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PGCE Early Years (3-7)

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Entry Requirements and Fees


2020 UK fees: TBC


All applicants must hold an honours degree (usually 2:2 or above) or equivalent qualification and GCSE or equivalent passes in English, maths and science.


Course content

We have a long distinguished history in training teachers. Since 1839 we have been building the teaching standards of our students and we are continually committed to each and every one of their learning experience and success.

This full-time, one year course is designed to train you to apply your knowledge flexibly to a variety of contexts and to model good practice while teaching. You will focus on teaching and learning in the Early Years and Key Stage One and the course will prepare you to take up a teaching position in either nurseries or schools.

The course runs from September to July and you’ll spend the majority of this time (at least 24 weeks) on placement in schools or early years settings.

We also offer two other routes:

  • PGCE Primary route prepares you to teach children aged 5-11
  • PGCE Primary Modern Languages prepares you to teach all subjects to pupils aged 5-11 but also includes sessions to prepare you to specialise in teaching a foreign language

The course enables you to develop your skills of critical analysis and engage with educational research at the same time as developing practical classroom skills through school experience. It is taught at master’s level which will allow you to gain up to 60 credits towards a master’s qualification in the future. By the end of the course, you’ll be a reflective practitioner equipped to continue your professional learning throughout your career.

The programme is taught by experienced and enthusiastic tutors, in partnership with mentors and teachers in local schools who will support you throughout the year.

“Leaders across all phases provide highly responsive support to enable trainees to overcome any barriers that emerge.” (Ofsted, 2017)

We are offering a £1000 cash bursary for alumni students continuing their studies with a PGCE.

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the all the facilities you require for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Our award winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus.  It hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors.  Also situated in the LRC is the Support and Information Zone to help with any enquiries, over 80 open access work stations and Costa Coffee.  An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans. Plus, our classroom resources library offers over 20,000 resources for you to borrow while on placement.

At Bognor Regis campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Where this can take you

This programme will enable you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status and work as a class teacher in a primary school or in an early years setting. While the vast majority of PGCE graduates will choose to work in a primary school, some students may be employed in special schools or the wider education sector. Many of our previous PGCE students have progressed in their careers and now hold senior posts in their schools.

“School and settings leaders hold the programmes in high regard and actively seek to appoint candidates from the University of Chichester partnership.” (Ofsted, 2017)

Work placements

School placements

The PGCE programme is taught in close partnership with a range of primary schools and early years settings. During the programme, you will experience a number of different placements. These include two extended placements each lasting 8-10 weeks where you will take on increasing responsibility for teaching. In addition, you will have three short group placements including a placement in a special school and a placement in a nursery.

During placements you will be supported by a school-based mentor and a link tutor from the University. School experience provides the opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in education and the wider educational context.

Through the year, you will develop an understanding of teaching and learning, starting by teaching small groups of children and leading to taking on full responsibility for managing the teaching and learning of a whole class.

Indicative modules

The university-based study is divided into four key areas which will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required to plan and manage creative and effective lessons while ensuring that pupils of all abilities are motivated to learn. These key areas are:

  1. Core Curriculum
  2. Wider Curriculum
  3. Professional Studies
  4. Teaching and Learning in Early Years

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum module will develop your confidence and enjoyment to teach English, Mathematics and Science. Through lively and interactive seminars, you will develop your subject, curriculum and pedagogical knowledge in all three subjects.

It will equip you to take a critical and reflective view of each subject’s curriculum and pedagogies. You will develop a detailed understanding of the distinctive features of each subject area and explore relevant research concerning children’s learning in that subject.

By linking your learning to school experience, the module will promote the necessary competencies and understanding you need to plan, teach and assess the core curriculum effectively.

Wider Curriculum

This module aims to develop your critical understanding and enthusiasm for the whole primary curriculum. It will consist of a range of engaging practical workshops addressing the teaching of the primary curriculum (for example: Art, Computing, Design and Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Physical Education, and Religious Education). You will develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of key curriculum documents and a critical awareness of current issues and debates surrounding the primary curriculum.

It will prepare you to plan, teach and assess effectively in these areas and to develop cross-curricular approaches to teaching and learning.

Professional Studies

In this module, you will develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin primary education. You will be taught by a range of expert tutors who will share their knowledge and passion for primary education and children’s learning.

During a range of seminars and lectures, you will critique educational research findings and methods and learn how to apply this in the classroom.

Topics will include lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment methods, behaviour management and other important aspects of teaching. A particular focus will be on issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding in the classroom.

“All members of the partnership are committed to equal opportunities, inclusion, diversity and widening participation. Trainees are provided with admirable models of this values-driven approach which they replicate in their work with children and pupils.” (Ofsted, 2017)

By the end of the year, you will have developed your own personal educational philosophy and be able to apply this in the classroom and articulate it to other professionals.​

Teaching and Learning in Early Years

This module will support you to develop an in-depth understanding of the role of the Early Years teacher and to reflect on the way in which children learn and develop. You will gain a critical knowledge and understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and of good practice in Early Years. You will consider developmental theories of play and develop your knowledge and understanding of the role and purposes of play in schools and the impact of play on children’s physical, social, cognitive, emotional and linguistic development.

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

In order to qualify for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you must pass all school experiences and pass a 12,000 word portfolio at master’s level.

The portfolio consists of a number of tasks that you will complete during the year and share with your Academic Adviser, a member of university staff who will support you throughout the year. They will provide feedback on your work and support you to achieve. Each of the tasks is designed to support your development as a teacher and is directly relevant to your practice in the classroom.

School experiences are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards – you will be regularly observed by your mentor and link tutor and will collect evidence of your progress.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Additional Costs

Course fees for 2018/19 £9250. We are offering a £1000 cash bursary for alumni students continuing their studies with a PGCE.

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services while at University.

DBS check

PGCE applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course. The charge for courses with a DBS enhanced disclosure check is £44.

Costs incurred during School Experience

Over the duration of your course you will spend 24 weeks on placement. These school experiences are organised in our Partnership Schools which extend across East & West Sussex, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and into Surrey. Travel to placements, which can be by car or public transport, varies but your commute will not usually exceed 1 hour from your term time address to the placement school (assuming your term time address is within our partnership area). Whilst on School Experience appropriate professional dress will be required.

Financial help available from the University

We offer scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at Chichester. We are also offering an Alumni bursary of £1,000 on all PGCE routes. Our Finance pages provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Students not in receipt of a government bursary may receive a contribution towards travel costs depending upon the distance.

Entry requirements

All applicants must hold an honours degree or equivalent qualification.  The majority of successful applicants will have a 2:2 or above degree but we do accept applicants with a lower classification but an otherwise strong application.

Your personal statement is important; it should convince us that you are serious about teaching as a career. You will need to demonstrate a strong awareness of the complex role of the teacher in supporting learning. You should ensure that you make reference to any voluntary or paid experiences in schools or early years settings.

All applicants must have GCSE passes in English, mathematics and science at grade C / 4 or above. We will consider applicants who are taking the relevant GCSEs whilst applying.

We would normally expect applicants to have taken and passed the full GCSE course, however in some circumstances we do accept equivalent qualifications or equivalency tests. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualification we may accept.

You will also need to pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy, see our QTS pages for advice.