University of Exeter Primary with Art (XW11)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Age range
7 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

We run different pathways within our Primary PGCE programme and applicants should apply to the pathway(s) they are interested in. Our Primary with Art course trains you to become a primary classroom teacher but also provides an additional strand in primary art education to help prepare you to become a future curriculum coordinator in art.

The components: 1.Curriculum studies - includes preparation for teaching the core subjects (English, Mathematics, and Science) and the subjects of Art, Computing, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Music, PE, and RE, delivered in shorter practical courses. These courses cater for trainees whose previous experiences may vary widely and give a substantial introduction to teaching these subjects.

2.Educational and Professional Studies - is designed to enable critical reflection on children’s learning and development, pedagogy, diversity, and teachers’ roles and responsibilities in multi-professional contexts. This component includes one 30 credit Masters level assignment.

3.School experience - Central to the course is the developing your ability to meet the DfE’s Teachers’ Standards which trainees must demonstrate in order to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). School-based tutors and mentors are responsible for your learning & development and receive well-designed training. You initially work with groups of children, before taking on more responsibility for planning and independently teaching whole classes. You will have two main placements offering contrasting environments. Placements are in Key Stage 2 settings, however the course covers teaching and learning from 5-11 and once qualified, you will be eligible to teach across the primary age-range.

4.Pathway module (Art) - focusses on developing knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to teach art, craft and design. Research is used to support the development of a contemporary and critical view of art education in theory and practice. Practical workshops and seminars make up the taught component, alongside off-site visits and projects with schools/arts organisations, where possible. It includes one 30 credit Masters-level assignment.

School placements

You will work in at least two schools during the course and all of our partner schools have specially trained mentors to assist you in learning to teach. These colleagues are essential to your development as a teacher and will help you to develop both classroom skills and reflective and evaluative strategies. Together with schools, we will provide you with opportunities, training and support.

Term 1 begins with two weeks of observation in school settings. This leads into the university-based course which focuses on professional development, specialist subject knowledge, pedagogy and teaching skills. In November you will spend two weeks in your first placement school to begin your classroom practice.

Term 2 is spent in your first placement school with three university-led seminar days back on campus.

Term 3 is spent in your second placement school with two university-led seminar days back on campus.

The University of Exeter currently has partnership agreements with over 250 schools across most parts of the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset) as well as a small number of primary schools in London.

Every effort is made to take into consideration your personal circumstances and preferences when allocating your placements. Trainees generally:

  • live in Exeter for the Autumn term and then move or commute to the area their placements will be in for the Spring and Summer terms


  • commute to Exeter from their home for the Autumn term and then have placements nearer to their home location in the Spring and Summer terms

Our accommodation office can offer advice regarding finding accommodation in/near Exeter for the Autumn term.

Many trainees are placed further afield than Exeter for the whole of their school-based work and choose to either travel daily or find accommodation in that area. Once registered, we provide an accommodation database, which lists many accommodation options previously used by our trainees. Many trainees live together during their time on placement and some live with school staff. Others commute to their placements daily and lift sharing is encouraged.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English, maths and science, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English, maths or science.

We accept equivalency tests from A Star Equivalency and (please do contact the PGCE Admissions team for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test).

Please check our website for guidance on additional academic requirements specific to this course such as degree subject and A level/GCSE requirements. We want all potentially excellent teachers to have the opportunity to train. If your qualification profile does not fit the norm, please do contact us.

Other requirements

In addition to the academic requirements listed, selection is based on performance at interview, satisfactory fitness to teach assessment and DBS enhanced disclosure and satisfactory references.

Although not essential it would be advantageous to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £21,500

Note - eligibility for home fee status for applicants from EU countries has changed from 2021-22 onwards so please do check the guidance if this is relevant to you. For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages.

Financial support from the training provider

For information on Government loans and training bursaries, please visit the Student Finance England and Get into Teaching websites.

The University of Exeter offers a £530 bursary to all UK students studying for a PGCE with us, whose household income is £25,000 or less. There is no separate application procedure for this bursary. Instead, we make an assessment using the household income information you provide to Student Finance England (you must make sure you give consent for details of your SfE application to be shared with the University of Exeter). This consent to share is requested during the application for financial support, but can be given at any time throughout the year by contacting SfE.

For more information, please see our Fees and finance webpages

About the training provider

We are leaders in Initial Teacher Education, consistently graded as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

We have strong partnerships with over 250 schools in the south west where you will spend two-thirds of your training year, putting into practice what you have learnt on the taught course. Our PGCE is uniquely characterised by innovative research-led teaching informed by professional practice and academic excellence. All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers, senior managers or OFSTED inspectors. They lead and innovate, developing the latest ideas in teacher education, leading research, writing textbooks, leading subject networks and advising government.

The Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education is a highly regarded model used to deliver excellent standards of education to our students in the South West.

The Model sequences learning to teach through five developmental phases:

  • Anticipating Practice
  • Beginning Practice
  • Consolidating Practice
  • Developing Independence
  • Extension and Enrichment

Trainees begin with significant scaffolding through focused teaching practice based on modelling by experts. Moving through the phases, they become increasingly independent, teaching across sequences of lessons and taking full responsibility for their classes by the Developing Independence phase. Driven by an outstanding research base, this approach enables training to be personalised for every trainee with the tools enabling bespoke support and target-setting.

Our unique approach gives you opportunities to become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and will support you during your course and beyond.

Interview process

The interview process will take place at the St Luke’s campus (online interviews may be available on request, depending on applicant circumstances). It is designed so that you can showcase, and we can assess, your skills, attributes and subject knowledge. We notify all interviewees ahead of time what will be expected of them at interview, so you have time to prepare.

Primary and secondary interviewees attend on the same day and activities in the morning are conducted in mixed groups. The day consists of:

  • A welcome talk where you can find out more about the programme
  • A visual ID and documents (e.g. certificates) check
  • A short presentation in which you present a teaching idea using a resource of your choice
  • A short written task in which you can demonstrate your understanding of teaching and learning and your ability to express your ideas concisely, clearly and using accurate written English
  • A short group discussion, based on the written task which encourages you to explore your own, and others’ ideas about good teaching
  • A one-to-one interview with an Admissions Tutor. This is where Subject Tutors will discuss your application, your suitability for teaching and your subject knowledge. This is also an opportunity to learn about the particular course you are applying for.

The day is designed to give you a flavour of the PGCE programme. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day. You should allow a full day for the interview.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

The University of Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Study Zone, Students’ Guild Advice, Student Health Centre (GP services), and the Multifaith Chaplaincy team.

For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services

PGCE trainees can access the support of a Wellbeing Services Welfare Consultant to discuss concerns, talk through options for support or understand more about how the University Wellbeing Services may be able to help.

Alongside the support described above, every PGCE trainee is assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. If the Occupational Health provider recommends any adjustments, the University’s Partnership Office will ensure you are placed in schools where these adjustments can be made, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

Contact this training provider

0300 555 6060
Admissions, University of Exeter
Innovation Centre
Rennes Drive
Exeter, Devon

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.