Skip to main content

The quality of the art students visited this year was high; the students were having a significant impact on the art provision in the host schools and community beyond. Students were running art clubs, adapting curricular designs and exhibiting work in schools and the local community. The procedures in place to monitor the progress of trainees is excellent, enrichment tasks and folders enable the students to showcase their best practice in art.

Art External Examiner's comments (2015-16)

Primary with Upper Primary Art

Our Primary PGCE offers a specialism in Upper Primary Art - the only course of its kind in the country! You will train to teach all curriculum subjects and also develop particular expertise in primary visual arts education, with a view to becoming an Art Coordinator in the future. Your practice will be informed by international research evidence and contemporary, creative projects. School placements will be in Key Stage 2 classes (ages 7-11), but the taught course covers the 5-11 age range, so you will be qualified to teach across the whole primary phase.

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

This pathway features a specialism focusing on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills which are necessary to teach art,craft and design with imagination and confidence to all primary-age children. The course also prepares you for the role of Specialist Leader or Coordinator for Art, and aspects of Creative Arts leadership more broadly. Recent research is used to support the development of a contemporary and critical view of art education in theory and practice. Practical workshops and seminars make up the taught component, alongside off-site visits and collaborative projects with local schools and arts organisations. 

School placements will be based in Key Stage 2. However, the programme covers teaching and learning from 5-11 and, once qualified, you will be eligible to teach across the primary age range.

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 Lead Mentor who works as an expert partner, and a Reflective 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 Early Career Teacher (ECT).

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?

We are looking for applicants with a 2:1 degree in an art, design or craft discipline – this includes art history or visual culture. 

While as standard we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, or are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, you are welcome to make an application through the DfE Apply system for consideration or contact our PGCE Admissions team for more information. Diverse teachers enrich schools and pupils' experiences and we value diversity in schools and encourage potential teachers from a range of backgrounds to consider applying.

Applicants with practical experience and at least a grade B at A level in an art, design or craft discipline will also be considered.

We advise all applicants to gain some school-based experience in a state school prior to interview.  Although this is not essential it would be an advantage to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.

Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C (or equivalent) are required. Please note that although the DfE 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 the DfE's Apply service at

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 Pages.

We recommend you: 

  • apply as early as possible
  • choose your referees early and explain to them that a promptly returned  DfE Apply Teacher Training reference could make all the difference

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 leader

Dr Emese Hall is Senior Lecturer in Art Education and the Primary PGCE Programme Director.  She has a particular interest in primary art and design, drawing and visual literacy and her doctoral research focused on the communicative potential of young children’s drawings. She is also interested in teachers’ professional learning and reflection. Prior to her university work, Emese was a primary school teacher in Devon. She is Vice-President of the National Society for Education in Art and Design and former South-West Regional Network Co-ordinator for the Cambridge Primary Review Trust.

2022/23 tuition fees

  • UK: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £20,000 full-time

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