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PGCE Primary / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Primary PGCE courses - The University of Manchester

PGCE Primary will train you to teach children aged 5 to 11. It provides training in all primary stage National Curriculum subjects, with a particular focus on Mathematics, English and Science.

Completion leads to a postgraduate qualification and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

University-based sessions cover education theories, ideas and concepts, and will enhance your awareness of current educational issues.

You will spend a significant amount of time studying the core subjects outlined above, while also studying Religious Education, History, Geography, Art, Music, Design and Technology and PE.

Special features

  • Our PGCEs are rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted (Ofsted Report, 2019) and we have been highlighted as the best university provider of initial teacher training in the North of England (Good Teacher Training Guide 2017).
  • We have links with more than 200 schools, academies and colleges, and you will benefit from significant school-based teaching experience.
  • Our leading experts in education have trained more than 5,000 teachers in the last 15 years.
  • Our students come from all over the globe, and are from a variety of backgrounds - from recent graduates to mature learners.
  • Our research improves the quality of education across the world, with 78% of our activity defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Additional course information

Your University tutors, who are all highly experienced Primary practitioners, will provide excellent support for your academic work and your personal development. School mentors will provide advice and guidance whilst you are on placement. The culture of team working and best practice sharing amongst students will provide you with a support network available when you need it the most.

Teaching and learning

The structure of our PGCEs includes both school-based and university-based learning.

The course is run in partnership with more than 200 local primary schools located across Greater Manchester, including Bolton, Trafford, Tameside, Manchester, Bury, Stockport, Rochdale, Salford and Oldham, and also north Cheshire and south Lancashire.

You will spend more than 50% of your time on placement, with the main professional placements being:

  • eight weeks in the autumn term in either Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2;
  • eleven weeks in the summer term in either Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2;
  • two-week enquiry placement in either key stage;
  • two-week placement in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS);
  • one-week placement in Key Stage 3.

When on placement, you will observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced primary teacher. You will also have a mentor to help you to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment, and improve your teaching skills.

Your remaining time will be spent at the University, for example in lectures and seminars.

We will support your training to become a primary school teacher by providing:

  • an understanding of teacher professionalism;
  • evidence to inform your practical actions, principles and values in educational settings;
  • teaching that values diversity and respect for all backgrounds;
  • the required knowledge, understanding and practical skills.

As a guide, you should anticipate that time in university-based learning combined with school-based placements will roughly equate to the time commitment of a full-time job, with additional time required in evenings and weekends for background reading, lesson planning and completing written assignments.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed during your school placements and you will receive high-quality feedback to enhance your development.

Your subject knowledge in English, Mathematics and Science will be audited regularly through taught course sessions, and you will also complete four Master's-level assignments during the year.

The written assignments will allow you to gain a maximum of 60 Master's-level credits, and guidance and support to complete these assignments will be available from your University tutors.


The course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), which has its own Undergraduate Hub. Here you will find all of your teaching staff and support staff. It is also a place to relax with fellow students.

MIE is located in the University's Ellen Wilkinson building, which is centrally located on the University's Oxford Road campus, close to the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and the Students Union.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email