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What makes PGCE: School Direct Primary at Worcester special?

This course offers an immersive and inspiring, school-centred training route into teaching.

At Worcester the PGCE: School Direct Primary is tailored to your needs - building on your existing strengths and expertise.

Our course is inclusive and innovative in its design and delivery, and places you at the heart of a thriving school community from day one.

Key features

  • Full immersion in the daily life of a school and all the existing challenges that brings
  • Breadth and depth of experience across a range of schools
  • Outstanding additional opportunities for enrichment and extension
  • A dynamic taught programme, ensuring depth and breadth across all Early Years and Primary subjects
  • Unparalleled personal and academic support throughout the programme and beyond

Register your interest

Enter your details and we will keep you up to date with useful information about how to apply for a PGCE place:

Taster evenings

Our PGCE taster evenings give you the opportunity to explore our facilities, take part in teaching taster activities, and find out about student life. The upcoming dates are:

  • 5 February 2019, 5pm-7pm
  • 19 March 2019, 5pm-7pm
  • 7 May 2019, 5pm-7pm

These events are designed for those considering applying for the course, rather than those who have already applied. To request a place email or complete this enquiry form.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/level 4 at GCSE in English Language, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent*) passed at time of entry.
  • School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At interview we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them. 
  • Department for Education Professional Skills tests in English and Mathematics must be passed prior to entry. For further details visit the Professional Skills Test page

*If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice by email:

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. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks. In addition, the NCTL requires all trainees to satisfactorily complete a medical questionnaire to demonstrate their fitness to teach.

All applications for PGCE Primary should be made via UCAS Teacher Training.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

Professional skills tests

All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The tests are required in addition to your mathematics and English GCSEs, and are designed to show that you have the basic levels of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard. They will not test your knowledge of the curriculum or how to teach.

The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject are provided free of charge.

Support we offer

We offer free skills tests workshops if you have accepted a place on the course. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt of the skills test then we will also provide one-to-one support in both numeracy and literacy.

Find out more about our skills tests workshops and support.

Choosing School Direct was perfect for me. Being part of the day-to-day life of the school was great. I learned so much from the fantastic University and school team – I would recommend it to anyone!

Primary School Direct trainee

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Indicative course overview

What will you study?

Indicative course content for 2016-17, subject to adaptation:

Pedagogy and Professional Practice

Indicative overview of content

Covers a wide range of the knowledge, skills and understanding required to become an effective self evaluating practitioner, including how children learn, what impacts on pupil learning and progress and learning and teaching styles.

Subject Specialist Research

Indicative overview of content

A small-scale school based enquiry in a subject in which you already have degree level/A level qualifications or significant experience

Core subjects and Computing

Indicative overview of content

English, mathematics, science and computing subject knowledge and pedagogy

Foundation Subjects and SEND

Indicative overview of content

Art, D&T, geography, history, languages, music, PE, RE, SEND subject knowledge and pedagogy

School experience

As this is a school led programme, the majority of training takes place in schools. There are three extended placements teaching in at least two different schools and two key stages. There are also many opportunities to gain additional experience in partner schools and settings.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

The School Direct Training course contains:

  • Comprehensive induction programme
  • Personalised school mentoring and University Tutor support throughout the programme
  • Taught days at the University with subject specialist university tutors to link theory and classroom practice and to support research into written assignments
  • On-going assessment against the Teachers’ Standards
  • Reflective portfolio of evidence to achieve the Teachers’ Standards

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students 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.


You are taught through a combination of:

  • School experience and contrasting placements  in a range of settings across School Direct Federations and partnerships
  • A personalised School Based training programme, closely aligned with the University taught programme and school based training
  • Studying all areas of learning and teaching across all EYFS and 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 students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability;
  • Participation in high level professional practice discussions, peer presentations and debate, to encourage trainees to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
  • Directed studies, Professional Enquiry Tasks 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. Completion of a Subject Knowledge Learning Log (SKLL) to demonstrate pedagogic understanding , competence and confidence in teaching the full range of Foundation Subjects , SEND and Religious Education. 
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services.
  • Personalised training plans supported by University and School based mentors

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 and school based training

Contact time

This is full time, school based training programme.  Throughout the course of your programme you will be expected to attend University for between 25 and 30 days in the year, typically every other Friday, for three block weeks and additional guest lectures and bespoke training. When not in University, you will be expected to be in School every day, each week. On placement, you will be expected to attend school during term time and on training days and to attend all school based professional development, as agreed by the school, to ensure you are compliant with the requirements of the QTS qualification.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

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

Independent self-study

For every two hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake approximately 1 hour of personal self-study/follow up work per week.  Typically, this will involve researching areas of teaching and learning related to areas of the National Curriculum, SEND, EAL and other key areas of interest relating to the primary setting.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

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 all of the lecturers who teach on the course have a Higher Education teaching qualification and 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.

Your lead mentor in school works very closely with the School direct programme lead to ensure that school based training programmes align with and enhance the University Teaching programme. 

All Lead mentors across the School Direct Federations and Partnerships meet regularly with the School Direct team to review trainee progress; undertake joint moderation visits and discuss programme developments. School based staff also contributes to University teaching sessions.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include subject assignments, subject profiles and individual subject assessment tasks. You will engage in a range of assessments during school experience, all of which combine as components towards your final award.

You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Reflective Portfolio to which students, teachers and tutors contribute. You will also be observed teaching throughout the course of your training and assessed against a range of criteria underpinned by the Department for Education Teachers' Standards.

Throughout your course, you will be supported to prepare for your first year of teaching through the University of Worcester Career Entry Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development. You will continue to be supported beyond your initial training and award of Qualified Teacher Status as you develop as an early career professional.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is 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.

Teaching practice and partner schools

We work very closely with our outstanding partner schools to carefully craft inspiring and innovative initial teacher training programmes. The School Direct route is underpinned by a coaching and mentoring model to ensure you receive the highest quality teacher training experience. Throughout your training you will have regular built in opportunities to observe and learn from outstanding teaching in a range of contexts.

Our partner schools include a range of settings from rural to inner city. You will practice teaching at least two schools and across two key stages based on your entry pathway.

The course is designed with periods in University where you will: develop a Masters' level understanding for the complex nature of teaching and learning; be taught be expert University tutors; and come together in peer group subject communities to reflect on your professional development as a trainee teacher. You will be allocated a personal Pedagogy and Professional Practice (PPP) tutor who will oversee your training journey and act as one of the key links in this.

In each school you will be supported by a Lead Mentor, as well as your class teacher and University Supervisory Tutor. Your progress will be supported and developed by this key team as part of a three way tripartite model, underpinned by professional dialogue between Trainee, School and University. You will receive an inspiring range of additional professional development across your training for example Early Years conferences, training in Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOPS) trips and recognised external speakers. Your progress and development will be regularly reviewed with additional support and enrichment and extension for high performing trainees. Throughout your training your Reflective Portfolio (RP) will enable you to gather evidence of your professional development against the Teaching Standards Parts1 and 2.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • AH

    Andrea Holloway

    Andrea Holloway is Acting Course Leader - PGCE Primary. Andrea taught in a range of primary schools across Dudley and Sandwell, undertaking additional roles as Sandwell Leading Maths Teacher and Dudley Maths Coach, supporting colleagues in developing skills in teaching primary maths. She joined the University of Worcester in 2011 as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, teaching on the Computing module for the Postgraduate course. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2017, gained her M.A. (Distinction) in Education at the University of Worcester. Andrea is passionate about widening participation and works closely with tutors and colleagues in schools and colleges to provide outreach and information events for aspiring teachers.

  • Joy Stanton

    Joy has been a member of the Primary English team at Worcester since 2003 as well as being part of the Primary Partnership team responsible for placements up until 201l. Joy is currently joint PGCE primary English module leader teaching on primary English modules for both undergraduate and post-graduate students and supervising research dissertations in the subject.

    Before coming to Worcester, Joy taught on the PGCE English programme and the Education Studies course at the University of Birmingham for eight years. 

  • 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 schools through leading a termly network meeting for primary and middle school English subject leaders in the area.

  • Kim Harris

    Since joining the University of Worcester Kim has held the role of Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) Course Leader managing a cohort of GTP trainees for 2 years. Her teaching responsibilities include teaching pedagogy and management on the PGCE Primary degree and teaching postgraduate and undergraduate primary mathematics and music modules.

    Before her appointment at the University of Worcester in 2010 Kim worked as a successful KS1 and KS2 primary teacher in Berkshire and Cumbria at a range of different primary school schools both rural and urban

  • lorna williams

    Lorna Williams

    Lorna is PGCE Early Years (3-7) cohort leader and the Early Years subject lead, supporting the development of Early Years on all primary initial teacher education at the University of Worcester.

    Lorna is module leader for PGCE, School Direct and Undergraduate Primary Design and Technology at the University of Worcester. She also teaches on the PGCE Art, Pedagogy and Professional Practice, Subject Specialism and Research in Early Years as well as the Undergraduate Professional Research in Early Years module.

    Lorna's role within the School of Education, as a school experience tutor, enables Lorna to support trainees to develop as professionals throughout their placements and into their NQT year.

  • Rhys Pritchard

    Rhys works in the Institute of Education and is the Subject lead for Primary Physical Education. He joined the University of Worcester in June 2018.

    Rhys entered Higher Education in 2017 working as a lecturer of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Previously, he taught in a variety of schools in Worcestershire, but also abroad in Dubai and Australia, experiencing both Primary and Secondary PE, but also in the classroom. Away from work, Rhys has a heavy involvement with rugby as both a coach and player.

  • Pinky Jain

    Pinky is passionate about education, especially the professional development of trainee teachers and the teaching of maths in schools.

    Pinky teaches on the BA QTS and PGCE (Primary Mathematics Modules, Professional Studies and Independent Research Modules), is Subject Leader for Primary Mathematics and is Programme Leader for the PGCE Mathematics Specialist Pathway. She is currently supervising 4 Masters research students from the UK and abroad.

  • Julie Sutton

    Prior to joining the University as a sessional lecturer in 2005, Julie worked as a Primary school teacher, where she gained experience of teaching across the whole of the Primary age phase in a range of schools within Worcestershire. She quickly moved into management and held various leadership roles including senior teacher and acting deputy head teacher. In 2012, after several years combining working in schools and University, Julie made the transition to work permanently in HE as a Senior Lecturer in Education.


Where could it take you?

Graduates from the Primary Department at the University of Worcester are some of the some of the most employable in the country. The graduates for 2016/17 have an employability rating of 98%

Prospectus cover - students outside our historic City Campus buildings

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How much will it cost?

Tuition Fees - School Direct

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for UK and EU students registering on the PGCE: School Direct in the academic year 2019/20 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Financial support

Financial incentives

See Get Into Teaching's page on bursaries and funding.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS Teacher Training

UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto postgraduate teacher training courses in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages or visit the UCAS Teacher Training website for more information on applying.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When making your choices for School Direct in the APPLY section, under click provider: You will need to type in the name of the Lead School, not the University.

UCAS Teacher Training CODES:

School  Subject  UCAS TT codes 
Barr Beacon School (Lead)

Kingsland Primary School (B44 9NA)
Wednesbury Oak Academy (DY4 0AR) Primary 2PF9W
Bengeworth Multi-Academy Trust (Lead)
Bengeworth CE Academy (WR11 3EU) Primary  39QC-
Bretforton Village School (WR11 7JS) Primary 39QC0
St Richards CE First School (WR11 1DU) Primary 39QC2
Harvington CE First & Nursery School (WR11 8NQ) Primary 39QC3
Black Pear Trust Alliance (Lead)

Hollymount School (WR4 9SG) Primary 38RG-
Hollymount School (WR4 9SG) Primary 3B4Z-
Lord Scudamore Primary Academy (Lead)

Lord Scudamore Academy (HR4 0AS) Primary 3-7 33YRA
Lord Scudamore Academy (HR4 0AS) Primary 5-11 33YSA
Marlbrook Teaching School (Lead)    
Marlbrook Primary School (HR2 7NT) Primary  2TKKM
Ashfield Park Primary School (HR9 5AX) Primary 2TKKA
Blackmarston Special School (HR2 7NX) Primary 2TKKB
Bridstow C of E Primary School (HR9 6PZ) Primary 2TKKC
Eastnor Parochial Primary School (HR8 1RA) Primary 2TKKD
Ewyas Harold Primary School (HR2 0EY) Primary 2TKKE
Kingsland CofE Primary (HR6 9QN) Primary 2TKKF
Ledbury Primary School (HR8 2BE) Primary 2TKKG
Our Lady’s RC Primary School (HR2 7RN) Primary 2TKKH
St Francis Xavier’s Primary School (HR1 1DT) Primary 2TKKJ
St James’ C of E Primary School (HR1 2QN) Primary 2TKKK
Little Dewchurch CE Primary School (HR2 6PN) Primary 2TKKL
Trinity Primary School (HR4 0NU) Primary 2TKKN
Weston-Under-Penyard C of E Primary School Primary 2TKKP
St Pauls Primary School (HR1 1UX) Primary 2TKKQ
Whitchurch C of E Primary School (HR9 6DA) Primary 2TKKR
Wigmore Primary School (HR6 9UW) Primary 2TKKS
Orleton CofE Primary School (SY8 4HJ) Primary 2TKKU
Kimbolton St James' CE Primary School (HR6 0HQ)  Primary 2TKKV
Goodrich CE Primary School (HR9 6HY) Primary 2TKKX
Hampton Dene Primary School (HR1 1RT) Primary 2TKK3
Riverside Primary School (HR2 7JF) Primary 2TKK8
St Martin's Primary School (HR2 6AF) Primary 2TKK9
Redhill School (Lead)    
Redhill School (DY8 1JX) Primary  2GK8-
River Wye Teaching School (Lead)    
Whitchurch CE Primary (HR9 6DA) Primary 3D6D-
Somers Park Primary School (Lead)    
Somers Park Primary School (WR14 1SE) Primary 3-7 3CCR-
Somers Park Primary School (WR14 1SE) Primary 5-11 2RXP-
South Bromsgrove High Teaching School (Lead)    
St Johns Middle School (B61 7DH) Primary 3-7   34S3-
St Johns Middle School (B61 7DH) Primary 5-11 2NWY-
South Worcestershire and ITT Consortium (Lead)
Chawson First School (WR9 8BU)  Primary 2PYPA
Swan Lane First School (WR11 4QA) Primary  2PYPW
Westacre Middle School (WR9 0AA) Primary 2PYPS
South Worcestershire and ITT Consortium (Lead) PG Apprenticeship Route   
The Kingfisher School (B98 0HF) Primary 38SYK
The Vale of Evesham School (W11 1BN) Primary 38SYT
St. Michael's Federation (Lead)    
Lydbury North Primary School (SY7 8AU) Primary 2TZS-
The Earls High School (Lead)    
Olive Hill Primary(B62 8JZ) Primary 352SA
Welford-on-Avon Primary School (Lead)    
Welford-on-Avon Primary School (CV37 8ER) Primary 3BCC-

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Administration enquiries

Helen Bayfield
01905 855073

Course related enquiries

Julie Sutton
01905 542085