Primary PGCE


If you are a graduate with a passion for learning and an interest in a career in primary teaching, this course is for you. The PGCE Primary Education degree is a one year course that leads to the award of qualified teacher status.  The course aims to prepare student teachers to be highly-skilled, confident, critically reflective and innovative practitioners who are committed to life-long professional learning and the education of young people. 

The Primary PGCE is also available to study through the medium of Welsh, TAR Cynradd

Please note: ITE courses in Wales have recently undergone an accreditation process by the Education Workforce Council (EWC). Cardiff Metropolitan University will provide PGCE Primary and PGCE Secondary ITE courses as part of the Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education

Applications for PGCE Primary are no longer being considered for September 2021 entry, please contact Admissions with any queries. We are still accepting applications for Welsh medium TAR Cynradd.  

​Distinctive Features of the Degree

  • 60 credits at Masters’ level that can be ‘traded in’ towards an MA in Education 

  • University and school experiences that train student teachers to teach the Curriculum for Wales across the 3-11 age range 

  • Students are prepared for a PGCE qualification widely recognised throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world

  • Research-informed clinical practice where structured opportunities enable student teachers to use theory to interrogate practice and vice versa 

  • A supportive and collaborative culture of learning 

  • School-led training days led by schools identified as leading providers of education and professional development 

  • A ‘return day’ to university and/or lead partnership schools every week to consolidate and cohere learning 

  • Opportunities for cross-phase learning with our PGCE Secondary programme 

  • Person-centred enrichment opportunities to build on strengths and develop innovative, collaborative, professional learning and leadership skills. 

  • A commitment to the development of Welsh language skills of all student teachers based on their individual experience and needs 

​The Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education​​

To train to teach at Cardiff Metropolitan University is an exciting opportunity to learn within the Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education, the only provider of PGCE training in South East Wales to be accredited by the Education Workforce Council. 

The Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education comprises Cardiff Metropolitan University and its associated schools, working in collaboration with University of Oxford, Cardiff University, Central South Consortium (CSC), Education Achievement Service (EAS), and City of Cardiff Council. Together, the Cardiff Partnership collaborates to ensure that our student teachers not only achieve, but seek to surpass the professional standards for QTS through high-quality professional education that is rigorously practical and intellectually challenging.

Find out more about the Cardiff Partnership.

​Course Content​​

​A total of 120 days will be undertaken in school during the PGCE Primary year. 15 of the days will take place in lead partner schools/alliances (LPS/A) where student teachers will be able to focus on key aspects of pedagogy delivered by leading providers of education and professional development in the primary sector. Work-based and University-based learning experiences will be closely integrated and the structure of the programme (one day per week at university/LPS/A and four days per week on clinical practice) will facilitate this.

The PGCE Primary programme consists of three modules:

Clinical Practice and Professional Accountability 1 (30 credits at level 6)

This module is mainly school-based and takes place during the first half of the academic year. Student teachers will be expected to team teach and independently teach for approximately 45% of the time. The rest of the time provides opportunities for observation, research and enquiry, planning, preparation, and assessment. This module is available through the medium of English or Welsh.

Clinical Practice and Professional Accountability 2 (30 credits at level 6)

This module is mainly school-based and takes place during the second half of the academic year. Student teachers will be expected to mainly teach independently for approximately 65% of the time. The rest of the time provides further opportunities for observation, research and enquiry, planning, preparation, and assessment. For most student teachers, there will be an opportunity to undertake 15 days at the end of the module where they will be able to engage in enrichment activities to build on their strengths/areas for development normally linked to innovation and leadership.  The focus will be negotiated with their Mentors and University Tutors, will be bespoke to their needs, and will support them in achieving beyond the Standards for QTS as well as contributing towards their Career Entry Profile. This module is available through the medium of English or Welsh.

Perspectives in Learning and Teaching (60 credits at level 7)

This year-long module contains 8 major aspects:

  • Core Studies 
  • Professional and Pedagogical Studies 
  • Areas of Learning and Experience 
  • Cross-curricular Responsibilities 
  • Subject Studies 
  • Welsh Language Development 
  • Wellbeing, including Personal Development and Planning Clinical Practice and Research Support

This large module will draw explicitly on a range of theories, research and other intellectual resources as well as student teachers’ direct experience in schools to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding about learning and teaching. This includes aspects such as human development; the curriculum and education system; additional learning needs; use of data and assessment; classroom management and organisation; as well as the development of student teachers’ personal subject knowledge. At least half of this module is available through the medium of Welsh as well as English.

Welsh development

All student teachers will be allocated 25 hours of direct teaching in relation to Welsh development.

Welsh medium students will receive Gloywi Iaith sessions that will address grammatical elements of the Welsh language and student teachers will be instructed on methods linked to developing pupils’ personal literacy skills and understanding of the socio-linguistic backgrounds of learners.

Welsh learners and emerging Welsh speakers will follow a recognised language scheme: ‘Cynllun Colegau Cymru’/ Welsh Colleges Scheme. This course addresses the needs of student teachers who intend teaching Welsh Second Language (WSL) in English medium primary schools in Wales. The course ensures that, on completion, student teachers receive a sound introduction to the Welsh language and develop at least a basic level of Oracy. Student teachers will be taught in streamed groups according to prior experience and qualification.

Time commitment required

This is a full-time programme and the school-based element requires student teachers to be in school for the normal working school day as well as additional time before and after school for preparation and meetings.  A similar professional commitment is required of student teachers when undertaking the university-based element of the course.

Learning and Teaching

The university and school-based teaching and learning opportunities have been designed to complement one another in order to maximise student progress. The methods used emphasise and facilitate student teachers’ critical development skills, and cohere around the integration of research and enquiry, practice and theory. In both University and school settings, student teachers will normally experience both tutor-led learning and self-directed methods of learning, developing increasing independence and reflection as they progress through the course. There will be regular opportunities throughout the course for student teachers to review their personal progress with their tutors and take responsibility for planning and executing their own learning.

In university, the learning and teaching methods used within modules may include lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, all supported via use of Cardiff Metropolitan’s virtual learning environment. In many of the modules, the learning and teaching strategies that will be used will be those with the strongest research evidence of impact on student teacher learning and pupil attainment e.g. microteaching, clinical practice and feedback, metacognition and self-regulation, direct teaching and flipped learning. Where possible, workshops will be delivered in a range of cross-phase, cross-curricular and same subject domains providing plenty of opportunities for student teachers to learn from each other’s varied experiences.

During school-based learning, student teachers will be scaffolded by team teaching approaches as well as engaging in independent teaching and they will be required to take increasing responsibility for teaching a class, or classes, independently over a sustained and substantial period. Clinical Practice will include directed time for Research and Enquiry; independent and team teaching; and planning, preparation and assessment. In addition, student teachers will receive fifteen training days led by Lead Partnership Schools/Alliances. During these days, a variety of teaching and learning approaches will be employed including examination of school documentation, learning rounds, video-stimulated reflective dialogue, learning walks, learning conversations with pupils or teachers and book scrutiny.


The course includes two written assignments at level 7 that are staggered throughout the year. Both university assignments build the capacity of student teachers to critically reflect on and evaluate pedagogy and practice whilst enhancing their ability to meet elements of the QTS Standards. In addition, the assignments are designed to develop student teachers’ research knowledge and skills, affording them the opportunity to link theory to practice in a way that will impact positively on pupils, school improvement and their own professional practice. Both Mentors in school and University Tutors will support student teachers through the completion of these assignments. Collaboration with other student teachers will be an integral feature of one of the assignments.

All student teachers will be assessed against the Standards for QTS and must pass all Standards to attain qualified teacher status. During the clinical practice, student teachers will receive ongoing verbal and written formative feedback as well as summative reports. As part of the course, student teachers will gather evidence in demonstrating their attainment and achievement and this will be made available to Personal Tutors so that they can monitor progress at regular intervals.

Given the centrality of literacy, numeracy and digital competence within the curriculum in Wales, all student teachers will complete audits in literacy, numeracy and digital competence at the start and at the end of the programmes. Primarily, this will be to help pinpoint strengths and areas for development and to engage in study to fill the gaps in knowledge and skills. Student teachers who might benefit from further support will receive additional support sessions.

Employability & Careers​

Successful completion of the programme will lead to recommendation to the Education Workforce Council for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and provides opportunities for employment at the primary level. Graduates can obtain work in schools across Wales, the UK and abroad.

The course is designed to provide a wide range of experiences that will provide our graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to prepare them well for the world of work. Cardiff Partnership’s Lead Partnership Schools have been identified as leading providers of education and professional development in Wales and so the opportunity to learn from them and within their own environments means that career progression from student teacher to Newly Qualified Teacher should be seamless. For further information, visit the Discover Teaching website. 

What can I expect to earn when I start teaching?
Information can be obtained from the Training and Development Agency for Schools website.

Professional Development:

The programme also offers an advantage towards continuous professional development by affording 60 credits at Master’s level.  These credits may be carried forward towards a full Master’s qualification studied on a full or part time basis.​

Entry Requirements​

Applications for PGCE Primary are no longer being considered for September 2021 entry, please contact Admissions with any queries. We are still accepting applications for Welsh medium TAR Cynradd.  

Alternative measures have been put into place to ensure that applicants can meet requirements via online interviews, in relation to experience, entry tests and equivalency tests, in line with guidance from the Welsh Government. Please contact our admissions team if you have any queries in relation to making an application.

Essential criteria:

All applicants will be required to apply through UCAS UTT by completing an online application form. Applications will then be assessed against the entry criteria for the relevant programme and applicants invited to attend an interview on the basis of this information. 

All applicants should:  

  • Have a sound academic profile; 
  • have the aptitude, capability, and resilience to meet the required QTS outcomes by the end of their ITE programme; 
  • possess the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to become excellent practitioners; 
  • read effectively and be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English and/or Welsh;  
  • not have a criminal background which might prevent them working with children or vulnerable young people, or as an education practitioner; and have not previously been barred or excluded from teaching or working with learners (student teachers are required to arrange for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)); 
  • demonstrate at the interview stage as having the appropriate personal functional skills in literacy, numeracy and digital competence applicable in a professional teaching and learning context; 
  • demonstrate their suitability to become excellent teachers;  
  • meet the requirements of the Welsh Government's Education Health Standards (2004)*, confirming their health and physical capacity to undertake a teacher's responsibilities.  

GCSE Requirements: 

GCSE Grade B/grade 5** or above in English Literature, English Language, Welsh Language (First Language) or Welsh Literature and Mathematics* and a grade C/grade 4** or above in Science (or a standard equivalent).

Where an equivalent to a grade B/grade 5** in either English Literature or Welsh Literature is achieved, a minimum of a grade C/grade 4** must be achieved in the corresponding GCSE examination in English or Welsh (First) Language.

Students studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade C or above in Welsh (First language)

* for Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics - Numeracy

**for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England 

GCSE Resits: 

Applicants who have achieved a grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) on application will be considered for interview. (grade 4 or above for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England).  Applicants will need to have made arrangements to resit the GCSEs (or an acceptable equivalent) in order to obtain the B grade and indicate this on the UCAS Teacher Training application. If successful at interview, applicants will be offered a place subject to the B attainment.  Please note you will need to provide us with evidence of the C/4 grade (or equivalent) attainment.    

GCSE Equivalents: 

Cardiff Metropolitan University offers an in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths to meet B grade requirements. An equivalency exam is also offered for those with a D grade in Science.

We also accept equivalent qualifications for the GCSE requirements, which include examinations undertaken with Equivalency Testing,  University of South Wales the National Extension College and A Star equivalencyFrom Aberystwyth University we also accept the Mathematics equivalency module (Introduction to Mathematics 1 & 2) and the English equivalency module (English Language Skills).

Please click here to view Cardiff Met's guidelines on B grade equivalents, or to view this document in Welsh click here.  

Initial Degree Requirements: 

Honours degree in an area related to primary education, of at least 2:2 classification; or any honours degree of at least 2:2 classification where an A level grade C or above (or equivalent) has been obtained in a primary curriculum subject area.  Access to HE programmes are considered as an equivalent to A level within a relevant subject where 15 Merits have been achieved at Level 3. CACHE Level 3 Diplomas at grade C are also considered as well as Pearson BTEC (QCF)/OCR/NQF Level 3 Diplomas within Childcare at Merit Profile. 

Applications may be considered from those who have achieved below a 2:2 Honours degree, but where higher qualifications have been attained, e.g. Masters, PhD. 

Work Experience: 

Applicants are asked to evidence some form of work experience in a mainstream school across the primary age range but we understand due to the current situation that this may not be possible.  We would ask applicants to evidence what they can through their UCAS application and personal statement. 

Personal Statement: 

A strong personal statement indicating the applicant's potential to undertake the PGCE Primary Programme. The statement should demonstrate the breadth of knowledge and personal experience gained in primary education to date and how this has equipped the applicant to potentially be an effective primary teacher. Reference to personal experiences/extra curricular interests that could contribute to enriching children's learning should also be included. A high standard of written English/Welsh is essential. 

Academic reference: 

The principal referee must be an academic who is most able to comment on the applicant's academic and vocational abilities. An academic reference for those applicants who have undertaken their degree more than 5 years in not required although one is preferred if this can be obtained. For those applicants whose HEI reference is more than 8 years old, a reference from a more recent educational professional such as a head teacher is required. It is important that this referee can make objective and informed judgements based on significant knowledge of the applicant in an educational context. Should you have any queries regarding your reference, please contact Admissions. 

Criminal Records/DBS Check: 

Entry is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at  

International Applicants:

For international applicants, whose first language is not English, a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 overall with no sub score lower than 7.0 (or equivalent qualification) will be required for admission to the programme. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website. 

How to Apply

Applications for this course for 2021 entry should be made via UCAS Teacher Training.  Information in relation to the application procedure and applying can be obtained at: We advise applicants not to use more than one choice for the pathways listed below. We are only able to offer on one pathway, dependent on applicant choice and assessment at interview. 

UCAS Application Codes: 

PGCE Primary (3-11): X178 (Welsh medium)
PGCE Primary (3-11): X171

Applicants applying for teacher training for 2022 entry will need to apply through the Undergraduate UCAS system. Please refer to UCAS for further information. 

Information for Interview

Interviews are currently being held online via MS Teams. You will receive notification of your interview date via UCAS and via email from Cardiff Met. You will then receive a MS Teams invitation, with your specific interview time, from the programme team. Interviews will last approximately 30 minutes.  

Applicants are required to indicate within their personal statement, and inform Admissions as soon as possible if they wish for their interview to be conducted through the medium of Welsh.

Tests - Literacy, Numeracy & Digital Competency

The Skills Tests that are usually undertaken as part of your interview day, will now be undertaken during the start of your course as an audit of where you may need additional support. These tests no longer form a part of your selection criteria however, you are still recommended to undertake the appropriate revision from the information on the links provided below:

Literacy Tests:

There will be two tests:

1. The first test will focus on spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. This test will be completed electronically on the day of interview but a printable, sample copy of the paper is available here

This test will be 30 minutes long.  


2. The second test will focus on reading and writing skills. It will be focussed on a journal article sent to you prior to your interview. 

This test will be 30 minutes long.


  • Read the journal article carefully, a number of times
  • Look up unfamiliar words
  • Aim to understand the meaning of the article
  • Consider what message(s) the writer intends to give
  • Think about whether you agree with the writer

At interview, you will be given a fresh copy of the article and given two questions to answer. You will be expected to write approximately 300 words.  

The task will assess the ability to:

  • locate information and refer appropriately to the reading material
  • demonstrate a sound understanding and interpretation of the reading material
  • communicate your ideas clearly in an appropriate style
  • present well-structured, coherent writing
  • use spelling, punctuation and grammar with a good level of accuracy

Numeracy Test:

Digital Competency Test: 

Applicants will complete a 30 minute task designed to evidence their personal digital skills at a basic level. This is because all teachers in Wales need to be able to consolidate and develop the digital skills of the pupils they teach, as well as using digital technology in carrying out their own professional duties.

The test will involve using basic skills in Microsoft Office, including manipulating education-related content in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Applicants would be advised to ensure they have the basic abilities required to, for example, alter font sizes, apply themes to PowerPoint presentations, and using simple Excel formulas such as SUM and AVERAGE.

Extra information for Welsh medium applicants: 

Applicants who apply to train for the Welsh medium sector will be placed in Welsh medium schools and some of the university provision is through the medium of Welsh.

During the interview procedure you will be assessed on your ability in both English and Welsh. 

Literacy Tests 

All applicants will complete the first literacy test in English (see above for further details) Welsh medium applicants will also complete a literacy skills test in Welsh (15 minutes.), which requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of Welsh grammar. In preparation for this test we recommend that you look at the sample paper provided here and refer to the following useful text: Breese, N., Clement, B. (2011) Seren Iaith. Ceredigion: Atebol Cyfyngedig. ISBN 978-1-907004-85-8 (£5.99). The following sections will be most useful: Chwilio'r gwallau 1 pp.6-105 and pp.166-197.

All Welsh medium applicants will complete the second literacy test as above (English and Welsh versions provided) and will be asked to demonstrate their written Welsh and English in this test.  

Numeracy Test 

English and Welsh versions of the question paper will be provided. Applicants can choose to answer in either language. 



I don’t have GCSE grade B/grade 5** or above in English Language and Mathematics – can I still apply for the PGCE? 
Applicants with a grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) will be considered for interview (grade 4 or above for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England). However, applicants will need to have made arrangements to re-sit the GCSEs (or an acceptable equivalent) in order to obtain the B grade and indicate this on the UCAS Teacher Training application. If successful at interview, applicants will be offered a place subject to the attainment of grade B. 

Does Cardiff Met offer in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths?
Cardiff Met offers an in-house equivalency exam for GCSE English Language and Maths. The tests are designed to meet the GCSE B grade requirements for entry into Cardiff Met ITE programmes only. 

To be eligible to sit the exams, applicants must have received an offer and replied, or intend to reply, 'Firm'.  There is no fee attached to the equivalency exams and applicants are permitted to sit one retake, in each exam, during the year in which they apply. 

Are my qualifications acceptable?
The equivalency of overseas qualifications is determined by UK NARIC.
If you are an International student you should contact UK NARIC. If you are a Home/EU applicant please contact our Admissions team who will be able to offer further advice on your qualifications. 


Do you hold Open Days?
We hold a number of online events including PGCE information throughout the year. Please check our Open Days and Events page for further information.
Also, to ensure accessibility for everybody we include all relevant PGCE information on the website and you are always welcome to contact us by phone or email. 

When is the closing date for applications?
There is no set deadline for applications. Programmes will close when the course becomes full. Competition for places is extremely high for PGCE Primary and PGCE Secondary (PE) so we recommend that applications are made early in the academic year to avoid disappointment. 

Do I apply directly to Cardiff Met?
No - all applications for PGCE Primary and Secondary must be made via UCAS Teacher Training. Information in relation to the application procedure and applying can be obtained at:

Will I have to complete a Criminal Records Check?
Entry is subject to a satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at

What should I do if I am a Welsh Medium applicant?
Applicants who wish to train for the Welsh Medium sector should indicate this choice clearly on their applications. You will be placed in Welsh medium schools and some of the university provision is through the medium of Welsh. During the interview procedure you will be assessed on your ability in both English and Welsh. 


How will I receive information about the interview?
The date of your interview can be viewed on your UCAS Track. Information will also be sent via email from Cardiff Met. 

How often are interviews held? Are there specific dates?
There are no specific dates. However you will be given sufficient notice for your interview. 


How much does the PGCE course cost?
See our Fees and Finance page for further details. 

Do I get a bursary?
Financial incentives and training grants may be available for PGCE Primary students depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Welsh Government website for further details.

Is there any other funding available? 
Welsh domiciled PGCE students who choose to stay and study in Wales are also eligible to receive support from the Welsh Government in terms of the Tuition Fee Grant. For further information about the grant and to access the relevant PN1 form please visit: 

Course Information 

When does the PGCE start and finish?
For Academic Year 2021/22, the PGCE start date is yet to be confirmed. The course finishe
s in June 2022. 

When will I find out about school based placements? Where will they be? Can I arrange my own?
The School based placement component is undertaken in our excellent range of partnership schools and is an integral part of the programme. You will be notified at the beginning of your programme. You cannot arrange your own placement. 

Can I defer my place?
Unfortunately, we are unable to allow deferrals on our teacher training programmes.

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Financial incentives and training grants may be available for PGCE Primary students depending on your undergraduate degree classification. Please visit the Welsh Government website website for further details.

Contact Us

For general enqui​ries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email​.

For course specific enquiries, please contact, Lisa Fenn

Key Course Information

Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
One year full-time.

Start date:
13th September 2021.

More About the Course
School placements secured my Primary teaching career

Hear from graduate Hari about her exeriences on the Primary PGCE and why she loves teaching so much.

Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education

Find out more about the Cardiff Partnership and studying Intial Teacher Education at Cardiff Met.

Study in Welsh / Astudio Trwy'r Gymraeg
Rydym wedi ymrwymo i ddatblygu'r Gymraeg i'n holl athrawon dan hyfforddiant.

"Fy nhaith mewn i addysgu - o astudio chwaraeon i astudio’r cwrs TAR Cynradd drwy gyfrwng y gymraeg."
Ethan White.

Darllen mwy. | Cynradd - TAR

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting