Primary Education with QTS PGCE

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Train as a teacher while continuing in your current job or placement in a school. Inspire young people and use your skills to give something back. Ensure every pupil gets access to a quality education and the opportunity to succeed.

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Overview

This part-time course can be studied over two years. Following a blended format, the course is taught online via Independent Distance Learning (IDL) with some focused on-campus learning sessions and classroom-based practice in school. The course is designed to fit around your commitments while leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The course covers the development of teaching and learning across all National Curriculum subjects and Professional Learning – including safeguarding, behaviour management and overcoming barriers to learning. You will complete Practice of Teaching modules where you will develop your theoretical understanding in practical situations in early years and/or primary classrooms to prepare you for achieving QTS. You will have the opportunity to specialise in the 3-7 year olds route or the 7-11 year olds route, leading to a PGCE in Primary Education with QTS.

This course is subject to review.

Why us?

  • ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in two years by studying part-time
  • The starting salary of a newly qualified teacher is £22,917, and the average salary for a teacher is £38,633
  • Accredited by the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL)
  • The University of Sunderland has partnerships with more than 200 schools
  • Graduate from a university which has been training teachers for over 100 years

Course structure

You will be taught through online and distance methods including lecture casts, chat rooms and blogs, face to face lectures and workshops, and online forums with personal tutors. You will also engage in work-based training through bespoke teaching placements. Assessment is through a range of methods including electronic assignment submissions, case studies, observations, presentations, and production and evaluation of learning resources.

You will be expected to study approximately 16 hours a week. You will spend two weekends on campus, one in Year 1 and one in Year 2. In order to be eligible for the award of PGCE with QTS, you must also spend a minimum of 120 days in school. 

Although you can complete your placement in the school you currently work in, as part of your training you will also need to spend part of the assessed placement in an alternate setting.

Prior to starting the course, you are required to carry out a five-day pre-programme placement, assisting and observing in a primary school of your own choice, with a focus on your elected route. This ensures that all students starting the course have recent and relevant experience in school settings, which will subsequently be built upon during lectures at the University and in the Teaching Practice that follows. During the pre-programme placement, you will complete a pre-placement handbook, which is used as a record of the tasks carried out and a starting point for discussion with your personal tutor.

Level 6 modules

  • Subject Studies (30 credits)

Learn subject knowledge in the core subjects in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum. This subject knowledge will inform planning, teaching learning and assessment across the subjects with the chosen specialist phase of primary education. You will complete subject knowledge audits in each subject area to identify your individual learning needs and action plan for subject knowledge development alongside subject tutors in order to meet professional standards for QTS.

Study pedagogical approaches and gain knowledge of what constitutes effective planning for children’s learning. Gain experience of subject planning which will be complemented by your learning in Negotiated Curriculum Study in Education which will focus on cross curricular and creative pedagogies. Apply this subject knowledge to planning during your Teaching Practice.

  • Practice of Teaching (30 credits)

You will be immersed in teaching institutions to develop your professional knowledge about teaching and learning and to make judgements about the routines, skills and strategies that support effective teaching. You will be provided with a variety of experience in your specialist phase in a work-based learning environment to meet professional teachers’ standards identified in government legislation current at the time of study, consistently and over a sustained period of time.

  • Development of Learning: A Case Study (30 credits)

Gain an insight into the nature of teaching and learning generically and within the educational context. Reflect on your current knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning and to continue to develop these through observation in your placement, reading and investigation, analysis, and discussion. Cover the areas of behaviour management, safeguarding, planning and assessment.

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Level 7 modules

  • Subject Studies (30 credits)

Learn subject knowledge in the core subjects in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum. This subject knowledge will inform planning, teaching learning and assessment across the subjects with the chosen specialist phase of primary education. You will complete subject knowledge audits in each subject area to identify your individual learning needs and action plan for subject knowledge development alongside subject tutors in order to meet professional standards for QTS.

Study pedagogical approaches and gain knowledge of what constitutes effective planning for children’s learning. Gain experience of subject planning which will be complemented by your learning in Negotiated Curriculum Study in Education which will focus on cross curricular and creative pedagogies. Apply this subject knowledge to planning during your Teaching Practice.

  • Practice of Teaching (30 credits)

You will be immersed in teaching institutions to develop your professional knowledge about teaching and learning and to make judgements about the routines, skills and strategies that support effective teaching. You will be provided with a variety of experience in your specialist phase in a work-based learning environment to meet professional teachers’ standards identified in government legislation current at the time of study, consistently and over a sustained period of time.

  • Negotiated Curriculum Study in Education (30 credits)

Structure and undertake a piece of independent academic study related to your particular enhancement choice and primary phase. Engage in intellectual challenge and dialogue. Develop both general and specific knowledge and skills, which will vary according to your chosen project. Study foundation subjects within the National Curriculum while studying this module. Negotiate and agree a project with your supervising university tutor. Identify and develop key skills that will enhance your ability to transfer learning to further study and to the workplace.

The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912323,-1.373368

  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • As a distance-learning student, you'll be able to remotely access online journals, articles and e-books.

    The library team offer real-time online help through ‘Live Chat’ at various periods throughout the day, and they also offer online tutorials to help you make the most of our electronic resources.

    Library Services - distance learning
  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful for this PGCE degree include:

    • Early English Books Online, which provides digital images of virtually every work printed in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and British North America during 1473-1800
    • Periodicals Archive Online, which provides digitised literary journals
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
    • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
    • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals
    Library Services - secondary education

Facilities

To study this course, you must have access to a computer with internet access. The two on-campus weekends will be taught in lecture theatres and teaching classrooms at Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's.

Entry requirements

You will usually need a 2:2 (or above) honours degree from a UK Higher Education institution or an equivalent qualification and be deemed suitable to train to teach by the School of Education at the University of Sunderland. 

You must have a 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. We will only accept equivalencies from equivalencytesting.com.

In addition to academic qualifications, you must also:

  • Have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Complete a medical pro forma (based on DFEE Circular 8/92)
  • Have passed the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy, set by the Department for Education (DfE). In accordance with the requirements of the DfE, these need to be completed before you can fully enrol onto any course of Initial Teacher Training in England and Wales. Although it is not a requirement to have passed these prior to applying for this course, it is helpful if you are able to take the tests prior to attending an interview with us
  • 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.
  • Secure your own placement. A completed placement form will be a condition of the offer. All placements must be in England or Wales.  

You may have work experience in a mainstream primary school to gain knowledge of Key Stage 1 and 2, but this is not essential. You will be assessed on your potential to learn and not your experience.

All successful applicants will be invited to an interview. Interviews start early November, so we recommend that you apply as soon as UCAS opens, in October.

Please note, applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at level 6 (HE level 3) in order to attain an equivalent single qualification.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £5,000.

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.

PGCE Education (International)

Employment

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 £22,917, and experienced teachers can earn up to £59,857 outside London, and £67,305 in London. Head teachers can reach a salary of between £44,544 and £109,366.

Rewarding teaching

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.

 

  • The support from lecturers is amazing, they are very motivated and want their students to do well.
    Rebecca Edwards Small

    Rebecca Edwards

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