Skip to main content
St Mary's University

Primary PGCE

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time)

The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Create exciting learning environments with our hands-on Primary PGCE.

Learn to teach students aged five to 11 with our intensive Primary PGCE. You will train through professional experience and reflective practice.

Our primary teacher training course reflects all elements of the Department for Education (DfE) Core Content Framework (CCF).

“Outstanding” teacher training

We are a top teacher training provider and are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. We are highly thought of in the local area and 98% of our students are employed or in further study within six months of graduating.

Gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

You will gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 master’s degree credits through school placements. QTS is required to teach in all state-maintained schools in England. Your PGCE also qualifies you to teach abroad.

Specialise in PE

We offer a specialist pathway in PE. This route suits teacher trainees seeking a deeper comprehension of teaching within primary PE.

Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS)

If you intend to teach in Roman Catholic and other Christian schools, you can complete our Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS). This is a requirement for those seeking a leadership position in Catholic schools.

Exceptional teaching and support

You will learn from creative, reflective, and dynamic practitioners. Our student, Elisha, tells us their lecturers were “always there to help with personal progress and learning”.

Flexible learning

You can complete our Primary PGCE on a part-time or full-time basis. In fact, we’re the only university to offer this course part-time, allowing you a unique opportunity to study around your commitments.

You can also study in North Wales. We’re partnered with Wrexham Glyndŵr, who offer teaching experiences in both English and Welsh schools.

Vicky Wiley

Programme Lead - PGCE Primary

View profile

Upcoming webinars and events


Postgraduate events

Join us at a postgraduate event

Open Days

Course content


If you are a part-time student starting in April, please check out our reading list.

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

We are committed to recruiting trainee teachers who have the 'ability to work in a way that promotes the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.' The interview process will cover the suitability of applicants to work with children and young people.

Applicants should have (or be working towards) a Bachelors degree, preferably with a 2:2 or above.

You will need to have two out of the three highlighted GCSE in place at application.

One of the three highlighted GCSEs can be missing/pending at application but must be confirmed at the appropriate level before the course starts.


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

GCSEs (and equivalents)

A minimum of level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) in GCSE English, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent). GCSE equivalents are offered by St Mary's University.

For all 2023 Primary PGCE programmes (PGCE Primary General, PGCE Primary with PE Specialism and PGCE Primary part time) - two of the three GCSEs required for primary teacher training must be held at the point of application. Only one equivalence test will be accepted. Applicants must hold two full GCSE qualifications.

The Irish equivalent to GCSE is the Irish Leaving Certificate. In order to qualify to apply for the PGCE Primary programme you must already have a C grade or above (at Ordinary level) or a D grade or above (at Higher level) in all three subjects. The Science subject studied must be Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Home Economics and Agricultural Science at Leaving Certificate level are not accepted.

International students must have a ‘pass’ in their high school or senior school examination in these subjects and evidence of this needs to be submitted to the University for approval.

School observation

At St Mary's, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning can be really insightful and informative.

DBS check

Successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach and a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role are required.

Irish applicants

Make sure to check our information for candidates applying from Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Writing ability

The course is fast paced, and trainees need to come in ready to write at postgraduate (master’s) level. PGCE is awarded on receipt of 60 master’s credits. The first M level assignment is due at the end of October. A high standard of basic writing is required. ECs are not automatically given for students with a learning disability so this should be flagged at interview in order they can be signposted for additional support early on.


Trainees are required to undertake 120 days minimum in primary schools to gain PGCE with QTS. One placement must be carried out in KS1 (5-7 year olds) and one in KS2 (7-11 year olds).  Each placement must be at a different school. Placements are within one hour’s travel of the trainee’s term-time address.  We welcome trainees sourcing their first placement before joining us. All school placements must be completed successfully before proceeding to the next

ECT (Early Career Teacher) Induction

Qualifying with a PGCE entitles you to begin your induction as an early career teacher (ECT) or newly qualified teacher (NQT). The induction period is two years in England and one year in other countries of the UK and in Ireland.  You are advised to check specific induction arrangements with the teaching council for the country you intend to work in once you have completed your PGCE for up-to-date information prior to starting the course.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding






Funding Information

If you are a Home student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount is based on the highest previous qualification that you have attained to date.

Information about financing your studies can be found within the Fees & Funding section.

If you are an alumnus of Royal Holloway, you are eligible for a 10% discount on tuition fees.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding.  International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

Assessment is ongoing and assessed against the Teachers’ Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and active participation are essential parts of the course requirements. DfE requirements are that you spend a minimum of 120 days in school as part of your post-graduate teacher training. Our course starts at the beginning of September and concludes at the start of July each year and late starts to the programme cannot be considered, since the course is fast-paced. An award of PGCE is given on successful completion of:

  • two master’s assignments (graded at 50% or above)
  • subject knowledge audits for English, maths, and science
  • a core curriculum assignment (marked at Level 6)
  • a broader curriculum assignment (marked at Level 6)
  • a portfolio of evidence (assessed against the Teachers’ Standards)
  • successful completion of all three school experiences
  • successful demonstration of the fundamental skills for teaching throughout the course.

If you successfully complete all aspects but with only one pass at master’s level, you will be awarded the exit award of PfCE (Professional Certificate in Education). This award also confers the award of QTS.

If no passes are obtained at master’s level, but you successfully pass all other aspects including school experience, the award of QTS will be conferred.

Career opportunities

You will prepare for a career in primary education. You will also develop essential transferrable skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and creative problem-solving.

Contact our Career Services at for further information on jobs and postgraduate opportunities.

Apply now

More from St Mary's


Postgraduate events

We have a range of webinars and events to help you decide whether St Mary's is the place for you.


Student life

Discover what life is like on our London campus.

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.

Book your place now