Welcome to primary initial teacher training

The Primary PGCE is a partnership programme; it has been written and developed in collaboration with Schools and Local Authorities.

Much of your time will be spent in schools, observing teaching and learning, considering how the theory of education and the practice observed work with each other and, of course, working with children in classroom settings.

You will be studying in a diverse community of students. You will have the opportunity to develop your experience of working with children in a range of settings, including the inner city environment. Many themes such as equal opportunities, multilingualism, meeting the needs of children with special educational needs underpin most modules. The teaching year begins in September and ends in July.

You’ll attend five days a week and spend the equivalent of 24 weeks in schools. You will find this year challenging and intensive but we are here to support you on your journey to becoming a teacher.

Keep an eye on this webpage as we will be adding information to it throughout the year.


Hazel Dorrington
Primary PGCE Programme Leader


Important Update:

Due to the ongoing situation in the UK we are aware many of our applicants are facing difficulties in attending appointments scheduled on campus. UEL has therefore decided to move to online assessments until further notice. Please see your interview invitation email for further information.


You will need to bring the following:

  • A copy of the email inviting you to the interview with the date and time to show Cass Helpdesk staff
  • Completed PGCE Student Agreement Form
  • Completed School Experience Form
  • Completed Subject Knowledge Audit
  • Completed Disqualification by Association Form
  • Completed PGCE Student Declaration Form 

You are also REQUIRED to bring the originals and a photocopy of the following documents to the interview:

  • Degree certificate [if obtained] and degree transcript* (Honours 2.2 or above).
  • ‘A’ Level certificates [or equivalent] in modern languages (French or Spanish) or mathematics if these are required for the route for which you are applying
  • GCSE Level certificates for mathematics, English language and science*
  • Your original passport. You will not be permitted to attend your interview without photo ID.
  • Your marriage certificate if your educational certificates are in a maiden name.

*If your qualifications were gained overseas, you will need to verify their equivalence with UK NARIC. They can be contacted on 0870 990 4088 and either at interview or as a condition of offer written verification will need to be provided


The entire interview process lasts about three hours. It will consist of the following tasks: 

  • a task to assess your subject knowledge in English
  • a task to assess your subject knowledge in Mathematics
  • a collaborative group activity
  • an individual interview
  • a presentation (see below).

Before the interview you must research a current educational issue. You must prepare a five minute presentation on the issue that you have chosen.

You must present at least two different viewpoints on the issue and you must acknowledge the sources that you have used (this means that you must tell us what sources you have used to research your issue).

Your presentation will be a verbal presentation, but you may bring notes to help you (you do not have to memorise your presentation!). You may bring a hand out for the interviewer if you want to, although you do not have to, and you will not be able to use anything else in your presentation (for example you will not be able to use PowerPoint.).


Our aim is to find out as much as we can about your attributes, skills, knowledge and understanding in order to shape training opportunities for you, should you be offered a place on the programme.

Your responses to these tasks and activities will be considered alongside all the other evidence to assess your suitability for the Primary PGCE programme.

During the individual interview you will be given the chance to talk with a tutor about the programme and any other issues that are relevant.


We usually make a decision on the day and will notify you of the outcome of your interview through UCAS Teacher Training. You will be required to accept/decline your place within 10 working days.

If you receive and accept a place at UEL you will be given additional tasks and reading to complete over the summer term in preparation for the start of your training programme in September.


If you have any special access or communication requirements for your visit, please let us know prior to your visit.



Teacher trainees may be entitled to receive a bursary over the duration of their ITT study, ranging from £4,000 to £28,000.  The level of bursary that trainees are entitled to is dependent on the subject in which a trainee wishes to teach and the grade of their highest, relevant academic qualification.  

ITT Bursary guidance notes
ITT bursary application form  

Completed ITT Bursary application forms should be sent to Student Money Advice & Rights Team (SMART), University of East London, 4-6 University Way, London E16 2RD, to be assessed.  

Should you wish to contact SMART in regards to ITT Bursary queries; please call 020 8223 4444.

Preparing Yourself Before You Start

Read our guide below which includes journals, book recommendations and helpful links to prepare you to study the Primary teacher training course.

Begin preparing before starting your course