PGCE Primary Initial Teacher Education with QTS

Have you always wanted to teach in a primary school and make a real and positive impact on children’s lives? If you are a graduate with a passion for innovative learning and teaching then this PGCE course is for you. This one year course leads to the award of qualified teacher status.

You will study in both university and primary schools to inspire learners to achieve the four purposes of the Curriculum for Wales.

You will work in partnership with schools that have been selected for their excellent provision and high-quality mentoring of student teachers. You will be supported to develop your skills in research and inquiry, critical reflection, digital technology, pedagogy and the Welsh language as you build your own, unique teacher identity.

This course is subject to validation.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Newport City C

The content of the course is arranged into two core modules that run throughout the three terms of the one-year course.

Curriculum and school experience – embedding the pedagogical principles. 60 credits at level 6

This module has a focus on subject study knowledge and practical experience. Through a combination of university-based lectures and school-based experiences, the module supports student teachers to develop and reflect as resilient, lifelong learners, purposefully engaged in their own professional learning, development and well-being. The integration of lectures, seminars and tutorials have been carefully aligned to corresponding school experiences, supporting thorough theory to practice application.

Student teachers critically evaluate evidence-informed practice through enquiry, to raise learner attainment. They develop, consolidate and refine their subject knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to their roles and responsibilities during school experience and contribute to the achievement of the descriptors for Qualified Teacher Status as identified in the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership. A range of assessment strategies is used to measure competencies including the effective use of digital technology and Welsh language development to support and enhance learning and teaching.

Reflective practice – developing research and enquiry to become agents of change. 60 credits at level 7

This module fully supports the level 6 module by embedding and consolidating pedagogical principles and supporting further enquiry, critical reflection and evaluation through specific research projects. A year-long reflective journal scaffolds the research and enquiry skills of the student teachers. Research methodologies are explored and developed through a school-based project linking to a live school development plan, ensuring accountability within the school environment.

Critical theoretical knowledge and data analysis are applied to inform action enquiry and to develop the skills necessary to become lifelong teacher enquirers.  In addition to developing individual research, assessment opportunities are planned throughout the module to assess student teachers’ ability to critically explore and reflect upon research articles linked to pedagogical practices of differentiation, behaviour and assessment for learning (for


A blended learning approach is utilised to provide student teachers with a range of flexible learning opportunities and to highlight effective pedagogical principles through modelling the impact of a range of approaches.   

Lectures draw your attention to current research, curriculum reform and development and pedagogical approaches. Specific subject study practical sessions support student teachers to develop in the Areas of Learning and Experience.

Tutorials provide opportunities for academic and school-based discussion and personal reflection.

The directed study enables student teachers to prepare appropriately for assessments; to refine their knowledge and understanding by investigating a variety of resources for skills development and intellectual enhancement.

Independent Learning encourages student teachers to develop further subject knowledge, improve research skills and take responsibility for the development of personal targets. Student teachers make use of the excellent facilities including simulated learning opportunities.

School Experience is structured into blocks of intensive learning and practice throughout the programme.  This supports student teachers to benefit from structured opportunities to work on specific areas of their practice through the ‘meshing’ of theory, research and practice. Learning is focused, rather than dispersed;

In each block of School Experience, student teachers teach, observed by a qualified member of school staff, their lecturer, or both. Teaching starts with small group teaching, or teaching of a short activity to larger groups, building to teaching whole lessons and then sequences of lessons.

Student teachers meet weekly with mentors to discuss their own learning and to learn about wider school-related professional duties.


Assessment includes written academic assignments, journal article critiques, presentations, a close-to-practice project which is presented as an e-book and a practical digital assessment. Progress will be assessed throughout the year towards the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).


Accredited (subject to conditions) by The Education Workforce Council (EWC)


On campus, you will learn in an environment that fully prepares you for the world of work. We have specialist classrooms which simulate primary school settings and flexible digital spaces which will provide you with authentic learning opportunities. These learning spaces are designed to simulate the school environment, enabling you to develop confidence for the workplace in realistic settings.


Our course team comprises dedicated, experienced professionals who have a breadth of experience of working with student teachers in a range of contexts and settings. They will guide you on your journey to professional excellence:

 Supportive student-teacher groups, regular tutorials and a high level of pastoral care


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Entry criteria detail typical offers, but USW considers all applications on an individual basis, which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. The exception to this, is that Welsh Government require that all candidates have a minimum GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics (and a grade C/grade 4 in Science at the point of entry on any ITE course. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.


Entry to the PGCE programme is conditional on:

An Honours degree in an area related to primary education, of at least 2:2 classification; or any honours degree of at least 2:2 classification where an A level grade C or above (or equivalent) has been obtained in a primary curriculum subject area.

Selection based on a successful interview.

Successful completion of the literacy and numeracy tests.


GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade B or above (for ITE courses) and science at Grade C.

An interview is required for this course. Those applying will be provided with further details if successful at the initial selection stage. Those interviewed must demonstrate an aptitude for teaching as well as their intellectual abilities through a process of group discussion and individual questions. Those applying will be required to pass literacy and numeracy tests and must demonstrate appropriate knowledge of digital competency.

All entrants will have met the requirements of the Education Health Standards prior to commencing the course. Statutory obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) will be followed and reasonable adjustments put in place to ensure applicants are not discriminated against in the application process or whilst on the ITE course. Staff members will meet the statutory requirements placed on the institution by the disability equity duty.

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service is required – details will be sent to applicants at the appropriate time.


Relevant work experience

In addition to the formal qualifications, work experience with children in a school setting is normally required. This can be, for example, full or part-time paid or voluntary work in an educational setting.

This work experience should be equivalent to at least ten days and must normally be completed before an application is submitted. The student will be required to explain how they have met this requirement in their personal statement. The candidate may be asked to submit an additional reference relating to their work experience confirming they have completed the required experience in a school setting.

International Entry Requirements

International applicants will also need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in each component.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
We strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.

Candidates are required to demonstrate in their application:

  • a suitable GCSE and level 3 profile and appropriate degree classification
  • high-quality literacy skills, including Welsh, were studying through the medium of Welsh
  • appropriate mindset, values and motivation, as evidenced through the personal statement
  • an understanding of the education sector in general, as evidenced through the personal statement

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.

Upon graduation, you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status which means you are qualified to teach in a primary school in a national or international setting.

The majority of graduates secure teaching posts or careers that require an understanding of learning and teaching such as education roles in libraries, museums, private sector organisations. 

How does the course prepare me for employment?

You will undertake school experiences across the course where you will work with school mentors and university tutors to develop your teaching skills and make progress towards achieving qualified teacher status (QTS). These experiences will be spent working with different age groups across a diverse range of primary school settings within Communities of Learning to ensure that you have experience of teaching across a range of schools and age ranges.

You will also be taught and supported by a range of experienced colleagues in our partnership schools, based in South East Wales. 

Successful completion of the course will equip you with qualified teacher status (QTS) and you will be eligible to register as a primary teacher with the Education Workforce Council (EWC). You will be eligible to teach in Wales , the UK and internationally.