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Primary PGCE (5-11 year olds)

Become a qualified Primary teacher with Warwick

Our course will recommend you on completion for Newly Qualified Teacher Status to work with 5-11-year-olds. You'll become a confident teacher and make a real difference to young children’s development and life chances.

Please note: our Primary PGCE courses will open to applications on Tuesday 13 October 2020. You can explore live vacancies here from the 06 October 2020.

  • 98% of our graduates who wanted to pursue teaching gained employment upon completion last year.
  • You’ll be taught and supported by highly experienced tutors, practitioners, and mentors.
  • 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.


Entry requirements
A minimum of a 2:2 degree


Course duration
12 months


Ofsted Outstanding
Reliable teaching

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 (NQT), along with the academic qualification of a PGCE.

Which route will you take?

  • University-Led (core): 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'll spend time in school and at Warwick. This course is 'front-loaded' with initial taught sessions at the University that will provide you with a good grounding upon which you will be building your professional skills and understanding in school. You'll spend time in school and at Warwick throughout the rest of the year. You'll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans and bursaries.
  • School Direct Training: If you'd rather be immersed in the classroom environment, consider the school direct route where you'll spend more time in school. The taught programme is approximately 35 days; you’ll spend the remainder of your time in school. Time in school is organised into three placements over the three school terms. You'll pay fees but you might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans or bursaries.
  • School Direct Salaried: The salaried route provides an employment-based option. It's 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.

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, in an environment that gives you the space to think. As well as the 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.

Through your studies here, you'll learn new skills and knowledge. You'll be able to adapt and respond to changes in settings and national educational contexts. You'll take responsibility for your ongoing professional development in preparation for future leadership. You'll complete placements in a variety of settings and schools.

  • Gain practical teaching experience in contrasting school settings
  • Build your confidence and help you to reflect on and evaluate your professional practice
  • Become an authority on the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations
  • Grow confident in the latest technologies and develop multimedia resources
  • Learn to teach phonics, early reading, writing, and early mathematics, as well as foundation subjects
  • Assess pupils effectively, promoting pupil progress across the curriculum, and manage their behaviour to create a strong learning environment
  • Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your teaching career

Find out more about what we offer you.

What will I study in this course?

All of our modules are designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills you'll need in your successful teaching career.

Professional Studies

You'll develop a good understanding of the key factors in successful learning and teaching. You'll address central issues of planning, teaching, assessing and behaviour management as well as addressing such issues as the safeguarding of children. Key factors in successful learning and teaching:

  • Planning
  • Teaching
  • Assessing
  • Behaviour Management
  • Safeguarding

Subject Studies

You'll cover the following topics:

Core subjects:
  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
Foundation subjects, ‘Taster’ sessions for each subject:
  • Art and Design
  • Computing
  • D & T
  • Geography and History
  • Music
  • P.E.
  • R.E.
  • PSHE

Professional practice

You'll take placements in different settings to broaden your experience:

  • Professional development
  • Reflecting on progress on school placements
  • Setting targets for successful completion of the programme


You’ll be taught by highly qualified and experienced teachers - our staff are leaders in education.

You’ll take part in interactive lectures, seminars and workshops, and a number of placements. You'll be challenged to develop your expertise both in the classroom and outside of it, and you'll also have the opportunity for independent study.


  • Professional Studies: Coursework focusing on a key issue and combining theory with your practice in schools (Masters level assignment)
  • Subject Studies: Coursework focusing on one aspect of practice in each of the three core subjects (Masters level assignment)
  • Professional Practice: Meeting the Teachers’ Standards – at a Good or Outstanding level (weekly observations by School Mentor; visits by Link Tutor, and tutorials with Personal Tutor).
Teachers' Standards

You’ll also be assessed on whether you meet the Teachers’ Standards at a level appropriate for a newly qualified teacher.

What are placements like?

In school, you will directly observe pupils as they learn and teachers as they teach, as well as trying out ideas in practice in classrooms for yourself. The course is designed to ensure that your experience in schools complements and builds on what is addressed at the University.


We’ll work with local partners to give you inspirational placements in local settings. You’ll be taught best practice in the classroom and be mentored on your placements, which will take place as follows:

  • Three extended Professional Practice Placements in three contrasting settings carefully selected from our partnership of schools within the region (6-8 weeks per placement)
  • Experiential days: mini-placements focusing on EAL, SEN, Phonics, Outside Learning Contexts
  • Serial Days: 11 further days of observation organised by the University
  • Special School Experience: a week of observation organised by the University

School-Led (School Direct Training & Salaried)

This route offers trainees an extended Professional Practice placement in one main school (called a Base School), supplemented by an additional placement (minimum of five weeks) in a contrasting school. This ensures a varied and balanced experience of teaching in different settings, whilst allowing you to contribute significantly to the life of your Base School.


You must have graduated, or be about to graduate, from a UK Higher Educational Institute or equivalent, with a 2:2 or above honours degree. If you’re applying from overseas, you can see our equivalent overseas qualifications which we accept, and you may wish to see our International Applicants page too.


You need at least Grade C in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science. The new grading system for those receiving their results for GCSE Maths 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. The New Grade 4 is considered equivalent to the Old Grade C within the new grading system.

If you’re applying from overseas, you can find information about equivalent qualifications in Mathematics, Science and English Language online. for the qualifications that we do not accept, please check here.


The interview process will provide appropriate assurance of numeracy and literacy skills, the format of this is yet to be determined following the announcement from the Department for Education regarding the changes to the previous Professional Skills Test system.

In terms of general skills, we expect you to be a proactive person who's confident with the age group you want to teach. You'll be skilled at developing personal relationships, working well as part of a team, and being adaptive to changes. You’ll also be able to critically reflect on your own teaching and learning. Read more about our expectations of teachers here.

 References and documentation

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 with them, the better – you might want to send them a description of the course and what you’d like to get out of it to make it easier. UCAS have more guidance about references here.

You will need ORIGINAL copies of all your qualifications (not copies). 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: read more here.

 Classroom experience

Although it is not a requirement for entry, we strongly recommend that you have some experience in mainstream UK schools (Key Stage 1 and 2) before applying. Whilst not compulsory, 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 now.

 Please note, we run safeguarding checks on every successful offer-holder

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects 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 on a PGCE course 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. Please read our DBS guidelines for applicants, including DBS guidelines for applicants with previous convictions.

What's the potential career progression?

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.

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.

Course start dates

  • University Led: 31/08/2021
  • School Direct: 31/08/2021

Look for a course vacancy

All of our current vacancies are searchable on the DfE search tool. To search a Warwick University course please follow these steps:

  • In the ‘By school, university or other training provider’, please enter W20 or the school direct providers code
  • Filter on the side:
    • your subject of interest
    • the salary type (if you intend to apply for a SD position)

Please note that all our courses will close on UCAS when full.*

Applications are now open for the 2021-22 cohort

We recommend you apply early - we usually have to close new applications around June or July.

Please note: On UCAS, when applying for the University-Led PGCE, 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 UCAS options as University of Warwick University-led (Core) and one of the schools affiliated with us (School Direct). You can find out more about our partner schools here.

Apply through UCAS Teacher Training

Selection Process

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a Selection Day. This will involve a presentation from staff outlining the structure of the PGCE course. You will then take part in a small group exercise, deliver a short presentation and an individual interview. Don’t worry for now though, we’ll give you more guidance when you’re invited. The day gives us a chance to find out a bit more about you, but crucially it’s also your opportunity to meet us find out more about the course, and see if it’s the right one for you.

*Sometimes the pool of UCAS applications concern the same course; as a result of this, you might find that although your application went through UCAS we will be unable to offer you a space on the course. Your application will therefore be automatically rejected. This does not prevent you from applying to another course if you meet the entry requirements. If you wish to apply for a School Direct position and would like further details about the vacancies, please get in touch with our Schools partners. If you wish to apply for a University-Led position and would like further details about the vacancies, please get in touch at

"The PGCE course at Warwick gave me an excellent grounding in my subject area, teaching and learning and the initial experience in the classroom. I have been promoted each year that I have been in teaching. I firmly believe the training at Warwick gave me the skills to aid my progression."

PGCE Alumnus

"Studying at Warwick gave me a solid foundation for my career as a teacher. Some great lectures, visits and guest speakers provided some useful information to help me on my way. Warwick also arranged some brilliant teaching placements for me where I got up and taught in front of a class for the first time! I would definitely recommend Warwick."

PGCE Alumnus

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