Initial Teacher Education
  • Print
Primary PGCE School Direct

Primary PGCE School Direct


  • University induction in late August, before beginning first school placement in your alliance school from the very start of the academic year
  • Carefully chosen placement within one of the schools in the alliance
  • University-based days spread across the year with Primary PGCE students, where you are part of a vibrant cohort of beginning teachers, reflecting on and developing practice
  • Second school placement in the spring term
  • Extra enrichment programme from your alliance to enhance your professional development and enable you to understand a multi-academy trust and the relationship between the schools within it

Apply now

Applications are still open for 2021 entry. Apply though UCAS-TT



Entry requirements

  • UK undergraduate degree/equivalent – any subject
  • GCSE/equivalent – English language, mathematics and science, 4 (C) or above
  • Satisfactory medical report
  • Enhanced Disclosure from Disclosure and Barring Service

Course structure

Your school placements will be supported by university-based teaching days, as well as periods of independent study. 

You will be placed in your base school from September to July and follow your school through a full academic year and you will gain experience in a second school in the Spring term. You will also be able to engage in enrichment opportunities in a range of educational settings to further support your ongoing professional development - this will include a week in a special school.


Learning and Teaching in School (Primary)

This 30-credit module explores teaching and learning in the primary context and more generally. An extensive programme of lectures and seminars will enable you to develop a practical knowledge of teaching informed by a critical understanding of theories of teaching and learning. The module is assessed through written assignments, presentations and related classroom-based work.

Issues in Primary Teaching

This 30-credit module considers various aspects of teachers' wider professional roles as well as social, cultural and legal aspects of schooling.

The module is assessed through written assignments and presentations, some of which are collaborative.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Mathematics Specialist Route

This route is ideal if you want to become a primary school teacher but have an extra, mathematics focused, dimension to your training year. This will give you an enhanced profile for NQT employment and increased potential for leadership roles. You will need to hold an A level Mathematics at Grade C or above.

Course details

  • An additional university-based induction day that will explore your personal mathematics background, the aims and values of mathematics education and the importance of being a champion and advocate for mathematics
  • Two half-day university-based teaching sessions, focusing on your role as a mathematics specialist and the leadership and management of mathematics in primary schools
  • A twilight university-based teaching session once per term, that focuses on teaching challenging mathematics topics
  • An immersion day once per term, in which you will take part in a lesson study at a partnership school
  • The opportunity to teach mathematics to more than one age range when on placement
  • The opportunity to see mathematics teaching at Key Stage 3 and in the Early Years, in order to understand the progression of the subject

Teaching methods and assessment

Your practical teaching will be assessed by University tutors and school-based mentors/coordinators and moderated by external examiners. All elements of your work across the year will be taken into account and there are no written exams.

You will need to demonstrate your practical abilities as a teacher and your theoretical understanding of this practice and must fulfil the requirements for the Teacher Standards.


We have a very strong, collaborative partnership with the schools we work with. University tutors and school coordinators/mentors work closely with you, and each other, throughout the year to support and challenge you to develop into the best teacher you can be.

Throughout your time in school you will undertake a wide range of professional development activities to develop your understanding of teaching and learning and the complex role of a teacher. Although placements are intensive and demanding, we carefully structure your progression, with a gradual build-up of teaching commitments, so you are well prepared to teach in different contexts. During your time on placement you will become part of your school's community and work professionally as a member of a team.

Whilst on placement, you will undertake a small-scale research project where, working with others, you will formulate and develop a research project on an area of interest. To further personalise and support your ongoing professional development, your alliance will provide enrichment opportunities throughout the year.

How to apply

  • Identify your chosen lead school from our list (please note the Mathematics Specialist Route is only available through L.E.A.D.)
  • Apply directly to the school via UCAS-TT, using the relevant Training Provider Code
  • Complete a personal statement
  • Suitable candidates will be invited to interview at the University and at your placement school*
  • Successful applicants will be offered a place
* During the current Coronavirus restrictions, interviews will be held online.

 Read our Primary Education Network Blog

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us