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Study information

Educational and Professional Studies

Module titleEducational and Professional Studies
Module codeEPSM000
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mrs Ruth Flanagan (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces you to current thinking in the teaching of Primary education and develops your pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the field of Primary education This module is strongly inter-dependent with other programme modules and also connects to school-based work, where you will investigate the practical implementation of educational principles and policies.  Tutors will provide an overview of theory and research findings in their specialist areas and relate these to current national policies and implications for education.  The seminars and tasks will enable you to engage in critical consideration of these principles in relation to: educational policy, educational theories, your specialism, and your own developing theories and beliefs.  Notes, key readings, tasks and materials will be provided by tutors on a weekly basis, to inform the seminars.  We will also use ELE (Exeter Learning Environment)  to provide web-based support, discussions and extension tasks.


On the Primary PGCE, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit-bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your 24 weeks of applied professional experience in schools

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aims of the module are to:

  • develop your knowledge of contemporary education policies and key pedagogical theories;
  • enable you to reflect critically on children’s learning and development, pedagogy and teachers’ roles and responsibilities in multi-professional  contexts; and
  • engage with relevant government reports, policies and academic research in order to develop critical appraisal of contemporary social trends and issues in theory and practice

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and critically evaluate educational theories and issues, and engage in critical debate about current educational issues, drawing on evidence from theory, policy, research and practice;
  • 2. understand theories of pedagogy, learning and development and consider how these can inform professional practice;
  • 3. demonstrate confident academic and pedagogic subject knowledge to teach in the early childhood and primary phase of education;
  • 4. demonstrate secure understanding of the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage, including assessment frameworks;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. critically evaluate the relationship between educational theories and practice;
  • 6. produce a critical synthesis of relevant literature to develop an argument;
  • 7. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing;
  • 8. use research findings and data in support of an argument (including government reports);

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. demonstrate competence in self-management: the management of time, tasks and evaluation of your professional learning;
  • 10. demonstrate competence in learning independently and cooperatively;
  • 11. demonstrate competence in communication and presentation – including the capability to express ideas coherently in written tasks, participate in group tasks by expressing ideas and personal judgement, and argue rationally using relevant sources to substantiate opinions and arguments;
  • 12. demonstrate competence in using IT - search electronic databases in the library, use ELE, email, word processing, use the internet for resources and information;
  • 13. work productively in different kinds of teams (formal, informal, project based);
  • 14. identify and reflect on the main features of practice-based problems and develop strategies for their resolution; and
  • 15. interpret and use data effectively.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

All lectures are normally underpinned by the Ten Key Principles of Effective Pedagogy from the TLRP (Teaching and Learning Research Programme).  The lead lectures include:

  • National policy frameworks;
  • Theories of children’s learning and development;
  • Pedagogy – choices in theory and practice;
  • preparing to teach learners from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Background;
  • Creativity in Primary Education;
  • Child Development;
  • The importance of informal learning to children’s educational development;
  • Addressing Gender and Social Class Inequalities in Primary Schools;
  • Provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND);
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL);

There are additional lectures which address other generic aspects of professional development, e.g.:

  • Child protection and Safeguarding;
  • The Exeter Model of Education;
  • Behaviour Management etc.
  • Seminar days and workshop activities and other events will provide additional learning opportunities e.g. Employability, NQT year etc.

Further extension will be provided through the Professional Studies element of school-based work

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities99 x 1 hour Lead lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities99 x 1hr seminars to discuss and explore in more detail the issues raised in the lead lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities88 x 1 hour additional lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities63 x 2 hour ‘seminar day’ lectures and seminars
Guided independent study60reading for seminars
Guided independent study80preparation and writing of formative and summative assignments
Guided independent study50school placement framework tasks
Guided independent study78school placement planning and evaluations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critically reflective assignment on theory, research, policy and practice in education and professional studies.1500 word (or equivalent)1-14Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Part 3: Theoretical & conceptual exploration of a key issue in primary education1004,000 words1-15Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Part 3: Theoretical & conceptual exploration of a key issue in primary educationPart 3: Theoretical & conceptual exploration of a key issue in primary education1-15See notes below.

Re-assessment notes

If a submitted assignment is deemed to be a Fail, you will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.

You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the Discipline-level Assessment, Progression & Awarding Committee (APAC) in July). The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt to have your mark recorded at the APAC as a fail mark. You will then be referred to the College-level APAC who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your tutor.

Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the next assessment meeting following any successful resubmission (normally held in December).

If a specialist assignment is deemed to be a Fail by the APAC, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading



Key words search

PGCE, Primary, Professional, Educational, Curriculum

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

Primary Professional Learning module (EDUM034); Primary Curriculum Studies module (EDUM033)
and one of EMUM003; EEDM009; EMAM009; EHUM009; ESCM004; ESYM001; EMLM008; EARM002 (Specialist Subject modules)

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date