A student and two young children serve pretend pizza, cake and other food in an Early Years setting.

PGCE Primary Early Years Education with QTS

Gain recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status to teach children aged 3-7 as you develop the expertise to stimulate children's curiosity through structured and practical activities, underpinned by significant time in early years settings.

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      • International Students Can Apply
      • Professional Practice Placements
      • Professional Accreditation


      UCAS Code: X124
      Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Education and Teaching
      Location: Edge Hill University
      Holy Cross College and University Centre, Bury

      Successful completion of the programme leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

      This programme will equip you with the skills, understanding and experience to become a leader of learning in a wide variety of early years settings, including primary schools, nursery settings and children’s centres.

      You will be trained across the early years foundation stage and key stage 1, combining study at Edge Hill University or Holy Cross College & University Centre, with high quality training in schools. This will ensure you gain the experience needed to be an outstanding teacher of children aged 3-7.

      On completion of the course you will have the confidence to take up your first teaching post with a clear appreciation of the latest approaches and strategies to teaching theory, combined with extensive practical experience, to enable you to educate and inspire early years children.

      Student and Alumni Profiles

      • Emma Spink

        Emma Spink

        PGCE Primary Early Years Education with QTS
        Through the amazing teaching placements and campus based training, I have been able to acquire the appropriate level of curriculum knowledge and continuously develop my professional practice.
        View Emma Spink's full profile
      • Rachael Patel

        Rachael Patel

        PGCE Primary Early Years Education with QTS
        Throughout the course the tutors and the staff in the placement schools have provided excellent support, which has been fantastic.
        View Rachael Patel's full profile
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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The programme starts with a series of subject knowledge audits, to identify your main strengths and weaknesses, and enable your tutor to focus on your individual development needs.

      The PGCE consists of three main elements:

      • Personal and Professional Attitudes, Values and Beliefs – you will develop your learning skills and learn how to reflect upon and take charge of your own development as a trainee teacher. You will also explore and reflect upon your professional attitudes, values and beliefs in relation to both your own learning and the broader educational landscape;
      • Subject and Curriculum Knowledge – you will learn about the national curriculum at key stage 1 for each subject and discover how to plan, teach and assess across the whole primary age range. You will also learn about the early years foundation stage and the areas of learning and development within this. A critical appreciation of theoretical perspectives, philosophies and research-based findings will also be conveyed;
      • The Craft of Teaching and Pedagogy – you will be immersed in the contemporary key theories and principles of early years education and undertake a relevant small-scale research project. Gaining knowledge of how children learn and how their needs differ, you will also develop strategies for the core skills of planning, assessment, teaching and class management. In addition to this, you will develop an understanding of the education system and the wider professional role of a teacher in school.

      The importance of play-based learning will be examined in each element. Cross-curricular themes are also considered as are the practical skills of planning for learning, promoting positive attitudes and working in an extended team and with parents and carers.

      One of the most important elements of this programme is the practical teaching experience you will gain through placement in one of our partnership schools or nurseries. This hands-on approach is combined with tutor-led sessions and self-study so that you can increase your ability to plan, teach and manage the learning of children aged 3-7 years. You will learn how to teach pupils across the ability range, how to assess pupils’ progress in learning, manage behaviour and maintain a happy learning environment.

      The programme will develop your understanding of how children learn and also consider behaviour management, child development and other important professional issues related to the early years foundation stage and key stage 1. You will be encouraged to develop as a reflective and well informed professional.

      How will I study?

      A combination of academic study, group discussion and reflection, practical and work-based learning in the classroom will give you the knowledge and skills you need to become an excellent teacher. You will be supported by online and distance learning materials and encouraged to develop key skills, including the use of ICT, to support your own learning.

      The course involves a significant amount of time in schools and settings. You will complete a series of placements in early years foundation stage classrooms (age range 3-5 years) and key stage 1 classrooms (age range 5-7 years). Here, you will work alongside mentors and peers to further your professional development.

      In schools and early years settings you will undertake a range of differentiated training experiences which will be closely linked to your individual targets. Your teaching timetable will increase in relation to responsibility, as your training progresses and you become more confident and competent in the classroom. You will progressively assume the responsibility for the children and their achievement and progress, involving excellence in teaching, learning and assessment.

      How will I be assessed?

      A balanced combination of coursework and observed classroom experience will be assessed against the professional standards for QTS.

      Before the end of your PGCE you will need to complete a professional portfolio which acts as a useful bridge between your initial teacher training programme and your two-year induction as an early career teacher.

      Who will be teaching me?

      The Faculty of Education has been at the forefront of teacher education for 135 years and today enjoys the enviable position of being one of the country’s leading providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce.

      The teaching team delivering this programme has a wide range of experience and expertise as early years practitioners, local authority advisers, teachers in school and university tutors. They are committed to being at the forefront of developments and research within early years education.


      Housed in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University enjoys a stunning setting from both its lakeside and piazza buildings.

      Facilities in the lakeside building include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology. The lakeside building is also home to a popular vegan and vegetarian cafe where students can meet to socialise and discuss their studies.

      The nearby piazza building offers modern facilities including a lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.

      Alternatively, you can choose to study at Holy Cross College and University Centre in Bury. You’ll be taught by Edge Hill lecturers and staff, and have access to a range of modern facilities, including recent building upgrades and refurbishments. There’s a range of study spaces and a coffee shop where you can relax before lectures. Holy Cross is especially proud of their library, IT facilities, modern classrooms and meeting rooms in the Mary Kelly building where the face-to-face sessions will take place.


      Timetables for your induction week are normally available in August prior to enrolment. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your induction week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.


      Expand All

      Compulsory modules:

      EPG4111Being a Teacher-Researcher (30 credits)

      Being a Teacher-Researcher will support your development as a scholar and researcher and focus on the principles and foundations on which to build and establish your research practice in early years education. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary and innovative research methodologies underpinned by ethical processes. The module will enable you to engage with research and carry out an individual small-scale research project to explore and critically examine an aspect of early years education which particularly interests you. The topic will be agreed with your tutor who will provide support and guidance. The module provides you with the opportunity to use your professional practice experiences as a vehicle for producing your research projects.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      EPG4110Contemporary Debates in Early Childhood Education (30 credits)

      Contemporary Debates in Early Childhood Education will raise your awareness of complex contemporary issues related to early years education and the impact they have on children’s lives. You will develop an understanding of key theories and underpinning debates and discourses in early years education to enable you to reflect on the associated principles and ideologies. These reflections will form the foundations on which you will build your own pedagogy of teaching and learning in early years education and provide a platform for your ongoing professional learning in the future.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      In addition to the above modules, the course features a range of non-modular activities, covering personal and professional development, curriculum development, and professional practice. These activities will support you in the development of the professional skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes encapsulated in the Teachers’ Standards (Department for Education 2014).

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      When you apply, you are expected to have:

      • A commitment to, and understanding of, early years education, demonstrating the personal attributes, values and motivation required to train as a teacher;
      • Suitable presentational qualities, including a good standard of written English.

      Before the programme commences, you should have:

      • A degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above). No specific subjects are required;
      • GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent);
      • GCSE in combined Science (dual or single award) or in Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent). Please note, subjects that cover a narrower range of the National Curriculum, such as Human Biology or Environmental Science, are not acceptable.

      An interview forms part of the selection process.

      Please note, for the purposes of initial teacher training, level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications are not considered as equivalent to GCSE Grade C or Grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics.

      EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

      If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required 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.

      English Language Requirements

      International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

      If your current level of English is half a band or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      This PGCE is accredited by the Department for Education. Successful completion of the programme will enable you to gain recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You will be well placed to progress into employment as a newly qualified teacher in early years and primary settings.

      Our graduates obtain work in schools across the UK and abroad and we offer excellent support to help you gain a first post as a newly qualified teacher. You will have an ability to teach in primary schools and early years settings, a strong knowledge of primary education and excellent classroom skills, so that you meet and exceed the national standards for Qualified Teacher Status.

      You will also have a thorough understanding of how to teach the early years foundation stage curriculum in creative ways that excite and stimulate children whilst ensuring that they make good progress. Skills in monitoring and managing your development, and an ability to reflect on alternative approaches to education, will help you to make your own informed choices and aid your career progression.

      Our proactive Careers service can help you to find job vacancies and offers in-depth advice on teaching job applications and interviews, to help you secure work.


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this PGCE in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £9,250. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23 are £13,500.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      Financial Support

      Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this PGCE can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the programme may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining this PGCE in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/pgcefinance2022.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/eufinance for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


      Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time PGCE students.

      These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

      To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.


      How to Apply

      Apply online through the Apply for Teacher Training service at gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training.

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyforteachertraining to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

      Visit Us

      If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

      Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

      Request a Prospectus

      If you would like to explore our full range of PGCEs before you apply, you can order a PGCE prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/pgceprospectus.

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

      International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      26th April 2021 - New Study Location Added

      The programme is now available at Holy Cross College & University Centre.

      27th October 2020 - Change of Modules

      EPG4110 Contemporary Debates in Early Childhood Education (30 credits) and EPG4111 Being a Teacher-Researcher (30 credits) replace EPG4010 Philosophy of Teaching and Learning in Early Years (30 credits) and EPG4011 Early Years Research Specialism Module (30 credits) as compulsory modules.

      27th October 2020 - Change of Programme Title

      The title of this programme has changed from PGCE Early Years Education with QTS to PGCE Primary Early Years Education with QTS.

      Covid-19 - Primary Early Years Education with QTS Essential Information

      Primary Early Years Education with QTS Course Statement

      Delivery for each module will consist of six hours of on-site teaching per module per semester (delivered accumulatively, where appropriate) supported by a minimum of four hours of online learning comprising synchronous (seminar, tutorial) and asynchronous (lecture, discussion board) learning activities and academic support.

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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