Course overview

Our Primary PGCE course will support you in your ambition to become a great teacher. Through high quality training we will help you reach your potential as a teacher so you can help your pupils reach their potential in the classroom and beyond. 

We have a strong long-standing partnership with 150-200 local schools serving diverse local communities. Therefore, during your course you will benefit from significant school-based teaching experience in a range of different contexts. Not only will you learn from the pupils you will engage with, you will also learn from experienced school-based colleagues. Your placements provide a great networking opportunity and can help you decide what kind of school you want to work in once you qualify.

Personalised support for our trainee teachers is important to us. We offer this in many ways including personal tutors, school-based mentors and coordinators, student support groups, and we have a school Welfare Officer. On top of this, you can access all the university’s support services

We offer additional enrichment opportunities so that you can personalise and enhance your studies. These can include time in a special school, professional development immersion days, special interest groups and School of Education seminars and events. 

Key features of the Primary PGCE

  • Rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in our 2022 inspection
  • Qualified to teach Key Stage 1 and 2 (5-11 years)
  • PGCE qualification (60 masters-level credits) with Qualified Teacher Status
  • Time spent in first placement school from week one of the course
  • Second school placement starts early in the spring term
  • University-based days spread across the year
  • Your 60 PGCE credits can be used towards an MA Education, and 30 credits can be used towards other MA courses

Alumni profiles

View our Primary PGCE alumni profiles.

Attend an information session

We hold monthly events from October through to July to give you the opportunity to find out more about starting your teaching career with the University of Nottingham. 

Attend an event

Why choose this course?

Rated 'Outstanding'

in our recent Ofsted inspection

School partnerships

across the East Midlands

Top 50

in the world for education

Over 100 years

of experience in the field of education

Support from experts

across our partnership. You'll work with excellent teacher educators and school-based mentors.

High employment level

Many of our graduates secure employment in our local partnership schools.

Course content

This programme is designed to equip you with the skills you need to become an effective educator and to enable you to develop your own theories of learning and models of good practice. It gives you extended placements in at least two schools, enabling you to gain a broad experience of different and contrasting educational settings.

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

University-based learning

You will actively work with tutors and peers, constantly exploring teaching and learning. You will engage with theory and research to make you a better teacher, for example we will look at theories about behaviour for learning to help you analyse what is and is not working in your classroom. Your university experience will include:

  • working with groups of beginning teachers 
  • modelling of teacher approaches you can use in your classroom
  • exploring research and practice
  • keynote inputs from experts, for example staff that specialise in special and inclusive education
  • peer teaching and learning
  • exploring and practising all elements of being a teacher in a 'safe' space

Placements - school-based learning

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

We firmly believe that learning to become a great teacher isn’t about doing as many lessons as you can as quickly as possible. It is about gradually building up your experiences and working with experienced teachers in lots of different ways. Your school-based learning will include:

  • a carefully structured programme to support your progress each term
  • a gradual build-up of teaching
  • observations across all key stages with expert teachers
  • weekly mentor meetings to discuss your progress and agree targets for development
  • involvement in all aspects of school life, for example helping with clubs, school trips, joining staff meetings, break-time duty

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.

As part of your second 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. You will also experience enrichment days and weeks in a range of educational settings to further support your ongoing professional development - this will include a week in a form of alternative educational provision.

We can appreciate that you will be keen to know the location of your school placement as soon as possible, this is only natural. Experience has shown us that it is important to carefully consider a range of factors, such as: access to transport, caring responsibilities and previous experience to name but a few, when making placement decisions. For these reasons, we don’t allow applicants to express an interest in a particular school. Similarly, offer holders are not able to request or make arrangements for their own placement in a particular school. Instead, we work with you from the moment you have an offer to understand your personal circumstances factoring these into our placement decisions to ensure we do all we can to support you to be successful.

Further information about our PGCE courses can be found on the School of Education Initial Teacher Education website.


Core modules

Learning and Teaching in Schools (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 is focussed on developing inclusive, socially just practices. The module is assessed through written assignments and presentations.

The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 26 March 2024.

Due to timetabling availability, there may be restrictions on some module combinations.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group study
  • Tutorials
  • Discussion group
  • School-based teaching practice

How you will be assessed

  • Workplace-based assessment
  • Presentation
  • Coursework

Your practical teaching will be assessed by University tutors and school-based ITE leads 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 by the end of the course. We take an holistic approach to assessing whether you have met the standards that avoids gathering pieces of evidence to tick off boxes. Our key message is that if you are engaging successfully with all elements of your course you will be meeting the standards.

Fundamental mathematics and English skills

Before being recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you must be able to demonstrate competence in maths and English. At interview we will discuss your current level of ability and if needed, we will direct you to resources to engage with before the course. Throughout the course you will be supported to develop further to ensure you are fully competent by the end of your course.

Contact time and study hours

This is a full-time course running from 28 August 2024 to 4 July 2025. You should expect to work full days when in university and on placement. 

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degreeUK undergraduate degree/equivalent – any subject, plus GCSE/equivalent – English (language or literature), mathematics and science, 4 (C) or above

As well as the appropriate academic qualifications, you will need:

  • a satisfactory medical report
  • enhanced disclosure from Disclosure and Barring Service


  • Visit DfE Find for more information on applying
  • Visit Apply for teacher training to start your application
  • Complete and submit the application form following the instructions
  • Complete a personal statement
  • Once you have submitted your application to Apply for teacher training, it is sent to us
  • Suitable candidates will be invited to interview at the university
  • Successful applicants will be offered a place

The university will close for applications as follows:
International applicants: 1 August 2024
Home applicants: 14 August 2024


Qualification PGCE
Home / UK £9,250
International £21,500

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on a teacher training course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. This includes travel costs to your placement school which will obviously vary according to where you live, where you need to travel to, and your mode of transport.

Some of our courses will also include local visits or field trips which will also incur costs. You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles. The school covers the cost of a DBS check.


Teacher training bursary

You may be eligible for a bursary of up to £28,000. Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.

Tuition fee and maintenance loans

You may be eligible to apply for a fee loan which covers the cost of the tuition fee. Maintenance loans are also available. Please visit the student finance website for more detail.

University of Nottingham Core Bursary

As a student on a PGCE course, you may be eligible for an income assessed core bursary of up to £2,000.

University of Nottingham Potential Bursary

These bursaries include support for students with financially dependent children or adults, or students who have been in care.


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our students are very successful at gaining employment after graduation. Many secure positions in local partnership schools. Some graduates go overseas to work as a teacher. 

Other graduates have gone on to work as counsellors, education advisers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

Successful completion of your PGCE will give you 60-masters level credits which can be used towards a masters degree in education at the University of Nottingham. Or you can use 30 credits against a selection of other MA courses. Find out more about using PGCE credits.

Career progression

As an Early Career Teacher teacher you'll begin on a minimum salary of £25,714, or £26,948 in inner London.

You complete two school placements over the duration of this course and will spend time in your first placement school from week one. The second school placement will start in January.

University tutors and school ITE leads work closely with you, and each other, throughout the year to support and challenge you to develop into the best teacher you can be. 

We have a very strong, collaborative partnership with the schools we work with.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" The university-based academic sessions provided a really good base knowledge of teaching before going to our placement schools and that continued throughout the year. What I found most helpful was the number of resources the sessions gave us to help us with our planning and teaching. "
Jonathan Green - Primary PGCE 2021/22

Related courses

This content was last updated on Tuesday 26 March 2024. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.