If you’re passionate about embarking on a teaching career, the PGCE Primary (School Direct) enables you to immerse yourself in practical experience from the outset.
Fully prepared for a teaching role
School Direct courses have high levels of employment and student satisfaction. You will be recruited as a trainee and based mainly in one of our partner school alliances, so you will become a valuable part of a school team from the start.
With intensive support in the classroom and the guidance of University experts, you will be fully prepared for the practical demands of primary teaching. This includes teaching the core subjects as well as the wider National Curriculum subjects.
As part of the course, you will undertake three assessed teaching placements in good schools to broaden your experience. You will be supported throughout by our ‘outstanding’ trained school mentors and link tutors.
You will also spend time at the University to develop your understanding of what it takes to become a great teacher.
A first class learning experience
With a rich heritage in teacher training dating back over 150 years, we have a strong reputation for nurturing successful, confident and forward-thinking primary teachers.
In our 2015 Ofsted inspection, we received an ‘outstanding’ rating for the quality of our work. Our Primary Leadership Team was praised for putting students at the heart of all they do and for ensuring they have excellent career outcomes.
Our students were described as “highly motivated and passionate about working with children,” keen to be fully involved in the everyday life of schools.
The power of partnerships
As one of the major Initial Teacher Education providers in the East Midlands, we have longstanding partnerships with more than 300 schools across the region, including rural, multi-cultural and inner city schools.
For the School Direct course, we have joined forces with a network of partner schools which work in clusters to support you on placement. Ofsted described our relationships with these partnership schools as ‘excellent’.
Specialisms to suit you
You can tailor your studies to match your own interests and career plans. Depending on your preference and any prior experience, you can choose to specialise in teaching Early Years (3–7 year olds), Primary (5–11 year olds), or SEND.
Each route includes a placements in a host school appropriate to your chosen route to help you advance your teaching and learning skills in specific areas.
If you choose to specialise in SEND you will focus on a diverse range of topics including SEND policy and legislation, effective inclusive practice, and meeting the challenges of teaching in the SEND sector.
Relevant, up to date and challenging
At a time when rapid policy shifts are transforming the educational landscape, we will help you to meet the challenge of change in the modern classroom. This is an intellectually stimulating course which will keep you up to date with all the latest developments.
You will be taught by a highly competent and qualified team of tutors, including published authors and influential researchers whose work is helping to shape the future of the profession.
You'll study modules such as:
- Professional Practice and Pedagogy 1
- Professional Practice and Pedagogy 2
- Professional Practice and Pedagogy 3
- Theories of Learning and Teaching: The Pupil as Learner
- Developing Teacher Enquiry: Research Informed Practice
You will spend most of your time learning how to teach in schools linked to our network of partner teaching schools. Located across the Midlands, they will work together in clusters to support you on placement. The placements and enhanced school opportunities will provide you with challenging and exciting experiences.
You'll also spend time at the University, working in our excellent facilities with University and school-based tutors, in order to develop your growing understanding of what it takes to become a great teacher.
How you're assessed
All assessments relate to your school placements; you will complete three assessed teaching placements, two in your main school and one in a second school, and additional enhanced school opportunities, which will provide you with the challenging and exciting experience you need. There will be in-depth teacher enquiry on school-based issues.
You'll also have the opportunity to reflect on and discuss your developing subject knowledge of the core and wider curriculum subjects, as well as developing your skills in research-informed practice.
You must have a good UK Honours degree (preferably 2:1) or equivalent, plus grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics, English Language and a Science. You need to have already gained the required GCSE grades when you apply. There are currently a range of equivalences which can be accepted - please contact our Admissions team if you need clarification.
You will be required to have successfully completed the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy in order to secure a place on the course. We offer Skills Test preparation days to help you to gain the knowledge to successfully complete the tests.
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this course.
There are few professions as important and satisfying as teaching. Successful completion of this course gives you the ideal springboard into a worthwhile career: a PGCE, Qualified Teacher Status, 60 credits at masters level and substantial practical experience.
The School Direct route is a popular choice for students who would like to secure a role in the network of schools where they train and we pride ourselves on producing highly employable graduates. Ofsted said: “Many trainees gain teaching posts before they finish their training and almost all have obtained a teaching post within a very short time of leaving the University.”
In a profession with lots of opportunities for career progression, we also give you a stepping stone towards a masters degree. With your 60 credits at masters level, you can ‘fast track’ to stage two of a masters degree and accelerate your professional development. Our MA Education is an excellent option, especially if you have your sights set on more senior roles such as head teacher or deputy head teacher.
As a newly qualified teacher or trainer, you can also benefit from the University’s continuing support as you take your career forward. We offer a range of resources, subject updates, events, conferences and development opportunities to ease your transition into professional practice.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- Interview preparation/supporting job applications inc. local Head Teachers and the unions Professionalism input
- Teaching school Alliance Hub training sessions
- Two main placements in two different schools from your Teaching School Alliance partnership
- Enhanced Placement Opportunity - 1 week alternative placement covering a range of providers and settings
- Trained mentor on placements
- Range of in class visiting/expert speakers to enhance module content e.g. Homophobic bullying input, Behaviour Management, Honour Based Violence and PSHE
- Subject specialist link tutor
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- You may choose to buy textbook, journals, data sticks and stationery
- Replacement DBS if lost, approx. cost £50
- Travel to/parking at settings hosting activities
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Some trainees may have the opportunity to visit a unique school setting in Holland or other as their enhanced placement opportunity. A contribution or the whole subsided cost might be expected to be paid for travel and accomodation
- NQT module forming part of MA. Students receive a 10% discount
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.