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The mathematics specialism PGCE course at Exeter equipped me with an in-depth understanding of mathematics pedagogy which, 10 years on, I still find relevant in my post as Assistant Head and KS2 coordinator.  Every teacher knows that learning needs to be purposeful, enjoyable and engaging. The lecturers in the maths team at Exeter shared their passion and enthusiasm for the subject, and modelled the practice they promote.

John Adams
Assistant Head and KS2 Co-ordinator
PGCE Primary Mathematics 2002 -03

PGCE Primary with Mathematics

Trainees following the Primary Maths pathway will learn to teach across the primary curriculum and will take an additional specialist module in primary maths.

This pathway considers the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools both as a subject in its own right and also in terms of its relationship to other areas of the curriculum. An emphasis will be on developing innovative, practical and engaging ways to develop the teaching of mathematics in primary schools. You will be expected to review your own understanding of mathematics and engage critically with research into children's learning of mathematics.

We provide unrivalled opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Teaching Model. The programme runs over three terms with each term providing progressively more school-based work training.

By learning on campus for most of the first term you access the tools to rapidly build professional knowledge to underpin your work in school placements. The taught element is made up of timetabled seminars, lectures and self-directed study. You will be asked to work individually and as part of small and larger groups.

Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education, and will support you during your course and beyond. We carry out a detailed skills audit with every trainee so we understand your particular development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.

During placements Exeter trainees benefit from the focused support of two School-based Tutors: a Principle Tutor who works as an expert partner, and a Mentor who develops and challenges your thinking about teaching in ways that can be used to enhance performance.

You will be supported in developing the full range of teaching skills and effective reflection that you will need in your first teaching post as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

The PGCE is a Masters level programme and once you have achieved QTS, you can continue your studies during your first year of teaching and work towards achieving a Masters in Education.

What are we looking for in an applicant?

Applicants are expected to demonstrate a good understanding of mathematics. This could be a degree in mathematics or a degree with a strong mathematical element (e.g. Psychology, Business Studies, Statistics, Engineering  (typically a 2.2 or better).   Applicants with an A level in mathematics and a non-mathematical degree are welcome to apply and will be considered.  Applicants are also expected to show a strong interest in children’s learning in mathematics.

Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C. Please note that although the NCTL requirement is a grade C, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B or above in Mathematics and English and a grade C in Science.

Further information

Read more about entry requirements and how to apply.

All applications for entry to our PGCE programmes must be made through UCAS Teacher Training and application forms are available online through the UCAS websiteApplications for 2018 – 2019 can be made once UCAS opens, usually in late October and you are encouraged to apply early as many courses are filling up quickly.

An academic reference is required from any institution of Higher Education that you have attended within the last five years. Please note: if an academic reference is not submitted then this will cause a delay in the processing of your application.

For further details on the application process, please see our Interview Policy.

We recommend you: 

  • apply as early as possible;
  • choose your referees early and explain to them that a promptly returned UCAS Teacher Training reference could make all the difference;
  • practice the Professional Skills Tests early (see; use support materials if you need to improve your performance and use one of your three chances to take each test early, to strengthen your candidacy. You can access the practice tests before you apply, but you can’t take the actual tests until you have applied.

Deferred entry

We do not consider requests for deferred entry either at application stage or after an offer has been made. Any applicant who can no longer take up a place offered to them will need to reapply in the following year and will need to go through the full interview process again.

Applicants who will be overseas during the recruitment cycle

If you will be outside the UK during the recruitment cycle for your proposed year of entry, you should make contact with the Admissions Office to discuss this.

Academic staff

  • All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers, senior managers or OFSTED inspectors. They also lead and innovate, developing the latest ideas in teacher education, leading research, writing textbooks, leading subject networks and advising government.
  • Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education, and will support you during your course and beyond.

Course leaders

Dr Taro Fujita is a lecturer in mathematics education.

He trained as a primary and secondary school teacher in Japan, and completed his PhD at the University of Southampton. He has 10 years’ experience working in the field of mathematics education both in Japan and the UK, where he has been involved in teacher training in primary/secondary mathematics education, teaching undergraduate mathematics and research. His current research interests include: the history of mathematics education; deductive reasoning and intuitive skills in geometry; understanding of algebraic thinking; dialogic approaches; and the use of technology in mathematics education.

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

  • UK/EU: £9,250 full-time
  • Channel Islands/Isle of Man: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £16,500 full-time

A variety of attractive financial support packages are available.  Find out more here.