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 Core or School Direct routes. The taught programme is common for both routes and the amount of time spent in school is also the same.We are working with a number of schools in East Anglia to develop and deliver initial teacher training at both primary and secondary level through the School Direct training route.  Find a full breakdown of the options online here.

What is the difference between core and school direct places?

With School Direct you will already know your partner school or teaching alliance when you get offered a place on the school course. School-based experience for both Core and School Direct student teachers take place in partnership schools across the region. Both routes offer the same amount of school-based experience. School Direct students will have one placement with their named base school.
The training offered by both routes is very much the same: you will follow the same programme  of UEA-based training and school-based experience, studying alongside a large cohort of other students, and will qualify with a Master’s  level PGCE.
Please see our website for further information on how School Direct works and the schools we are working with for 2018 - 19.       

How much time will be spent on school placement?
The PGCE Primary and Secondary programmes both run for 38 full weeks. Two thirds of this time  (120 days) is based on school placement.

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 elgible for a training bursary?

The majority of our students are eligible for bursaries. Substantial tax-free bursaries are available. 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 2018 and will remain open until each course is full. Read more about preparing  and submitting your application on page 28.
Have a question we haven’t answered here?  Email our PGCE Admissions team at: