Our one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) prepares you to teach the primary curriculum.
You’ll gain experience in teaching across the various Key Stages so that you are confident in teaching any year group.
You’ll have taught sessions at University (around 12 weeks over the year) and spend a minimum of 120 days on placements in schools.
When you’re at Manchester Met, you’ll learn teaching methods and organisational skills, and how to apply your knowledge in the classroom. Some of the skills you’ll learn include how to plan lessons and how to manage children’s behaviour.
You’ll explore creative ways to teach across the core curriculum, from subjects such as history and science to English and art. You might, for example, use role play, to bring history to life.
We also have science laboratories on campus, where you’ll have taught sessions with our science tutors so that you can develop the knowledge you’ll need to teach your class.
You won’t simply learn theory with us on campus though, you’ll teach classes in schools and gradually become the class teacher.
On your placements, you’ll get involved with everything in school, from assemblies to playground duties to speaking with parents.
Applicants must possess a 2:2 honours degree (or international equivalent), and GCSEs in English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C /4 or above. Please note that applicants can apply with GCSE's pending and that we would consider applicants who do not have a Science GCSE as we can offer a GCSE Science Equivalency test.
We do not accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy or Key Skills as equivalents to GCSEs. Human Biology and Human Physiology are not accepted as a Science subject.
If you are due to graduate or have graduated within the last three years your principal referee must be a University lecturer.
Experience in Educational Settings
Successful candidates will demonstrate a good understanding of teaching and learning within a primary school setting.
Candidates may wish to evidence their understanding by drawing on related examples or experiences, such as time spent in schools or other learning settings.
Professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy
All PGCE applicants will need to pass pre-entry Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy. The Faculty of Education offer support sessions to help applicants prepare for tests, but tests must be booked externally, further details at https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/passing-the-skills-tests
A Disclosure and Barring Service Check and satisfactory health check are also required.
On the University-led PGCE route, you’ll have lectures and seminars at Manchester Met and spend a minimum of 120 days on placements in schools across Greater Manchester.
In University, you will explore key aspects of primary teaching including managing behaviour, planning, assessing learning and creative approaches to teaching such as bringing historical characters to life.
Some of the topics you’ll explore include behaviour management, mental health and emotional wellbeing, teacher persona, and non-verbal communication (such as body language).
You’ll also develop your research skills during these lectures, analysing the latest educational research and theories. Understanding research means that if you have an issue in the classroom (such as challenging behaviour or inclusion) you can explore research and use it to guide your teaching.
During your first couple of weeks, we’ll help you to develop the organisational skills you’ll need as a teacher (such as carrying out assessments and dealing with paperwork).
We’ll also give you a full overview of the year to help you to stay organised throughout the course.
You’ll go on your first block placement in late September, where you’ll put the skills you’ve learnt at University into practice and build your confidence in the classroom. You’ll be involved in all aspects of teaching, from marking work to delivering lessons to helping with parents’ evenings.
When you’re on placement, you’ll have a school mentor (often the class teacher) to help you with day-to-day matters, and receive support from your personal tutor and/or visiting tutor.
Early Years Option
If you choose to take the Early Years option as part of your PGCE course, you’ll cover topics such as early reading and maths through workshops and seminars. At this stage you’ll explore the role of play and outdoor learning, which is key to early years education. You’ll be able to put these specialist skills to practice during your placement, as you will have the opportunity spend some time in an early years setting during the year.
Read more about this year of study
This unit supports you in making choices that will enable supported yet challenging professional development both within the programme context and for progression on into their NQT year.
The unit will focus strongly on developing skills of reflection, analysis and evaluation to enable you to adapt practice as the context and children require.
School Based Training 1 (PG1)
This unit is your first School-based Training experience. By the end of the placement you will be expected to plan, teach and assess specific areas of the curriculum, including core and some foundation subjects.
School Based Training Final (PGF)
This unit is your final School-based Training experience. By the end of the placement you will be expected to plan, teach and assess all areas of the curriculum. The placement will start with day visits to a school and culminate in a block placement.
This unit is an exploration of the primary school curriculum, through a holistic, thematic approach where subjects and pedagogies are explored together to evaluate the impact on the learner.
Practice Based Research
The research unit offers you a choice to explore and develop a specialist area of study within the field of primary school education.
Assessment weightings and contact hours
10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
- Full-time 16.5% lectures, seminars or similar; 67% placement; 16.5% independent study
- Full-time 50% coursework; 50% practical; 0% examination
Additional information about this course
Fitness to teach - You will be required to complete an Occupational Health Assessment to ensure that your health does not constitute a barrier to the achievement of the programme learning outcomes or eligibility to apply for registration with the professional body. This will require the completion of a health questionnaire before or during the first few weeks of your course, followed by an occupational health screening appointment if required. Travel costs to appointments (which will be within the Greater Manchester area) will not be covered by the University. Professional Suitability - Students on programmes leading to professional qualifications are required to adhere to professional standards and codes of practice during their studies. Failure to do so may lead to exclusion from the programme on the grounds of professional unsuitability. Students will be briefed about the requirements at the start of their studies. Course specific regulations - Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies require students to achieve results that demonstrate their ability to practise safely.
Manchester Met organises placements for trainees on our University-led ('Core') PGCE route through our extensive Initial Teacher Education Partnership. Our Partnership vision is to train 'outstanding, critically-literate professional teachers who will challenge and inspire their learners'.
The schools we work with share our commitment to aspiration and excellence, with a focus on strong mentor training and support for trainees. There is also an emphasis on national priorities, including behaviour management, literacy and numeracy.
Our partner schools cover a wide geographical area and diversity of social, economic and cultural backgrounds, ranging across inner city, suburban and rural settings, enabling us to offer our trainees a broad range of placement opportunities.
We organise placements starting with the trainee's term-time postcode and matching this with placement offers from schools. Trainees are expected to travel up to 90 minutes each way from where they live and to arrive in school 45 minutes before the school day commences. We take into consideration special circumstances, such as disabilities, cultural requirements and medical conditions. In addition, we match carefully to ensure a breadth of experience across different key stages.
Trainees spend at least 120 days on contrasting placements in two schools related to the two age phases of their particular route through the course, with time spent in each key stage/phase. They are attached to each school for a substantial period of time and expected to engage in the full life of the school.
In their first placement trainees gain experience across the full age range of the school and teach in one class for an extended period, taking increased responsibility for that class.
They then begin to teach a range of curriculum areas, as well as gaining an understanding of cross-curricular themes.
The second placement focuses on the whole curriculum and extended management of the classroom in order to meet the requirements for the Teachers' Standards.
Trainees are required to pass both periods of school-based training.
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.
Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.
All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.