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PGCE Primary

Learn to be an effective teacher, and gain an insight into the key skills your students will need across the primary curriculum.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


10 months full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Get to grips with up-to-date thinking and the latest research in teaching and learning for infant and junior school pupils.

Our PGCE Primary course will prepare you to teach National Curriculum at KS1 and KS2, specialising in Primary education.  You will be equipped you to meet the Department of Education’s National Teaching Standards and therefore achieve Early Career Qualified Teacher Status.

This course is delivered through our partnership with the Pathfinder Teaching School Hub.


On successfully completing this course you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is awarded by the Department for Education (DfE).

Rated good by Ofsted

In its most recent evaluation, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) awarded our PGCE programme a Grade 2: Good.

UK top 10 department

We're ranked 9th in the UK and World Top 50 for Education (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2023)

Experienced Tutors

You'll be taught by experienced practitioners, with recent or current experience of working in classrooms.

Course content

This course provides you with a stimulating, cross-curricular, highly-collaborative learning environment. A major strength of this are the teaching placements in partnership schools which are fully integrated into the programme structure. 

As a result you will not only be trained to create a safe and positive climate for learning, you will also have the opportunity to develop a strong sense of subject-specific pedagogy. You will be taught the knowledge and skills needed to engage in relevant educational research, all in line with the mandatory national Core Content Framework for Initial Teacher Training.


Over the course of your two teaching placements you’ll have the opportunity to work with different age groups with different abilities. You’ll experience a variety of schools and subject departments.

As part of your first placement you will complete assignments covering the topics below.

During your second placement you will complete an assignment covering:

You will also be assessed throughout the PGCE course around the Professional Aspects of Training. These include:

  • Meeting Teachers' Standards
  • Secondary Experience
  • Professional Enrichment Experience
  • Future Career Profile

Before starting a placement that forms part of your course, you are likely to be asked by the placement provider to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is to ensure that you do not disclose any information that is confidential to the placement provider.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Independently and creatively plan, resource and deliver lessons by applying theory, discipline knowledge and appropriate level expectations
  • Create an inclusive, stimulating learning environment by managing classroom dynamics and adapting to learning need
  • Effectively assess learning and progression through critiquing a range of well-developed formative and summative strategies
  • Critically reflect on, and perceptively develop their own classroom practice by assessing and selecting appropriate evaluative frameworks and engaging actively with a supportive network for feedback
  • Communicate clearly, confidently and professionally with teaching colleagues, pupils, parents/guardians, support staff, external agencies and in academic contexts, using media appropriate to the situation;
  • Contribute with justifications to debates and developments in primary education by applying a research-informed approach to the analysis of their own practice and by proactively researching broader education issue

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,250£23,900

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. You will work with university PGCE tutors and school mentors who are experienced teachers with mentoring expertise in each of your main placements, and all of whom hold QTS (qualified teacher status).

Teaching format

Participation in the PGCE course is an active process. Although there are lectures and presentations, much of your learning will come from workshops, seminars and school and classroom activities with strategies and techniques for an effective learning environment in your placement classrooms.

Trainees come to the course with a range of qualifications, employment backgrounds and interests. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to work collaboratively, sharing your experience, knowledge and technical expertise. Activities emphasise teamwork and require you to share the responsibility for your learning.

Throughout the course, you will be guided by mentors in your placement schools and supported in school and in university by your specialist university tutors.

Teaching location

The Department of Education is located in Derwent College, on the west part of our campus. Most of your teaching will take place nearby on Campus West.

School placements take place across the region. We take many factors into consideration when allocating placements and will work with you to ensure you can get to your placement safely and easily. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll complete three academic assignments: 

  • Lesson observation - You'll critically evaluate the observations you have undertaken during the serial visits to your first placement school. 
  • Evaluation of Teaching and Learning - You'll evaluate your early teaching by analysing some of the work pupils have produced in the lessons you have planned and delivered. 
  • In-depth Focus Study - This is a small-scale study based on a piece of research. This is an opportunity for you to pursue an individual professional interest by investigating a particular aspect of what it means to teach your subject effectively

The primary aim of the course is to enable you to meet, and ideally exceed, the Teachers’ Standards and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

Careers and skills

Most of our graduates become teachers, but the skills you learn will open other career paths too.

Career opportunities

  • Primary school teacher
  • Dyslexia support worker
  • Careers advisor
  • Educational administrator
  • Education consultant
  • Youth worker

Transferable skills

  • Ability to articulate complex ideas
  • Learning/teaching methods and strategies
  • Managing time and setting priorities
  • Assimilate, analyse, and evaluate complex information
  • Computer literacy for teaching and learning
  • High standards of personal and professional conduct
  • Presentation and communication skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree

2.2 or equivalent

Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4 (C)
  • GCSE English grade 4 (C)
    This is in addition to any other English language requirements you may need to fulfil.
  • GCSE Science grade 4 (C) in Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Combined Science

Further information about government requirements for teacher training.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


Apply for this course

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Contact us

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Education PGCE Administrator

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Department of Education

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