PGCE Primary Early Years
Department of Study
Centre for Teacher Education
Location of Study
University of Warwick
The Primary Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a high-quality programme of professional education, leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Master’s level credits. Our course aims to develop you into a highly reflective practitioner, able to adapt and respond to changes in settings and national educational contexts, and able to take responsibility for your ongoing professional development in preparation for future leadership.
97% of our Primary cohort received Outstanding and Good final grades. 2018 -2019
Our PGCE courses had an overall completion rate of 93%. 2019-2020
We're nationally known for the quality of our training, and our work's based on a partnership with over 500 local schools in Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
You can expect a taught course which will prepare you for the realities and rigours of teaching a broad curriculum. You will be trained across the Early Years and Key Stage 1 and gain an understanding of both curriculums and a range of teaching strategies. You’ll also have access to excellent personal, academic and pastoral support.
In school, you will directly observe children as they learn and teachers as they teach, as well as trying out ideas in practice for yourself in the classroom. The course is designed to ensure that your experience in schools complements and builds on what is addressed at the University. In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have the opportunity for independent study and you’ll be able to take advantage of the university's study resources and facilities.
From our partner schools, you can expect a programme of mentor support and professional training and development, which will complement the university-based elements of the course, and which will support the development of your classroom practice.
What is a PGCE?
A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is usually a one-year teacher training course. It offers a mixture of academic and practical learning, and it's the first step for graduates in the development of a teaching career. It provides a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS – a requirement to teach in the state school system as a Newly Qualified Teacher).
Which route will you take?
Core | University-led
On the university-led PGCE programme, a minimum of 120 days are spent in school and the rest of the programme will consist of sessions taught by the University of Warwick as well as independent study. Your placements will consist of extended time in 3 different schools as well as short enhanced placements focussing on specific themes, including a week in a SEND setting.
If you feel passionate about teaching and would like a programme offering placements in a range of schools, this may be the best option for you. You will be trained across the Early Years and Key Stage 1 and gain an understanding of both curriculums and a range of teaching strategies. We will provide you with a good grounding upon which you will be building your professional skills and understanding in schools.
On the School Direct PGCE programme, approx.145 days are spent in school and the rest of the programme will consist of sessions taught by the University of Warwick, some school-led sessions and independent study
If you would rather be immersed in the classroom environment and school culture, consider the School Direct route where you'll spend the majority of the year based in a single school. There are two School Direct Routes available, School Direct Training and School Direct Salaried.
On the School Direct training route you may be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans and bursaries. School Direct salaried provides an employment-based option and is ideal for graduates with extensive work experience, who have worked in a school or similar setting for some time. You won’t be eligible for any bursaries or scholarships but you will receive a salary while you train.
At Warwick, we’ll help you find your own path to success. We understand that teaching is more than just a job. We also know that you are more than just another applicant. That’s why our approach is tailored around your needs. We’re focused on getting you prepared to enter the classroom, and ready for all the challenges that teaching throws at you. We won’t drop you in at the deep end, but we will help you become accustomed to different school environments.
We have a long history of providing students with the best access to the contacts, resources and facilities needed to fulfil teaching promise. You’ll also benefit from our research-informed teaching, delivered at an acclaimed university with a reputation for excellence. That teaching will come from people who truly understand about the journey that you’re taking.
There’s lots to take in when you think about becoming a teacher. That’s why we ensure that support is available whenever you need it. As well as having a personal tutor, that will support you throughout the time you’re at Warwick, you can rely upon the friendship and guidance from your fellow trainees. We also have online resources dedicated to giving you the help and support you need.
So choose Warwick, and give yourself the ideal start for that journey. Be somewhere which believes your teaching career can be as long, rewarding and enjoyable as you want it to be. Be somewhere that trusts you to follow a more personalised teaching path, but will be there for you wherever that path takes you.
Enrolment questions: cte dot admissions at warwick dot ac dot uk
General entry requirements
UK Bachelors degree with Honours at 2:2 or above, or equivalent level.
- At least Grade C or the new Grade 4 in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science.*
For the 2022/23 cohort only, we will be accepting 3rd party equivalency tests in place of GCSEs. The current providers that have been approved are as follows, with details of the current discounts that are available. If you are intending to use another equivalency testing company, we recommend you contact our admissions team prior to doing so to ensure that they meet the entry criteria.
- Why choose Equivalency Testing?
- Long standing company
- Excellent student support
- Secure testing
- Good and quick feedback
- Discounted from £175 to £160 (saving £15).
Why chose A Star Equivalency?
- Excellent student support
- A clear outline of required material in each exam
- Rolling programme of live online subject specific support sessions.
- An extensive range of free support material
- Practice papers and marking schemes
- Discounted from £165* to £139 (saving £26). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the discount code.
If you are intending to use another equivalency testing company, we recommend you contact our admissions team prior to doing so to ensure that they meet the entry criteria.
English language requirements
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, you will need a minimum score of 7.0 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
If you graduated in the last two years, you’ll need to provide an academic reference. It can take a while to complete and submit a reference, so the sooner you get in touch, the better – you might want to send a description of the course and what you’d like to get out of it to make it easier. For more information and guidance, we recommend using UCAS Teacher Training References.
You will need original copies of all your qualifications. If you don’t have these any more, you can obtain a Certified Statement of Results instead, but these can take some time to retrieve from exam boards and you may need to pay a fee.
Although it is not a requirement for entry, we strongly recommend that you have some experience in the classroom within mainstream UK schools (Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2) before applying. This experience will give you a flavour for your potential future career and will help you write your application. Find out how to gain school experience.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff, enrolled trainees and offer holders to share this commitment. The successful completion of an enhanced DBS check to confirm your suitability for the profession is a condition of any offer to study within CTE. Disclosure does not automatically make you ineligible to enrol onto a PGCE course, each application will be considered on a case by case basis, we recommend you use the DBS guidelines for applicants with previous convictions.
*The new grading system for those receiving their results for GCSE English, Mathematics and English was adopted in 2017. The grading system is now 9-1, with Grade 9 awarded to those students in the very top tier. Grade 4 is considered equivalent to the old Grade C.
**Special offer for the University of Warwick students. Maths exams are available in Foundation or Higher. English, Science and Biology are untiered
If students require further support, we offer a range of low cost options.
This module ensures you are able to teach children the prime and specific areas of the early Years Framework as well as the full range of core and foundation subjects in Key Stage 1. Particular focus is given to the balance of adult led and child initiated use of an enabling environment in the Early Years as well as a strong focus on English, Mathematics and Science in EY and KS1. These are important areas of primary education and present you with some interesting challenges.
This module is concerned with pedagogy – the method and practice of teaching. It addresses central issues such as, teaching methods, how children learn, meeting individual needs, assessment, differentiation and behaviour management.
This module is concerned with ensuring that you are able to teach children a broad and balanced curriculum giving consideration to the ways children learn best including learning through play. It will develop your subject knowledge as well as provide you with a wealth of teaching approaches and activities for each subject.
You will be assessed through written Master’s level assignments, which are aimed at assessing your professional and subject-specific learning. You’ll also be assessed on whether you meet the Teachers' Standards at a level appropriate for a newly qualified teacher.
The current assessment methods consist of the following, however, CTE reserves the right to change these as appropriate in line with the requirements of regulatory authorities such as Ofsted and the DfE.
Professional Enquiry (Master's level)
Coursework focusing on a key issue and combining theory with your practice in schools. (Master's level assignment.)
Subject Studies (Master's level)
Coursework focusing on the role of the adult in supporting children's language development across the curriculum. (Masters level assignment.)
Professional Practice (Honour's level)
Meeting the Teachers’ Standards – at a Good or Outstanding level (weekly observations by School Mentor; visits by Link Tutor, and tutorials with Personal Tutor and completion of an online reflective account.)
Fees and Funding
|PGCE (Uni-led, Core)||Full Time||Home||£ 9,250|
|PGCE (School Direct Salaried Training)||Full Time||Home||£ 9,250|
|PGCE (School Direct Salaried)||Full Time||Home||£ 2,000|
- Study costs
There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.
- Computing requirements
A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for the course. The university provides central guidance on the recommended specification for any device you use to undertake your academic work.
*22/23 fees stated. The tuition fee payable for each subsequent year of your programme will increase annually by the relevant inflation, which has ranged 4% to 6% in the last few years. Fees will be invoiced in advance of the presentation of the module each year. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home/EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.
Career progression may be through a specialist curriculum or pastoral role, or by moving into management. Teachers may become heads of Key Stages or coordinators of a cross-curricular area, such as special needs or careers education, as well as subject or professional mentors for trainee teachers on placement.
Upon completing this course you'll be recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS) and gain 90 credits at Master's level. This allows you to fast-track to stage two of our Master's degree, quickly progressing your professional development. If you choose to complete a different Master's, you can still use 60 credits towards your course.
What do our students say?
I began my teacher training via a School Direct route in 2014. When I qualified, I began working at a Primary School which was where I stayed for about 5 years. I took on the role of class mentor to trainees, supported NQTs and lead geography throughout the school. I began then working for the University of Warwick in January 2020. I mostly teach geography and history but also some maths across the EY, KS1 and KS2 curriculums. I also support trainee teachers in a pastoral setting as well as in a moderation setting by visiting the schools the trainees are placed in. I love teaching others, both children and adults alike and love learning myself. My motivation, I then suppose, comes from my own love of learning and wanting to instil that in others.
I like to think I’m an empathic educator and recognise the challenges that teachers, especially those beginning their career can face. I’m an advocate for the use of mindfulness as a way to manage the day to day difficulties teachers can face and run a weekly Twitter chat that looks at this (every Wednesday at 8pm. #MindfulTeacherChat).
I’d say that it’s important to remember that teaching is a career full of peaks and troughs. Sometimes you can have the best time of your life teaching and sometimes you can feel really snowed under but that it’s worth it in the end. Seeing those around you flourish under your guidance as their teacher is deeply satisfying and rewarding. There’s simply no other job like it."
Emily | Teaching Fellow at The University of Warwick
CTE School Direct Alumnus
PGCE - Core | University-led
Applications are usually open between October - June. Once you have your course choice, references and certificates, you can apply through DfE Apply*
You can search for Warwick School Direct vacancies. Each school has a different DfE Apply code:
|School||DfE Apply Code|
Ashlawn School (Innovation Learning and Leadership Alliance)
Caludon Castle School (Castle Phoenix Teaching School Alliance)
The Rawlett School (Academies Enterprise Trust Midlands)
*When applying for the University-led PGCE through DfE Apply, you need to select the University of Warwick. If you are applying for a School Direct route with us, you select the name of the school accredited by the University Of Warwick.
We recommend that if you wish to gain your qualification through the University of Warwick, you select your DfE Apply options as University of Warwick University-led (Core) and one of the schools affiliated with us (School Direct). We have lots of information about our partner schools available.