Our PGCE Primary has been running for over 60 years and schools tell us we are developing the kind of teachers they want to employ. This is reflected in 100% of our students being awarded Qualified Teacher Status at the end of their course and the majority of our graduates securing a teaching post.
Tutors on the Primary PGCE course all have extensive experience as classroom teachers and are specialists in a wide range of educational areas. These strengths are recognised within the Primary PGCE course, both in the specialist course options offered, and through the expert contributions to all strands of the course.
If you choose Lower Primary (3-7) you will automatically be included on the Early Years specialism and your placements will be in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.
The course comprises of three strands and school placements:
Curriculum Studies - Core and Broader Curriculum
Academic Strand including Specialist Study
Teaching Experience in primary schools. These placements will be in contrasting schools to provide you with a broad range of experience.
Teaching approaches are varied; whole-course lectures, taught sessions in tutor groups, some work in focus schools and individual tutorials. Some of these sessions will be taught in differentiated groups, with specialist Primary and Lower Primary based sessions and small group subject support sessions.
The PGCE Primary course prepares you to teach across the full range of the Primary Curriculum. We will introduce you to the wider context of teaching, including responding to diversity in schools and the inclusion of Special Needs Education, as well as equipping you with classroom management and planning skills.
If, by the end of the course, you successfully meet the required professional standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be awarded a University of Leicester PGCE. If you pass the level 7 assignments on the course, you will also have 90 credits towards a Masters Degree. Our strong ethos of reflective practice will prepare you well for your future career in teaching.
You will be placed in three Partnership schools. We are proud to work with over 150 primary schools in the state and independent sectors, and in city, suburban and rural settings, as well as special schools.
Primary students (specialising in the 5-11 age range) are placed in a range of KS1 and KS2 classes, and Lower Primary students (specialising in the 3-7 age range) work in Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage settings.
In addition to the three block teaching placements you will also visit different schools as part of a series of ‘focus days’, studying specific subject and professional topics in an intensive school-based context.
The school-based time is a vitally important element of the course. You will have the opportunity to observe skilled class teachers working and to discuss the things that underpin day-to-day classroom activities, as well as work alongside experienced teacher-mentors who will support your learning about classroom practice.
Phase 1 Placement
This is a six-week paired placement with two students working together in one class. This gives you the opportunity to work with a partner to develop classroom skills in a supportive environment. You will focus on developing observation skills to support your understanding of teaching and learning and to put your learning into practice. During this Autumn Term placement you and your partner will work towards taking an increased responsibility for teaching the class.
Phase 2 Placement
This takes place in the Spring Term and lasts for six weeks. The amount of time spent teaching the class increases over the placement until you have responsibility for up to 80% of the timetable.
Phase 3 Placement
This is an eight-week placement in the Summer Term with students working towards taking responsibility for 80% of the teaching timetable.
Throughout each of these placements you will be encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and to take full advantage of the tasks and activities designed by your tutors to support your development.
It is expected that through your three placements you will gain experience across the age range that you are training to teach.
2:1 degree or above
GCSE grade 4 (Old Grade C) or above in English Language, Maths and Science.
Although not a requirement, you may find it useful to have recent experience working with children and/or observing teaching, ideally relating to the age range/subject you wish to teach. When writing your application you should try to reflect on any experience you have working with children and tell us what you learnt.
Please consult our Education at Leicester website to find detailed explanations of our recruitment and selection processes and criteria.
Primary (3-7) is a very demanding course and we are looking for applicants with a wide range of skills, knowledge, experience and aptitude.
Our key selection criteria are:
Ability to form relationships
Good communication skills
Commitment to teaching
An awareness of the role of the teacher and the demands of the profession
Awareness of contemporary issues in education
Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report. The University will provide more information about this should you be offered a place.
All offers are subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure. We will provide instructions regarding the DBS application process once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course.
You must have a GCSE Grade 4 (Old Grade) C in English Language.
The School of Education has a long and successful history of teacher training and a strong reputation for producing graduate teachers prized by schools.
The School of Education is located in the heart of Leicester, identified in recent research as one of the most affordable study destinations in Britain. We are within five minutes’ walk of both the railway station and the main University of Leicester campus with its student support services and award-winning library.
The School of Education works in partnership with over 150 local schools. They represent an unusually varied and interesting range of institutions, including rural village schools, suburban and inner city schools and academies, and special schools. Many of the schools have a diverse, multi-ethnic population. Training to teach here provides the solid foundations to teach in a range of different contexts.
We are also a proactive partner with individual schools and alliances who offer the University of Leicester PGCE via the School Direct and SCITT training routes. Our close and collaborative relationship with partner schools ensures that, whichever training route they choose, University of Leicester PGCE students benefit from the same wide-ranging but consistently high quality experiences.
If invited for interview, you will have an opportunity to speak to members of the Primary PGCE Team who will give an overview of the course and answer any questions you may have.
If you are applying for a School Direct route, you may have already completed a school-based interview.
You will participate in a group task with candidates and will lead a brief group discussion on one of the topics you will have been sent prior to the interview. You will also carry out written tasks in English and Maths. This will take place either remotely or in person at the University.
Then you will be interviewed by either a member of the Primary PGCE team or one of our school-based colleagues. The interview is not a daunting process but rather a discussion about your suitability and preparation for going into teaching.
If you are successful on the selection day, you may be given some targets to work on, prior to starting the course. These will help you to be in the best possible position to engage successfully with the course from the start.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The School of Education’s AccessAbility Tutor will contact all students who declare a disability and offer advice about the support which they may be entitled. We ask students to tell us how their disability may affect their learning and any adjustments they needed in order to access their studies.
These requests, with students’ permission, are passed on to the relevant tutors, lecturers and schools so that they can accommodate all student needs.
Students can contact the School of Education’s AccessAbility Tutor and the University’s AccessAbility Centre for further advice or to report a problem.
Some examples of how we support students with disabilities include:
Accessible school placements provided for students with a physical disability.
Tutors who are sensitive to the needs of students with mental health difficulties.
Slide presentations and resources are made available to all students at least 24 hours before a session takes place.
The AccessAbility Centre provides after hours appointments for PGCE students who are on placement and unable to attend during the day.
Disabled parking permits are provided to enable students with physical disabilities to park close to university buildings.
A variety of lesson planning templates is discussed with students with dyslexia to identify one that meets their needs and aids progression.
21 University Road Leicester United Kingdom LE1 7RF
Support and advice
For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching
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 2501, or
speak to an adviser using their online chat service
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).