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PGCE in Primary Education (5-11 years) with recommendation for QTS

Course code


Start date


Placement available

Mode of study

1 year full-time



UK £9,250

International £19,430

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School teaching is an intensely rewarding yet challenging profession. The opportunity to help shape children’s futures is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Brunel’s PGCE in Primary Education is designed to prepare you for work with pupils aged 5 to 11 years. The course covers all Key Stage 1 and 2 of National Curriculum subjects: English, mathematics and science, computing, physical education, history, geography, religious education, art, design and technology, modern foreign languages, PSHEE and music. 

The focus of your studies will be on the principles and methods of teaching and learning delivered through three core modules, together with compulsory, practical school-based teaching placements.  Your progress will be assessed in both areas.

Your placement will typically take you into Brunel partner schools or other educational settings in and around London for at least 120 days in block placements in two or more different contexts with support from a school-based mentor. Links with schools across our Partnership enable you to take placements that will equip you with the skills to work with young people in a variety of educational contexts. 

The Education Department at Brunel was highly praised for their Partnership work in the 2023 Ofsted inspection.

The report praised how the course enables student teachers to see themselves as lifelong learners who seek to improve and hone their practice.

The inspectors wrote that the ITE curriculum is broad, ambitious and informed by pertinent research in both the primary and secondary phases, and that it focuses on developing the professional conduct and behaviours expected of a teacher.

The report added that student teachers value the emphasis placed on promoting inclusion and ambition for all pupils; are well prepared for the realities of a career in teaching; and enjoy particularly positive relationships with their university tutors, who check in on them regularly.

As you progress through your own development and learning on the course, you will be encouraged to reflect critically on your own and other teaching practices in relation to national and regional priorities and policies, and current research.

At the heart of the programme is the commitment to ensuring that your practice will impact positively on pupil progress over time, and Brunel Partnership activities with schools will contribute to school improvement of which you will play a central part.

Upon successful completion of your course, you will receive both the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and recommendation for the Qualified Teaching Status (QTS).

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

The PGCE in Primary Education course content will equip you with a critical understanding of the issues and theories that impact upon classroom practice in teaching, learning and assessment of 5 to 11 year olds.

The taught part of your course will be structured around three core modules:

  • Education Studies I
  • Education Studies II
  • Education Studies III

The course is structured to balance the taught elements with independent professional learning activities (PLAs) of which your placements will be a key part in relation to the Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status.

This course can be studied 1 year full-time, starting in September.

Year 1

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Our exciting range of modules are currently under review and may be updated for 2024.

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Careers and your future

A Brunel PGCE with recommendation for QTS is a recognised symbol of high quality Initial Teacher Education (ITE). This is demonstrated by Brunel’s outstanding employment rates over time and feedback from Brunel alumni student teachers, our partnership schools and Ofsted inspectors.

Brunel PGCE graduates have gone on to work in our partnership schools, and many in schools where they undertook a placement experience. This allows the department to retain links with former students and often they become school-based mentors for Brunel PGCE students. The department also has a network of alumni in positions of responsibility in schools across the country.

After you graduate, your relationship with Brunel doesn’t stop there. As alumni,  you can remain involved in the Partnership in a range of ways including mentoring, and can also sign up to receive invitations to Brunel public lectures, Department of Education research seminars, events and steering groups, to ensure you continue to develop through a community of professional practice within, and beyond the school in which you work.

If you decide to pursue further study after your PGCE course, (perhaps an MA, a taught Doctorate of Education or a research based PhD), you will be warmly encouraged by the department with the opportunity of discounted fees as a Brunel graduate.

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UK entry requirements

Our conditions of entry to the PGCE Primary programme require that applicants have:

  • An undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Normally this should be a 2.2 classification or above in preparation for Masters level professional study.
  • English, Maths and Science grades A* to C, or equivalent at GCSE level. Applicants would normally be expected to meet the GCSE requirements at the point of application.

To further strengthen your application, we also recommend that applicants have:

  • An informed personal philosophy on the aims of primary education, drawing on relevant reading and research;
  • An understanding of statutory requirements for primary education within the state school sector;
  • An awareness of recent government policy or initiatives in education;
  • Recent and relevant experience of primary school education in England, either team teaching or observing with experienced teachers. This should normally be pre professional teaching experience where you have had the opportunity to develop relationships with a group(s) of pupils over a sustained period of time;
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both spoken and written English. If selected for interview, you will be expected to interact effectively with university tutors and school colleagues, and demonstrate the potential to form positive and productive relationships with colleagues and pupils in schools and in professional learning contexts;
  • An awareness of the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2013);
  • An enthusiastic and energetic approach which communicates clearly your commitment to teaching and working with young people.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Childcare Disqualification and Prohibition Orders

As an accredited provider of Initial Teacher Education we have to have regard to the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

We ensure that all student teachers have been subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks, including a check against of the children’s barred list. The Department for Education has published statutory guidance on the application to schools of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 and related obligations under the Childcare Act 2006.

We undertake our responsibility to ensure that the student teachers are not, therefore, disqualified from childcare or that the student teacher has obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted. We also check that candidates are not subject to a prohibition order for teaching issued by the Secretary of State.

The DBS application will cost £46.81 (this amount may be subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. Further guidance can be found here, alternatively email

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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 68% (58% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 98 overall (min 20) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 entry


£9,250 full-time


£19,430 full-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

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Teaching and Learning

How the course will be delivered

Required equipment

How you'll learn on your course

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Assessment and feedback

The PGCE Primary Education course carries 60 master’s level credits and requires you to successfully complete three formally assessed pieces of academic work during the year supported by a portfolio of evidence.

You will be assessed through various teaching and learning methods which typically include lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, portfolio preparation and simulation of classroom practice.

Qualified Teacher Status is achieved by meeting the government’s Teachers’ Standards. During both the school-based work and university provision you will build your knowledge and understanding of what it means to be a teacher and put this into practice. You will work with your tutors and school-based mentor to develop an evidence-base for this in line with the Teachers’ Standards, which will be assessed.

The master’s level credits you earn on your PGCE will provide an excellent foundation for future academic and professional study.