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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 twenty-first century.

Courses for 2023/24

All our Primary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and successful graduates can teach across the age ranges. We offer several pathways that allow you to specialise in an age range or subject area:

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.

How we support you

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 dedicated purpose-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.

Find out more about the Learning Hub

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

Climate and sustainability education

At the University of Reading, we believe that climate and sustainability education is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we have set out our vision that all initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects as part of our National Climate Education Action Plan.

Across all of our ITT programmes at the Institute of Education, you will learn about:

  • what is happening to our climate, how to help children learn about climate and sustainability in an age-appropriate and accessible way, and how to develop your own positioning as a teacher
  • climate justice, the impact of current and future changes to our environment and climate on ourselves and others, and implications for teachers
  • how to translate knowledge and theory into change and personal action through building climate and sustainability education into your planning, teaching, and children’s learning.

Visit Partnering for the Planet to find out more about the University of Reading’s world-leading work in climate science.


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

Applications and Enquiries

If you are thinking of applying to become a teacher, we have put together some top tips for you.

Apply for teacher training is a new service where you can apply for postgraduate teacher training.

Visit the Department for Education (DfE) website for more information on ways to train.

For support with your application to our PGCE programmes contact the University of Reading Admissions Team on

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.

Read more about studying for a Primary School Direct teaching qualification


Teacher training events

Come to a Postgraduate Initial Teacher Education event. These events cover all routes into teaching for Early Years, Primary and Secondary Postgraduate programmes.

Sarah Barnard

Read Sarahs story

The mixed format of the course with blocks of university study and school placements, enabled me to immediately put my learning into practice and consolidate my understanding in real life situations.

Sarah Barnard

PGCE Primary


Explore the Learning Hub

The Learning Hub is home to a wide range of resources that aid teaching and lesson planning. This includes story sacks, picture books, posters and puppets.