PGCE with QTS Primary Early Years (3-7) *
* subject to final UWE Bristol approval
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 17 October 2023
The University of the West of England is committed to training outstanding and transformational teachers for the future, able to provide first class educational experiences that make a significant difference to the life chances of all children - and to do so through partnership with early years settings and schools in the region.
Teaching is a challenging, exciting and very rewarding career with a high level of job satisfaction. It is a great privilege, as well as a great responsibility, to be one of the first teachers to influence a child.
In this one-year postgraduate course you study the Foundation Curriculum and the core National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 (English, mathematics and science), and are particularly equipped to teach the Foundation Curriculum to pre-school and reception children and Key Stage 1. You also study theory surrounding early childhood learning.
Early Years students have 'taster' courses in the foundation subjects.
This is a very popular course and competition for places is high, so an early application is essential (please note the UTT dates for applications). We regret that fierce competition for a limited number of places means that we have to disappoint many candidates. You should ensure that you meet the entry requirements and have sufficient observation experience in relevant settings.
Find out why you should train to teach with us.
The PGCE programmes are part of the Department of Education and Childhood, within the Initial Teacher Education cluster.
The University of the West of England is committed to training the best teachers for the future, able to provide first-class educational experiences and make a significant difference to the life chances of all children. We will train you to do so in partnership with schools and settings across the region. All children deserve to learn well, with enthusiastic subject specialist teachers.
Teaching is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career with a high level of job satisfaction. It is a great privilege, as well as a great responsibility, to be able to influence and shape the progress of children and young people.
Our PGCE programmes are very popular and the standard of applicants is high.
As a trainee teacher, you will complete a minimum of 120 days in school on placement practice. This will take place in at least two contrasting schools, in blocks of no less than six weeks, during which time you will be expected to demonstrate effective progress in your own practice and have a positive impact on pupil progress over time.
The module areas you will study are:
- Theories underpinning pedagogical approaches
- Planning and implementing appropriate teaching strategies and classroom management
- Subject studies
- Current educational policy and practice
- Evaluation of learner needs and the educational impact of their teaching
- Professional skills and attributes, including keeping children safe
- The use of evidence-based practice
- Feedback and assessment of teaching against the English Teachers' Standards, supported by a university tutor and school based mentor.
The module areas are listed above, however the final titles are subject to final approval.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The PGCE courses are designed so that your experiences on placement are complemented by university-based learning. The training on placement supports your learning in the Department of Education and Childhood, and vice versa.
Seminars, lectures and placement-based learning equip you to meet the Teachers' Standards, to teach and assess in your chosen phase and/or subject.
Hear what our students think about their time here.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. You will have support from a number of staff in the university including your group tutor and a personal tutor. Additionally any student can get support on a range of issues from a Student Adviser.
Assessment is based on a small number of professionally based assignments and the final block school experience.
In order to pass the course, you are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
All modules are compulsory and you must pass all modules to gain the award of PGCE. This course prepares you for a career as a teacher and leads to recommendation for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to the Department for Education, upon successful completion of the course.
The focus for achieving QTS is particularly in the practice modules. UWE Bristol have chosen Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) as our accredited provider for the QTS elements of the course. We've worked closely with SHU to design a high-quality course which meets the DfE's new Initial Teacher Training (ITT) curriculum requirements. We're continuing to work together to assure our provision and share good practice.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Placements are offered by schools and settings within our ITE partnership and are geographically diverse, with schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Wales offering placements. We work hard to match placements to trainee teacher needs and experience, and we endeavour to keep travel times to a maximum of 90 minutes each way, each day.
Trainee teachers are supported in schools by a Senior Mentor, who is a designated lead teacher for ITE placements in the school, and is responsible for overseeing the training that takes place. Trainee teachers are also closely supported by their Class Mentor (Primary) or Subject Mentor (Secondary), who is their day-to-day contact and supporter in school during placement.
Get a feel for the Education and Teaching facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.
Careers / Further study
PGCE programmes include 60 credits assessed at master's level.
As a trainee teacher, you will be joining a modern and well-regarded course to train to teach across the 11-16 age range and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You should typically meet the following criteria:
- An undergraduate degree, or a recognised equivalent qualification. This is typically 2:2 or higher but we will look at all applications against the demands of the course.
- GCSE grade C/4 in English, Mathematics and Science, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
Our PGCE courses include a high level of placement based learning and working with children. We would encourage all applicants to get as much relevant experience of working or volunteering with children to help prepare them for this crucial element of their course.
Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to an interview day with course tutors, consisting of a group discussion and interview.
Additional requirements (as mandated by the DfE):
- Health checks - for Fitness to Teach
- A clear Enhanced DBS Disclosure including check of children's barred list
- Satisfactory references including one from latest employer and/or latest role involving working with children
- Verification of identity and right to work in the UK
- Check for sanction, restriction or prohibition on teaching issued by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) (if in teaching role)
- Criminal records checks overseas. If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required even if you are a UK applicant or currently based in the UK.
The university will also check that candidates are not:
- subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State
- disqualified from childcare
- or have obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted.
All information will be treated in confidence.
Further Statutory Guidance
- Supervision of activity with children
- Working together to safeguard children
- Keeping children safe in education
If you would like information regarding issues that could disqualify you from teaching training, please contact us on +44 (0)117 32 83333.
Standards and requirements
Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.
Find out further information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in primary schools and early years settings.
It is not usual practice to accept deferrals for PGCE programmes. However, we appreciate there may be extenuating circumstances to consider and therefore Programme Leaders will consider requests on a case by case basis.
English Language Requirement
All International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 with 6.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
Due to a high level of placement based learning and working with children, all applicants should have an effective command of the English language and be able to use it appropriately, accurately and fluently in a school setting. International and EU students will be required to produce a certificate evidencing the necessary IELTS or approved equivalent*.
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section.
How to apply
Please see the Department for Education pages for guidance on how to apply.
We encourage you to apply for our PGCE courses as early as possible in the cycle in order to be guaranteed consideration. The courses begin in early September and require sufficient time to review applications, process decisions and fulfil additional entry requirements as mandated by DfE. As a result we may be unable to consider applications received after July. In addition, many of our courses are very popular and will reach their capacity and be closed to further recruitment prior to this date.