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Important information for PGCE applicants

These guidance notes provide an outline of the next stages of the admissions process together with other useful information for PGCE applicants.

You have received an offer - what next?

If you have received a letter of offer by post, we look forward to welcoming you on the PGCE course.

The next stages of the admissions process are outlined below.

Replying to an Offer of Admission

You should accept or decline an offer of a place through the Postgraduate Applications Portal within two weeks of the date of your offer.

You should also refer to the notes on ‘Conditional Offers – Notification of Examination Results’ and ‘Unconditional Offers’ in the section 'Your have received an offer - what next'.

Applications for deferred entry are not normally permitted. If you are unable to accept the offer this year, you should re-apply for entry for September 2021.

Additional Documentation Required

If offered a place on the course you must also complete and return the following within two weeks of the date of your offer (by email to

The following documents must be completed and returned within one month* of the date of your offer (preferably in person to the PGCE Office at the address given below):

Please note that any delays to the submission of documentation above, may delay your start to the course. If you are aware that delays are likely, please contact the PGCE Office at the address given below.

* If you have been made a late offer, PGCE staff will contact you with the appropriate deadlines for the return of your documentation.

Access NI

Enhanced Disclosure Checks, or criminal record checks, are only requested for the preferred applicant when the place is offered and all offers are subject to a satisfactory check.

The organisation that processes these checks is called AccessNI.  After the check is completed an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate (EDC) is issued. 

To enable the University to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate you should complete the online Application form by following the instructions on the PIN Notification and ID Validation Form. Your application will be progressed when your identification has been checked as specified.  

We will only request a check of the barred lists for the workforce you will be engaging in regulated activity with e.g. the children's workforce or the vulnerable adults' workforce.  Before completing the AccessNI Enhanced Disclosure Application Form please read the 'Guidelines for Access NI'. If you appear on the barred lists it is an offence for you to engage in, or seek to engage in, regulated activity.

Any information received will be treated confidentially.

A candidate who attracts a criminal record after submitting the application for an Enhanced Disclosure Check and before the date of admission to the University should inform the Director of Initial Teacher Education in writing, without delay. If an applicant fails to disclose such information they may have their offer withdrawn.  In addition, you are required to inform the PGCE Programme Director of any cautions or convictions incurred during the PGCE course. 

Please note that your Access NI application may not be processed before late May or June.

See the AcessNI website for additional information on the checks.

Health Declaration

Each applicant must complete and return the Health Declaration, together with all of their other paperwork, in a sealed envelope, marked for the attention of the Occupational Health Service.  Dates of most recent vaccinations must be given to avoid delay in processing your medical information. 

You may need to contact your GP or University Health Department for this information. The completed questionnaire should be returned directly to the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work in a sealed envelope, with the offer holder's name written on the front, and we will forward it to the Senior Medical Officer, University Health Service.  Please read carefully the notes which accompany the declaration of health questionnaire.

School Placement Preferences

The PGCE is based mostly in Schools on professional placement, with 24 of the 36 weeks spent in schools.  You should read the Notes for School Placement carefully before completing the School placement location form. The Placement Entitlement Framework talks you through what you can expect of your placement and you should read it carefully.

Student Profile

In order to enable schools to provide you with the most appropriate experience, you should complete the student profile form which will be sent directly to Schools that we approach, requesting a placement. Given that this is the first impression a school has of you, please read the guidance notes and complete this fully, checking the accuracy of your spelling and grammar. The student profile form should be saved as a PDF and returned by email to

Primary School Experience

You are responsible for arranging your own primary school experience. Many students find it convenient to arrange attendance at a primary school convenient to their home address. 

If possible, you should organise your Primary Experience at the time of offer. Refer to Notes for School Placement for further details.

You should download the following and forward them to the principal of the primary school:

Please note that when you correspond with schools on such matters, it is a courtesy to enclose a stamped addressed envelope for a reply. When you have arranged your primary school experience, please return the Primary School Experience Notification form

You will receive more information about this placement during induction week

Things to Remember:

  • organise your primary school experience before primary schools close at the end of June and return the Primary School Notification form to us. If you have received a late offer, please do so when schools reopen during the last week of August.
  • If you are a Northern Ireland student ,visit NI Direct and Student Finance NI (undergraduate finance) for financial help and advice. If you normally live outside Northern Ireland, further information is available on NI Direct's Financial Support for Students from outside Northern Ireland page.
  • provide evidence that you have satisfied any condition(s) of your offer. If your offer is conditional upon the completion of a degree and/or other academic qualification, you are required to upload evidence to the Postgraduate Applications Portal to confirm that you have satisfied the condition(s) of your offer. Please ensure that you upload scanned copies of your documentation to the My Applications section of the Portal. 

You will receive information regarding Enrolment and Registration in late August. Please ensure that you read this information carefully and attend at the appointed date and time.

Note: If at any time you decide that you no longer wish to take up your place, please notify the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (+44(0)28 9097 5940/5928) promptly or email as often there is a waiting list for places.

Please return all paperwork, except for degree certification that should be uploaded to the Direct Applications Portal, in person, to Reception at the address below.  If you cannot attend in person, please contact Margaret Kennedy at for advice.  In certain circumstances, a nominated person can leave this in on your behalf.

Contact us

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
PGCE Office
69-71 University Street
Queen's University Belfast

+44(0)28 9097 5940/5928