University of Exeter

University of Exeter

Primary Education (English)

Trainees following the Primary English pathway will learn to teach across the primary curriculum and will take an additional specialist module in primary English.

The Primary PGCE English pathway seeks candidates who are passionate about improving children's life choices through literacy. English is not only a core National Curriculum subject but it is also a medium for learning in all subjects through reading, writing, speaking and listening. All Primary schools place a strong emphasis on the systematic teaching of literacy.

The course will prepare you to use creative approaches and resources to interest and motivate children as you teach across the curriculum. This will include ways of using poetry, drama, stories and children’s literature. The course is taught mainly through seminars and workshops with a significant element of directed collaborative group work and self-study. A trip to London (including visits to Shakespeare’s Globe and Tower Hamlets schools) in the spring term puts a strong emphasis on learning outside of the classroom and on teaching children with English as an additional language.

We are looking for candidates with a strong English background (including drama, theatre and World Literature) who see themselves as the subject leaders of the future. As well as giving you a solid grounding in practical classroom ideas, the course gives you the opportunity to execute and evaluate your own classroom research, for submission with an accompanying resource pack. The course places a strong emphasis on the social capital of individuals, with many opportunities for peer tutoring and volunteering in extra-curricular projects.

The programme lasts 36 weeks and consists of University-based studies and school-based work.

Entry requirements

We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree. We expect to take students with at least A level English (grade B), preferably degree level. Students without A level English can apply if they can show relevant experience in language/literacy fields, eg, teaching TEFL/ psychology/drama.

Applicants should have at least two weeks’ experience in a state primary school within the last year.

Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C. Please note that although the NCTL requirement is a grade C, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B or above in Mathematics and English and a grade C in Science.

Course modules

Primary Educational and Professional Studies (EPSM000)
This module covers fundamental educational issues, which contribute to professional knowledge and understanding. Key areas addressed include race, gender, children's rights and responsibilities, citizenship, inclusion, special needs, behaviour management, and organising for children's learning.

Primary Curriculum Studies (EDUM033)
You are given substantial preparation for teaching the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Arts, Physical Education (PE), Humanities, Music and Modern Languages (ML) through taught sessions combined with self-directed activities based in the University or carried out in school. There is a particular emphasis on the teaching of reading and numeracy to reflect national concerns. ICT is taught  within subjects.

Primary Professional Learning (EDUM034)
The University has excellent working relationships with its partnership schools, all of which have mentors trained by the University who are responsible for students' learning and development. You will initially work in pairs with groups of children, before working independently with the whole class.

Primary English specialism (EEDM009)
The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of Literacy and English in the primary school, and to enable them to meet the Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (DfES, 2002).

Assessment methods

Through University and school-based assignments. There are no formal exams. Students are also required to pass the Government's numeracy and literacy tests.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time September 2019 £ 9,250 per Academic year (EU) 1 Years
PGCE Full-time September 2019 £ 16,900 per Academic year (International) 1 Years
PGCE Full-time September 2019 £ 9,250 per Academic year (Home) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
St Luke's Campus Exeter EX1 2LU South West

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Key information

PGCE Admissions
Telephone number: 
0300 555 60 60