University College Birmingham PGCE

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University College Birmingham PGCE

If you would like to study for a PGCE and have less than three years of experience working with children, UCB’s PGCE Primary QTS course will provide you with the necessary skills to teach in a primary school environment.

There are two pathways available on this course. If you would like to teach 3-7 year olds, you will focus your studies on the Foundation Stage (pre-school) and Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2). If you would like to teach 5-11 year olds, you will focus on Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (years 3 to 6).

These course pathways will concentrate on themes related to primary education that address key government priorities such as curriculum management, working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and working with children who use English as an Additional Language (EAL).

On completion of this course, you will be a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and will have the knowledge, skills and training to work in a mainstream school or in a school for children with special needs.

Why should I choose this course?

  • Past students rate it very highly, commenting that the content is intellectually stimulating and the teaching methods are very effective.
  • You will develop your professional career in education as you specialise in the rewarding area of teaching and learning and receive high quality support from your lecturers.
  • You will increase your career prospects and employment opportunities through working in one of our partnership schools.
  • You will be able to efficiently manage a curriculum, how to deal with a range of professional issues and critically evaluate the principles of teaching.
  • By studying both the theoretical and practical elements of teaching, you will develop a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to teach in a primary school environment.


Professional Issues and Themes in Education
This module will provide you with the professional skills, knowledge and understanding needed to support your role as a qualified teacher within the sector. You will examine themes including special needs, positive behaviour management and children for whom English is an additional language.

Pedagogical Principles for Teaching and Learning

You will explore the theoretical practice of teaching and learning in-depth, developing your ability to critically evaluate the practicalities of teaching. You will reflect on your own classroom experiences in order to gain a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to teach in a primary school environment.

The Evolving Creative Curriculum

You will be encouraged to reflect and build upon your current knowledge and understand the essential skills to organise, manage and teach all aspects of the primary curriculum in the Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2. You will look at curriculum in context from historical and sociological standpoints whilst also considering child development.

Entry requirements

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.

You need to have a GCSE at grade C or above (or its equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject and pass a skill test in English and maths.

You will also need to have experience of working with children though placements or voluntary or paid work in schools.

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

Professional skills test

Trainees starting an initial teacher training (ITT) course from September 2015 will be required to pass the professional skills tests before starting their course. Once you have submitted your application to us, you will need to arrange to take and have passed the tests before we can select you for interview.

If you would like to speak to someone about the skills tests, contact the Professional Skills Tests candidate help desk. The helpdesk can be reached on 0845 450 8867, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Alternatively email any queries to

Applying for the professional skills test

It’s important that you are equipped with the right information before booking, and bring with you the right documents when attending the skills test centres. Any candidates that do not follow the below process will be turned away, and may lose their first free attempt at taking the skills tests.

Booking the skills test:

You can book your skills test once you have submitted your application through UCAS Teacher Training. You can book in advance of this as long as an application is submitted before you attend the test centre.

What you need to bring:

Two forms of identification – a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID this can be for example a debit card. More information can be found on the STA website.

You’ll also need to bring proof of your teacher training application. Evidence that will be accepted:

  • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training
  • correspondence from your school or university
  • a copy of a completed UCAS Teacher Training application form
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university

For more information please visit the STA website or the Get into Teaching website.