PGCE Primary Education PGCE

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Train as a Primary School teacher in just one year. Share your love of learning. Help young children get the very best start in life.

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The Primary Education PGCE will qualify you to teach at primary level in any state-maintained school in England and Wales.

This one year course blends theoretical knowledge with carefully supervised teaching experience. You will attend placements in a variety of school settings, to gain a broad understanding of the realities of primary level teaching.

If you are applying for the January intake, please use UCAS code 3FPC. If you applying for September, please use UCAS code X100.

Upcoming start dates
8 January 2020
14 September 2020

Why us?

  • ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • The starting salary of a newly qualified teacher is £22,000, and the average salary for a teacher is £37,400
  • We have partnerships with more than 200 schools
  • The University of Sunderland was ranked 12th in the Courses and Lecturers category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019

Course structure

In-school training is an important part of this course. During that time, you will benefit from practical learning and be supported by Mentors in school, University tutors and your peers.

You will be assessed throughout the course. Your subject knowledge will be monitored with subject audits. This will allow you to identify your strengths and areas of development, and then work with your Subject Specialist Tutors to action plan to improve your knowledge and confidence.

This course is a mixture of University-based learning and in-school training. By the end of the course you will have knowledge and experience of work in Primary Schools and settings.

University-based modules

  • Negotiated study (Foundation Subjects/Enrichment Subject (Level 7) (30 credits)
  • Development of Professional Learning: Case Study (Level 7) (30 credits)
  • Subject Studies (30 credits)
  • School Experience (30 credits)

Placements are an important part of this course. During that time, you will benefit from practical learning and be supported by school Mentors and University-based tutors.

Your progress will be assessed with written assignments, case studies, and assessments of your teaching practice.

This course is a mixture of University-based learning and in-school training. You will spend at least 120 days on placement in at least two educational settings. Our Primary PGCE Programme is unique in its design. In addition to Assessed Placements, we provide our students with additional Theory Linked Practice/Focus days in schools. We are committed to providing our trainees with the richest and broadest opportunities. These Focus days have been specially designed to enable students to research and experience practice in important aspects of education introduced in University sessions. These include days in the Early Years Foundation Stage, KS3/4; experience of Diversity and Inclusion in school, EAL and Special Educational Needs and Disability.


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

  • 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
  • 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.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for your course include:

    • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals
    • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
    Library Services - education
  • Map and directions


You'll be based at The David Goldman Informatics Centre, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. It’s a modern building with great views of the River Wear, and just a few minutes walk from the coast.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 2.40 from a Canadian bachelor's degree
  • GPA 2.5 from a USA bachelor's degree

in a subject related area.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with no less than 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in any other element.

All successful applicants will be interviewed.

All successful applicants will be required to:

Successfully complete the DfE Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course. It would be helpful, but not essential, to take the tests before your interview
Obtain a DBS Enhanced Disclosure
Complete a Medical pro forma

Fees and finance

2019/20 annual fees are:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU 
  • £11,500 if you are from outside the EU

2020/21 annual fees are:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU 
  • £12,000 if you are from outside the EU

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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


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.

School placements

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.

Meet the team

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