Course information

Teacher Training Code

X121 (Early Years, 3-7 years)
X171 (Primary, 5-11 years)


1 year full-time

Course overview

Our well established Primary PGCE programme will support you in developing the skills, knowledge, and understanding that you’ll need to become a reflective, inclusive, creative, and engaged classroom practitioner.

This full-time Primary PGCE (QTS) programme is available in the following age phases:

  • Lower Primary: 3 to 7-year-olds (Lower Primary)
  • Upper Primary: 5 to 11-year-olds (Upper Primary) or 7 to 11-year-olds (Upper Primary)

You will be asked to choose one of these at interview. Please note that if you apply to the 3-7 pathway your placements will take place in the Early Years Foundation Stage with children aged 3-5 and Key Stage 1 with children aged 5-7.

Our Vision and Mission

We support the development of exceptional teachers for world-class schools. Our Teacher Education Partnership believes that to achieve this vision and to make a difference to young peoples' lives, it needs to be committed to: 

  • Promoting reflection to help you develop a strong sense of identity that is built upon a close connection between research and experience
  • Recognising inclusivity to be rights-respecting, and recognise and challenge the political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of practice
  • Celebrating creativity, taking informed risks, and using innovative strategies to support learning
  • Developing confidence and engagement enabling you to participate fully in steering the course of the teaching profession locally, nationally, and globally

Why Train with Goldsmiths?

You will be given a balanced and challenging introduction to teaching that is well matched to urban primary school and early years settings and is responsive to the needs of the wide range of schools we partner with. During your time on the PGCE (QTS) programme, you will have the opportunity to work in contrasting schools and settings, which will provide breadth to your understanding of your role as a teacher.

Drawing on a range of expert colleagues from school settings and the university, we provide a wealth of experience and opportunities carefully designed to support you in developing excellent subject, pedagogical, and curriculum knowledge to provide a firm foundation for your future career.

Much of our university-based teaching takes place in seminar groups, providing opportunities for purposeful discussion and debate. When in school, you will learn from expert colleagues and mentors who will provide opportunities for you to consolidate your learning, as well as targeted and supportive feedback to help shape your teaching practice.

You will also be supported to make meaningful connections between theory and practice. This programme is taught and assessed at MA level which means that in addition to the award of QTS, you will graduate with 60 MA-level credits if you pass all academic elements of the programme at an appropriate level – this is equivalent to one-third of a master's degree. Full academic support is provided to ensure you are fully prepared for assessment, regardless of your prior experiences.

We provide opportunities for you to reflect on your own mental health and wellbeing from the outset of the programme and throughout the year. This is supported by a strong pastoral care system within the department.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Primary PGCE.

What you’ll study

The Primary PGCE (QTS) programme is made up of the following three modules:

  • Studies and Professional Issues in Research in Education (SPIRE)
  • Curriculum Studies
  • School Experience


The SPIRE module focuses specifically on issues with the highest impact on young peoples' experience of education in the 21st Century. You will be asked to consider a range of issues relating to diversity and inclusion, and engage with research and policy while linking all of this to your own experience in the classroom.

Curriculum Studies

The Curriculum Studies module for those following a 5-11 or 7-11 pathway has a choice of specialisms. Currently, these choices include:

  • Children's Literature
  • Maths in Action and Profound
  • Complex Special Educational Needs

Those applying for the Early Years pathway will focus on this aspect specifically for their curriculum studies module which will give you the opportunity to understand in greater depth the principles that inform effective early years practice. You will also be introduced to key principles, theorists, and practice that is so important when considering how best to support young children. You will have the opportunity to practice and apply your learning during your school placements in the EYFS and Key Stage 1.

You may also apply to the Primary PGCE (QTS) Programme through the following course codes. These programmes all have a different Curriculum Studies specialism.

  • Primary with Mathematics with Goldsmiths (2M3G)
  • Primary with Modern Languages at Goldsmiths (2M3K)

Regardless of your choice of specialism, this module asks you to draw together theory and practice to develop a deep and focused understanding of contemporary classroom practice.

School Experience

You will spend a minimum of 120 days in a school which will be divided into two-block school experiences. During your placement, you will have the opportunity to practise and apply the knowledge and skills learned in university sessions in the age phase(s) you have chosen to focus on.

The Primary PGCE Programme at Goldsmiths offers you the opportunity to specialise in one of three age phases.

  • 3-7 (with Placement in EYFS and Key Stage 1)
  • 5-11 (with placement in Key Stages 1 and 2)
  • 7-11 (with placements in Upper and Lower Key Stage 2).

You will be asked at interview to select the age phase you are most interested in working with.

You will have two extended placements during your programme during the Autumn and Summer terms. Placements are allocated for you once you have enrolled. We consider any care responsibilities or personal circumstances, and we will locate a school for you that is within a reasonable travelling distance from your home where required.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

How to apply

You apply for this PGCE through the Department for Education’s Apply for Teacher Training website. More information about the process can be found on the Get into Teaching website.

Please take a look at the information on applying, including the specific qualifications or experience you need for this course.

There's no closing date for primary or secondary applications, but we advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.

Learning & teaching

A range of teaching methods is employed across all our PGCE programmes, including:

  • Taught subject sessions
  • Practical workshops
  • Compulsory lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group and Individual tutorials
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Supported self-study

Course requirements

You'll need:

  • to meet our fitness to train requirements
  • a GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English, Mathematics, and a Science subject (either Biology, Chemistry, Physics or combined Science). Please note, we can only accept some UK and international GCSE equivalent qualifications. Please view our list of accepted UK GCSE equivalencies. If you have a non-UK qualification that you believe is GCSE equivalent, you must check this with the Admissions team.
  • an undergraduate honours degree, at 2:2 or above from a university in the United Kingdom or an international equivalent.  

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £20160

If your fees are not listed here, please contact the Fees Office - fees (

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries for prospective students, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.