Book now for our Open Day The Exeter Model

The focus on practical work in science at Exeter has stood me in very good stead during my teaching career. I am firmly of the belief that children learn and are engaged by science through practical activities which capture their enthusiasm. Exeter’s science PGCE has this at the heart of its course.

Sally Geary, Primary Science

PGCE Primary with Science

An opportunity to utilise your science knowledge in primary education.

"Come forth into the light of things
Let nature be your teacher"

William Wordsworth

Our Primary PGCE offers a specialism in science, one of a small number of courses of its kind in the country! You will train to teach in all primary curriculum subjects as well as developing an expertise in primary science, with a view to becoming a Science Subject Leader in the future. Peer teaching and learning is encouraged and there is an emphasis on practical work. There are a number of field trips with opportunities provided for extending your learning in the outdoor environment.

Trainees following the Primary Science pathway will learn to teach across the primary curriculum and will take an additional specialist module in primary science. The science specialist module helps you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach science in a way which will interest and motivate children. It will prepare you to become a primary science subject leader in the future and improve your employability prospects.

Throughout your Primary PGCE you will receive support from your science and personal tutor.


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 typically have a 2:1 degree in science or a related science subject degree and one or more A levels in a science or related science subject. Applicants should also have some voluntary or work experience of at least two weeks’ working with children in formal (schools) or informal (environmental centres, museums, etc) learning environments.

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 Rob Bowker is a specialist in primary science and has interests in education for sustainable development, outdoor education and informal learning. He has researched children’s learning in Interactive Science Centres, museums, botanical gardens, environmental centres etc. He has published academic work within this field and continues to engage in research work in partnership with the Eden Project, Cornwall. He also draws upon his previous fifteen years experience as a primary and middle school teacher covering Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. His duties included being a science co-ordinator and a deputy head teacher for several years. He has published articles in international journals around the theme of children’s learning in informal learning environments such as the Eden Project, Cornwall.

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.