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What makes PGCE Primary with Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (SENDI) at the University of Worcester special?

This course is the start of a journey like no other and will give you insight and training in becoming a specialist teacher. The PGCE explores pedagogy, practice and wider issues of education and society, enhancing your prospects as a SENDI practitioner and potentially a future leader in the profession through engagement with a course that explores, critiques and expands knowledge and understanding of SENDI.

Worcester has a large and vibrant primary teacher education department and our PGCE in Primary Education with SENDI is led by experienced academic staff with extensive research profiles, meaning your learning is shaped by those helping to shape education itself. Our programmes are ambitious in their design and we work with a strong school partnership to ensure our trainees access expertise. We pride ourselves on the support that we offer and aim to give personalised support to give every trainee the opportunity to become the best teacher they can be.

The intention of this course is to shape practitioners who:

  • Are thoughtful, knowledgeable, creative and competent in the field of SENDI
  • Have an educational philosophy grounded in inclusive practice and want to achieve the best for learners with SEND
  • Feel prepared to meet the needs of all learners, particularly those with SEND and learning differences
  • Are better equipped to recognise signs of SEND and apply this knowledge to adaptive teaching to meet the needs of all learners
  • Have an increased awareness of national priorities and a greater understanding of current SENDI developments    


Key features

  • Dynamic, exciting and vibrant course designed to support all students
  • Professional, research-active, supportive tutors
  • A wide breadth of partnership schools, geographically and demographically
  • Excellent employability
  • Combination of research, theory and criticality within sessions
  • Personalised support
  • Online and face-to-face delivery
  • Face-to-face sessions with some enhanced online learning opportunities
Ofsted Outstanding logo

Ofsted has rated us as "Outstanding" in training Primary and Secondary Teachers 2023.

The University of Worcester’s education of future primary and secondary teachers has been given the highest possible grade with inspectors stating that, along with its partners, the University creates “a learning community that places children at the heart of everyone’s endeavours”.  

Read our full news story
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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification in a relevant area such as Education Studies, SENDI, Children and Families, Sociology, Psychology etc . Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants with other degree subjects will be considered based on relevant experience within the SENDI field.

All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (formerly grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English Language, mathematics and science. (for 2023 entry, applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer an equivalency test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email:

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this. You may already be part of the DBS update service. Find out about the update service here. As part of the DBS process, you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Other information

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential.

  • Interviews will be conducted in person. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

To help you prepare for your interview, you can expect questions covering the following:

  • the role of being a teacher - both the positives and the challenges
  • your ability to identify the skills and qualities a teacher requires
  • your understanding of current issues in education and the wider role of a teacher
  • your knowledge of professionalism and how teachers demonstrate this
  • how schools and teachers keep children safe

In addition, we are looking for enthusiasm, commitment and potential. Clear communication skills are integral to this which you will have an opportunity to demonstrate throughout the interview.

Course content

Course content

School experience is a substantial and integral part of the course and you will have school experience visit days and block placements in terms 1, 2 and 3.

In total, of the 36 Contact weeks of the course, 24 will be spent in schools.

Indicative themes explored through the course content are outlined below, although regular updates mean that exact content may differ.

Please find the links to our Primary PGCE Curriculum Vision and PGCE Course Overview

The SENDI pathway provides the opportunity to follow a distinct and different route to train as a teacher in the primary phase with a specialism in SENDI.

Trainees following the SENDI pathway will:

  • Develop an understanding of SENDI best practice
  • Have experience of teaching children with SEND and learning differences as a result of school experience within specialist provision settings or mainstream settings with a specialism in SENDI
  • Have an understanding of current SEND sector priorities
  • Have a firm foundation to go on and specialise further in SEND as ECTs and beyond

The Developing Teacher (30 credits at Masters level)

This module looks at your development as a teacher. It will focus on creating your teacher identity through critically reflective models, experiences and analysis of relevant theories and research. There are three distinct strands. These are:

  • Developing professional behaviours including reflective practice and professionalism;
  • Developing behaviour management including the learning environment and behaviour for learning;
  • Developing inclusive practice.

This is the first assessed module and will help develop your philosophy of teaching.

The Learning Child (30 credits at Masters Level)

This module looks at understanding how to support children to learn. It will focus on understanding how children develop and learn, subject specific pedagogies, adapting teaching to meet different needs of learners and the role of assessment. You will cover all of the core and foundation subjects from the National Curriculum in this module. There are three distinct strands. These are:

  • Child Development and Learning Theories;
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum (including all core and foundation subjects);
  • Professional Development.

This is the second assessed module and will help you research effective methods of teaching and learning to support all children.

Life in School: School Experience (Qualified Teacher Status)

This module is your School Experience (SE) module and will involve school placements. In order to pass this module, you need to demonstrate that you have met all of the Teachers’ Standards including Part 2 by the end of your initial teacher training. It will also provide you with experiences to aid your reflections and mentoring to support your progress. There are a series of professional development days within the module, designed to support your progress with meeting the Standards. This is the final module which will be assessed at the end of your placements.

SENDI Sessions

There are 9 bespoke taught SENDI sessions. That will:

  • Develop pedagogical and subject knowledge to best meet the needs of pupils with SEND
  • Contextualise the SENDI focus within the current national roadmap for development
  • Provide opportunities to work with external colleagues who are experts in their field
  • Collectively reflect on SE practice to evaluate, critique and analyse how practitioners effectively meet the needs of leaners across all categories of need and stages of Special Educational Provision in the SEN Code of Practice

In addition, there are regular opportunities throughout the year to meet with your personal tutor, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your academic progress, school experience, support with careers and applications.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

A teacher is talking to a group of young children who are sitting on the floor

We aim to train and educate teachers who are:

  • Resilient, supportive professionals with strong values and high standards of personal conduct.

  • Effective communicators who collaborate to support wider educational opportunities for all.

  • Ambitious participants who are creative, informed intellectuals and promote a love of learning.

  • Confident and critically reflective practitioners motivated to continuingly improve practice.

  • Highly skilled and inspirational subject/phase specialists committed to ensuring the safety, well-being, and educational progress of all learners.

Our Course Offers

  • A comprehensive induction course
  • Personalised school mentoring and University Tutor support throughout the course
  • Taught days at the University with subject specialist university tutors to link theory and classroom practice
  • Practice and support research in two written assignments.
  • Reflective portfolio of evidence used to assess your knowledge and understanding of the Teachers' Standards at the end of your training.

The PGCE SENDI pathway also offers an extended placement opportunity in SEND and AP as well as mainstream schools.

2 placements will be completed in mainstream and 1 placement in a specialist SEND / AP setting such as a special school or placement school with high numbers of pupils with SEND, to allow trainees to see effective teaching and learning for learners with additional needs in practice.

The University places emphasis on enabling you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.





The SENDI pathway taught sessions dive deeper into inclusive adaptive teaching and build upon the 'Inclusive Practice' element within 'The Developing Teacher' Module.

You are taught through a combination of:

  • School experience in a range of settings
  • Studying all areas of learning and teaching across the Primary National Curriculum subjects
  • Tutor-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures , primarily to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills, central issues, key texts and inter-professional fields of study
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable you to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate, to encourage you to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
  • Directed studies and problem solving tasks provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgement; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services

In addition, there are regular opportunities throughout the year to meet with your personal tutor, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your academic progress, school experience, support with careers and applications.

Contact time

The Primary PGCE (SENDI) combines placement and University based learning. On placement, you will be expected to attend school during term time and on training days, as agreed by the school, to ensure you are compliant with the requirements of the QTS qualification.

For the full-time course, in a typical week you will have around 30 contact hours of teaching. Typically contact time will be structured around:

  • Seminars
  • Discussions
  • Group work
  • Lectures when appropriate e.g. visiting speakers
  • Practical tasks
  • Research tasks


Full Time: 10 months – Beginning of September to end of June.


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and the majority of lecturers who teach on the course have a Higher Education teaching qualification and all hold Qualified Teacher Status.  The majority of lecturers have their Masters qualification or higher and some are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of subject audits, formative assessments, tasks completed during lectures and enhancement activities.

Assessment methods include an assignment for both Level 7 modules, the Developing Teacher and the Learning Child.

On school experience, you are formatively assessed against our University of Worcester Curriculum. You will work with school colleagues alongside University tutors to complete reflections and activities in school to support your formative assessment. This will build towards your assessment against the Teachers’ Standards at the end of your course.

Throughout your course, you will be supported to prepare for your transition into your early career teacher years through the Career Entry Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development.


You will receive feedback on written assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is always intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate. We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in. When on placement, you will have a professional discussion with your mentor during weekly meetings where constructive feedback will be given on progress and targets set for development the following week.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


Andrew Taylor

Andy is a senior lecturer in primary education, teaching on both the PGCE and BA Primary Initial Teacher Education courses and he is the Regional Training Hub Co-ordinator. Mainly teaching on Professional Practice modules he also leads the Developing Teacher module on the PGCE course which supports trainees in developing their knowledge and understanding of the skills needed to develop into an effective teacher. He also leads the behaviour management provision in the primary department and has enjoyed developing the provision for this since taking on the role.

Previous to starting at the University of Worcester Andrew had taught in schools in Gloucestershire for 16 years as a class teacher, assistant head and Deputy head teacher. Over his time in schools Andrew has honed his coaching and mentoring skills to support NQTs, ECTs and trainee teachers in building their strengths to be the best teachers they can be.

He joined the university in 2018 to pursue his passion for supporting trainee teachers, ECTs and NQTs and works as part of the staff team developing the support and provision for the Early Career Teacher Community.

Alison Tugwell

Alison Tugwell

Alison is the Primary SEND Lead and Module Leader for the PGCE SENDi pathway.

Alison teaches on the Primary Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) BA (Hons) and PGCE Primary (QTS) courses within the Department for Primary Education. She also works as a school experience tutor and personal academic tutor as part of Primary ITT.

Alison has almost 30 years experience in the education sector in a wide range of roles as tutor, teaching assistant, teacher, subject co-ordinator, SENDCo, teaching head of a small rural primary school, co-headteacher of a single form entry primary school, educational consultant and Section 5 & 48 inspector. She also worked as an Associate Lecturer for the Children and Families Team at the University of Worcester.

Alison’s work has mostly been in primary schools although she has taught all stages from Early Years to KS4 in a variety of educational contexts including Alternative Provision.

In 2021, Alison was privileged to receive an award for Academic Achievement in Education (in memory of Professor Peter Pumfrey) from the University of Worcester.



Catherine Clutterbuck

Catherine Clutterbuck

Catherine lectures in inclusive practice, Primary Computing and works closely with our Partnership schools. She also works as a school experience tutor and personal academic tutor as part of Primary ITTE.

Catherine’s background is in the development of teachers. She was the Head of Pupil and Staff Welfare and Development and mentor for trainee teachers and NQTs. She is passionate about the holistic development of teachers and the impact educationalists have on pupils.

Julie Sutton

Julie is the Primary Lead for School Based Provision and the PGCE Primary School Direct Strategic Lead. She works in close partnership with schools across the West Midlands and in the South West, supporting course development.

Julie lectures in music education across the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes and teaches pedagogy and professional practice within the PGCE ‘Developing Teacher’ module. She is a School Experience tutor and moderator for the PGCE Primary School Direct programme.

Prior to joining the University, Julie taught in Primary schools across Worcestershire and has experience of Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Alongside leading music, she was a Senior teacher and Deputy Head teacher. Throughout her career, Julie has always followed her passion for developing high-quality music education for all, working as a Vocal Force facilitator for schools across the county and delivering music CPD to class teachers. She is currently the Chair of the Worcestershire Music Hub Steering committee.

Julie is a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Lorna Williams

Lorna Williams

With a passion for early years education, Lorna Williams has invested 20 years working in early years settings, prominently serving 17 of those years as a dedicated Reception teacher. During this time Lorna was an early years phase leader, supporting a team of committed early years professionals, the children and their families in a thriving and successful onsite pre-school. Lorna's focus on holistic child development, creating dynamic learning environments, and fostering effective relationships with children and their families has been a cornerstone of her career.

Now serving as a Principal Lecturer at the University of Worcester, Lorna guides aspiring early years teachers through various programs. Her emphasis lies in appreciating the distinctiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), cultivating a robust early years teacher identity, and igniting a passion for early years pedagogy and practice among teachers. Lorna also co-coordinates the Reception Class Teacher Network (RCTN), a joyful community dedicated to positive and purposeful practices in Reception classes to influence early years education. Lorna's commitment to celebrating and championing the magic of early years persists through her writing, outreach efforts, and knowledge exchange.

Sharon Lannie

Sharon Lannie

Sharon is module leader for PGCE English at the University of Worcester and teaches on all the post-graduate, undergraduate and School Direct English modules. She also supports the development of English in primary schools across the Midlands through leading English CPD, including a termly network meeting for primary and middle school English Subject Leaders in the area. Sharon is also the PGCE Later Years Cohort Leader.

Genea Alexander

Genea Alexander

Genea Alexander has worked in education for many years. Currently, Genea teaches on the Primary Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) BA (Hons) and PGCE - Primary (QTS) courses within the Department for Primary Education. Genea’s roles include ‘The Learning Child: Pedagogy and Practice - Teaching and Learning for All’ Module Leader on the PGCE - Primary (QTS) course and Primary Languages Subject Lead.

Genea is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a committee member of the National Primary Teacher Education Council (NaPTEC) and co-author of several publications. 


Kate Morley

Kate is a senior lecturer, teaching across the postgraduate and undergraduate modules for English at the University of Worcester. She jointly leads English and safeguarding within the Primary Department. Kate also works as a School Experience and Dissertation tutor as part of Primary ITT and is a Personal Academic Tutor for postgraduates.

Kaytie Holdstock

Kaytie Holdstock

Kaytie is the course leader for the BA (Hons) Teaching in Primary Education (QTS) Top Up course, supporting school colleagues both working and volunteering in Primary Schools to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. She has 18 years experience working as a primary school teacher and has a passion for promoting creativity in the classroom.

Throughout her career, she has worked with children across the primary age range and held many in-school roles including Deputy Head teacher. Kaytie was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher status which gave her the opportunity to support other schools in developing engaging, creative and inspiring content for their own pupils. She later became a Teacher advisor for Worcestershire Local Authority specialising in The Arts.

Kate Howen

Kate is the PGCE cohort leader for the Part Time pathway, teaching across the modules and supporting trainees during their school experience.

Learning to love our fellow human beings and understanding different perspectives is a vital component to any teacher, in any context, and underpins Kate’s whole teaching philosophy.

Kate joined the university in 2017 and teaches on the Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching courses. She has a focus on Inclusion, Diversity and Global Citizenship and specialisms in teaching Music, History and English.

A female teacher training student in a classroom working on placement as part of her degree to get into teaching.

PGCE Alumni Scholarship

If you are a University of Worcester graduate starting a full-time PGCE in September 2024 then you may be eligible for a £500 Cash Scholarship.

See our scholarships page for more details.


Upon successful completion of the PGCE course, you take with you a Career Entry Profile to start the process of your continuing professional development as a teacher in mainstream as well as in SENDI and alternative provision settings.

Graduates from the Primary Department at the University of Worcester are extremely employable; employability for the class of 2018/19 was 94%


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £9,250 per year.*

* Please note that for EU students training as Physics or Languages teachers and in receipt of a UK government bursary/scholarship package the fee is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You may be able to get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or are disabled.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. More information and guidance on costs are available from the Home Office. You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply