Teacher Training FAQs


How much do teachers get paid?

Your annual salary starts at around £21,588 (inner London between £22,686 to £27,000) and goes up each year.


Could I go abroad and study?

You will be offered an opportunity to go on a two week placement in Year 2. If you chose Primary Languages as your Advanced Professional Focus in Year 3 there will be opportunities offered to study abroad.

What should I do when I am preparing for the course?

You must have a recent experience in a school classroom and/or Early Years setting so that you have a fully informed view of the role of the teacher and some experience of how children learn.

Why must I choose between 3-7 and 5-11?

You must be trained to teach in two Key Stages to meet the standards for QTS.  Lower primary is working with children 3-7 years in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.  Upper primary is with children aged 5-11 years in Key Stages 1 and 2. Your school experiences will relate to your chosen Key Stages and lectures may relate to specific age phases.  It does not mean that you can never teach in the other Key Stage in your future career.


Does the PGCE have a specialism or specialist area?

Yes.  Although the PGCE is a generalist programme where you will be introduced to all primary curriculum areas, you will be able to choose to specialise in English, Mathematics, PE, Primary Languages or Science at the start of your programme.  You must have an A Level or first degree in the subject (English Language in only accepted, not English Literature).  Your assessment will be different if you choose the specialism option: you will collate a subject knowledge portfolio which will evidence a high level of subject knowledge as well as how to lead the subject in primary schools.  You will also organise a two week experiential placement in March which will be school-based and enable you to focus on leading schools or Advanced Skills Teachers in the subject.

Can I choose my placements?

The programme involves experiential placements, some of which you can organise yourself.  This includes a two week placement in the spring term where you can personalise your programme.  Students have taken the opportunity to spend time in one of our international settings (China, Norway, USA, Canada, for example) or in an SEN unit attached to a school.  Other students have spent time in an urban setting to focus on inclusion and also in Pupil Referral Units.  The assessed placements, where you will be working to the Teachers’ Standards, are organised by the School Partnership Office to ensure you are compliant with the expectations for teacher training.


How much experience do I need before applying?

As a minimum, you need ten days in a state school in England within the last two years, although many applicants have substantially more than this.  As the programme is fairly intense, you need to be able to demonstrate that you are aware of learning and teaching and the current issues in today’s primary schools.  Additional experience that would support your application includes taking extra-curricular clubs, sports or summer camps, Sunday School, Brownies and Cubs, working in a crèche or playgroup.

Does it matter what my first degree specialism is?

First degrees cover many aspects associated with the primary curriculum, therefore is doesn’t necessarily have to a current National Curriculum subject.  Successful applicants have entered the programme with degrees in Law, Business Studies, Psychology and Archaeology, to name a few.

When do interviews take place?

Interviews occur from November to March.  You are advised to apply early as this is a very popular programme.  Please also see the information on the university website for more details.

If I have a 2:2 degree, how much experience in schools do I need?

Normally, only candidates with a 2:1or first degree are accepted onto the full-time programme.  If you have a 2:2, you should have been into schools regularly within the last twelve months as this will strengthen your application.

What equivalency qualifications do you accept?

We only accept equivalency qualifications for Science and Mathematics.  Details can be found on the Equivalency Testing website.

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