PGCE Primary (EYFS/KS1 full-time)
The Early Years Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 full-time route will prepare students in line with the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards (2012) for the award of QTS. UCL works in partnership with around 350 primary schools, nurseries and children’s centres to enable students to fully prepare to be a primary teacher with an EY/KS1 focus.
Students on this programme will have the opportunity to develop into effective, confident teachers whose classroom practice is informed by an advanced knowledge of educational theory, and who will continue to learn and reflect throughout their careers. On completion of the programme students will have a clear understanding of progression, since the QTS qualification applies to the whole primary age-range, whilst a student's teaching experience will be in early years foundation stage (EYFS) and KS1.
Students undertake two Master’s-level (level 7) modules as part of the PGCE with a total of 60 Master’s credits on successful completion.
The programme consists of three core modules, two at Master’s-level (level ) and one at Undergraduate-level (level 6) and three school placements.
Where less than 60 credits are achieved at level 7, but are successfully passed at level 6, a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE) - including a QTS recommendation - will be awarded. Students who complete the level 7 modules but fail the Professional Practice module will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) which excludes the QTS.
- Teaching and Learning Module
This Master's level module focuses on Pedagogy and is based on the work of the Teaching and Learning Research Project. The module provides a critical, research and enquiry-led approach to teaching and learning based on current relevant research and publications. It provides an excellent basis for professional practice as a classroom teacher that meets and extends beyond the statutory requirements of the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Students are expected to develop their understanding of key aspects of the field of study and practice demonstrated through a grasp of issues and critical insight into professional pedagogic practice. This includes understanding of learning processes and the various contexts of learning and teaching. The module encourages students to be creative, independent and successful in the application of knowledge in teaching and other work with a range of learners and colleagues. Students build their capacity to analyse teaching and learning within immediate and wider professional contexts, drawing from and applying appropriate intellectual perspectives to teaching and learning.
- Specialism Module
This Master's level module enables students to deepen their understanding of a specialist subject or area of interest and examine its role in the education of young children. Examples of the specialism options include childrens literature, geography, mathematics, new media and physical education.
Students are encouraged to examine critically the principles underpinning teaching and learning in their subject area, to explore factors that have influenced its development and consider future directions. This allows them to develop their awareness of relevant current research, policy initiatives and developments in practice as well as develop techniques of research and evaluation and consider how they can be used to support their continuing professional development. Through conducting a project while on school experience, students are able to analyse the range of opportunities for learning in and outside the classroom and explore what is meant by effective learning.
Students applying to the PGCE Primary (Specialist Mathematics full-time) course will be automatically enrolled in a mathematics-focused specialism module.
- Professional Practice Module
The Professional Practice Module incorporates both extended school placements and IOE-based teaching sessions.The taught element of the module includes a Professional Studies element and sessions in mathematics, english, science, computing and the foundation subjects all led by subject tutors. The module also includes two substantial blocks of teaching experience in two different school settings as well as a shorter two-week placement to broaden students experience. This will usually be in a different educational setting such as a special needs school, a secondary school or a pupil referral unit.The module is assessed against the Teachers Standards (DfE 2013), and through a broad base of evidence including students teaching in school, school experience files, subject knowledge audits and successful completion of school-based tasks.
As part of the programme students will spend time in placement at a school or Early Years Centre, during which time their teaching experience will be supported by a tutor and mentor. Students will spend 120 days on placements.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered via a combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials and self-study. Students will be supported though a virtual learning environment and will participate in school placements. Assessment is through assignments, presentations, audits, feedback and tutorials. A final assessment is based on a range of evidence including observations of teaching, assignments, subject knowledge development, professional conduct and responses to self-study.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. For Primary Specialist Mathematics, a Mathematicss degree or degrees with significant Mathematics content would be an advantage.
No specific subjects required.
English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C.
Prospective students must complete a minimum of ten days of school experience, in mainstream urban state primary schools, before they can be enrolled on the Primary PGCE. This should include five days in one class and five in a range of classes and key stages in one or more schools. This may involve observations, work experience (e.g. as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor), or voluntary work. Ideally applicants should have completed a majority of their school experience before interview.
If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The total cost of these checks is £125. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.
All applicants must successfully complete professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before they can enrol. More information can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Primary PGCE trainees may be eligible for a bursary of £3,000, depending of previous qualifications. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education website.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This programme provides graduates with an excellent preparation for their first job teaching in a primary school, as well as moving on to key stage coordinator roles, other leadership positions and eventually headships. These roles include classroom teachers, mentors to PGCE students, deputy and assistant headteachers, headteachers and educational consultants.
The IOE Primary PGCE provision was rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2013. IOE student teachers are in rated highly by headteachers across London and beyond.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Students on the Primary PGCE (EYFS/KS1 full-time) programme benefit enormously from the complementary skills and expertise of staff in partnership schools, EY settings and at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE).
Primary PGCE (EYFS/KS1 full-time) students spend time across the Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 and 2, and they gain experience of teaching across Early Years and Key Stage 1. Students will learn to teach all the primary curriculum subjects. They will also select one subject for specialist study from the range that we offer (i.e. Children’s Literature and Language, English Language and Literacy, French, Geography, Mathematics, Music, New Media and Computing, Physical Education, Religious Education, Values and Identity and Science).
Accreditation: Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Department: Institute of Education
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Education
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in a UK maintained (state-funded) school and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements. This route to QTS and a PGCE is suited to people wishing to gain experience in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 in particular.
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
Primary PGCE - Programme overview
Watch PGCE Primary programme leader Ayesha Craig