Primary Early Years

Study options



Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
9 Months
Start date:
9 September 2024

Hands-on training

You’ll spend at least 120 days working in two local schools

Early years expertise

You’ll have extra sessions devoted to your specialism

Become part of our Institute of Education

Our staff are research-active and experts in school support

Play a pivotal role in one of the most important stages of children’s education as they build their crucial early learning skills.

Through our Primary Early Years PGCE, you’ll explore how to teach a play-based curriculum and get children involved in immersive and interactive experiences. The course also covers aspects of KS1 and KS2, giving you the flexibility to work across primary education for a career.

During your time on campus, you will have core sessions on primary teaching and 10 additional days devoted to the early years specialism. You’ll also gain classroom experience by working for at least 120 days in two local schools, tailoring your placements to reception and Year 1.

You’ll plan engaging lessons, explore behaviour management techniques and discover how children develop and learn. Our highly experienced team – who have all worked as primary school teachers themselves - will also help you to reflect on your teaching and give you one-to-one support.

But you’ll get far more than just a teacher training qualification with us. As part of our Institute of Education, you’ll have access to the latest research on what works in the classroom and other evidence-based approaches.

There will be the opportunity to draw on the wider early years expertise of our staff as well, including specialists at our Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School.

On the PGCE, you’ll look at the primary curriculum subjects and a range of education and professional issues. These will include planning and assessment, along special educational needs and disabilities. There will be a mini-research project too.

You’ll also explore the early years foundation stage, which covers children’s learning up to the age of five. This could involve planning a lesson for both group work and wider supervision, with teaching typically delivered through 10 to 15-minute bursts.

You could be tapping into the inventiveness of role plays and other creative activities to help children develop their language and communication skills.

From getting the most out of your induction to tips on teaching your first lesson, your personal tutor will be there to support you every step of the way. We have also developed a close partnership with school-based mentors for your placements.

The PGCE takes just 36 weeks to complete and, after you pass the course, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). But the support doesn’t stop there – we’ll even offer you a mock interview to prepare you for job applications.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: PGCE Primary Early Years

Work placements

At Staffordshire University, we know our partner schools very well and can match your development needs with your school placements.

We have a wide outreach into 50-plus early years settings and local schools across Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire East. We also have partner schools in Birmingham, Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Derbyshire and beyond. They range from urban primaries to rural village schools.

We will always aim to arrange placements within 40 minutes of where you live.

Course content

You will be very well supported during your time on the course and will benefit from a designated school based mentor in school who will hold weekly meetings with you, help you teach and review lessons, develop your subject knowledge and set and monitor agreed targets.

In addition, you will have a University academic mentor who will oversee your overall development as a teacher. Improvement Planning sessions in the University will take place to support you throughout the year with your academic mentor.

As a trainee, you will be given a phased introduction to teaching that will reflect your personal needs. You will normally begin by observing the regular class teacher, helping with group work and then moving towards sharing classes with the teacher before eventually taking classes yourself. As part of your EY specialism you will be placed in EYFS and KS1 for your two placements. As well as teaching, you will be expected to contribute generally to the life of the school.

The blend of practical experience and University study gained during your course will be assessed through the compilation of portfolios of evidence and the production of short written academic papers.

To see posts about activities that we run during the PGCE course and for details of our upcoming events and open days please visit the [Staffordshire University website]( or our [PGCE Facebook page](

Entry requirements

You can apply for this course via Please click on this link to start your application.

For this course, you need an Honours Degree with a 2:2 classification or higher and a GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Following an initial screening to ensure your application meets our entry requirements, applications will be submitted to the Subject staff for review. Successful applicants at this stage will be offered an interview.

The main purposes of the interview are to:

* Allow you to understand as fully as possible the nature of the course, the teaching profession and your commitments to it

* Begin to explore your subject strengths and areas for development

* Assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English

* Answer any questions you may have

Whilst school experience is not a requirement for being invited to interview, successful candidates will be able to demonstrate during their interview that they have a good understanding of student learning and progress. Applicants may wish to draw upon experiences from their own education or paid or voluntary work in schools or with school-age children to show evidence of their understanding.

If you accept a formal offer, you’ll need to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and you’ll need clearance to work with children (Enhanced DBS).

Returning to education? We’ll help you every step of the way. Find out more about our support for mature students (anyone over 21).

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.


With a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you’ll be ready to teach in primary schools across England. Most of our graduates find their first teaching position soon after they qualify. Many of them secure roles in our partner schools.

After you’ve completed the course, you will also have credits to go towards taking our Masters in Education.

Teaching and assessment

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


Emma Clayson

Senior Lecturer

I am a senior lecturer within the primary education team. As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and in particular, inclusion and support our students to develop their skills in adaptive teaching.

Emma's profile

Robert Stannard

Course Director

I joined Staffs Uni in 2021 as Course Director for Initial Teacher Training. I am a experienced educator having led undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in Education, ITE, Creative Writing, and the Liberal Arts in several universities.

Robert's profile

Sarah Gardiner

Senior Lecturer

Sarah spent the majority of her teaching career in primary schools in central London. Additional to her class teacher responsibilities she also had the role of subject leader for English and has specialised in this area of the curriculum for ove…

Sarah's profile


For the course starting on 9 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for PGCE-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per course £16,750 per course
Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

If you accept a place with us, we’ll cover the cost of your Enhanced DBS check. You’ll also receive Level 1 Safeguarding training during induction week.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus PGCE Full-time 9 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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