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PGCE Primary 5-11 (with QTS)


School of Education

Trainees who successfully complete the course, including success in the prescribed QTS skills tests, will be confirmed by the National College of Teaching and Leadership as newly qualified teachers.

The one-year full time primary education PGCE provides you with the professional skills required to become an effective teacher, able to inspire primary school children aged between 5-11 years old.

Although there is no deadline for applications we recommend that you apply as early as possible as places for postgraduate teacher training are highly competitive. Early application is especially advised if you live locally and would like to work in our partnership schools.

We also have the PGCE Primary (campus based) 3-7 pathway, that you may be interested in.

We hold regular Open Days throughout the year. Please come along and talk to lecturers and students about the PGCE.

Available start dates

September 2019

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Full time: Up to 42 weeks

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will gain the professional attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills required to become an effective teacher. The PGCE content is based on a reflective and critical approach to education theory, policy and practice, through university-based teaching sessions and school-based professional training.
  • A key element of this training consists of substantial periods of practical teaching placement across the age ranges. With the support of a school mentor and university tutor you will integrate the professional knowledge and understanding developed through university taught sessions with school based learning, and through practical application enable the development of professional skills in primary teaching.
  • We work in close partnership with hundreds of schools and colleges and other organisations.
  • You will be working with highly regarded academics who are at the forefront of their subjects. Drawing on our research-led teaching, our PGCE will advance your knowledge and develop your professional skills

You will have the opportunity to complete up to three of the module credits at Level 7 (master's Level) within this course. In 2016 these modules were:

The Excellent Practitioner where you will study the research behind excellent teaching and learning.

Key issues in Teaching and Learning where you will focus on the literature supporting one key issue affecting the education profession. For example this could be assessment without levels, or the Olympic legacy.

Supporting Evidence Informed Practice – a research piece on an educational topic of your own choice.

You will also complete:

School based training - The Oxford Brookes Primary Partnership of schools is well established and mentors and teachers are involved in all aspects of your training. You will undertake periods of school experience teaching across classes within your chosen age range, within at least two partnership schools. Please note that students will be expected to fund their travel costs to undertake school placements.

Curriculum Studies develops knowledge and understanding of the primary curriculum and the requirements of the national curriculum. This will cover English, mathematics, science, information and communication technology, design technology, geography, history, art, music, drama, physical education, computing and religious education.

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, course content may change from the details given here.

Ofsted feedback:

  • the good attainment and outstanding progress of students, irrespective of their varied starting points
  • communication across the partnership, which ensures high expectations and consistency
  • very effective team working among enthusiastic, committed and knowledgeable trainers at all levels
  • the commitment and enthusiasm of trainees, their outstanding professional attitudes to their development, and the capacity to identify their own learning priorities
  • the outstanding support provided for individual trainees, particularly those who are at risk of failure.

Teaching and learning

Approaches to learning include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, and practical and project work with professional tutor support.

Attendance at lectures, workshops, seminars and school based training is a compulsory component of successful completion of the course and is monitored throughout and reflected in trainee references.

Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the School of Education. Visiting speakers from partnership schools, teaching unions, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and other experts within the field of education provide further input.

Approach to assessment

Assessment is based on coursework, assignments and the achievement against the Teachers' Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

All academic modules are rigorously assessed, mostly by written assignments. The school based training is assessed against the Teachers' Standards during school placements

Specialist facilities

The Harcourt Hill library has a very well resourced school experience centre which operates a loan system for a wide range of resources which can be used during your school based training.

Attendance pattern

This is an intensive programme and attendance is full time, both while at university and on school placements.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £9,250 2020/21: £9,250 (subject to agreement by the Office for Students)

International - full time: 2019/20: £13,410 2020/21: £13,900

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

  • Recognised UK degree, or degree equivalent, typically at second class honours.
  • Passes at GCSE Level 4 (grade C) or above in English Language, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent). There will be brief assessments of English and mathematics competence at interview.
  • Before applying for the course, it is strongly recommended that you gain school experience. It is highly desirable for interview candidates to already have insights into the primary classroom, gained through their experience in a school.
  • Satisfactory health and criminal record audits.
  • You will need to pass the Department for Education's professional skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy before you can start the course. 
  • You will have to apply for your teacher training course through the UCAS for teacher training application form. When you receive your offer letter, you need to book dates to take the Department for Education skills tests. When you go to the test centre you should take your offer letter with you as evidence that you have already applied for a course of teacher training.  You will not be allowed to take the test unless you can provide this evidence. Applicants are allowed three attempts to complete each test. The first attempt is free but a charge will apply if you are required to re-take either test. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the test content and take several practice tests before you attempt to book a test date.
  • All candidates whose application forms indicate appropriate qualification and experience will be invited for interview. 
  • All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.. Applicants are expected to fund the cost of the fitness for practice screening.


All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

English language requirements

Please see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Apply for this course through UCAS for teacher training.

We are fully committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sections of the community, from people at all stages of life, and seek to make all our courses as inclusive as possible.

Although there is no deadline for applications we recommend that you apply as early as possible as places for postgraduate teacher training are highly competitive. Early application is especially advised if you live locally and would like to work in our partnership schools.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

This course develops both your academic and professional skills, as you train to fulfil your potential as a future primary school teacher. 


There is currently a demographic bulge in the primary age population so career prospects for trained primary teachers are currently excellent. By completing placements in a variety of local primary schools, you will build excellent relationships with head teachers helping your future employment prospects. In 2016/17, 100% of completing students found employment following the end of the course.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

Each trainee is allocated an academic advisor who will provide academic and pastoral support. Tutor support is also provided during school based training.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

Sustained excellence in research and publication has ensured that a significant proportion of our School of Education staff were entered for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 (UoA 25). Almost 90% of our research was deemed to be of international merit, with around one half either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Contributions to the REF were spread across all of our research groups.

Our research aims to create impact on contemporary educational issues - supporting knowledge creation and developing innovative approaches to researching pedagogic practices. The School's research strategy functions at all spatial scales, from local to global. We publish our highest quality research in leading peer-reviewed journals. Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Research Fellows contribute to our research programmes and outputs.

The School holds two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. Our Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers) runs annually - all students are invited to attend. We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

Members of the School are engaged in a variety of funded and unfunded research projects; we have previously enjoyed prestigious funded scholarships (such as the Fulbright – Peabody scholarship) and, when feasible, offer funded Research Studentships to doctoral applicants. Our Centre for Educational Consultancy and Development (CECD) regularly secures consultancy and research money.

As might be expected in such a research active school, many staff are engaged as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for various peer reviewed academic and professional journals, as well as online journals.

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Research areas and clusters

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes University is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

The School's six research groups reflect a thriving research community of academics, scholars and students. They exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops. These focus on:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years Applied Linguistics.