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 achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (previously Grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English, Mathematics and Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Combined Science). If you are unsure whether you hold an acceptable GCSE equivalent qualification for ITT, please contact our Admissions Department admissions@wlv.ac.uk for clarification.

Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations and be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted.

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

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

What equivalent qualifications are accepted instead of A-Levels?

Depending on the status of your qualification (Merits, Distinctions, Passes) there will be an equivalence to UCAS points. We accept qualifications such as 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).

Please contact our Admissions Department admissions@wlv.ac.uk for clarification.

What degree do I need for the PGCE?

A first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification 

You could also consider studying a undergraduate degree in a different discipline that are appropriate qualifications for the postgraduate PGCE Primary Education. The benefit of this would be that you could additionally gain 60 Masters level credits from the PGCE, which could then be used towards a Master’s degree.

Do I need any school experience? If so how much do I need?

We no longer ask for any school experience as a requirement for our Primary Education courses. Instead, if you are invited for an interview we will assess your readiness to train to teach.

Professional Skills Tests

Applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses are required to have passed the professional skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy before the start of the course. Further information is available on the Department for Education website.

You can register for the skills tests before applying for teacher training. You must take the tests after you have applied and you will need to provide evidence of your application when you attend the test centre. If you are offered a place following interview, you will have to pass both the Numeracy and Literacy skills tests as one of your conditions of acceptance before the course starts.

We also offer support with the taking and passing of the professional skills tests. To find out more about the kind of support we offer, please follow this link to our webpage.

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

Applications and Admissions

When can I apply?

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

PGCE Primary Education
Applications for the PGCE are through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). Applying early in the academic year (Autumn/Winter) is recommended, as these courses can be highly competitive.

School Direct Tuition and Salaried Primary Education
Applications for the PGCE are through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). 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 mention any previous experience such as helping readers, assemblies, school visits etc. or 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. Reflect on any experiences you may have previously undertaken. 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 and the university as to whether 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 July and your application may still be under consideration during this period. In the event that your application is unsuccessful for the BA 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 and the university as soon as your application has been processed.

What will the interview include?

BA Primary Education

First Stage: All applicants that are successful with their application will be invited to complete a written audit. These will provide us with some information about your existing strengths as well as indicate any areas where you need to develop your knowledge and understanding. These are for formative assessment purposes only and are not used as part of the criteria in making a decision regarding an offer of a place on the course.

Second Stage: You will undertake an observed group task.

Third Stage: You will engage in individual face to face interview

PGCE Primary Education

First Stage: All applicants that are successful with their application will be invited to complete a written audit. These will provide us with some information about your existing strengths as well as indicate any areas where you need to develop your knowledge and understanding. These are for formative assessment purposes only and are not used as part of the criteria in making a decision regarding an offer of a place on the course.

Second Stage: You will engage in individual face to face interview

We will be assessing your ability to be able to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the completion of your course.

For both routes you should generally try to tailor your answers to reflect on the following:

  • Your commitment to, and understanding of, primary 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 primary education and teaching in general
  • Your ability to converse about any of the current government initiatives.
  • Clear and accurate spoken English

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)
  • Evidence of your qualifications (certificates)
  • 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 will also be valuable opportunities to gain experience in Early Years, Secondary, SEND educational settings and transition. 

PGCE Primary Education
Students undertake two assessed placements at two different schools lasting a minimum of 120 days. There will also be valuable opportunities to gain experience in Early Years, Secondary, SEND educational settings and transition. 

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

Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom. We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.

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 in previous years, 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 displayed 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 information, about how to complete your DBS Disclosure Application Form and Occupational Health forms online for completion and return. Please note, this information is usually sent out in from 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. 

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