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Age phase: Early Years pathway (Ages 3-7) / Later Years pathway (Ages 5-11)

At Worcester, our PGCE in primary education is led by experienced academic staff with extensive research profiles, meaning your learning is shaped by those helping to shape education itself. With a range of career-enhancing subject specialisms for you to choose from, and personalised support that is tailored to meet your needs, you have the ideal environment to hone your skills as an inspiring and innovative teacher.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is not only an internationally respected route in to a career in teaching, it is also the start of a journey like no other.



Key features

  • Worcester is one of the country's leading providers of teaching training, with an excellent reputation in this area. We offer a personalised NQT support package for all of our students
  • The PGCE explores pedagogy, practice and wider issues of education and society, enhancing your prospects as a practitioner and potentially a future leader in the profession.
  • With 60 credits at Masters level and a strong international reputation, a PGCE can take you anywhere, from Masters study to a job on the other side of the world
  • You can either take the Early Years (Ages 3-7) route or the Later Years (Ages 5-11) route.
  • Our PGCE gives you the option to take the PGCE Maths Specialist pathway and to become a Mathematics Specialist - this dual option is provided by only a handful of universities in the country.
  • We are one of eight universities nationally to offer a PE specialist pathway choice, and the only university in the West Midlands.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

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Chloe Williams, PGCE Primary: Early Years with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Chloe has secured a position teaching Year 1 in a local first school for her NQT year.

Speaking about her PGCE journey: ‘I had prior experience in primary schools before joining this course, but this isn’t a necessity and it goes without saying that every lecturer has done their absolute best to support me to become an inspiring teacher.  Professionally, I have developed my confidence in the classroom and feel more than prepared for my NQT year and beyond.  Personally, I have definitely come out of my shell and learnt so much about myself.  My organisational skills have thrived, and I have made some amazing friendships along the way.  My confidence as a teacher has rocketed.  I was most nervous about the idea of having to plan a range of lessons but now I do it as though it is second nature.  I have also learnt so much about SEND and planning for differentiation, something I had little experience in prior to completing my PGCE.  Enjoy every moment and before you know it, you will be accepting your first job!

Her thoughts on doing a PGCE at Worcester: ‘You will be supported every step of the way! I know that if a lecturer was to be asked about me, they would know exactly who I am and how I am getting on. This is what makes this course special at the University of Worcester; the lecturers will go the extra mile to get to know all students and will make your well-being their priority. I cannot thank the lecturers enough for squeezing in many tutorials in-between their busy schedules to support me’.

Support during the course: ‘The subject content for one is outstanding and incredibly informative. Lecturers have always been prompt to answer emails and questions, as well as squeeze in as many 1:1 tutorials as you need.  The team are also happy to know what is going on in your personal life to support you as best as possible. It was amazing to know the team were there for you as an individual as well as a professional trainee teacher.’

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Victoria Lake, PGCE Primary: PE Specialism with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Speaking about her PGCE journey: ‘Throughout the course, I have really gained confidence in teaching children of different ages, with different needs, a variety of subjects.  Certainly, the first time that you are independently teaching a class of 30+ children, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, however, the supportive teachers and mentors that you work alongside quickly bring your confidence up and the excitement of heading into school every day takes over!  The opportunities during placements to attend school trips, observe parents’ evenings, and take on extra responsibilities within schools have also provided me with invaluable insight and experience for when I have my own class.  The PE pathway has given us extra time in refining our theoretical and practical knowledge in order to make us specialists within the field, utilising and adding to our undergraduate knowledge.’ 

Her thoughts on doing a PGCE at Worcester: ‘The university and teaching staff are incredibly supportive and encouraging.  All of the lecturers have immense experience within primary education and the respective subjects that they teach, therefore the teaching you receive is of a high quality at all times.  The amount of schools that the university work with also allows those students who are not local to the university to potentially have placements closer to home, and the university is also very understanding and accommodating for students who have other priorities too, such as children (as a parent, I would know!)  The timetable is also well-planned and not overwhelming at all.  The facilities and resources that the university offer are also exceptional.  The lecturers regularly update the online Blackboard so that you always have access to the right resources that can support your teaching, understanding, and academic assignments.' 

How university and placements worked to support her progress: ‘The course has been very valuable and the university sessions and placements intertwine to allow you to utilise the skills, knowledge and ideas learned within university to support your planning and delivery of lessons once you are in schools.  Being on the PE pathway, we have also had the chance, during university sessions, to take part in extra CPD which were great learning opportunities and add that little bit extra to your job applications too.’ 

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Lucy Rummey, PGCE Primary: Early Years with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Speaking about her PGCE journey: ‘Personally, my journey to teacher training has been a long one; I am a mature student with a young family.  The support I have received is amazing, not only academically but also towards your mental health, which is an important part of the course too.  The University of Worcester have allowed me to work on my PGCE and raise my family in perfect harmony.  The placements have been near to home which has helped when developing my work-balance life.  Professionally, I have worked in early education for years and all the prior learning has been built on and extended to allow me to teach primary aged children.  I am extremely excited about having a class of my own and coming back in a few years to complete my Masters.'

What Lucy has learnt on the course: ‘I have learnt such a lot on the PGCE.  It has taught me all aspects of teaching but also the wider responsibilities such as the school community. Over the course, I have learnt how to plan exciting and engaging lessons, how to assess children’s progress and how to manage a classroom of children.  I have also learnt how to, build positive relationship with both children and staff alike and how to effectively deploy staff.  I have also learnt how to ensure children have access to a safe and stimulating environment where they can learn and grow into independent, capable, and creative individuals who can express their own opinions and interests in learning.’

How university and placements worked to support her progress: ‘Throughout the course I have been supported academically, for my dyslexia and through placements.  I have had amazing tutors that will go above and beyond to help you be the best teacher possible. The support from each subject tutor and teacher has developed my subject knowledge and helped me plan for children learning in a variety of ways.  I have learnt more this year than in previous employment and will continue to build on my prior knowledge as the University of Worcester have assisted me in developing an ethos for reflection and extending learning.  With Covid-19 our course changed quite quickly but all staff made sure that online learning was valuable, interesting, and informative, which allowed us to continue our journey to become teachers.  I have had contact with my dyslexic tutor and writer in residence, both of their support has been invaluable in allowing me to reach my potential with my academic writing.  The placement support has been amazing, the journey over a short space of time has been brilliant, all the placements want you to succeed and will help however possible, this is not only your class teacher but all the staff at the school.’ 

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/level 4 at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science(or equivalent) (or 2021 entry, applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer equivalency exams if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.
  • School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At the interview, we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school-aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them. NB Interviews will continue throughout 2020 and be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

Entry requirements differ slightly for the PE Specialist and Maths Specialist pathways

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice by email:


Other information

If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks. In addition, the Department of Education requires all trainees to satisfactorily complete a medical questionnaire to demonstrate their fitness to teach.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which the applicant will need to pay for.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

You are no longer required to take the Professional Skills Tests for entry to teacher training courses.

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PGCE Primary online taster

Our PGCE Primary online taster is a great opportunity to learn more about the course you are interested in, speak with lecturers and find out what it’s really like to be a student at Worcester from the comfort of your own home.

Our next taster will be at 4.30pm on Monday 26 July.

Find out more

"The positive experiences that I have gained so far have already impacted on my teaching practices and provide me with a higher level thinking towards my own teaching pedagogy."

Joshua Loade, PGCE Primary PE specialist pathway student

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Course content

What will you study?

School experience is a substantial and integral part of the course and you will have school experience visit days and block placements in terms 1, 2 and 3.

In total, of the 38 weeks of the course, 24 will be spent in schools.

Indicative themes explored through the course content are outlined below, although regular updates mean that exact content may differ.

Please find  the links to our Primary PGCE Curriculum Vision and PGCE Course Overview 

The Developing Teacher (30 credits at Masters level)

Indicative overview of content

This module looks at your development as a teacher. The themes in this module explore Teachers’ Standards 1, 5, 7, 8 and Part 2. It will focus on creating your teacher identity, through critically reflective models, experiences and analysis of relevant theories and research. There are five distinct strands. These are:


  • Developing as a reflective practitioner;
  • Developing the learning environment;
  • Developing behaviour for learning;
  • Developing inclusive practice;
  • Developing professionalism.

This is the first assessed module and will help develop your philosophy of teaching.

The Learning Child (30 credits at Masters Level)

Indicative overview of content

This module looks at understanding how to support children to learn. The themes in this module explore Teachers’ Standards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. It will focus on understanding how children develop and learn, subject specific pedagogies, adapting teaching to meet different needs of learners and the role of assessment. You will cover all of the core and foundation subjects in this module.  There are five distinct strands. These are:


  • Child Development;
  • Learning Theories;
  • Subject Sessions (including all core and foundation subjects);
  • Adapting to Meet the Needs of Learners;

This is the second assessed module and will help you research effective methods of teaching and learning to support all children.

Life in School: School Experience (Qualified Teacher Status)

Indicative overview of content

This module is your School Experience (SE) module and will involve school placements. There is also an enhanced placement in January to further your knowledge and expertise. In order to pass this module, you need to demonstrate that you have met all of the Teachers’ Standards including Part 2. It will also provide you with experiences to aid your reflections and mentoring to support your progress. There are 2 professional development days within the module, designed to support your progress with meeting the Standards. This is the final module which will be assessed at the end of your placements.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of:

  • School experience in a range of settings
  • Studying all areas of learning and teaching across all EYFS and Primary National Curriculum subjects
  • Tutor-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures , primarily to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills, central issues, key texts and inter-professional fields of study
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable you to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate, to encourage you to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
  • Directed studies and problem solving tasks provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgement; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services

In addition, there are regular opportunities throughout the year to meet with your personal tutor, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your academic progress, school experience, support with careers and applications.

Contact time

This is full time course and when not on placement, you will be expected to be in University every day, each week. On placement, you will be expected to attend school during term time and on training days, as agreed by the school, to ensure you are compliant with the requirements of the QTS qualification.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • Seminars
  • Discussions
  • Group work
  • Lectures when appropriate e.g. visiting speakers
  • Practical tasks
  • Research tasks       

Independent self-study

For every two hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake approximately 1 hour of personal self-study/follow up work per week.  Typically, this will involve researching areas of teaching and learning related to areas of the National Curriculum, SEND, EAL and other key areas of interest relating to the primary setting. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and all of the lecturers who teach on the course have a Higher Education teaching qualification and hold Qualified Teacher Status.  The majority of lecturers have their Masters qualification or higher and some are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include subject assignments, subject profiles and individual subject assessment tasks. You will engage in a range of assessments during school experience, all of which combine as components towards your final award.

You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Reflective Portfolio to which you, teachers and tutors contribute.

Throughout your course, you will be supported to prepare for your first year of teaching through the Career Entry Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development.


You will receive feedback on written assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is always intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in. 

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


Daniel Hughes

Dan is the PGCE Course Leader at the University of Worcester. He joined the School of Education in 2016.  He lectures in Primary English, PE and outdoor education. He also works as a school experience tutor, link tutor and personal academic tutor as part of Primary ITT.

Before joining the University, Dan worked in primary schools in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. As both subject leader and phase leader, he has led teams and helped develop curriculum initiatives. As well as this, he set up an educational training business, supporting schools with the teaching of reading and writing in both key stage 1 and 2 alongside providing some training in local nurseries. 

Julie Sutton

Julie is currently the Primary Lead for School Based provision and teaches regularly on the Postgraduate Pedagogy and Professional Practice course. She is the Primary Music Lead for both the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes and has a keen interest in creative arts, having had responsibility for developing Foundation Subjects across the Primary centre for several years. Having been acting Primary Partnership manager and Placements Coordinator, she continues to play an active part in partnership.

Dr Pinky Jain

Pinky is passionate about education, especially the professional development of trainee teachers and the teaching of maths in schools.

Pinky teaches on the BA QTS and PGCE (Primary Mathematics Modules, Professional Studies and Independent Research Modules), is Subject Leader for Primary Mathematics and is Programme Leader for the PGCE Mathematics Specialist Pathway. She is currently supervising 4 Masters research students from the UK and abroad.


Dr Rhys Pritchard

Rhys works in the School of Education and is the Subject lead for Primary Physical Education. He joined the University of Worcester in June 2018.

Rhys entered Higher Education in 2017 working as a lecturer of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Previously, he taught in a variety of schools in Worcestershire, but also abroad in Dubai and Australia, experiencing both Primary and Secondary PE, but also in the classroom. Away from work, Rhys has a heavy involvement with rugby as both a coach and player.

Lorna Williams

Lorna Williams

Lorna is PGCE Early Years (3-7) cohort lead and the Early Years subject lead, supporting the development of Early Years in Primary initial teacher training at the University of Worcester.

Lorna is Foundation Subject lead and module lead for the Year 2 Undergraduate Foundation subjects’ module.  Lorna teaches Primary Design and Technology across undergraduate and postgraduate pathways. Lorna also teaches on the PGCE ‘The Developing Teacher’ module, as well as the Undergraduate Professional Research module specialising in Early Years.

Kim Harris

Since joining the University of Worcester in 2010 Kim held the role of Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) Course Leader managing a cohort of GTP trainee for 2 years. Her teaching responsibilities include teaching pedagogy and management on the PGCE Primary degree and teaching postgraduate and undergraduate primary mathematics and music modules.

Sharon Lannie

Sharon Lannie

Sharon is module leader for PGCE English at the University of Worcester and teaches on all the post-graduate, undergraduate and School Direct English modules. She also supports the development of English in primary schools across the Midlands through leading English CPD, including a termly network meeting for primary and middle school English Subject Leaders in the area. Sharon is also the PGCE Later Years Cohort Leader.

Genea Alexander

Genea Alexander

Genea's initial experience of the University of Worcester was as a postgraduate student, where she studied the MA Education. As an experienced teacher, she subsequently secured a sessional lecturing post at the University. For many years, Genea continued to work as a sessional lecturer and primary teacher simultaneously, until she made the move into higher education on a permanent basis, as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education.

Genea was the Course Leader for Primary PGCE (QTS) until 2017 and she continues to have an active role in initial teacher training. As part of a dedicated team, she has enjoyed teaching on both undergraduate and postgraduate primary education courses in the areas of Music, Languages and Pedagogy and Professional Practice. Genea is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of NaPTEC.


Andrew Taylor

Previous to starting at the University of Worcester Andrew had taught in schools in Gloucestershire for the past 16 years as a class teacher, assistant head and Deputy head teacher. He joined the university in 2018 to pursue his passion for supporting trainee teachers and NQTs.

At the University Andrew has enjoyed supporting the primary department with developing its provision for behaviour management and working to develop the Early Career Teacher Community to support NQTs in their first year of teaching.


Gill Woods

Gill Woods is the Module Leader for the Pedagogy and Management module, a core element of the PGCE course. She is also the PGCE Placements Manager and is heavily involved in working with the partnership of primary schools.

Gill has previously worked as the Cluster Leader for primary mathematics and the module leader for the PGCE Masters module which combined English, mathematics and science at another university and the primary undergraduate mathematics co-ordinator at the University of Worcester.


Kate Morley

Kate is a senior lecturer, teaching across the postgraduate and undergraduate modules for English at the University of Worcester. She also works as a school experience and PRISS tutor as part of Primary ITT and teaches on the Professional Studies module. As well as this Kate is a PPP tutor on the PGCE course.


Where could it take you?

Upon successful completion of the PGCE course, you take with you a Career Entry Profile to start the process of your continuing professional development as a teacher.

Graduates from the Primary Department at the University of Worcester are extremely employable; employability for the class of 2016/17 was 98%

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Megan Jessop

Having graduated four years ago Megan is now a class teacher, head of science and lead student mentor at a local primary school.

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students registering in the academic year 2021/22 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 will be £14,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You may be able to get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or are disabled.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. More information and guidance on costs are available from the Home Office. You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply now

Applications for PGCE courses, both Primary and Secondary, should be made online through the government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website for detailed information on how to apply for a PGCE.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Daniel Hughes

PGCE Course Leader