PGCE Primary

Find out more about our Primary PGCE programme.

Every year, we train 150 new primary school teachers on our PGCE programmes. Our Primary PGCE has been running for 60 years and schools tell us we are developing the kind of teachers they want to employ.

The course offers you both campus-based sessions, which will ground you in the principles of good teaching practice, and school-based work, which will give you the chance to apply your knowledge and experience a wide range of classroom situations.

Aims of the Course

The PGCE Primary course aims to:

  • Prepare you to teach across the full range of the Primary Curriculum.
  • Introduce you to the wider context of teaching. The course will cover issues such as responding to diversity in school and the inclusion of Special Needs Education.
  • Equip you with classroom management and planning skills.
  • Support you in taking increased responsibilty for your own professional development.
  • Provide a range of specialist options. In addition to the Mathematics and French specialisms indicated below, other available options are likely to include Early Years, Inclusion, Science, Computing and English.
  • Provide a variety of placements in schools of contrasting character and location.
  • Enable you to meet the required professional standards for Qualified Teachers Status (QTS).

Structure of the Course

Within our Primary PGCE we offer four different routes:

  • Age 3-7: Lower Primary (X124) covering FS and KS1
  • Age 5-11: Upper Primary (X174) covering KS1 and KS2
  • Age 5-11: Primary with Mathematics (X00G) covering KS1 and KS2
  • Age 5-11: Primary with French (X4R1) covering KS1 and KS2

The majority of taught sessions are arranged to allow students from all these routes to benefit from working together. However, where appropriate, some sessions are taught in age-phase groups (e.g. Lower Primary and Upper Primary). There are also specialist study groups for all students. It is important that everyone applying to follow our Primary PGCE understands that KS1 is a key component of the training for all students, whichever route they choose.

Alongside our Lower Primary and Upper Primary routes we offer two routes that are for generalist primary, but with specialisms in French or Mathematics.

Primary with French

The Primary with French route is a generalist primary route with a specialism in French. Students on this route will follow the majority of the course alongside students on our other PGCE routes but will also develop specific expertise in the teaching of French in primary schools. Applicants should ideally hold a degree in French (or have learned French to an equivalent level by other means), or a degree subject with elements of French within it. As an absolute minimum applicants would be expected to have an A Level (or equivalent) in French, with further evidence of experience of using conversational French.

Primary with Mathematics

The Primary with Mathematics route is a generalist primary route with a specialism in Mathematics. Students on this route will follow the majority of the course alongside students on our other PGCE routes but will also develop expertise in the teaching of Primary Mathematics with a view to potentially becoming subject leaders of mathematics in school after they qualify. Applicants should have an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics, have a secure grounding in the subject and ideally have studied the subject beyond GCSE e.g. have an A Level (or equivalent) in Mathematics, have a degree in Mathematics, or a degree subject with elements of Mathematics within it. However we also welcome applications from anyone who has a strength in mathematics but who doesn't necessarily have these qualifications.

The PGCE Primary course is organised into the three School Placements and the following three taught strands:

  • Primary Professional Strand
  • Curriculum Strand
  • Specialist Studies Strand


All successful students at the University of Leicester will attain a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status qualification. Embedded within the teacher training course are two distinctive programmes:

  • The Masters level programme
    Open to all students and requiring successful completion of the appropriate readings/assignment work for the M-level programme. This programme will lead to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education and QTS, plus 60 credits which can be put towards a full Masters qualification (you will need 180 credits to complete a Masters).
  • The Professional level programme
    Open to any students who do not complete the above assignments successfully and leading to the award of Professional Graduate Certificate of Education and QTS.

We use continuous assessment throughout the course and there are no exams set by the University, whichever programme you follow.

Not sure which PGCE route is right for you? Have a look at our Routes into Teaching pages to find out more about PGCE, School Direct and SCITT routes.

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Talk to our PGCE advisers

For more information about Routes into Teaching and events, contact our PGCE team:

Primary Team:
0116 252 3677 or 3687

Secondary Team:
0116 252 3676 or 3689

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