Postgraduate Diploma Primary Education (SSPIP) Mathematics

Start date
38 weeks
UCAS code
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

The PGDipEd in Primary Mathematics leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and offers 120 credits towards our MA in Teaching Studies. Our programme offers high quality training and support, which will prepare you to teach in the 5-11 age range. It is run in close partnership with schools.


Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

This Primary Mathematics Specialist route will enable you to develop your subject expertise within a primary context. You will learn to teach all the primary curriculum subjects as well as developing specialist expertise in teaching mathematics.  You will be fully prepared for employment in a generalist role at the start of your career, where as a class teacher you will 'champion' mathematics and inspire children and teachers. The course lays the foundations for you becoming a future mathematics lead or specialist teacher in a primary school.

We are looking to recruit graduates with strong mathematics subject knowledge who demonstrate an enthusiasm for mathematics and an understanding of the primary context. 

On successful completion of your PGDipEd, you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete your Masters in Teaching Studies

If you are interested in teaching young children, but would prefer to train as a generalist rather than a mathematics specialist, information on our Primary courses may be found on the PGDipEd Primary and the PGCE Primary School Direct webpages. If you are interested in Mathematics, but would prefer to teach older pupils, information on our Secondary courses can be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page.

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' three times by Ofsted inspectors which affirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education and University of Birmingham is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

When I came for an interview I was really impressed by how friendly the department was and that the teaching I’d receive would be in small, focused tutor groups. I also liked the idea of coming to a city where I could get a really varied experience of lots of different schools.

Caitlin Robinson, Alumna

Read Caitlin's full profile

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Fees for 2021-2022 are:

£9,250 (UK), £19,440 (International).

When you apply for this course, it is important that you also take into account living costs and should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to finance the full duration of your studies. Our PGDipEd programmes include a significant amount of time spent on placements in a variety of schools at different locations, and so when budgeting to study you should also allow for travel to and from placements, as well as textbooks, printing, photocopying and stationery that you may need.

Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan

With or without a bursary, you can also access a  Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan for your living costs. The available loans for 2020-2021 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £12,010 to support your living costs

Additional financial support

If you have children or a disability, extra funding is available. For instance, you could get:

Find out more information on the  extra financial support available

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

How To Apply

Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training Portal An early application gives more time for remediation if there are concerns about the quality of your application. 

UCAS code: X00G

The Interview process 

Selection is rigorous and designed to identify candidates with the strongest aptitude. Candidates selected for interview will be invited to:

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • have a one to one interview
  • show GCSE and Degree certificates (where these are available).

We work closely with partner schools to select candidates and applicants will often have the opportunity to meet senior colleagues from partner schools when they join us for interview day.  

Our Standard Requirements

All applicants to the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education (SSPIP) Mathematics course must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution. Normally this should be a minimum of 2.1 or above but we also consider applicants with a 2:2 degree who have a strong overall profile. Evidence of strong mathematics subject knowledge is required.  Applicants need a grade A or B in A-level Mathematics (or equivalent). 

For further guidance, or if you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact Dr Kirsty Wilson on 0121 415 8225, or

Candidates have to also:

  • a GCSE in Mathematics and English (grade 4 or above) must be obtained before application. GCSE Science (grade 4 or above) will be set as a condition where this has not already been obtained. If you are offering a qualification other than a GCSE please check with us before making an application. 

You must also:

  • complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before taking up a place.
  • complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
  • agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.

Equivalent GCSE grades

International Requirements

The Primary Mathematics Specialist course has two parts and is designed and delivered in partnership with local schools. The university part will develop your understanding of theoretical and practical issues inherent in the teaching of mathematics and of whole school issues within the primary curriculum. Your school based practice will enable you to apply what you have learned in the classroom.

The core course is similar to the Primary PGDipEd, and you will attend most sessions with generalist trainees.  In addition, there is substantial additional specialist input on the learning and teaching of mathematics, to enable you to develop confident subject expertise.  The areas of study includes Professional Studies, Professional Enquiry, Core Mathematics, Specialist Mathematics and English. You will gain a sound understanding of the wider primary curriculum through taught sessions including PE, Science and opportunities across a range of foundation subjects.  Your provision will be personalised, and you will select from university input and school experience to support your professional development.

The school-based placements will enable you to put into practice what you have learned and to develop and refine your teaching skills. You will have the opportunity to teach mathematics and the wider primary curriculum in two different schools.  In both schools, you will work with one base class, and also another supplementary class.  You will experience both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 during your training year.  You will also spend shorter Special Interest Placements in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 3.  These experiences will develop your understanding of progression in children’s mathematical learning and hence your leadership potential.

Our partnership schools vary in size, phase and context, giving you the opportunity to broaden your teaching experience. You will visit outstanding schools and meet primary mathematics leaders. By the end of the course you will have had the experience and support to begin your career as an effective and confident primary teacher, and an enthusiastic mathematics ‘champion.’

The primary course is designed and delivered by specialist tutors in partnership with local schools. The university based training takes place in spacious rooms that provide a learning environment tailored to promoting high quality primary practice. 

We work closely with the University careers service and local councils in order to provide you with support for the job application process. Our success rate for completion of our primary courses and subsequent employment in schools remains consistently high. All primary mathematics specialist trainees seeking permanent employment have successfully secured a teaching post. Primary mathematics specialist students are highly sought after. A majority of students gain employment in the local region, many of them choosing to remain in partnership schools. Many newly qualified mathematics specialists secure employment in a more generalist post at the start of their career, joining the mathematics leadership team and going on to lead mathematics in their schools.

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