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

Are you looking for a career where you can channel your interests to helping children discover the natural world? You can nurture a lifelong love of the environment as a Primary School teacher with a specialist pathway in Environmental and Experiential Learning. This pathway focuses on place-based learning linked to Morecambe’s Eden Project North and provides you with an opportunity to be involved in a collaborative project with local schools around the new Morecambe Bay curriculum.

Our well respected PGCE General Primary with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) supports you through your journey from student to Early Career Teacher. The PGCE is an internationally renowned academic qualification which, when studied alongside the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), gives you the very best of evidence-based and informed practice. Our approach therefore provides you with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to navigate the complex and exciting demands of the primary classroom.

It also means you can take up a position as a qualified primary school teacher the minute you graduate.

The University of Warwick provides accreditation for the QTS element of this University of Cumbria programme.

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Accredited by:

OFSTED Rated 'Good' 2023:

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Department for Education

Course Overview

Grounded in the learning of our acclaimed PGCE General Primary, this Environmental and Experiential Learning pathway allows you to hone your pedagogy in terms of place-based learning in a primary school setting. This unique course pathway gives you the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of the local area, explore environmental issues, and help deliver an inspiring, influential and innovative learning experiences drawing upon the natural environment.

You’ll learn through a blend of theory and hands-on experience, working within the National Curriculum framework. You'll explore a range of key teaching skills and concepts, from exploring how children learn to managing behaviour, planning lessons and adapting teaching to a range of learners. You will also explore the theme of challenging and dismantling disadvantage and the key role a teacher has in raising aspirations.

Over half the course will be spent working with children on assessed placement, with school-based enrichment activities alongside your university-based study. You'll take three placements across a variety of schools and settings, building a wealth of experience to help advance your future career.

On this course you will...

  • Develop your personal interest in environmental issues and the natural world through a specialist pathway.
  • Benefit from high-quality support from our academics and staff on a programme designed around you.
  • Learn from an experienced, highly qualified programme team, working at the forefront of the academic field.
  • Enjoy the intimate feel of our course delivery, with small class sizes and your own personal tutor.
  • Utilise cutting edge research on a newly revalidated and up-to-date course.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

The programme is intentionally designed to scaffold your learning journey in a progressive way from your first day to course completion. This is done through a combination of relevant, detailed and comprehensive contributory modules complemented by qualificatory modules that support the development of effective classroom practice. All modules have been developed to enable you to make strong, meaningful and effective connections between theory, research and practice.


You gain the academic PGCE qualification via successful completion of three masters’ level modules:

  • Beginning Professional Understanding
  • Developing Professional Enquiry
  • Extending Professional Learning

These thought-provoking modules are designed to provide you with an evidence-based foundation to support your development as a teacher. Drawing upon a range of recent, relevant and cutting-edge research, these modules support your understanding of professional decisions teachers make and therefore support you in becoming an excellent teacher.

To support your professional learning, you will engage with modules designed to help develop your professional practice. These will cover subject and pedagogical knowledge of all primary curriculum areas as well as key professional skills and attributes such as planning, behaviour management and adaptive teaching. You will have the chance to work with subject experts.

Year one

Another way in which the programme supports your understanding of the interplay between theory and practice is through the use of ITAPs (Intensive Training and Practice). These expertly designed and focused units of work, support you in knowledge, analysis, enactment, preparation and reflection in key pedagogic areas. The focus of our ITAPs have been chosen and placed strategically into the programme at key points to best develop your learning. The ITAPs focus on ‘Managing Behaviour’, ‘Assessment for Learning’, ‘Adaptive Teaching’, and ‘Structuring Learning and Curriculum Design’.

The ITAPs will involve a range of learning opportunities, including working with selected schools and expert teachers to contextualise your university-based learning and provide you with opportunities to enact the approaches explored.

  • Being a Teacher
  • Cumbria Teacher of Reading
  • Curriculum and Pathway development
  • Curriculum
  • Intensive Training and Practice (ITAP)
  • Understanding Learning

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.