three 20 credit modules, including a Teaching Experience module. PGCE Primary with iQTS trainees will undertake assessed placements across our network of partner schools and will be supported for the duration of the course by a trained mentor within their school setting.

The Primary English component will form an essential part of your work on the PGCE in Primary Education iQTS 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 two full-time 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.

The Primary PGCE programme with iQTS is suited to those living outside of the UK and resident in the UAE, including:

  • UK citizens currently working abroad who wish to start teacher training or develop their teaching career.
  • Non-UK citizens who wish to begin teacher training or build on existing teaching experience.
  • UK and non-UK teachers without QTS who wish to improve their employability in England and internationally with a UK government-backed and approved professional qualification. 

The iQTS is recognised as equivalent to QTS by the DfE, meaning that anyone who is awarded the iQTS qualification by the end of the programme will be eligible to apply for professional QTS status through the DfE.

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