St Mary’s University, Twickenham Primary (X103)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

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
5 to 11
Course length
15 months
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
April 2023


Course summary

St. Mary’s University has been graded by Ofsted to be “Outstanding” for Primary and Secondary Initial Teacher Education programmes. Our part-time PGCE Primary programme offers excellent academic and pastoral care for trainees which is reflected in high programme completion rates and levels of students’ achievement. An excellent and successful partnership has been established between the St. Mary’s University Institute of Education and a range of partner schools to provide initial teacher education, leading to Qualified Teacher status (QTS) in the primary phase. The enthusiasm, expertise and professionalism of all staff in support of these outcomes, including the development of students’ capacity to reflect on and analyse their own practice, is widely recognised.

Our course tutors are all skilful, qualified teachers themselves, with many years of successful teaching experience in the state sector and higher education.

Successful completion of the part-time Primary PGCE programme will result in the award of a Post Graduate Certificate of Education with 60 Masters Credits and Qualified Teacher Status.

The opportunity to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is also available.

The programme structure incorporates a balance of learning experiences in University and schools. You will develop discrete subject knowledge, understanding and skills across the full range of core subjects, PE, RE and computing, alongside foundation subjects. Professional Studies underpin the pedagogy and practice of being a teacher, including themes of managing behaviour for learning, SEND, lesson planning for progression and working with children in challenging circumstances.

Modules for Masters support your development across all areas.

The PGCE Primary course demands engagement, commitment, participation and self-motivated study. Strong academic support is readily available from course tutors.

The course runs over five school terms from April 2021 to December 2022, with University based sessions three days a week (currently Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) together with, school -centred learning in partnership placements. The typical day at University starts at 9am and finishes at 1pm or 2pm.School placements are FULL TIME.

An optional additional 30 Masters credits can be undertaken through our summer school.

We have a very successful Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) employment record after the course, with over two thirds of our student teachers beginning their teaching career in one of the two schools in which they trained and many gaining their first job in one of our partner schools.

School placements

You will complete assessed school placements during the PGCE Primary programme. School placements are arranged by the Institute of Education Partnership team and the schools selected are based on your home/residential address.

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.

An experienced teacher acts as mentor during the school placement and contributes to your overall assessment as a new teacher.

At St Mary’s University, we have the strongest commitment to student teacher support, regularly visiting student teachers in school over the duration of the course. We see tutors retaining contact with student teachers while they are school-based, away from University as a major factor in our support success. The consistent support available for students is, we think, outstanding.

In addition, we offer our PGCE Primary trainees an “Enhancement Development Placement” - our trainees choose and arrange this classroom placement. It can be far away or “just around the corner” - you get to choose! You will be able to focus on the targets identified at the end of your first assessed placement and develop the skills and knowledge to meet them with confidence.

St. Mary’s University is in partnership with over 700 schools - many of our trainees go on to become NQT’s in these partner schools.

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.

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

Candidates with pending GCSEs will be considered Equivalency tests will be accepted in English, maths or science.

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.

Personal qualities

During the interview and selection process, you will take part in an interview and discussion that will allow you to evidence that you have thought carefully about your motives for becoming a teacher and can demonstrate that you have some emerging capability to reflect on what being a teacher means. The interview will be recorded in line with GDPR compliance.

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a genuine passion for teaching, working with and supporting children and an understanding of the resilience needed for teaching.

Other requirements

School observation

At St Mary’s University, 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 to learn, can be really insightful and informative. If this is difficult to arrange, review the resources on []

DBS & Fitness to Teach Checks:

Successful completion of a physical and mental Fitness to Teach and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are also required for teacher training.

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 £15,000

Home/EU Tuition Fee of £9250 is subject to change based on approved Fee changes. For further details - please visit the University website pages on Fees and Student Finance:


Financial support from the training provider

St. Mary’s University Alumni are able to receive a 10% discount on the PGCE Tuition fee:


International students may be able to apply for a St. Mary’s University International Scholarship: (

About the training provider

St. Mary’s University is graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted for both Primary and Secondary teacher training.

Come and meet us. The university runs ‘Getting into Teaching’ open events where you can chat with the tutors. Book via

For further details: ( )

Where to find us: ( Student Life: (

Trainee teachers at St Mary’s have very high employment statistics, with many securing jobs in in our partnership schools.

Student feedback, and our recent OFSTED report (February 2019), highlights the quality of the pastoral care provided through the training programmes and the support offered by partner schools.

St. Mary’s University is situated in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham - a leafy part of Greater London (5 minute walk from Strawberry Hill mainline from London Waterloo) and good local bus links for other central London connections.

Public Transport:

We will soon celebrate 170 years in Education in south west London. St Mary’s is London’s second largest teacher training course provider, with a significant proportion of our 6,000 students training to teach on primary and secondary initial teacher training courses.

Key Facts Close partnership between the University and partner schools in all aspects of the course Educational theory closely related to practical reality of the classroom Bespoke personal tutor support Strong focus on subject knowledge development Support for those with an area of interest in SEND and EAL High employability rates for PGCE Trainee Teachers Ongoing support into your NQT year and your career beyond Ongoing Masters study opportunities at discounted rates

Interview process

Once we are confident you have met the course entry requirements, we carefully examine your personal statement. This is your opportunity to convince us that you have seriously thought through your journey into teaching in terms of motivation and a genuine understanding of what being a teacher really means. You will almost certainly find it helpful to refer to prior learning and classroom observation experiences and reflect on what you saw, heard or experienced. It is also your opportunity to connect your prior academic and/or work experiences to the skills and attitudes required for teaching. We want to clearly hear from you some thoughtful consideration of why you believe you will make a great teacher. Do this successfully and we will invite you for an interview.

At the interview, we want to get to know you and for you to get to know us and the PGCE Primary course at St. Mary’s University.

Interviews will be available online (zoom) and on-campus throughout the year.

Prior to your interview, you will have the opportunity to hear a presentation from the Programme Director explaining the structure of the course, school placements, the Enhancement Development placement, Masters Modules and assessments. You will also have the opportunity to have a virtual tour of the campus and view the excellent facilities that St. Mary’s University offers its students and trainee teachers.

We look forward to meeting you and supporting you to become an Outstanding teacher for primary school children.

Open Event available:

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

St. Mary’s University has a fully supportive and well-resourced Student Wellbeing service to support trainees with disabilities and other needs.

At interview, we encourage candidates to disclose any additional needs requiring support so that early support can be in place for the PGCE course.

For further information on Disability Access: (

Contact this training provider

020 8240 2394
Waldegrave Road
Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Richmond upon Thames

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

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).

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