The Institute of Education is one of the most successful in the UK, with 97% (DLHE 2018) of our students being employed or in further education just 6 months after graduating. Our courses are heavily placement based, supporting our students with first hand experience from over 1,500 of our partners such as primary schools or in a more specialised environment, such as prisons or museums.

We have been inspiring teachers through our training and professional development opportunities for over 100 years, beginning with our founding institutions, St Martin’s College in Lancaster and Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside.

Have a question about our courses or university life? Chat directly with our course tutors and current education students on our interactive tool.

Confused about what options there are in eduction? Try our Routes into Education tool to find out what you can do.

Watch our video to see an interview with former Primary Education with QTS student Lizzie Howden about her course and life after graduation.


Chat with staff and students

Have a question about our Education courses? Chat directly with a current student or one of our academics!

Why Choose Cumbria?

The University of Cumbria is built on an exceptional legacy of education training spanning over 100 years. Our teacher training courses provide all you need to develop into a teacher who inspires young minds.

  • Highly-rated by OFSTED as a provider of successful teachers
  • Our excellent partnerships with more than 2,000 schools in Lancashire, Cumbria London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man enhance your placement and job prospects
  • A high number of our students get offered jobs from teaching placements
  • Academic tutors have worked as teachers and within education and know what it is like to be a professional teacher, so their first-hand experience will support your learning
  • Tutors are active researchers in education, so your learning will be up-to-date and fresh with the latest thinking, technologies and practices

Our teacher training programmes

We offer teacher training programmes for three age ranges. 

Early Years (3-7 year olds)

PGCE and School Direct only

You will learn all the knowledge required to teach of PGCE General Primary but with a specialist pathway in lower primary, so that you can hone your pedagogy in this area to become an expert member of staff in school, skilled at developing effective teaching and learning in this age group.

You’ll learn through theory and plenty of first-hand experience how to work within the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage framework and confidently devise and deliver interesting lessons to engage young minds across a broad spectrum of subjects in primary school.

PGCE Lower Primary with QTS (3-7 year olds)

Primary (3-11 year olds)

Undergraduate, PGCE and School Direct available

We’ll prepare you for working with primary and early years children in a variety of schools and other settings and will build your confidence so you can move with ease into your first teaching post.

We offer courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate (PGCE) level. If you decide to do a PGCE, you'll also have the option of training at university or at a school through School Direct.

  • You get qualified teacher status upon completion of your degree
  • All tutors have a wealth of experience in teaching and have good links with local schools and educational organisations
  • Highly-rated by OFSTED as a provider of successful teachers 

Primary teacher training

If you're not certain you want to be a teacher, but would still like to work in the education sector, check out our non-QTS courses. BA (Hons) Teaching and Learning and BA (Hons) Education Studies are both excellent choices if you want to keep your career options open. 

Secondary (11-17 year olds)

PGCE and School Direct only

You will learn how to teach your subject effectively, enthusiastically and successfully - from the basics of structuring and planning lessons through to developing pupils’ personal skills and confidence.

  • Experience two contrasting school placements where you can put the theory you learn in lectures and seminars into real-world practice, giving you valuable work experience
  • Our excellent partnerships with schools in and beyond Lancashire and Cumbria enhance your placement and job prospects
  • A personal tutor will support you throughout your studies and your subject mentor will support your professional development at your placement

We offer two different routes to becoming a secondary school teacher. The first is a traditional one-year PGCE in which you'll study full-time at the university with some placements in school, and the second is through School Direct, which allows you to be based full-time in school from the beginning of your course.

Secondary teacher training

Types of teacher training courses

We offer three types of teacher training courses - one for undergraduate students and two for postgraduate students.


BA (Hons) - These full-time undergraduate courses take three to four years to complete and lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). School placements are included in this degree, so you'll graduate with lots of classroom experience. This option is available for primary teacher training only.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

A PGCE is a one-year postgraduate course which leads to qualified teacher status (QTS). You'll attend lectures and seminars at the university, then put that theory into practice in school placements. This option is available for both primary and secondary teacher training.


Depending on the subject, you may even be eligible for a training bursary or scholarship of up to £32,000.

Student finance


School Direct

School Direct is an alternative way to study a PGCE and gain qualified teacher status. Instead of coming to university, all of your training will take place in a school, giving you the opportunity to further your study in a real school environment with a potential path to employment.

Our School Direct programme follows the same structure as our PGCE courses:

  • Both require 60 days of training and 120 days of teaching in the classroom
  • Both cover the same subject and professional development modules
  • Both result in a universally recognised University of Cumbria PGCE qualification 

So, no matter which route you decide to take, you'll receive the same high-quality training.

Find out more


Working in education doesn't just mean teaching in a classroom. You can also work in a range of alternative settings, such as museums, art galleries, prisons or community centres.

If you would like to have a career in education, but don't necessarily want to teach in a school, these undergraduate courses are an ideal choice. 

If you want to take your teaching career to the next level, whether it's improving your teaching technique or taking on more leadership roles at school, we have a range of courses available to help make that happen. Whether you're aiming for a masters degree or just want to improve your knowledge with a short module, we can provide a high-quality, flexible course to help you achieve your goals.

  • Our programmes are designed by experienced staff who, in addition to their teaching role, are active researchers in the field of academic practice
  • Flexible courses allow you to fit your study around your busy schedule
  • Study at your own pace - with our MA Education Professional Practice, you can register and study one module at a time

Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses

Education Research

The Institute of Education now works with a diverse range of education providers to bring about positive change through grounded professional inquiry and research, developing confident and competent leaders who can act as a catalyst for a better education experience for everyone. This engagement is based on five 5 key principles of Collaboration, Lifelong Learning, Inquiry, Impact and Innovation.

Our key aim is to develop aspirational educational professionals who have a positive impact on learning. We support students to achieve their best, thereby becoming inspirational educators for future generations of learners.

Learning, Education and Development (LED) 

Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN)

Question? Ask a student or tutor

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