PGCE General Primary with QTS (5-11) - Environmental and Experiential Learning Specialism


Course code E428

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Course code E428

Key course details

Duration Full-time, 1 Year
Start date September 2022
Entry Requirements Programme specification (PDF)
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Skills Test no longer required

Applications received by our Admissions team after 9am on 20th August 2021 will be considered for our January 2022 cohort based at our Lancaster and London campuses, or for September 2022.

Imagine helping children be the very best they can be from the very start of their school journey. Our exciting and forward-thinking PGCE Primary (5-11) with QTS: Environmental and Experiential Learning Specialism will help you do just that while raising children’s awareness of the world around them.

This specialism will teach you how to use the learning lens of the local environment as a way to explore concepts, themes and philosophies related to place-based experiential learning, whilst also developing the transferable teaching skills in this area of learning which will be useful to you wherever you might end up teaching.

We have designed this highly regarded programme to support your journey all the way from student through to achieving status as a newly-qualified teacher. You will gain all the knowledge of PGCE General Primary but with a pathway in environmental and experiential learning so that you can hone your pedagogy in this area and be able to help children to learn in motivating and innovative ways.

Learning through a mix of hands-on practical experience and theoretical understanding, you will learn how to work within the National Curriculum framework, and consider how this can be delivered in the context of children’s environment. You will learn to confidently devise and deliver interesting lessons to engage young minds across a broad spectrum of subjects in primary school.

And, because our course has QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) built-in, you can apply for a position as a primary school teacher the minute you graduate.

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Your Career with a PGCE Teaching Qualification

This course can lead to a fulfilling career as a primary teacher, with QTS built-in to enable you to go straight into work. Nine out of 10 of our graduates go into a professional teaching career or further education within 15 months of graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2020), in fact, some of our students have a job secured through their placements before they even finish their degree. This makes the University of Cumbria the top university for employment after graduation in the North West and one of the top universities for employment in the UK.

As this is a PGCE, it also includes some work at Master's level, leading to 60 credits that can count towards an MA in Education.


Student Review

This is a brand new PGCE to the University of Cumbria, developed and inspired by our partnership with local schools in the Morecambe Bay area to assist with the delivery of the new Morecambe Bay Curriculum and environmental and experiential learning wherever you might work as a teacher.

“As a headteacher and chair of the Primary, EYFS and Special Schools Eden Working Group I am delighted by the potential that the new PGCE pathway brings to schools in the area. The Morecambe Bay Curriculum is innovative and inspirational. It raises aspirations, builds dreams and makes them a reality. Our teachers will become increasingly experienced and skilled in using the unique place where we live for children to learn and this, in turn, will positively affect social, economic and environmental change. All teachers want to make a difference - this pathway will be a superb first step on that professional journey.” Linda Pye, headteacher of Ryelands Primary and Nursery School in Lancaster

Here, at our Institute of Education, our mission is to train teacher that will make a difference, enriching the learning and the future of future generations. Our Director, Ruth Harrison-Palmer, tells us about her experience as a teacher and why she wants to ensure that Cumbria graduates and indeed the teachers of tomorrow are truly prepared for the career ahead of them.


Have a question about this course or university life? Chat directly with our current education students here.

Why Choose the University of Cumbria

You will work within schools and with pupils continually throughout your studies – on school-embedded learning and placements, not just on block releases. We do this so that you can immediately put the theory you learn in lectures and seminars into practice, graduating ready to step into a classroom to teach and inspire.

Your degree will include more than 50% of your teacher training in a school, where you will experience at least two contrasting school placements, so that you not only get essential experience but can try a particular type of educational setting before committing yourself long-term. You could even start teaching by week three of the course.

While you will be going on placement very quickly, you won’t be dropped in at the deep end. You will start by working with individual groups of pupils in school and gradually build up to the teaching of whole classes to reach the required standard of professional practice.

  • Benefit from the Department for Education's primary teaching bursaries and scholarships
  • 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
  • Our course falls in line with the Department for Education (DfE) guidelines, so you can expect to do a minimum of 120 days in schools required for QTS status
  • 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
  • Highly-rated by OFSTED as a provider of successful teachers
  • Tutors are active researchers in education, so your learning will be up-to-date and fresh with the latest thinking, technologies and practices
  • A personal tutor will support you closely throughout your studies and a mentor will guide you during your professional placement
  • Easy access to our Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment providing easy online access to course material, as well as our library, well stocked with education books, journals and materials you need for research
  • Free use of teaching resources for use on placements to enhance the lessons you teach

Over the past 100 years, with our founding institutions, St Martin’s College in Lancaster and Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside, we have gained a great track record for inspiring teachers and helping them step into employment. And we have trained and qualified over 10,000 teachers over the last 10 years.

So, if you would love to share your joy of learning with children, sparking and stimulating their minds, our course is the stepping stone to becoming a qualified teacher.

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