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Full-time & part-time Education (Primary) Graduate Diploma,Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE)

PGCE Primary Education

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


University centred training

The key aim of the PGCE Primary programme is to deliver a high quality initial teacher education programme that is up-to-date with current developments in education and the primary curriculum and will equip you with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes to become outstanding Early Years practitioners and primary teachers. 

There are two University centred PGCE routes, enabling you to choose the one most appropriate to your circumstances in terms of managing your studies around existing work and commitments.  Both lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS):

  • Full-time route: 39 weeks to complete starting in September and ending the following July with 120 days of school-based training
  • Part-time route: Two years to complete starting in September and ending the following summer with 120 days of school-based training. 

Upon the award of QTS you will be qualified to teach across the full 3-11 age range although you will specialise in specific Key Stages within the programme assessed school experiences.  You choose one of two options:

  • The ‘Lower’ option will cover the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ages 3-5 and Key Stage 1 (KS1) ages 5-7
  • The ‘Upper’ option will cover Key Stage 2 (KS2) ages 7-9, and 9-11

Across all routes, programme teams work closely with partnership school colleagues to support you in developing your professional practice, providing you with excellent opportunities to engage in wider professional issues relating to pedagogy and the curriculum.  The programme is integrated with school-based experience and training to ensure that your developing professional practice is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of educational theory and current local, national and international research.

You will be expected to critically engage with educational issues and develop as reflective practitioners, able to evaluate and adapt your practice to meet the needs of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. The University provides a strong centre-based opportunity to develop and share good practice in order to enhance the experiences of all student teachers.


School centred training

We also offer a school centred training PGCE route (School Direct) where Teaching School Alliances work in partnership with York St John to offer PGCEs in Primary Education and a range of secondary subjects, inlcuding English, mathematics and science. For more information on this route please visit the School Direct webpages.


What qualifications do I need to apply?

Entry requirements for programmes leading to QTS are stipulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ITT criteria 2012. These are:

  • A Honours degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent (Ordinary degrees cannot be accepted)
  • GCSE in English (or YSJ approved equivalent) at Grade C or above
  • GCSE in Mathematics (or YSJ approved equivalent inlcuding the York St John Maths Equivalency test (please contact Liz Newson for more info) or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C or above
  • GCSE in Science (or YSJ approved equivalent including GCSE Human Physiology, GCSE Human Biology, Intermediate GNVQ Science or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C or above

In addition, applicants must also:

  • Have a minimum of ten days classroom experience in a UK state primary school, with at least five days in the last twelve months. For those with a third class honours degree, all ten days must be within the last twelve months. Other experience such as international experience in a primary school will be considered though applicants maybe be required to complete the required UK state primary school experience before the start of the course. Please see School Based Experience for guidelines.
  • Satisfy the institution that they have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching.
  • Take part in an interview designed to assess their suitability to teach.
  • Obtain a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure check and/or any other appropriate background check.
  • Obtain a satisfactory medical report. 

For the full-time programme successful applicants will normally have an 2:1 honours degree from a UK higher education institution, or the equivalent.

For the part-time programme lower degrees will be considered if there is sufficient additional relevant experience to support the application.


QTS Skills Tests

Anyone applying for an initial teacher training (ITT) course is required to have passed the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course.

Once you have submitted your application to us, you will need to arrange to take and pass the tests, ideally before interview.

Please refer to the skills tests guidance for more information.


Online application guideHow much does it cost?

All fees are subject to review. Please visit our finance pages for up-to-date information about fees and funding. Please visit the dedicated PGCE funding pages to find out what funding is available to you.


How do I apply?

Full-time applications

Applications are made online through the UCAS Teacher Training website - http://www.ucas.com/

The UCAS Institution Code for York St John is Y75 YSJ and the course codes are: 

  • Lower Primary X121
  • Upper Primary X171


Part-time applications

Applications for entry in September 2015 on the part-time and flexible routes should use the buttons below:

Apply now

PGCE (Upper) Part-time



Apply now

PGCE (Lower) Part-time



How can I find out more?

For general information call our Information Hotline T: 01904 876598 E: admissions@yorksj.ac.uk

For specific information about the programme visit our Initial Teacher Education website

For the school-centred PGCEs refer to the Faculty of Education & Theology School Direct website