University College Birmingham
Primary (3-7) (X121)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020

About the course

This course is focussed on the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 for teaching children aged between three and seven. The three to seven pathway will comprise two school placements in either Nursery or Reception, Year one or Year two. All aspects of understanding children's learning and development will be studied in order to prepare students to become a teacher in the primary age phase or foundation stage. This pathway leads to Qualified Teacher Status and enables teachers to work in any year group across the Primary age range.

During the year, students will cover the full range of knowledge and skills necessary to meet the QTS standards in a carefully structured programme consisting of three modules:

Professional Issues and Themes in Education. This reviews the legislative framework in which a teacher works. It also explores the particular management skills which teachers use. Equality of access is studied together with working with parents. This module also gives an opportunity to review contemporary issues in teaching.

The Evolving Creative Curriculum. This includes the curriculum theory of Key Stage 1 and 2 and assessment and record keeping.

Pedagogical Principles for Teaching and Learning. This covers the theory and practice of teaching and learning in depth. Additionally students will critically observe and evaluate classroom practice in the light of their learning. Effective practice in the management of behaviour will be reviewed.

Running throughout the three modules are our three specialist themes focusing on managing behaviour, understanding and developing strategies to work with children who have a range of special educational needs and/or disabilities, and working with children who use English as an additional language.

Students will be continuously assessed while on the programme through coursework, written assignments and practical performance in the schools. In order to become a qualified teacher students will need to satisfy all the standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.

Assignments need to be completed to cover the PGCE course and these link clearly with the placement programme. A Professional Development Journal (PDJ) will enable students to keep evidence of their progress against the QTS standards.

Interview process

For those making it through the initial online selection process there will be a Mathematics and English capability audit followed by a performance evidence assessment carried out in a placement school.

This will be followed by a presentation interview after which the evidence from the above selection procedures will be considered.

Full details of these procedures will be sent to applicants who have progressed successfully to this stage.

  • Student feedback from 2018

"The teaching staff and the programme as a whole as well as the support staff are absolutely amazing! I was very impressed by the information evening and all the effort that had gone into that day, it lacked nothing. The programme leader in particular, was especially lovely and very informative and full of enthusiasm for the programme. I would not hesitate to recommend it."

How school placements work

Students will spend a minimum of 120 days within our partnership schools, working alongside our trained work-based tutors who will help build confidence, enabling students to gradually take responsibility for whole teaching groups. University tutors and professional mentors will observe you usually between seven and eight times in each placement.

This is a key element of the course and is superbly summed up by former student RusKhsar Ijaz who is now a Year 1 teacher. She explained: “The best part of the course was the school placements. These took place in a variety of different schools in different areas around the West Midlands.

You were also placed at different key stages and this really helps you to identify where you would like to specialise.”

And another former UCB student Sofia Khan added: “The best part of the course was the quality of the placements which gave me invaluable experience, confidence and preparation for my current teaching role.”

The placements are taken in two blocks - eight weeks in the autumn term and 10 weeks in the summer term. There is also a SEND school placement for two weeks.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
  • PGCE+

Students who complete a UCB PGCE and wish to complete a further 60 credits to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Learning can do so for a further payment cost of £500.

Additionally a £500 discount is applied if the PGCE fee is paid in full by 5 October 2019

Financial support

You may be eligible for a loan while you study.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Financial support from the training provider

  • The Kick Start Scheme

For new PGCE students starting in September 2019, University College Birmingham will provide financial support in the form of the ‘The Kick-Start Scheme’. Eligible students will receive credit of up to £800, which can be used on a dedicated website to purchase course-related materials or on certain items within UCB. The great news is, these funds don't need to be paid back!



Degree: You will need a degree with a grade of 2.2 or above in a discipline of Early Childhood Studies, Childhood Studies, Education Studies, Psychology, Sociology, English, Mathematics, Dance, Drama, Performing Art, Sports or similar.

GCSE at grade C/4 or above (or its equivalent) in

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subject (BTEC Level 2 science is also accepted at Merit)
  • Pass the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests

International qualifications are also accepted, they must be recognised by NARIC as equivalent and meet the requirement for the NCTL

Other requirements

  • DBS

Students must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) before starting this course.

  • Work Experience

Work Experience: You will also need to have experience of working with children through placements or voluntary or paid work in schools.

About the training provider

We are a small, friendly School of Education and Community within University College Birmingham, situated right in the heart of the UK's second largest city. More than 300 students study on our higher education courses in Early Years/ Childhood Studies and 95% of our newly-qualified teachers are employed in a teaching role within six months.

We enjoy an excellent reputation for supporting students thanks to a team of highly experienced full-time lecturers who draw on their practical knowledge of working in the early years sector. Staff are a key resource to help your successful progression through the course.

Additionally we have worked closely for many years with local schools and other providers to train those who work within the primary sector. Key senior staff from these establishments have helped us put together the year's training. This important factor ensures the courses have been written to meet the needs of schools and will improve employability within this sector.

Besides achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) graduates will also work for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which is accredited by the University of Birmingham. The work for your PGCE is integrated within the QTS programme.

The course particularly focuses on three separate themes:

  • Managing Behaviour
  • Working with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
  • Working with children who use English as an additional language (EAL)

Training with disabilities and other needs

We urge students to tell us about their disabilities or other needs so that we can put a support package in place. That help begins even before the course starts as we provide orientation support aimed at helping students get used to the UCB environment and finding their way around during induction sessions and taster days. We also provide mobility training for blind or partially-sighted people.

The help continues once the studies begin whether in the form of lecture notes and handouts provided in an alternative format, support workers or the loan of digital recorders to record lectures. We can also help manage the workload of studying with one-to-one mentor support sessions for students with autistic spectrum conditions, providing specialist equipment and software to enable independent learning and arranging alternative methods of assessment.

When it comes to exams we can arrange for a number of solutions to help students from having extra time or rest/nutrition breaks to providing exam papers in alternative formats.

UCB is committed to try and provide access for everyone to our facilities and our website now has a clear description of our premises which was carried out by an independent agency, DisabledGo.

Also. our Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is committed to helping students access the most appropriate support and information.

Contact details

0121 604 1040
University College Birmingham
Summer Row
West Midlands
B3 1JB


Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.

Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.

When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:

  • Training provider code: B35
  • Training programme code: X121

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Yes -

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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