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Primary PGCE

Primary school child in class pointing at his drawing

Everyone's passion for education is really contagious and I can see why Cambridge is so highly commended for this course.

you can talk with your mentor and tutors, its a very supportive environment.

a university based course allows you to take research from your peers and implement it in schools.

open notebookCourse overview

The Faculty of Education offers two PGCE Primary courses; the PGCE Early Primary and the PGCE General Primary.

  • Early Primary (covering ages 3-7)
  • General Primary (covering ages 5-11).

Trainees on the Early Primary course complete substantial placements in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, with opportunities for nursery placements for trainees with a personal interest in working with younger children.

Trainees studying on the General Primary course follow either the 5-9 years old specialist option with substantial placements in Key Stages 1 and 2 or 7-11 years old specialist option with substantial placements in Key Stage 2 and a short placement in Key Stage 1.


male teacher with young learnerUnderstanding young childrens learning

The PGCE course prepares our trainees to develop the qualities characteristic of an outstanding primary school educator.

The Faculty considers it vital that trainees understand the nature of young children's learning through:

  • Recognising the learning needs of children at the start of their educational career
  • Understanding the nature of the holistic child as being integral to the provision of effective practice
  • Knowing how to develop an emotionally secure, playful and nurturing learning environment
  • Demonstrating a knowledge of key theoretical perspectives and how understanding how these underpin a pedagogy of excellence for young children
  • Building positive working relationships within a team of professionals which will include colleagues across educational settings and external agencies
  • Managing the importance of smooth transition between the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to facilitate continuity in provision.

route mapPGCE Early Primary

Trainees on the Early Primary course complete substantial placements in both:

  • Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
  • opportunities for nursery placements

The Early Primary PGCE course prepares trainees to teach within this important and exciting phase of a child's education.

Trainees participate in professional studies lectures, conferences and visits, some of which are shared with the General Primary trainees. This ensures a comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the broader context of primary education.

Input from the Faculty's internationally recognised experts in educational research provides incomparable insights into key and emerging issues. Key research in addition to the Cambridge Primary Review includes the Cambridge independent learning project (CIndLe), Children Articulating Thinking (ChAT) and PLaNS (Play, Learning and Narrative Skills).


lecturePGCE General Primary

Trainees follow either:

  • 5-9 specialist option
    with substantial placements in Key Stages 1 and 2 or
  • 7-11 specialist option
    with substantial placements in Key Stage 2 and a short placement in Key Stage 1.

The General Primary PGCE course at the Faculty of Education prepares trainees to engage with this very exciting phase of education.

The reform of the primary curriculum has been a major focus of recent national educational priorities, and researchers based at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, under the leadership of Professor Robin Alexander, have made a particularly important contribution to this debate in the form of the Cambridge Primary Review. The aims and principles of this Review are central to the both the early primary and the primary PGCE course.


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We are outstanding

Our current Oftsed report rates the Faculty of Education teacher training as outstanding.

We are the number one teacher training provider in England in the 2017 Good Teacher Training Guide.

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Primary PGCE

Core Subjects

Foundation Subjects

Professional Studies

School Placements