PGCE Primary (5-11)

Become a qualified primary school teacher for ages 5-11

Become a qualified primary school teacher for ages 5-11

1 year full-time
Bognor Regis Campus
  • Qualify as a primary teacher in just one year
  • Learn at a university with over 180 years' experience in teacher training
  • Blend of professional placements and creative theoretical teaching
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
Primary school pupil listening carefully


Qualify as a primary school teacher in just one year

Learn the art of teaching

You will focus on teaching the primary curriculum and will receive high-quality training in partnership with local schools to build your classroom experience.

This is achieved through a balance of study of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the teaching profession, the fundamentals of the national curriculum, and a dedicated focus on the development of your understanding of the role of the primary teacher.

In addition, you will gain vital hands-on experience of working within the classroom through our 120-day school placement programme, which will develop your confidence and competence to teach effectively.

After successful completion, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) so that you can begin working as a teacher in a primary school.

Proud history of teacher training

The University of Chichester has been training teachers for over 180 years and we look to train employable professionals who can get out there and make a difference.

You will be taught by experienced education specialists and our dedication to small teaching groups allows you develop strong professional relationships with the University teaching team.

On this course you will:

  • Gain Qualified Teacher Status upon completion of the course that will allow you to teach in primary schools in England and Wales.
  • Develop your competence and confidence working within the classroom environment.
  • Gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by the teaching profession.
  • Understand the cornerstone of the national curriculum for primary education.

The Course

Develop your knowledge and understanding of teaching at primary school level

As a PGCE Primary student, you will learn the national curriculum and how to deliver it to young children in exciting and engaging ways.

You will learn the fundamentals of teaching English, Maths and Science, as well as the key theories of learning development to better understand how to ensure that all children can succeed and thrive in school.

You will also learn how to teach subjects that form the wider curriculum, including aspects of ICT/Computing, PE, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Art, History, Geography, Design Technology, Religious Education, and Drama

The university-based study is divided into three 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.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Core curriculum

You will study core curriculum modules that will develop your confidence and enjoyment of primary teaching:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science.


The course 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 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.

You will develop a systematic knowledge of key curriculum documents and a critical awareness of current issues and debates surrounding the primary curriculum.

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

You will work on a range of engaging practical workshops of the primary curriculum including:

  • Art
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Languages
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education.

Professional studies

We’ll help you will develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin primary education.

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.

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.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Core Curriculum

This module aims to develop your subject knowledge, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of English, Mathematics and Science.

You will begin to develop a critical understanding of the distinctive features of each subject area and the research concerning children’s learning in that subject. By linking your learning to your school experience, each component aims to promote the necessary competences and understanding your need to plan, teach and assess the core curriculum effectively.

The core curriculum module aims to enable you to begin to develop your own personal educational philosophies with regards to pedagogy, so that you can apply these in the classroom and articulate them to other professionals.

Core Curriculum English 1

This module introduces the relevant curriculum documentation and its interdependence, with a study of the development of children as speakers, listeners, readers and writers across the foundation and primary age range.

It will familiarise you with using the documents to plan appropriate learning outcomes and teaching and assessment strategies for shared, guided and independent work in communication, language and literacy/English.

It will help you to develop the subject knowledge necessary to teach the foundation and primary age range and to identify their personal development needs, through completion of a baseline audit and on-going profile of subject knowledge.

Core Curriculum English 2

This module examines the research and other evidence that has influenced the CGFS, NC and the NLS. This may include, for example, the work of Usha Goswami on phonological awareness; genre theory, e.g. the work of Bev Deriewanka, and Wray and Medwell’s work on effective teachers of literacy.

You will also look at using inspection evidence and data, e.g. assessment data from end of Key Stage Tests, to formulate development work in classrooms.

You will focus specifically on the inclusive classroom, i.e. equal opportunities and supporting EAL and SEN (including high ability pupils) appropriately.

Core Curriculum Mathematics Module 1 – the Teaching and Learning of Number

This module explores the underlying concepts and principles of the mathematics curriculum for numeracy. You will examine a wide range of topics, including: the approaches to mental and written calculations, the appropriate use of calculators, and understanding and managing pupil progression.

Core Curriculum Mathematics Module 2 – Successful Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

This module continues and expands your knowledge and understanding of how to teach mathematics successfully. You will understand how to teach mathematical reasoning, geometry, shape and space, data and probability, amongst others.

Core Curriculum Science

In this module, you will learn the key aspects to teaching science as part of the core curriculum. You will keep a Science Portfolio for recording progress in their science KUSA; for showing understanding of children’s learning in science; and recording experiences of managing and evaluating classroom science.

Physical Education

This modules sees you undertake short courses in Games, Gymnastics, Dance, Athletic Activities, Swimming and Outdoor Adventurous Activities to increase knowledge and understanding of Skills required to be taught to the age group. You will also develop confidence in the planning, teaching and evaluating process, and the organisation and safety of physical activities.

Professional Studies

This module develops your critical and rigorous understanding of the principles that underpin primary education. You will expand your knowledge and understanding of the nature of the primary curriculum and children’s developmental needs.

It will introduce and critique educational research methodology, analysis and ethics.

It will advance your abilities to critically apply such knowledge and understanding in a professional context through lesson planning, teaching, assessment and behaviour management and critical reflection on these.

A particular focus will be on issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your abilities to be able to apply your knowledge and understanding of such issues in the classroom.

Teaching Computing

This module provides you with the knowledge understanding and skills to use ICT effectively within your teaching.

You will learn and understand the specific contribution that ICT can make to pupils learning, when it is beneficial to achieve teaching objectives and when it is less effective or inappropriate.

You will have the opportunity to use the most up to date hardware and software applications, consider the latest research, and use the findings to plan for and make use of effective resources within the classroom. the course will include a personal and professional audit of skills and experiences.

Wider Curriculum

This module develops your critical understanding of and enthusiasm for the primary curriculum via the introduction of the foundation subjects.

For each of the foundation subjects, you will learn about their distinctiveness, associated pedagogies as well as addressing relevant subject knowledge. By linking your learning to your school experience, it will prepare you to plan, teach and assess the foundation subjects effectively.

You will develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of key curriculum and framework documents and a critical awareness of current issues and debates surrounding the primary curriculum.

You will consider the distinctive opportunities, challenges and concerns, associated with particular curriculum subjects as well as common issues, e.g. the development of creativity.

Classroom Resources

Over 20,000 classroom resources available to use on placement

As a PGCE Primary student, you will gain access to our dedicated library of teaching materials.

You can find thousands of classroom resources that you can borrow to use while on placement.

From posters to books, classroom kits to DVDs, our library of resources has options for all ages and needs.

You can take resources out for up to six weeks and can be taken on placement to aid with your teaching, or help you develop your skills and confidence within our classroom environments.


Discover dedicated facilities that help support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Innovative teaching methods that develop your full potential as a future teacher


We use strategies that are designed to enable you to effectively master a broad base of concepts, skills, knowledge and understanding that will inform your teaching practice.

You will join lectures and small seminars led by experienced tutors, in which discussion and debate are key to developing your knowledge and skills.

Our dedicated learning areas simulate real world classrooms, allowing you to become more familiar, confident and comfortable in teaching spaces ahead of your professional placements.

Many of our staff have a strong background within education and use their experience to inform their teaching, as the help your development into a professional and capable teacher.


Your teaching is built to support your theoretical learning and and develop your communication skills, through essays, lesson plans, research reports, risk assessments or development plans.

Portfolio requirements

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 Advisor.

They will provide feedback on your work and support you to achieve. Each of the tasks is designed to support your development as an early years 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.

School Placements

Gain vital experience as you develop your confidence at the heart of the classroom

The PGCE programme is taught in close partnership with a range of local schools. During the course, you will experience a number of different placements.

In addition, you will gain vital hands-on experience of working within the classroom through our school placements, which will develop your confidence and competence to teach effectively.

At the start of the course, you will be teaching small groups of pupils. By the end, you’ll be teaching subjects across the curriculum to a whole class. During the extended placements, you will be supported by a school-based mentor and a link tutor from the University.

In addition to the two extended placements, you will have three short group placements. You will spend:

  • 4 days in a secondary school
  • 2 weeks in a reception class
  • 2 weeks in a special needs school

These placements develop your understanding of progression, inclusion and signature pedagogy.

These placements will usually provide distinctive opportunities in which to develop your professional and teaching skills.

In particular, efforts will be made to place you in schools with different organisational characteristics and in contrasting socio-economic catchment areas.


Take the first steps towards your career within early years education

This programme will enable you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and work as an early years teacher.

While the vast majority of graduates choose to work in a primary school, in previous years, some students have been employed in secondary schools, special schools or the wider education sector.

Many of our previous students have progressed in their careers and now hold senior posts in their schools.

Course Costs

Course fees 2023/24

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Alumni bursary

University of Chichester alumni applying for a PGCE degree, there will be a £1,000 bursary available.

Entry Requirements

Honours degree
above degree but we do accept applicants with a lower classification but an otherwise strong application.
or above in English Language, Science and Mathematics.
7.0 overall
including 7.0 in academic writing with other components no less than 6.5 – or equivalent qualification.

GCSE requirements

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. Please note, however, that we are unable to accept Level 2 Functional Skills courses that do not cover the full breadth of a GCSE. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualification we may accept.

Personal statement

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 refer to any voluntary or paid experiences in schools or early years settings.


We pride ourselves on the interview experience. You’ll learn about the University and the course while we learn more about you and see your potential to teach.

The interview will be made up of typically five elements:

  • Registration, DBS and qualification checks
  • Campus Tour (optional)
  • Presentation from a university tutor
  • Paired interviews

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.

Occupational Health Assessment

A satisfactory occupational health assessment is required.

Cost incurred during placements

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 an hour from your term-time address to the placement school (assuming your term-time address is within our partnership area).

Students may receive a contribution towards travel costs depending upon the distance.

Whilst on School Experience appropriate professional dress will be required.

Students may wish to purchase a laptop/tablet to use whilst on school experience as schools are not required to provide these.

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