PGCE Frequently Asked Questions PGCE Frequently Asked Questions

How should I decide between primary or secondary level teaching?

Try to spend some time in both primary and secondary schools. You will find that teaching in each age phase is quite different and distinctive. Observation in both phases can challenge the expectations you bring from your own experience of schools as a pupil and will help to confirm  your preference.

How much school experience should I gain?

Although nationally it is not a requirement for applicants to initial teacher training to gain prior experience within a school, we strongly recommend that you gain classroom experience, if possible.  Spending time in school will enable you to gain valuable insights into the role of a teacher, reflect on how teaching and learning happen, and consider a range of factors affecting children’s learning.  Recent school experience will help you to decide whether teaching is the right profession for you.

What does full time mean?

All teacher training programmes are intensive professional training courses. In order to cover all of the Teachers’ Standards required, the hours involved are longer than undergraduate programmes. When undertaking the University elements of your programme you will be on campus most weekdays, 9am-5pm. When undertaking practical school placements full attendance is expected, often this means arriving by 8am and attending meetings and parents’ evenings after school as required.

There are many teacher training options to choose from. Which course do you offer?

You can study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualification, which is assessed against Master’s level criteria – leading to Qualified Teacher Status and 90 credits at Master’s level. You can choose to study the PGCE through either our university-led or School Direct routes. The taught programme is common for both routes and the amount of time spent in school is also the same. Find a full breakdown of the options online here.

What is the difference between university-led and school direct routes?

On the School Direct route you will already know the lead and partner schools in which you will have at least one of your placements when you are offered a place on the course.

Please see our website for further information on how School Direct works and the schools we are working with for 2020-21.       

How much time will be spent on school placement?

UEA meets the national requirement for all providers of non-employment based graduate teacher training programmes to provide 120 days (24 weeks) of school-based training. 

When will I be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS)?

You will be recommended for the award of QTS on successful completion of the course, once you have demonstrated that you meet the Teachers’ Standards. For most students this happens within a few weeks of the end of the course. This process applies to all teacher training routes

Am I eligible for a training bursary?

Some students are eligible for tax-free bursaries. Find out more.

As an international student, am I entitled to any financial support?

If you’ve been assessed as ‘international’ for fee purposes, unfortunately you are not entitled to a training bursary or university scholarship support. Fee status is not specifically linked to nationality. If you’re unsure about your fee status, check with PGCE Admissions at or call +44 (0) 1603 592855

When do I need to apply by?                                                                                 

Applications are expected to open in October 2019 and will remain open until each course is full. 

Have a question we haven’t answered here?  Email our PGCE Admissions team at: