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Primary PGCE with QTS

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time)

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

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

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's (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). QTS is required to teach in all state-maintained schools in England. Your PGCE also qualifies you to teach abroad. 

Master’s credits

You will complete two master’s modules, which will enable you to gain 60 credits at master’s level.

PE specialism option

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. St Mary’s is one of the only universities 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

Vicky Wiley

Subject Lead - PGCE Primary

Upcoming Event

St Mary's University logo

PGCE Primary and Secondary open talk - 26th June

Wednesday 26th June 2024, 09:00AM

Course content


Course content is carefully designed to meet the requirements of the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (ITTCCF) and is underpinned by research-informed practice.

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.

St Mary's is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and nurturing an inclusive and diverse student population. As such, we welcome applications from all those interested in pursuing an academic programme of study. Throughout the application process and while a student is enrolled at St Mary's, we will ensure that individuals will not be discriminated against based on any of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

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 GCSEs specified below 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

Admission is conditional on receipt of a successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach check and a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance form check with barred lists. This check shows whether the applicants are on the list of people barred from doing the role 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


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). The induction period is two years in England. However, you are advised to check specific induction requirements for the country you intend work in once you have completed your PGCE.  

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





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.


You can check on the UK government website to see if you may be eligible for a loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate programme.

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


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