Primary Education Courses: Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers the most common queries that we receive regarding primary teaching courses: the BA (Hons) Primary Education and the PGCE Primary Education. Use the links below to skip to the key sections.

Entry Requirements

What GCSEs do I need?

For both the BA and PGCE courses you need to have GCSE grade 4 (previously grade C) or above in English, Mathematics and Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Combined Science) or equivalent. If you do not have these, please contact the admissions department for information regarding GCSE equivalencies we will accept. Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations & be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted. You will be required to provide evidence of your original GCSE qualifications.

Contact our Admissions Department (admissions@wlv.ac.uk) for clarification. 

How many UCAS points do I need to get onto the undergraduate BA course?

112 UCAS points, from A Levels or equivalent (excluding A Level General Studies and A Level Critical Thinking).

What equivalent qualifcations are accepted instead of A-Levels?

Depending on the status of your qualifcation (Merits, Distinctions, Passes) there will be an equivalence to UCAS points. We accept qualifcations suchas the below:

  • BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma grade DMM; BTEC (QCF) Diploma D*D*; BTEC National (NQF) DMM
  • CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (QCF) grade B
  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care & Education grade B
  • Access to HE Diploma in Teaching and Learning or Education full award (Pass of 60 credits - of which a minimum of 45 credits must be at level 3 including 24 at Merit or Distinction).

What degree do I need for the PGCE?

A UK-recognised Honours degree, or equivalent, (preferably 2:1 or above) in a National Curriculum subject.

You could also consider studying one of the following education-related degrees that are appropriate qualifications for a PGCE:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Childhood and Family Studies (with Education Studies, Sociology or Social Policy)
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies (& with English)
  • BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion Studies (& with Childhood and Family Studies)
  • BA (Hons) Family and Community Studies

How much school experience do I need?

BA Primary Education
A minimum of two weeks (10 days) recent work experience in a mainstream primary school at the relevant level. Early Primary requires Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Primary requires a balanced amount in Key Stages 1 and 2.

PGCE Primary Education
A minimum of two weeks (10 days) recent work experience in a mainstream primary school in Key Stages 1 and 2, including exposure to the day-to-day working of primary teachers and evidence of interaction with primary age children.

Experience for all routes must be in a mainstream school. Other settings such as Private, SEND, Nursery or SureStart will not contribute towards the 10 days, but may be mentioned additionally in your Personal Statement to enhance your application.

Professional Skills Tests

If you are applying for a teacher training course which starts after 1 July 2013 you will need to take the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy as part of the application process, and ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

Successful completion of these tests will be a condition of any offer you may receive from us but we advise that you should aim to complete these tests before the start of the Summer Term.

For applicants who have applied to the University of Wolverhampton, we offer free Professional Skills Test Support Sessions free of charge on a weekly basis. Visit our Professional Skills Tests webpages to find out more.

These tests do not replace the GCSE grade C or equivalent entry requirement. 

Applications and Admissions

Preparing for ITT Application and Interviews - IoE (PDF 501K, Downloads file)

When can I apply?

BA Primary Education
Applications for BA is through UCAS - visit www.ucas.com for full details. Applying early in the academic year (before the 15th Janaury) is recommended, as this course can be highly competitive.

PGCE Primary Education
Applications for the PGCE are through UCAS - visit www.ucas.ac.uk. Applying early in the academic year (Autumn/Winter) is recommended, as these courses can be highly competitive.

What shall I include in my application?

BA Primary Education
You must say why you want to go into teaching and why you think it is an important career. You must also be explicit about your experience in mainstream school – activities you have undertaken such as helping readers, assemblies, school visits etc. Discuss any additional experience you have with children such as crafts or sports clubs, after school clubs, cubs, brownies, boys’ brigade, guides etc. This may also include a previous career in a Children’s centre, nursery or as a nanny or childminder. Don’t forget to mention other interests such as sport, dance, music, or any voluntary work you do.

PGCE Primary Education
There are limited places and we do receive a high volume of applications. Therefore, you need to ‘sell yourself’ so that your application is selected during the first sift and you are invited to interview. The standard of English in your statement has to be of a very good standard so please proof read your statement. Include your school experiences and include classroom-based examples to make your statement more colourful. Share your philosophy of teaching and your thoughts around the related pedagogy in primary education. Refrain from making sweeping generalisations; we need to read something that reflects who you are….and what you think!

How will I find out whether I have got an interview or not?

BA Primary Education
You will be informed via UCAS, as well as by letter if you have an interview or whether your application has been unsuccessful for the course you applied for. Please be aware that we interview from November until May and your application may still be under consideration during this period. In the event that your application is unsuccessful for the BEd you may be offered an alternative course in the Institute of Education.

PGCE Primary Education
You will be notified of the outcome of your application via the UCAS website as soon as your application has been processed, as we understand that should your application be unsuccessful, you need to go back into ‘UCAS pot’ so your application can be considered by your next choice.

What will the interview include?

You should generally try to tailor your answers to reflect on the following:

  • Your commitment to, and understanding of, primary, secondary or further education and the role of the teacher/lecturer
  • Effective personal, intellectual and communication skills
  • A positive attitude towards children and working with children
  • Your enthusiasm for, and understanding of, your subject(s) and teaching in general
  • Your ability to converse about any of the current government initiatives.
  • Clear and accurate spoken English

You will also be expected to complete a written audit. The level of these is no higher than GCSE.

Do I need to bring anything to the interview?

When attending an interview for a teacher training programme you will need to bring the following items with you.

  • A form of identification (this must be photographic)
  • Anything you wish to share… evidence of your classroom experience (portfolio)
  • Pens/pencils

Additional items may be required so remember to check the guidance given in your invitation to interview. 

School Placements

How long will I spend on placement?

BA Primary Education
Students undertake school placements in each year of the course lasting:

  • Year One (Level 4): 5 weeks  (School Placement 1A) and 15 days (School Block 1B)
  • Year Two (Level 5): 6 weeks  (School Placement 1A)
  • Year Three (Level 6): approx. 6 weeks (School Placement 3) and approx. 9 weeks(School Placement 3)

There are also additional times when you will be working in school or working with children across the three years of the course.

PGCE Primary Education
Students undertake three placements at two different schools lasting a minimum of 120 days. There will also be additional days working in school or with children over the PGCE course.

Where will I be placed for my attachments for both BA & PGCE routes?

Your school placements are allocated for you and whilst we make every effort to place you at schools near to where you live, you can expect to travel up to an hour one way. You also need to complete school attachments across a range of schools in order to get a broader experience and to prepare you to teach in a diverse society once qualified. 

Prospects and Employment

How employable are primary teaching graduates?

The University of Wolverhampton creates graduates that are digitally literate, knowledgeable & enterprising and have a global outlook on life. Therefore it’s no surprise that six months after completing their course last year, almost all Wolverhampton NQTs (newly-qualified teachers) were employed as teachers. 

What percentage of previous graduates go on to become teachers?

95% of Early Primary and 92% of Primary graduates from 2008 are currently employed in teaching and education roles. (Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).

Find our more about a career in Teaching

Finance

Prices are dispayed on individual courses pages, however in some cases tuition fee loans may be available. Find out more

DBS and Medical Checks

I already have a DBS, will I be required to have another one?

For all our Primary teacher training (with the exception of School Direct Salaried and Early Years Employment Based routes) applicants will be required to have a new DBS check that has our name attached to it. However if you are registered a part of the update service you will not be required to have another check. Find out more about the DBS Update Service.

When can I undertake my DBS and medical checks?

Once you have been issued with either a conditional or unconditional offer and you have accepted this, you will be sent your DBS Disclosure Application Form and Occupational Health forms for completion and return. It is advisable that you complete and return these as a matter of urgency to avoid delays later in the academic cycle. However, please note, these documents are usually sent out in bulk mailing in April/May for our September intake.

Will I be charged to undertake my DBS?

For all our Primary teacher training (with the exception of School Direct Salaried and Early Years Employment Based routes) applicants will be charged the standard DBS costs.

Will I be charged to undertake my medical?

The University of Wolverhampton will not charge you to undertake your Occupational Health Check. However, your GP may charge you to complete the GP Report, which is usually around £40-£90, and your studies will not proceed until you have been fully medically cleared.

Can't find the answer to your question?

Our experts are on hand at open days to answer your questions, where you can also see our excellent facilities. Alternatively you can e-mail us on education-enquiries@wlv.ac.uk