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Primary PGCE – University of Reading

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  • "High quality resources..."

    "... available to trainees to use in their teaching." Ofsted inspection report

  • Transforming lives through education

    Become an outstanding educational practitioner

Primary PGCE

Register here for more information about our postgraduate teacher training programmes

Benefit from our combination of leading academics, high-quality school placements, and university-led study. With a Primary PGCE from the Institute of Education, the vast majority of our students will be employed before they graduate.


At Reading, we train you to become reflective professionals able to secure the very best for all children. We support you and help you to be resilient, creative and inclusive. With the highest expectations of learning, progress and development, you will inspire children to become confident, active citizens who are able to cope with the fast-moving demands of the 21st century.


All the Primary PGCE courses lead to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and successful graduates can teach across the age ranges. The course enables you to specialise through pathways and routes:

  • PGCE Primary Education
  • PGCE Primary with Special Educational Needs
  • PGCE Primary with Early Years (3-7)
  • PGCE Primary with Mathematics Specialism
  • Looking for 2022/23 courses?

    If you would like to start studying Education at the University of Reading in 2022, please view our 2022/23 postgraduate courses.

    How you'll learn

    You will be taught by a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics, benefiting from their expertise and experiences in a wide range of educational settings and learning environments.

    Tutors are experienced teachers and teacher trainers, including a number of internationally and nationally recognised figures whose research is used to educate and influence policy as well as directly informing the content of the course. 

    Learning takes place through a series of lectures, practical seminars and workshops, where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge.

    You will develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills which will ensure you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.


    At the Institute of Education we have created an open and inclusive environment, one which promotes a sense of wellbeing and belonging. A community where we recognise and treat all our students as individuals.

    You will enjoy high levels of personal attention and strong support throughout your studies - as recognised by Ofsted, training you to become a confident, resilient and resourceful teacher.

    Whilst in the University, our world-class academics will support you, and whilst you are on a placement, you will be fully supported by University-trained subject mentors. During your placement your progress is also closely monitored by your University tutors and you will be visited by a member of the academic staff.

    Your tutors are on hand to offer regular guidance and support, ensuring any potential issues are addressed as early as possible.

    Our relationship with you continues beyond your training and graduation. We recognise the demands placed on our new Early Career Teachers and therefore continue to support you throughout the transition.

    “Professional and pastoral support for trainees helps them to overcome any difficulties and successfully complete their training.”

    Ofsted, Initial teacher education inspection report. – September 2016

    Facilities and resources

    Our location in Reading gives you the benefits of a vibrant town with the convenience of excellent transport connections both nationally and internationally.

    The Institute of Education is based in our historic London Road campus, which has undergone a £30 million refurbishment of the classical Oxford-cloistered quadrangle to create a dedicatepurpose-built world-class education centre.

    We have created dedicated spaces for the teaching of specialist subjects such as music, PE, drama, the sciences, ICT, and art, including:

    • modern laboratories
    • musical studios, including an electronic drum kit room and a recording studio
    • well-equipped art studios and facilities for the practise of work in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media
    • studios for wet photography and printmaking, including silk-screen.

    Alongside these fantastic facilities you will also find places to eat and drink as well as plenty of green space.

    The Learning Hub

    We have an incredible collection of teaching resources housed in the Learning Hub. A treasure trove for teachers, the Learning Hub contains every type of teaching aid imaginable for loan or for reference, from big books to puppets. A printing and binding facility, and technical equipment library are also available for your use.

    As well as those at the London Road campus, further facilities are available just a 15-minute walk away at our award-wining Whiteknights campus.


    We have strong partnerships with over 400 local schools and are renowned for our relationships with these partner schools.

    “The personal and professional conduct of trainees, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and former trainees is highly regarded by schools and settings.”

    Initial teacher education inspection report – September 2016

    You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your PGCE to apply your developing skills to real-life settings. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network whilst you study.

    It is a testament to the strength of our partnerships and the regard in which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.


    Our students have excellent employment prospects - in fact many of our trainee teachers are employed before they graduate. The majority of our graduates go into schools and have rewarding teaching careers.

    Other alumni bring their educational skills to the worlds of business, culture, art, healthcare, human resources, adult learning and further varied fields.

    Studying with us enables you to progress in your career, with many students successfully pursuing promotion following graduation.

    “Primary school headteachers are eager to appoint Institute of Education trainees, because they are well prepared and have the necessary high standards of practice required to begin their teaching career. Their personal and professional conduct is commendable. Headteachers regard Reading trainees as highly professional with a strong motivation to create a positive learning environment and promote pupils'progress when they take up their posts as newly qualified teachers.”

    Ofsted, Initial teacher education inspection report

    September 2016


    All the PGCE Primary courses lead to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and successful graduates can teach across the age ranges. The course enables you to specialise through pathways and routes:

Primary School Direct

As an alternative to a university-led PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education), you can follow the school-led route known as School Direct.

School Direct offers you the choice of completing your training with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) only or with QTS and a PGCE.  You are also able to follow either a salaried or non-salaried route - depending on your experience.

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