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Primary PGCE (Wrexham Glyndŵr University)

St Mary's has been recognised as one of the highest quality providers of training for primary teachers in the country. Our courses are excellent preparation for a career in teaching. St Mary’s have franchised this successful programme to enable students to study at Wrexham Glyndŵr University in North East Wales.

Previous degree required: 2:2

Duration: 12 months

Distance/blended learning available? No

Tier 4 visa: Yes

Staff Contact:
Karen Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer,  Email | 01978 293329

Why study Primary?

We aim to teach and learn alongside creative, reflective and dynamic practitioners who are committed to teaching children. The programme encourages you to increase your understanding of teaching and learning processes in order to develop and maintain the high levels of enthusiasm, ability and passion necessary within the teaching profession.

At St Mary's, we look for those who wish to learn from challenges and seek a higher capacity to know more. In line with the University Mission Statement, the programme seeks to prepare teachers for schools at home and abroad including for those intending to teach in Roman Catholic and other Christian schools.

Why St Mary’s at WGU?

The Primary PGCE programme provides an intense training experience that combines academic rigour with personal and professional learning experiences. The training is designed to meet the needs of each trainee to support and develop the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to start a teaching career.

In preparation for your teaching role, you will be trained across the 5-11 age range, developing knowledge and practice to support your development of:

  • Critical understanding of educational theory

  • Reflective practice linked to professional standards

  • Practitioner research and a wide range of educational issues to understand the unique characteristics of children and their learning needs

  • Subject-specific knowledge and creative ways to enthuse and educate children.

Our Primary and Secondary Initial Education courses have been judged by Ofsted, the government department that regulates teacher training, to be ‘outstanding’ - the highest grade attainable in an Ofsted inspection. The courses were deemed to be outstanding for both ‘overall effectiveness’ and the ‘capacity for further improvement and/or sustaining overall quality.’

Primary PGCE UCAS code:
Full-time: 3D75 Campus Code G

Teaching methods

The University-based aspect of the programme comprises curriculum subjects and the wider professional role of the teacher. We aim to develop the pedagogical and practical skills necessary to be an outstanding teacher, as well enhancing subject knowledge.

You will leave the St Mary’s programme at WGU having met the requirements to teach. If this is not achieved, further support and time in school will be required. On the programme you will study two Master's modules leading to 60 credits at postgraduate level. You will have the opportunity to further your postgraduate studies in your career as these credits are transferable.

Assessment methods

Assessments are used to ensure you understand and can apply the knowledge gained while on the course - both in schools and on campus. This is done through a range of methods:

  • Self-assessment

  • Audit of subject knowledge for maths, English and science

  • Presentations

  • Micro-teaching

  • Posters

  • Essays

  • Practical sessions

Assessment is ongoing and tracked against the Teachers' Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements. Assessment is ongoing while on school placements.

School Placements

You will spend 120 days in school and this is organised and co-ordinated by the Wrexham Glyndŵr University Placement Learning Unit, in partnership with our schools. You are supported through this element of the course by the school and link tutors.

Wrexham Glyndŵr University are partners with over 160 schools in England and Wales that support our training programme. During your placements, you will be guided from working with small groups of pupils alongside a class teacher towards taking responsibility for whole class teaching.

The enhancement period - a four-week placement of your choice - could be an SEND, Secondary, Welsh medium, or early years setting in England or Wales. This is a self-assessed placement and is measured against the targets set by you and your Academic Tutor from your first school experience. This is an opportunity to work in schools or educational settings to further enhance your skills in a variety of ways and incorporate one or more of the Standards for Teachers 2012.

Key facts

  • 98% of our 2016/17 Primary PGCE graduates were in employment within six months (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, HESA)

  • Rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted

  • Excellent school partnerships

  • Excellent Teaching and Learning

Open events

See the campus for yourself at our next open evening or speak to us over a cup of coffee at one of our drop-in every Wednesday evening between 4.00pm and 6.00pm in The Study at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

Book onto one of our events now

Additional requirements

Previous degree: 2:2
National Skills Tests must be completed prior to starting the course.

GCSEs (and equivalents)
A minimum of grade C in GCSE English, Mathematics and Science.  GCSE equivalents are offered by St Mary's University.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.

Skills tests

The Department for Education has announced that applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses from April 2020 will no longer need to take Skills Tests in numeracy and English. The responsibility for assuring trainee teachers have met an appropriate level of skill in these important areas has been passed to the ITT provider. 

At St  Mary's University we therefore require, that by the end of your teacher training programme, you can demonstrate you are competent in English and mathematics.  For St Mary's to be assured of this, and as part of the recommendation for QTS, you will be able to seek guidance in developing these fundamental skills as required.

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 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are also required.Did you know, it now costs just £1 to apply for a PGCE via UCAS? The Department for Education is paying £23 towards the application fee until the end of July 2018, so apply as soon as possible to benefit from it.

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 6.0 in any section (or equivalent).

The website includes a  'Get into teaching' guide for overseas students.

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Course content

Modules include:

  • Building a Broad Curriculum
  • English
  • From Values to Vocation
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Professional Studies
  • Religious Education
  • School Experience One and Enhancement Placement
  • School Experience Two
  • Science
  • The Emergent Teacher as Reflective Practitioner

 More details about modules can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the Programme Specification document (PDF)for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

A career in teaching offers the same rewards that you would expect from a graduate position with good salaries and opportunities for career progression. The opportunities, however, to inspire, educate and teach future generations of children are unlike any other graduate job!

Graduates from the PGCE are in great demand in teaching posts throughout the UK. Of the 2016/17 Primary PGCE graduates, over 100% of trainees were in employment within six months (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, HESA).

The WGU careers service has more information on graduate career.


  • Edward Llwyd Centre that hosts the main library and student support centre.
  • Plas Coch sports centre incorporating the fitness suite, indoor sports hall, dance studio and the international standard water-based hockey pitch.

Tuition fees and funding

Home/EU: £9,250


If you are a UK or EU student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount will 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.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee 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 contact


Detailed module information

Building a Broad Curriculum
The module aims to develop trainees’ discrete subject knowledge, understanding and skills in a range of non-core foundation subjects then to explore and experience the inter-linked nature of learning in the primary school. It includes primary art, computing, Design and Technology, Geography, History, MFL, Music and Drama.

English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and is necessary for access to the whole primary curriculum. English includes the development of pupils’ language and literacy skills. The primary English needs of English as an Additional Language (EAL), Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and Gifted and Talented (G&T) pupils are part of this remit.

From Values to Vocation
This module seeks to develop trainees as confident emergent teachers who are aware of the positive contribution they can make to their vocational career. In so doing it aims to develop these same traits in their professional practice and so engender successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens in their own classrooms.

The module is designed to promote trainees’ enthusiasm for mathematics as a subject and to develop an analytical and critical attitude towards the teaching and learning of mathematics. In particular the module aims to develop the confidence and skills to enable trainees to evaluate, select and use a wide range of strategies and resources to facilitate and assess teaching and learning across the primary phase.

Physical Education
This module is theoretical and practical in its content. It aims to provide trainees with a foundation of knowledge, skills and understanding within Physical Education to build both confidence and competence to plan, deliver and evaluate lessons within the primary phase of learning. This module will explore the importance of meeting individual needs through the development of inclusive practice and provide a working knowledge base of skills and processes to integrate into trainees’ professional lives.

Professional Studies
This module aims to support trainees in the achievement of Qualified Teacher Status. This is done by providing trainees with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to be an effective primary practitioner.

Religious Education
The module aims to develop critical understanding in trainees of the importance, purpose and relevance of effective Religious Education in the Primary curriculum. It seeks to examine concepts and themes within Religious Education and how these might be investigated within the context of the primary classroom.

School Experience One and Enhancement Placement
School experience provides an opportunity for trainees to nurture and enhance their pedagogical skills in a real environment.

The module aims to develop trainees’ competencies in teaching the primary curriculum using a variety of resources and teaching strategies. It is intended that during this school experience trainees are helped to prepare teaching and learning activities to meet the needs and interests of all pupils to allow them to be successful learners who make progress and achieve.

School Experience Two
This final school experience is the fulfilment of their academic and practical skills as a trainee of initial teacher education and provides an indicator of areas for consideration with reference to CPD. It is the manifestation of their capabilities as an emergent teacher and its conclusion marks the transition point into the NQT year.
The module aims to nurture trainees through this final stage of progression from initial teacher education to the initial stage of their teaching career. It aims to support the trainee in moving from an assisted learning environment to taking the responsibilities of the newly qualified teacher.

The module aims to provide trainees with the pedagogical knowledge and understanding necessary to teach science effectively and to secure pupils’ progress in science.

The Emergent Teacher as Reflective Practitioner
This module aims to develop trainees as critical practitioners who reflect upon their classroom practice, with direct reference to their school experiences, as they progress towards QTS.