PGDE Initial Teacher Training (Primary - choice of specialism)

Start date(s)
September 2022
Study mode
Full-time (1 year)

Tuition fees 22/23

Home (full-time, per year): £9,250

International (full-time, per year): £16,600

About this course

Become an outstanding Primary teacher at LJMU. Graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the 3-7 or 5-11 age range.

  • Prepare for a career as an innovative and creative teacher of 3-7 or 5-11 year olds (see Details tab for range of courses)
  • Enjoy placements supported by excellent teacher mentors
  • Qualify with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education featuring 120 Masters-level credits (ours is one of the few ITT courses to offer this) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the same cost and length of study as a PGCE
  • Spend 120 days on school placement, predominantly in a ‘Home School’
  • Go on to complete your MA in your first year of employment and look forward to excellent career development opportunities

Our PGDE Primary programmes are designed to prepare you for a career as an innovative and creative teacher. You will be trained by highly experienced academic staff and school mentors.

At Foundation level our philosophy centres around a commitment to learning and teaching through play and interaction. This should not be seen as a ‘soft option’, but as a challenging and rigorous approach, which requires high level planning, organisation, intervention and assessment.

Training to teach the 5-11 age range, on the other hand, focuses on lectures and workshops which will enable you to explore pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning across all National Curriculum subjects with a particular focus on the core subjects, including the teaching of Phonics.

The professional experience you acquire during your studies, alongside University input will enable you to develop your ability to plan, teach and manage learning in different settings and socio-economic contexts.


The University has a well-established reputation for delivering innovative approaches to teacher education. Our academic team is made up of successful teachers who maintain strong links with schools and professional bodies, ensuring you receive the most up-to-date training and key insights into the field during your course.

Our emphasis is on developing teachers who are reflective practitioners able to apply a deep understanding of the curriculum, learners and learning to provide the very best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children, with a positive impact on their development and achievement.

The professional experience you acquire during your studies, alongside University input will enable you to develop your ability to plan, teach and manage learning in different settings and socio-economic contexts.

Professional body recognition

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

LJMU is the only university in Merseyside to have achieved the combined ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ rating from Ofsted for primary and secondary initial teacher education. The inspections covered schools across the region, including Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Crosby, Widnes, Runcorn and Warrington.

Ofsted ranked the LJMU primary teacher training partnership as ‘outstanding’, and its secondary teacher training partnership as ‘good’, noting that the University and its partner schools are dedicated to training a supply of ‘well-qualified, committed and socially engaged teachers who are prepared to make a positive difference to the life chances of pupils across Merseyside and beyond.’


Fees and funding

Money - postgraduate funding informationFull-time PGDE 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% (Graduate Outcomes, 2018/19) of our postgraduates in work or further study 15 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.

The employment prospects of LJMU primary teacher training graduates are extremely positive. 

The programmes provide opportunities for engagement with relevant local employment organisations including schools and teacher recruitment agencies through on-campus events and school-based placements. You are encouraged to join the relevant professional association for your area of study, extending your professional network.

Courses are, naturally, intended for those preparing to enter the teaching profession and most of our students go on to achieve their career goal, working in state or independent schools and colleges. Teaching provides a variety of pathways leading to specialist roles ranging from pastoral to subject leadership and on into school leadership positions.

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After completing your PGDE you can progress to the MA Education Practice programme for Newly Qualified Teachers which will enable you to complete a full MA during your first year of employment. LJMU also provides specialist Masters programmes in Advanced Educational Practice.

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

The student experience

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Courses available

Explore the options on offer

We offer a number of programmes in primary education, the details of which you will find below. There is a choice of subject specialisms and the option to select the Key Stage you wish to teach.


PGDE Primary Foundation Stage / Early Years - Key Stage 1 (3-7 years) with QTS
Level 7 - 120 credits

Our emphasis is on developing teachers who will examine, analyse, research and reflect on their practice to provide the very best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children. By completing Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 placements, in different settings and socio-economic contexts, you will gain a greater understanding of Early Years teaching and learning. The course has a strong commitment to outdoor learning. We have links with Forest School practitioners and strive to enable all trainees to experience this aspect of Early Years practice.

PGDE Primary General Key Stage 1/2 (5-11 years) with QTS
Level 7 - 120 credits

Our emphasis is on developing teachers who are reflective practitioners able to apply a deep understanding of the curriculum, learners and learning to provide the very best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children, with a positive impact on their development and achievement.

PGDE Primary with Mathematics Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS 
Level 7 - 120 credits

Choosing a specialism in Mathematics will mean that you spend more time on your programme focusing on the teaching of Mathematics at Primary level. You will have specialist sessions focused on the teaching of Mathematics and enhanced opportunities both within and across schools. We will show you how to develop innovative, practical and engaging ways to manage the teaching of Mathematics in Primary schools. You will be expected to review your own understanding of Mathematics and engage critically with research into children's learning of Mathematics.

PGDE Primary with Physical Education Specialism (5-11 years) with QTS
Level 7 - 120 credits

Choosing a specialism in P.E. does not mean that you will only teach P.E. You should be prepared to teach across the whole primary curriculum. Choosing this specialism does mean that you will spend additional time on your programme focusing on the teaching of P.E. at Primary level, through practical, specialist sessions about the P.E. curriculum in Primary Schools and enhanced opportunities within school placements. We will show you how to develop innovative and engaging ways to lead the teaching of all aspects of P.E. in Primary schools. You will also be expected to understand how to support your peers in developing their P.E. practice.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

University-based study includes: 

  • a full-time block of three weeks at the start of the course
  • one day per week until January
  • week-long, full-time study blocks between January and June
  • a number of conference days

You will undertake a significant amount of independent study and preparation to support your course assignments and school-based work and should be prepared to work some evenings and weekends.

Teaching methods

You will learn via lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, group discussion and reflection, problem solving and micro-teaching. You will also make use of our online learning environment. 

You will be allocated a Teacher Mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your Mentor will be supported by your LJMU Tutor who will visit your school several times to monitor your progress. Additional professional development sessions are organised in school during placements.  

Tutorial support is an important part of the LJMU learning process and you will receive a personalised service that will enable you to set targets and achieve your potential. Your Personal Tutor will support your academic and professional development and will meet with you formally during the year.

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Applied learning

You will spend 120 days spent on school placement.

Placements are organised in our partnership schools in the Greater Merseyside area. For the majority of the training you will gain your teaching experience in a 'Home School' with a six week placement in an 'alternative' school after Christmas. 

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 a Teacher-Mentor who will enhance your professional learning experience in school.

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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.

A final assessment of your achievement of the Teachers’ standards required will be based on observation and assessment of your teaching practice and the evidence base that you develop during training.

Course tutors

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

Elizabeth Malone

Dr Elizabeth Malone

Head of Primary Teacher Training

As the PGCE/PGDE 5-11 Programme Leader at John Moores University, Elizabeth has responsibility for the management and co-ordination of the various 5-11 postgraduate routes (Core and School Direct) which lead to qualified teacher status for our trainee teachers. Prior to working at LJMU, Elizabeth taught primary school children in  England, France and Taiwan. When employed as a qualified Primary Teacher in England, her specialist subject was primary foreign languages, a research area that she still maintains an active interest in. 

Our emphasis is on developing teachers who are reflective practitioners.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based in Mount Pleasant campus in the dedicated Education Building, the School of Education benefits from independent study spaces with IT facilities, a cafeteria and shop, close proximity to Aldham Robarts Library and access to student welfare and support. In addition to these facilities, you will find high quality meeting and seminar rooms and lecture theatres.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:2 honours degree (or recognised equivalent)
  • a demonstrable interest in and enthusiasm for teaching within the primary age range. You could show this in a number of ways – time spent in schools, knowledge of the curriculum, relevant practical experience
  • GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade 4/C (or above) or equivalent qualifications – level 2 numeracy and literacy are not acceptable
  • GCSE equivalency tests are accepted in English, Language, Maths and Science, but ONLY if results are officially received and can be verified PRIOR to application. Please contact with any queries

  • We will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs or equivalency tests

Additional information:

  • RPL is not accepted on this programme 
  • Deferred entry for the next academic year is not accepted for this programme
  • IELTS score 7.0 (Minimum 6.5 in each component) - achieved prior to application
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a selection event 
  • If you accept a formal offer from LJMU 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
  • Original evidence of GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science grade 4/C or above or equivalent and your degree (if you have already graduated) will be required if you are successful and receive an offer of a place on the course. This will form part of your offer conditions.

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

2022 Entry: Courses can be viewed on the government's Get into Teaching website from 5th October 2021, with applications opening 12th October 2021. Given the popularity of some specialisms and the limited number of places, we recommend applying as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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 
  • the 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


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

Selection events 
Our selection events will comprise of an individual interview. Prior to interview, you will be required to complete and pass a Mathematics assessment for those applying for a specialism in Mathematics. 

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Full details of the interview process in each subject 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.