As most teachers will tell you, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at work. That’s because no two days are the same. It’s also a career that offers great benefits and opportunities for you to use a wide range of skills and inspire students to learn.
PGCE Primary Education (via Independent Distance Learning with QTS) will qualify you to teach at primary level in any state-maintained school in England and Wales.
This one-year course blends theoretical knowledge through online delivery with carefully supervised teaching experience. The course will prepare you for further postgraduate study or specifically progression to Stage 2 of MA Education, also available as a distance learning course.
The course is split into two semesters and has four core modules – one taught module, two research modules, and one teaching practice module.
We use a wide variety of teaching methods including required reading, directed activities and self-assessments.
You are invited to join online discussion forums to debate current issues relevant to the module content. We also encourage you to form study groups where convenient.
Teaching practice is work-based and conducted entirely in a school or other educational institution that you have secured a placement at or are currently working at. This is supported by a school-based mentor and university staff.
We assess both the theoretical and practical elements of the course. You will be assessed through written assignments, a profile of evidence of teaching standards and observed teaching.
Investigate the content of your specific subject. Formulate skillful questioning which reveals levels of student understanding. Explore ways of motivating students including the provision of a challenging curriculum designed to foster their problem solving abilities. Set homework or home-based activities that are challenging, consolidate work already completed and encourage students to take responsibility for their own academic progress.
Immerse yourself in teaching institutions to develop professional knowledge about teaching and learn to make judgments about the routines, skills and strategies that support effective teaching. Gain experience in a work-based learning environment to meet professional Teachers’ Standards identified in Government legislation.
The assessed placement is divided into two blocks of six weeks of teaching practice. QTS will be recommended at the end of the course.
Identify the ways in which your placement addresses the educational needs of a particular small group of individual students and which shows how learning is developed over a short period of time, or what could be done to enhance its development in the future. Engage with, and critically evaluate, teaching and learning.
Structure and undertake a piece of independent academic study related to your particular vocational/professional development, which will encourage you to engage in intellectual challenge and dialogue. Develop both general and subject-specific knowledge and skills, negotiated and agreed between you, your subject supervisor and supervising University tutor. Identify and develop key skills that will enhance your ability to transfer learning to further study and to the workplace. Present your research proposal and a final written account of your learning.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
You will usually need a good honours degree (at least a 2:2). You should also have GCSE grade C or above in Mathematics, Science, and English Language, or equivalent qualifications. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
In addition to academic qualifications, you must also:
If English is not your first language, you will also need International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 6.5, with at least 6.5 in writing, and no section below 6.0.
We strongly encourage you to have at least two weeks’ work experience in a mainstream primary school to gain knowledge of the Early Years Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
All successful applicants will be invited in for an interview. Interviews start mid to late November, so we recommend that you apply as soon as UCAS opens, in October.
The annual fee for this course is tbc.
Please note, this course is not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This degree awards Qualified Teacher Status, which means that when you graduate you’ll be qualified to teach in any state-maintained primary school in England and Wales. Most graduates from this course go on to teach in primary schools.
Good teachers are always in high demand. The average starting salary for a teacher is £22,000, and experienced teachers can earn up to £56,000 outside London, and £64,000 in London. Head teachers can reach a salary of between £42,379 and £112,000.
The University of Sunderland has partnerships with over 200 schools, in 12 local authorities. We’ll work with you to find you the perfect placements - schools that can nurture and support your aspirations and interests, and help you become the best primary teacher you can be.
You will earn a competitive salary and have access to a wealth of other benefits – from a generous pension to up to 13 weeks of holiday allowance so you can look forward to a career that is both personally and financially rewarding.
Announcing the University of Sunderland School of Medicine