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X6K114 Education (Primary) PGCE Postgraduate Taught  2016


UCAS code XR11
Degree PGCE
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year
Start Date September 2016
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 8409

Course Content


The PGCE Primary provides a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the Department for Education. It will equip you to become a primary school teacher (ages 5-11) and will provide training for Key Stages One and Two. Successful completion of the course will provide you with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), awarded by DfE and a PGCE (awarded by Durham University). Credits achieved during the PGCE year can also equate to the first year of Durham's MA in Education

In addressing the government's standards for QTS, the School of Education seeks to promote the notion of primary school teachers as reflective practitioners who are confident in their ability to teach all subjects in the primary curriculum, and able to articulate their beliefs about what constitutes effective pedagogy. PGCE should be viewed as the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development.

The course aims to provide you with professional and academic training in preparation of your role as a primary teacher. Underpinning the course is a belief that successful teachers need to understand how children learn and that this is best achieved through a combination of theory, practice and reflection.

The Durham PGCE Primary Course has been developed in partnership with schools, and offers a strong practical element, with student teachers spending a substantial part of the year (around 20 weeks) in school. Students on the course have opportunities to develop an understanding of the values and issues which underpin education and are encouraged to develop and articulate their own beliefs. The responsibility for training is shared between schools and the University, which together provide a supportive professional environment in which you can develop your knowledge, skills, understanding and expertise. 

Course Learning and Teaching

The Primary PGCE is designed to take around 1500 hours of student work, comprising:

  • Readings and preparation for teaching in school
  • Teaching in schools
  • Teaching time in lectures and workshops
  • Professional studies days
  • Teaching and learning conference
  • Follow-up readings after the taught element
  • Independent study
  • Assignment work.

There are approximately 350 hours of university-based contact teaching time in all.

In addition the supervised Directed Study module offers group and one-to-one contact time - students are assigned individual supervisors from within the School of Education staff who assist with devising a suitable topic for study.

Academic support for the student is available via all of the following forms of contact:

  • Formal workshops as part of the taught element of the course
  • Additional, optional workshops to help students address aspects of subject knowledge such as English grammar and mathematics
  • Email and telephone: students are encouraged to contact tutors with specific queries
  • Group emails: these are sent via Duo (the virtual learning environment) to keep students informed of developments and to answer common queries
  • Personal contact: staff are available for individual consultation when not teaching or attending meetings.

In addition, all students will be assigned a School Training Centre Coordinator who will provide workshops, support with teaching and guidance on teaching practice. University partnership tutors will also provide support for students before, during and after school placements.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

Applicants must possess or expect to achieve a degree; please see department web pages for subject specific requirements. Applicants must also hold GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics; Primary applicants require a science subject at grade C or above as well. 

Applicants must also:

  • Pass professional QTS Skills Tests
  • Undertake at least ten days of work experience in a UK mainstream school environment within the past three years.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

Requirements and Admissions

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,000.00
Home Student £9,000.00
Island Student £9,000.00
International non-EU Student £16,500.00

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

School of Education

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.

For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please view our department web pages

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Department Information

School of Education


The School of Education is one of the leading departments for education in the UK. We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff, and nearly 700 postgraduate students (including our PGCE students, both primary and secondary).

We are also supported by a large number of partners from schools and colleges. We have strong international links welcoming international students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from all over the world. We are committed to research which engages with and has an impact upon practice and policy as well as influencing the wider research community to develop educational practice, education policy and future educational research.


Ranked joint 5th in the UK for World-Leading research and joint 1st for World-Leading research impact in REF 2014.