Primary school teacher engaging with child
Mode of Study
1 year full-time
Start Date
September 2022


If you have the ambition to enthuse and inspire young children who are just beginning their learning journey, this accredited Primary PGCE is perfect for you.

You'll learn to be an amazing teacher, who can engage your pupils, work productively with your colleagues, and keep improving your teaching practice throughout your career.

You'll be studying with expert practitioners and academic researchers in your university sessions, and with school-based mentors in your school placements. We'll offer you school placements in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, and give you a taste of teaching and learning outside mainstream primary education to broaden your knowledge of the sector.

When you graduate, you'll be eligible for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which qualifies you to teach in UK schools. You'll also be well placed for moving into school management roles, other training careers or any role that calls for creative communication and problem-solving skills. If you're interested in further study, you can earn level 7 credits on the course, which you can put towards a Master's degree in the future.

Entry requirements​

Qualifications or experience
  • A UK degree or equivalent (a minimum of 2:2 is desirable).
  • GCSE Mathematics, English language and a science subject at grade C (Grade 4) or above, or equivalent. 
    English language requirements
    • Applicants whose first language is not English, and who do not have GCSE English language at grade C (Grade 4) or above, require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component less than 6.0.

    If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

    Selection process
    • All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview.
    • All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.

    What you'll experience

    On this course, you'll:

    • Follow three interconnected streams – Curriculum Studies, Professional Studies and School Experience
    • Develop skills and knowledge in all three streams as you practise your lesson planning and delivery
    • Grown your teaching skills through practical activity and the study of theories and contemporary issues in education
    • Share your experience and learn from other students through lectures and seminars
    • Learn key teaching skills, including lesson planning, classroom management, and special needs and inclusion
    • Get work experience in a teaching placement, where you'll work closely with mentors and other school staff
    • Have the opportunity of a placement in an alternative educational setting, such as Pupil Referral Units, secondary or SEND schools, Early Years settings. Hospital schools or the educational departments in a museum, zoo or theme park.
    • Study topics including pedagogy and practice-based research, behaviour management, assessment and special education needs and inclusion
    • Have access to free student membership of the Chartered College of Teaching, where you'll find career guides, online resources and new teacher events.

    Careers and opportunities

    Once you graduate, you'll be ready to start your teaching career. Over 90% of Portsmouth PGCE graduates go into full-time teaching.

    Once you're an established teaching professional, you'll have opportunities for further career progression in roles including year head and subject leader.

    Professional accreditations

    Our PGCE degree course is a recognised qualification and once you graduate, you'll be eligible for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).


    You'll get at least 120 days placement in a school or educational setting.

    As well as gaining experience in different Primary settings, you'll have the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks placed outside this to gain a broader view of education, and develop skills that will improve your practice.

    We can also help you to identify placements, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

    When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your teaching skills to work.

    After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

    ​What you'll study


    Core modules include

    Core modules in this year include:

    • Development of the Professional Teacher – 30 credits
    • Pedagogy and Learning in a Primary Setting – 30 credits
    • Reflective Practice in Primary Teaching – 30 credits
    • The Professional Teacher – 30 credits

    There are no optional modules in this year.

    Changes to course content

    We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

    Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

    How you're assessed

    The assessments that you'll complete on this course are designed to ensure that you meet the Standards for Qualifying to Teach set out by the Department for Education.

    You'll be assessed through:

    • observation of the development of your teaching skills
    • formal assignments (including an oral presentation and a group poster project)
    • a reflective journal
    • an interview in which you'll demonstrate the evidence collected towards the standards including your subject knowledge

    You'll also produce a digital portfolio of evidence based on schoolwork, observations of teaching, tasks and assignments.


    Teaching methods on this course include:

    • work-based learning
    • supervised teaching practice
    • lectures
    • group participation
    • guided reading

    You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

    How you'll spend your time

    Our PGCE Primary lasts 39 weeks, between September and July. Approximately one quarter of your time will be spent in University-based sessions, and you'll spend the rest of your time on the course working in at least two of our partner schools.

    In 2021/22, we're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

    Supporting your learning

    Personal tutor and school-based mentors

    Your personal tutor is usually your PGCE course leader. They give you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

    You also get 2 school-based mentors when you’re on placement. Your professional mentor oversees your professional development and offer training and support on issues related to the Teachers’ Standards. Your subject mentor works with you day-to-day. They provide subject-specific feedback and support you with lesson planning and enhancing your knowledge of the subject you teach.

    Occupational health support

    You’ll get occupational health support for your physical, mental and social well-being when you’re on placement. If you need more specialist support, we can arrange a referral on your behalf to the Occupational Health Service.

    Learning development tutors

    You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

    They can help with:

    • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
    • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
    • understanding and using assignment feedback
    • managing your time and workload
    • revision and exam techniques

    Academic skills support

    As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

    ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

    • academic writing
    • note taking
    • time management
    • critical thinking
    • presentation skills
    • referencing
    • working in groups
    • revision, memory and exam techniques

    If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

    Library support

    Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

    The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

    ​Course costs and funding

    Tuition fees (2022 start) 

    • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250
    • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship
    • International students – £16,200

    Fees may be subject to annual increase.

    Funding your studies

    Find out more how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover. 

    If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

    Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 8 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

    We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

    If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


    Apply for a primary PGCE course through the Department of Education. You'll need the DfE training code X3X1.

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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