Browser does not support script.

Postgraduate Course

Primary (School Centred) PGCE

On this School Centred Primary Education PGCE you will develop the essential skills and professional experience to succeed as an outstanding teacher.

students working in a primary classroom

Taking the School Centred route for your PGCE means that you will be based in one of our Lead Partners schools. This means that the majority of your time will be spent at your partner school, while still attending academic sessions between school and university. You will graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 Honours degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent

    GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science all at C/Level 4 or above. We do not accept IELTS in lieu of a GCSE in English.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £9,250 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Course overview

York St John University was established as a teacher training college in 1841. We have a long history of training students to become successful and effective teachers.

On this course you will study a combination of both education theory and practice. This will help you to become an informed and reflective teacher. You will research current local and national educational issues which will shape your teaching practice.

You will gain a thorough understanding of the current primary and early years curriculum, including core and foundation subjects. We also emphasise the importance of meeting the individual needs of children from diverse backgrounds.


You will develop knowledge and skills in:

  • Planning, teaching and assessment of learning for young children in either the 3-7 or 7-11 age range
  • Managing and organising teaching and learning to promote inclusion for young children from a range of backgrounds and with a range of individual needs
  • Ensuring children are safe and healthy
  • Promoting good progress in learning for all children
  • Appropriate subject knowledge to support teaching and learning
  • Using existing research and conducting your own research in schools

We have established excellent partnerships with teaching schools across the north of England. This allows us to work closely with schools to support you throughout the course. On graduation you will be qualified to teach the full 3-11 age range, but you will have a specialism in either lower or upper primary.

Initial Teacher Education at York St John University

Course structure

How you will study

You will study this postgraduate course full time.

The course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 2 compulsory 30 credit modules
  • 3 compulsory School Experience modules

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module covers a range of topics covering foundation subjects of both the National Curriculum and the Early Years curriculum. You will consider how learners from diverse cultural backgrounds can be supported in education and care settings. The issues you will investigate include:

  • Inclusion
  • Ethnicity
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Disability

You will also investigate how settings cater for children with a range of abilities. Aspects such as behaviour and classroom management, vital to the practice of the outstanding class teacher, will be covered across a variety of sessions.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module focuses on educational issues which are common to all teachers. It reflects on local and national policy and practice. You will build your understanding of complex concepts surrounding teaching and learning, and will encourage you to consider wider professional issues and develop your own professional identity.

Credits: 0

Compulsory module

The PGCE Primary course involves school experience (SE) placements across the year. SE1 is in the autumn term, while SE2 and SE3 are in the spring and summer terms. Each placement must be successfully passed in order to progress to the next school experience.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will be learning on your school placement from day one. Academic sessions will be taught at both your teaching school and the university, helping you to integrate the theory and practice you are gaining from your placement with your growing subject knowledge. You will be expected to work with a high degree of independence, but also to work collaboratively with peers and experienced practitioners.

You will be taught through a range of methods including:

  • Whole cohort teaching
  • Workshops with a focus on dialogue, discussion and debate
  • Group seminars
  • Research activities including web-based resources
  • School based tasks and research
  • Individual tutorials

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


In line with national recommendations for reducing workload for student teachers, we have reduced the number of assessments you will be expected to complete. You will have 1 assignment to complete for each module, including a written assignment and a research project. We will also assess you more informally through methods such as:

  • Self-assessment tasks
  • Subject knowledge audits
  • Micro teaching opportunity
  • Individual and group presentations

You will also be assessed on your school experience placements. You will be required to pass each school experience before you progress to your next one. There will be opportunities for informal observations, advice, support and feedback on a day-to-day basis on each of your placements.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 Honours degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent

    GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science all at C/Level 4 or above. We do not accept IELTS in lieu of a GCSE in English.

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

International students

This course is now closed to international applicants who require a visa to study for September 2024 entry.

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

This course does not accept IELTS in lieu of the English Language GCSE. We do accept the equivalency tests for English, Maths and Science from

We suggest that if you require a visa for study, you should check whether you would be able to gain a visa for work purposes in order to qualify and work as a teacher following the course.

Please note that international applications for this course will close on Friday 15th March 2024. The CAS deadline for international applicants is Sunday 23rd June 2024.

International Entry Requirements

Additional requirements

For entry onto this course, you will also need to:

  • Satisfy the institution that you have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching
  • Take part in an interview designed to assess your 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
  • Pass additional safeguarding checks including a prohibition check and other checks in line with the Government Keeping Children Safe in Education policy
  • Obtain an Overseas Police Check (where applicable)

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.


Interviews for the PGCE Primary School Direct route will take place within the alliance and will involve a range of assessment activities to evaluate your suitability.

The assessment day provides us with the opportunity to find out why you have applied for the course, and to discuss in more detail the information provided on your application form. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about yourself, and to demonstrate your practical and academic skills relevant to the course through a variety of tasks.

Activities may vary between alliances, but all will involve a teaching activity where you will be asked to plan a whole class or group lesson. You will also be observed interacting with a group of children and we will evaluate your ability to support learning. You will take part in group or individual interviews and be asked to reflect on your teaching activity. You will also be asked to respond to an academic article and demonstrate your potential to study at master's level.

Assessments are made during the day regarding your:

  • Commitment to and understanding of primary education
  • Potential to successfully meet the demands of the course
  • Personal and intellectual qualities
  • Ability to communicate effectively with adults and children in a school context

School experience

While school experience is no longer an essential criteria for entry onto the PGCE, it has proven highly effective in supporting students with the application and interview process. It means you are able to reflect on your experiences and demonstrate your emerging knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning in a primary school.

In order to gain maximum benefit from your time spent in school you should try to:

  • Work out a timetable, with the teacher who is supporting your placement, to ensure that everything you observe and do in the school has been agreed to.
  • Ensure that you adhere to school policies and procedures, such as signing in and out at the reception each day.
  • Look at a range of schemes of work, lesson plans and resources in the subject you will be studying your PGCE in.
  • Talk to a range of staff in the school about their roles, for example, classroom teachers, subject leaders, pastoral leaders, teaching assistants, SENCO, data or assessment leader. However, please remember that they are busy people and ask them for a time it might be more appropriate to meet and talk.
  • Talk with pupils about their work and the progress they are making. Look at how their work is assessed and how pupils are encouraged to respond to this.
  • If appropriate, become involved with wider aspects of the school. For example, accompany staff on break duties, support with after school clubs and extra-curricular activities.
  • Try to look at a range of school policies, for example, on rewards and sanctions, teaching and learning.
  • Keep notes, especially of resources, activities and strategies which work well.
  • Reflect on each day and consider what you have learnt and observed (both positive and negative aspects) and consider how this might affect you as a classroom teacher, in the future.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £9,250 for 1 year of full time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Funding your studies

You can use the same student loans system as undergraduate students to pay for this course.

When applying for funding, you will need to:

  • Apply as an undergraduate student
  • Find your course by searching PGCE Primary when making your finance application

You will not be able to apply for a postgraduate master’s loan for this course.

International 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £14,000 for 1 year of full time study

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £9,250 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Teacher Training bursaries and scholarships

There are 3 types of funding available for teacher training in a range of subjects. These are tax free and awarded based on your circumstances. To find out more visit the Get Into Teaching website.

Get Into Teaching bursaries

Education Opportunity Award

This award, funded by York St John University alumni, supports underrepresented PGCE students, such as:

  • Carers
  • Parents
  • Students with a low household income
  • Students whose family circumstances have drastically changed

To be eligible for this award you must also be 25 or older.


Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could this Primary PGCE take you?

Completing this degree will give you Qualified Teacher Status. This means you will be recognised by the Teaching Regulation Agency as a qualified teacher. You will graduate as a classroom ready professional with a high potential for employability in local and national schools.

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £6,500 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2022).

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

This course is now closed to international applicants who require a visa to study for September 2024 entry.

To apply, please visit the Department for Education apply page.

Course highlights

More to explore

students looking at map on a desk

Discover postgraduate study

Campus buildings and gardens on Lord Mayors Walk

Why choose York St John?

Get in touch