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PGCE Primary with QTS

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Graduates of the PGCE Primary course will have the knowledge, skills, values and dispositions to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) and be a professional teacher, ready to work in Wales and beyond. 


You can apply for this course on UCAS:

A Welsh-medium pathway is also available:

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Contact Email: TeacherEd@uwtsd.ac.uk

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home: £9,000
International: £13,500

Why choose this course?

  • UWTSD ranked 1st in Wales for Education (Guardian League Table 2022)

  • Graduates are highly employable as qualified teachers

  • English and Welsh pathways available

  • Study in the state-of-the-art SA1 campus in Swansea.


What you will learn

Course Overview

The core content includes: 

  • Alternative setting – an opportunity to experience education in its widest sense;

  • Bridging – the process by which practical and theoretical knowledge meet, and the transformative approach is enacted;

  • Compulsory modules – the co-constructed and co-delivered content (pedagogic and subject-related) of the programme;

  • Electives – a school-based and University-supported experience where graduates can elect to follow a more specialist line of inquiry in order to deepen curriculum knowledge;

  • Partnership conference – the opportunity to share best practice at a conference event in order that the partnership can be transformed;

  • Qualified Teacher Status – a compulsory professional pathway leading to the award of qualified teacher status;

  • Welsh Language Skill Development – a compulsory professional pathway to develop graduates’ confidence and competence in speaking Welsh.
Module Topics

The programme is full-time over 36 weeks.

Broadly, the programme comprises 12-weeks of university-based provision and 24 weeks based in school.

Level 6 Modules

Cycle 3 Core Studies: The Learner: who am I teaching? (30 credits; compulsory)

This module places the child/pupil at the centre of the programme. Understanding how a pupil learns, based on theories of learning, practice-related evidence and the place of health and wellbeing, is fundamental to effective teaching and learning. This module challenges assumptions and beliefs related to cultural diversity and the expectations of a normative model of child development.

This module also positions the teacher as a professional by considering safeguarding, child protection, contractual, pastoral and legal responsibilities.

The assessment component for this module is a written assignment (100%; equivalent to 5000 words).

Cycle 3 Professional and Pedagogic Studies: Leading the Learning: what, how and why am I teaching? (30 credits; compulsory)

Housed in this module is the explicit development of phase appropriate subject-knowledge and pedagogic content knowledge needed to effectively teach the curricular content of each area of learning and experience.

The module also explores the complex nature of the learning environment and the skills needed to manage learners, resources and other adults. The principles of planning, teaching and assessment for learning will be secured, and practical application evaluated. It is in this module that the two aspects of intellectual and experiential learning come together in the classroom and students are supported in their professional teaching experience by practicing teachers, peers and university-based tutors.

The assessment component for this module is a portfolio (100%; equivalent to 5000 words).

Level 7 Modules

Core Studies: Learners, Schools and Communities: where am I teaching? (30 credits; compulsory)

In this module, graduates study the importance of place and context; local and national. The transformative teacher looks beyond the classroom to the community where learners lead their lives and seeks to influence development in both. This means understanding the diverse nature of a community; the effect of poverty and social deprivation and how to use data to understand these issues further.

The assessment components for this module are an individual video (50%; 10 minutes) and a written report (50%; 2,500 words).

Professional and Pedagogic Studies: Researching the Learning: what, how and why am I teaching? (30 credits; compulsory)

In this module, the four dispositions of the research-ready teacher are explicitly explored: being sceptical; being ethical; being a skilled researcher, and being part of an enquiring profession. Student teachers join with practising teachings to form communities of inquiry where real life problems are identified in the classroom and researched through a close-to-practice approach. Different methodologies will be explored including lesson study, case study and small-scale action research.

The assessment component for this module is a research project (100%; 5000 words, with 1000 word equivalent allocated to the Ethics Form).


The programme design provides the opportunity for assessments to be closely related to classroom practice and draw upon evidence gained from personal experience. This approach further establishes the links between intellectual and experiential learning.

For example, students will be required to design, conduct, evaluate and share a close-to-practice research project which will directly impact on learners. Whenever possible, assignments will be submitted and marked electronically to facilitate timely and effective feedback.

Assessment components include written assignments, a portfolio, an individual video and a research project.

Interesting Links

Teacher Education PGCE Video Playlist

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants are required to hold a good honours degree (2:2 minimum).

GCSE Qualifications

  • Grade C or above in GCSE English Language or English Literature or Welsh Language or Welsh Literature.
  • Grade C or above in Science.
  • Grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics or GCSE Numeracy.

A-Levels/Level 3 Vocational Qualifications

If applicants do not hold an undergraduate degree in a curriculum subject, successful study at appropriate higher levels must be evidenced.

Work Experience

You should be aware of the realities of being a teacher and life in a classroom and so we ask for recent and relevant experience in a primary educational setting. This may be through employment or volunteering in a school and should be for a minimum period of two weeks.

Gaining experience in a school classroom will help to strengthen your application and better critically inform your personal statement. It will also prepare you for our selection process and give you some experience from which you can draw in your interview.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

If accepted into our programme, you will be required as soon as possible to obtain a clearance check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Please note there is a fee associated with the service and you should ensure also that you opt for the 'update' service to maintain the validity of your clearance check.

For further information please contact dbs@uwtsd.ac.uk.

What are we looking for? 

  • A positive view of education as a means to transform lives
  • Motivation towards becoming an excellent teacher
  • An empathetic desire to make a difference to young people's lives
  • Positive attitudes to social justice, inclusion and equity
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • Energy, enthusiasm and flexibility
  • Resilience and reliability
  • Professional attitudes and behaviour
  • Willingness to be a lifelong learner. 

How do we select our student teachers? 

  • Quality of personal statement
  • Evidence of subject expertise
  • Recent and relevant experience in an educational setting
  • Quality of individual interview
  • Performance in selection tests – e.g. literacy, numeracy and dispositions. 

As part of its commitment to widening access, UWTSD pays particular attention to recruiting student-teachers from under-represented groups and has a proactive marketing strategy for engagement with Community First areas, groups with disabilities, ethnic minority communities and Welsh medium learners.

Many schools and college departments, both locally and nationally, have former student-teachers as a part of their staff with many going on to forge successful teaching careers at strategic, professional and management levels at home and abroad.

Our PGCE graduates usually remain in close touch with us as they make their careers in the teaching profession and they often become Subject/Class Mentors on the programme.  This creates a very strong, sustainable professional network of teachers which is a rich source of continuing professional development.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are highly employable as qualified teachers in Wales and beyond.

Graduates will be equipped with a strong set of critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills reflecting transferable skills considered desirable by employers.

Graduates will be working in roles that require secure digital competence, numeracy and literacy skills together with skills of collaboration, time management and working in a complex environment. The nature of the content across the proposed programme – both in terms of delivery and assessment – will provide graduates with experience in presenting work through a variety of media. These are highly transferrable skills used in a variety of employment options.

Additional Costs

Additional Costs 

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. However, students will likely incur some unavoidable additional costs over and above the cost of their university tuition. These are as follows:

Mandatory Costs

  • Travel to placement schools and University
  • Travel to off-site specialist provision (including schools and other training providers)
  • Travel to schools for 'Bridging Days' and other whole-cohort initiatives as per calendar
  • Use of a laptop (MS Office is free to students).

Necessarily Incurred

  • Travel to participate in enhancement activities 
  • Purchasing teaching resources
  • Travel to 'Electives' placements.


  • Printing costs
  • Optional study trips.
Related Courses
Student Quotes

"Working with other trainee teachers has allowed me to recognise, share and develop excellent practice specifically targeted to enhance teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase."

"Ideas, outdoor learning opportunities, theory and planning of activity sessions have given me the chance to share and gain ideas which can be used in my own classroom come September."

"I loved being able to share ideas with other students and finally seeing how well they work with real children. I think the more we share ideas and good practice, the better we will be!"

Bursary / Scholarship Information

Each year the Welsh Government offers Teacher Training incentives. The bursary amounts that are available and the subjects to which they are linked are determined annually in response to the needs of the education sector.

Teacher training incentives: guidance for students

UWTSD's current scholarships and bursaries can be seen below:

Scholarships and Bursaries

Further Information

Our PGCE Primary programmes are extremely popular and do attract a large number of applications. For this reason, we advise you to apply as early as possible, to ensure that we are able to consider your application (ideally before Christmas). Due to the demand for this programme and the limited number of places we have to offer, we usually have to stop accepting applications in the Spring of each year, sometimes as early as January.

  • Primary PGCE English UCAS Code: 3CPM
  • Primary PGCE Welsh UCAS Code: 3CPN.