Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Primary Education PGCE


Course facts

  • Name: Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Primary Education
  • Qualification: PGCE
  • Duration: 1 year full-time

North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Training

Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities have joined forces to provide Initial Teacher Education for North and Mid-Wales. The North and Mid-Wales centre of Teacher Education, one of three national centres, trains primary and secondary teachers.

The centre is managed jointly by both institutions and works with primary and secondary schools across the regions. This collaboration is set in the context of a wider strategic partnership between Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities regarding Research and Enterprise.

PGCE Course Overview

The PGCE Primary programme has been designed to provide trainees with a variety of challenging experiences with a continuum of university and school work, in order to prepare trainees to become primary teachers and to enable them to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status. Trainees can opt to follow either the Foundation Phase or Key Stage 2.

Course Content

The university based sessions include either experience in the Areas of Learning outlined in the Foundation Phase or the subjects outlined in the National Curriculum orders. All trainees also learn Welsh as part of the university based programme.

The School based component of the programme comprises block school experiences in partnership schools. The trainees are assessed on their school experience according to a set of criteria. Successful completion enables trainees to receive the qualification of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), awarded by the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW).

PGCE Primary Programme Specification.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Entry Requirements

All applicants should meet the following essential criteria:

  • A grade B or equivalent in GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics and a grade C or higher in GCSE Science will be required. Trainees studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade C or above in Welsh (first language).
  • Good honours degree in an area related to primary education.
  • Recent and relevant experience in a mainstream school across the primary age range. This should be for a minimum of ten days and taken place within the 12 months prior to attending interview. Evidence of this MUST be included on the application. Please include details within the work experience section of the form.
  • A strong personal statement indicating the applicant’s potential to undertake the PGCE Primary Programme. The statement should demonstrate a perceptive and reflective evaluation of how personal experience of education to date has equipped the applicant to potentially be an effective primary teacher. Reference to personal experiences/extracurricular interests that could contribute to enriching children’s learning should also be included. A high standard of written English/Welsh is expected.
  • The principal referee must be an academic who is most able to comment on the applicant’s academic and vocational abilities. For those applicants whose HEI reference is more than 8 years old it may be more appropriate to obtain a reference from a more recent educational professional such as a primary head teacher. It is important that this referee can make objective and informed judgements based on significant knowledge of the applicant in an educational context.

Applicants who meet the essential criteria for programmes which lead to QTS will be invited to attend a one day interview. This will involve completion of time-constrained tests in literacy and numeracy. Tests will be completed and supervised under ’exam’ conditions and will form part of the interview day.

Applicants with additional needs who are requested to sit these tests will need to notify the University immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Entry is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check.

Applications are welcomed from candidates wishing to study through the medium of Welsh for both age phases. This must be clearly indicated within the personal statement so that interviews are carried out through the medium required.

Due to the high number of applications received for this programme, applicants who do not meet the entry criteria listed above cannot be considered.

Please note you must apply for this programme through 

Interview Day

Information about the Interview Day can be found here.


Literacy Test (English)

  • It will test spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. This test will be completed on the day of interview but a printable, sample copy of the paper is available here. This test will be 30 minutes long. Ten minutes extra time will be allowed on each test for applicanats who present documentary evidence of ALN. This should be arranged in advance in line with current Centre policies.
  • To prepare for the literacy test, applicants should work through the sample paper provided. In addition, the current literacy skills test in England will also serve as a useful reference tool as the tests are similar in content.

Support material include: Johnson, J. (2012) Passing the Literacy Skills Test (Achieving QTS) 3rd edn. Exeter: Learning Matters, ISBN 9780857258793.
Patmore, M. (2013) Passing the Literacy Skills Test (Achieving QTS) 5th edn Exeter: Learning Matters, ISBN 9781446275160

Numeracy Test

There will be one numeracy test which focuses on the functional mathematics which teachers need in their professional role.

Welsh medium applicants

Students 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. 

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 (30 mins) which requires students to demonstrate their understanding of Welsh punctuation, grammar and comprehension. 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

Numeracy Test 

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

Ten minutes extra time will be allowed on each test for applicants who present documentary evidence of ALN. This should be arranged in advance in line with current Centre policies.

Key Facts

School: School Of Education, Bangor University 
Course Length: One year full-time

UCAS Codes
PGCE Primary (3-11) 2L5N
TAR Cynradd (3-11) 2L5P


Trainees will be assessed both on practical teaching and university coursework. An element of the coursework is assessed at Master’s level and affords trainees 40 credits at M level. A pass is required for both school and university based aspects of the course. Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of trainees’ competence. There is no formal end of programme examination. Successful completion of the programme will lead to the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and recommendation to the General Teaching Council for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

How to Apply

Applications for this course should be made via UCAS

Selection Procedure

Application form, literacy and numeracy tests and interview.

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email


Applications for PGCE

To teach, you need Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) based at a university, school or college in the UK. Candidates should note that the application process for the PGCE programmes differs from Bangor University’s standard postgraduate application procedure.

Applications for PGCE programmes are made online through UCAS Teacher Training (UCAS TT), which typically has earlier deadlines for submission.

Further information

Next steps