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PGCE Primary Teaching with QTS (school-led)

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
1 year

Tuition fees

Home fee
International full-time per year
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About this course

Take the School-led route into Primary teaching with LJMU and gain Qualified Teacher Status and invaluable classroom experience.

  • Train within a school setting and be involved in school life from the first day of term
  • Choose from Primary teacher training routes (see Details tab for more information)
  • Follow a curriculum developed and delivered in partnership with outstanding local schools
  • Learn from expert teachers
  • Prepare for a career as an innovative and creative teacher with one of LJMU's excellent Lead Partners

LJMU's Initial Teacher Education programmes are designed to develop reflective practitioners who are able to apply a deep understanding of the curriculum, learners and learning to impact on the development and achievement of young people.

Training on the School-led pathway includes substantial time spent in school led by experienced practitioners. Bursaries are available on the programme, depending on your degree classification and subject area.

The School-led pathway is offered by a number of school consortia, each with a Lead Partner, who works with LJMU to develop their training programme. As each School-led programme is distinctive, you are advised to check full details of training and requirements with the Lead Partner before applying.

Applications for places with our School-led consortia are made directly to Lead Partners via DfE Apply. The interview and selection process is conducted by school staff in association with LJMU.

For the training of Primary teachers, LJMU work in partnership with the following School-led consortia:

The Sandstone Trust, based at Tarporley High School, Cheshire


The Heath School, Runcorn


North West Learning Partnership, St Helens


Palmerston School, Liverpool (specialising in Special Educational Needs)


Turton School, Bolton


Wirral Schools Collaboration, Pensby, Wirral


All courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status and support the development of your: critical understanding of educational theory and practice, reflective practice linked to professional development and practitioner research skills for effective teaching and learning. Your training will also enhance your understanding and the application of your subject knowledge.

Courses can be viewed on the government's Get into Teaching website.

  • Hear from one of our Lead Partners

    Our school Federation has worked with LJMU to deliver school-led teacher training for many years. We enjoy an exceptionally positive working relationship, where good communication, shared values an...

    Read more..

Professional body recognition

Our Initial Teacher Education courses are monitored by Ofsted - the Office for Standards in Education.

In June 2023, Primary Initial Teacher Training received a “good” rating following a rigorous 4-day inspection. Ofsted noted many strengths in provision, which are noted below.

Leaders have worked with great care and attention in designing their ITE curriculum. They have thought carefully about how to embed the DfE’s core content framework into each of the primary-phase programmes. Leaders work closely and effectively with partner schools to decide what trainees should learn in the centre- and school-based training. Across all Primary programmes, leaders use experts from schools to help to teach student teachers.

Primary student teachers develop a confident, well-informed understanding of early reading, including of Systematic Synthetic Phonics. Tutors provide guidance on how to select and use a rich range of literature to inspire pupils about reading, such as stories written by authors from diverse backgrounds. Student teachers fully understand how to build on children’s early communication and language development.

The primary-phase ITE programmes are taught by expert tutors and trainers. Leaders make sure that their staff actively participate in the work of national organisations and subject networks. Students value the input given to them by tutors and trainers about pertinent education research that will help them in their careers.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Full-time PGCE students are eligible for the same range of financial support as undergraduate students.

You will have access to:

  • a non means-tested student loan to cover your tuition fees
  • a means-tested student loan to help cover your living expenses
  • a means-tested maintenance grant, which does not have to be paid back
  • a means-tested LJMU Bursary worth up to £500, which does not have to be paid back

For the latest information about bursaries and funding, please visit the Get Into Teaching website.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Many schools involved in School-led training are seeking to fill a vacant post at the end of the course, though there is no guarantee of employment.

During your training there will be ample opportunities for engagement with relevant local employment organisations including schools and teacher recruitment agencies through on campus events.

You will be encouraged to join the relevant professional association for your subject or area of study, providing the opportunity to engage with wider networks of teachers and others interested in your chosen area.

Most of our students go on to work in schools and colleges, locally and nationally, in the state or independent sectors.

Teaching provides a variety of career pathways leading to specialist roles in schools and colleges ranging from pastoral care and subject leadership right through to school leadership positions.

Having gained experience in teaching, a number of graduates move into associated professions such as educational psychology, consultancy, and roles in the education service sector outside of schools.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Optional Modules

Becoming a Professional Teacher
20 credits

This module focuses on the teaching placement (minimum 120 days) in a Home School and Alternate Placement, including the tracking and recording of mentoring and progress in relation to the Core Content Framework and assessment against the Teachers' Standards. To pass the module and meet the competency requirements, student teachers must pass the placement experience and triangulation process. Student teachers must also complete an Early Career Profile (ECP) outlining targets for early career development

Becoming a Professional Teacher
20 credits

This module focuses on the teaching placement (minimum 120 days) in a Home School and Alternate Placement, including the tracking and recording of mentoring and progress in relation to the Core Content Framework and assessment against the Teachers' Standards. To pass the module and meet the competency requirements, student teachers must pass the placement experience and triangulation process. Student teachers must also complete a Early Career Profile (ECP) outlining targets for early career development.

Reflecting on learning, teaching and assessment (3-7)
40 credits

This module develops student teachers as critical reflective practitioners, developing knowledge and expertise of key subject and / or phase teaching approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

Reflecting on Teaching and Learning
40 credits

This module develops student teachers as critical reflective practitioners, developing knowledge and expertise of key subject and / or teaching approaches to learning and teaching.

Education and Schooling
20 credits

This module provides an option to complete a postgraduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme with an alternative exit award WITHOUT recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). In this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the contemporary policy landscape of education and schooling in England, with reference to educational research and scholarship, informed by personal observation of practice.

Pathways to QTS

  • Primary Key Stage 1/2 (5-11 years) with QTS
  • Primary Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 (3-7 years) with QTS
  • Primary with Mathematics Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS
  • Primary with Physical Education Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Although you will spend the majority of your time teaching in school there are regular university-based training sessions at the LJMU Mount Pleasant Campus in the City Centre. Some of your training may be delivered by and in partner schools.

As this is a postgraduate course, you should expect to undertake a significant amount of independent study and preparation, not only to support your course assignments, but also your school-based work.

Teaching methods

School based training involves the preparation and delivery of learning sequences and lessons to small groups and whole classes of learners, with expectations and workload increasing during the course. This work is supported by your teacher-mentor who will support your professional learning experience in school.

The course is delivered through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, group discussion and reflection, problem solving and micro-teaching. We also make full use of the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

This intense programme is tightly focused on providing you with the skills and knowledge required. Tutorial support is an important part of the process and you will receive a personalised service that will enable you to set targets and achieve your potential.

Your Personal Tutor will meet with you to monitor your progress, provide guidance and advice and set targets for your development.

You will also be allocated a Teacher Mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your mentor will be supported by your LJMU Liaison Tutor who will stay in regular contact throughout the course and visit your school several times to monitor your progress.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment methods include: critical reflections on research and practice, small scale research projects, the design and analysis of learning experiences, presentations and a portfolio of professional activities.

You will need to monitor your progression towards achieving the professional standards required for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and maintain a professional development portfolio.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

You will have access to all of the classroom and teaching facilities provided by the schools within your consortium as well as the expertise of educational professionals at LJMU.

In addition, your university sessions will be based in the new Education Building in the heart of the Mount Pleasant campus, the School of Education features a wide range of cutting-edge facilities, including a pedagogy room, lecture rooms, computing facilities and a nearby Outdoor Learning Zone for our Natural Curriculum projects. Students also benefit from independent study spaces, a close-by cafeteria and library, and access to student welfare and support.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a minimum 2:2 honours degree (some Lead Schools will require a 2:1).  You should check the individual requirements on DfE Apply.

GCSEs and equivalents

  • GCSE Grade 4/C or equivalent in English, Maths and Science for Primary teaching 

International requirements


    IELTS 7.0 overall (minimum of 6.5 in each component) 

Further information

  • Extra Requirements

    Receipt of a satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) certificate prior to enrolment.

    Completion of a medical questionnaire, for medical clearance by the LJMU Occupational Health team, to confirm Fitness to Teach.

    If an applicant needs to improve their subject knowledge, they may be asked to complete a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course.

  • RPL

    • RPL is not accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

If you want to join a PGCE with us, you will need to apply through the Apply for Teacher Training service here https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training

Applications can be made via Apply to the Lead Partner. Each applicant will be considered in consultation with an LJMU Admissions Tutor and may be asked to attend a selection event in school. The selection process will be led by the school teachers and Senior Leaders and may involve LJMU Tutors.


Applicants will be assessed for their:

  • depth of relevant subject knowledge
  • potential to work effectively at Masters level
  • ability to work with others in teams
  • ability to manage people and projects


Applicants will be expected to demonstrate:

  • an interest and enthusiasm for their chosen subject area
  • an ability to make learning exciting and meaningful to young people in a range of contexts
  • commitment to supporting learners in areas of challenging social context
  • enthusiasm and resilience

Courses can be viewed on the government's Get into Teaching website. 


You should live within reasonable travelling distance of the University and our partner schools for the duration of the course.

Selection events

Selection is based on performance in an interview, teaching and written tasks and may involve the school's learners. The selection process will be led by the schools' Teachers and Senior Leaders and may also involve LJMU Tutors.

Your performance in each part of the selection process is graded and a final decision is made on your performance across the day. Full details of the interview process will be sent to you in advance of the selection event.

Prior to entry

You will need to meet the Department for Education's standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure, will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer."

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.