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

Start date
September 2024
1 year Full Time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

For 2024-2025
AED 114,250
Scholarships available for all students up to 40%.

The University of Birmingham Dubai has been appointed by the DfE as an accredited provider for the 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, incorporating 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 Mathematics 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).  

The DfE has selected the University of Birmingham Dubai School of Education PGCE Primary programme for the iQTS, in line with its vision of providing new international training opportunities to boost teaching as a global profession. Find out more about what the the iQTS can offer you in this infographic (PDF, 152KB).

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 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.

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


Fee for 2024 - 2025

AED 114,250

Please note that you will also need to fund your travel costs to and from your placements.

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 2024 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 and safeguarding checks).
  • 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.

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, Mathematics and English.


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. Both references must include a statement which confirms your suitability to work with children in the Primary Phase. You will need to approach your referees to ensure that you are able to provide current contact details.


Following a review of the above, successful applicants will be shortlisted for a panel interview to assess your suitability to the programme. It is therefore imperative that you include all necessary documents prior to submission. If successful at interview a conditional offer will be granted.

Next Steps

There are a number of conditions attached to your offer of a place to study an ITE programme. All applicants are required to meet Safeguarding and other suitability conditions, set out below.

Conditions of your offer

Fitness to Teach Health Assessment

All Dubai ITE applicants are required to complete an online Fitness to Teach Health Assessment form which is deemed satisfactory by a University nominated Occupational Health team. Should you decide to accept your offer with us you will be sent further details by email on how to complete this. 

Declaration of Suitability for Teaching

All Dubai ITE applicants are required to complete a Suitability Declaration so that their suitability to teach can be assessed by the University. Please ensure that you complete and submit the suitability declaration form as soon as possible and well in advance of the programme start date. Complete the suitability for teaching form

International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) check and Dubai Police Check

All Dubai ITE applicants are required to have a satisfactory completed ICPC and Dubai Police check within 1 month of programme commencing. Students are reminded to factor in the additional costs of these checks.

Prohibition Order Check

All ITE applicants are required to have a Prohibition Order check.  Applicants are not required to take any action as the University will carry out the checks via the Teaching Regulations Agency’s Teacher Services.

Academic conditions

If your offer is conditional upon providing evidence of academic achievement, you will need to make sure that you use an acceptable means of verifying your qualifications. You should upload your certificates/transcripts via your University of Birmingham applicant portal. Read our guidance on verification of documents

Fitness to Practise

All ITE programmes are subject to the University’s fitness to practise regulations. You will be expected to sign a programme specific code of conduct when you register upon your course. Read the Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Photographic ID check

All ITE applicants are required to provide a form of photographic identification, such as a passport or driving license.  Please upload a scanned copy of your photographic ID via your University of Birmingham applicant portal and also share a copy of this ID at interview.

Term Dates and Holidays 

Term dates will be in line with the University of Birmingham Dubai timetable.

PGCE Primary iQTS is due to commence on 25th September 2023 with a June 2024 completion date.

Holidays may not be taken during term time. Please note that school half terms are not holiday weeks. It is also not advisable to book holidays very close to the end to the end of the academic year. 


Disability can mean different things for different people. It may include you, even if you don’t consider yourself to be disabled.

If you have study support needs related to a physical or health condition; dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties; mental health difficulties; autism; or Asperger’s Syndrome we are here to help you. If you would like to find out more about what we offer, please see our University of Birmingham Dubai wellbeing support


As an iQTS provider, students of the Primary programme with iQTS will benefit from face to face sessions at our 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, assessed through competency across the iQTS Teachers’ Standards and aligned with the 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 120 days of assessed placement across our network of partner schools and will be supported by a trained mentor within their school setting. 

Development of Fundamental English is supported out throughout the Primary iQTS programme which has been designed to develop your skills in the planning, teaching and assessment of Primary English. This includes Specialist Synthetic Phonics, listening, reading and writing. An academic assignment based on Teaching and Learning of Primary English as well as passing a compulsory English subject knowledge and pedagogy audit is an integral part of the assessment of this module. 

The Development of Fundamental Mathematics is also carried out throughout the PGCE Primary iQTS programme. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of an appropriate mathematics curriculum within a current and contemporary context. Opportunities to engage with expert practitioners will develop and extend your mathematical subject and pedagogical knowledge with a particular focus upon effective teaching strategies, calculation methods, relevance, relational understanding, mastery, reasoning and problem solving. 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 will be observed, modelled and explained in relation to pedagogical theory. Assessment of Fundamental Mathematics will include an academic assignment on Mathematical pedagogy as well as passing a compulsory Mathematics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy audit. 

Your time spent in teacher training placements will be punctuated by block teaching sessions at university which incorporate directed tasks, micro-teaching, collaborative planning, academic research and reading, directed self-study and academic reflective practice. These elements of your teacher training are linked to the iQTS Teacher Standards and Core Content Framework, to ensure coherence with the integration of policy, practice and theory. 

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. 

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

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.