The University of Northampton is passionate about transforming children’s lives and inspiring change. Our Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Mathematics Specialist programme has the ambitious target of ensuring that every school in our region has access to a teacher trained at Masters level.
The programme is a two-year Masters level course through which participating teachers extend their knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematics and related pedagogy, and develop the skills to support other colleagues in mathematics. The University of Northampton has been successfully leading the programme across a wide range of local authorities since 2009, with over 640 successful graduates.
This course is for serving teachers and aims to transform teaching and learning in mathematics. Each teacher develops their own subject and pedagogical knowledge. No pre-existing specialist knowledge of mathematics is assumed, so this course is suitable for all teachers of primary mathematics. Within this course there is a strong focus on promoting reasoning and problem solving in primary mathematics. This course will provide teachers with the professional recognition of specialist teacher of mathematics and enhance confidence in teaching and leading the subject. Teachers currently on the programme have found it rewarding and stimulating.
A number of taster sessions are available for this course. Please visit our Education CPD/PG events pages for information on the sessions available.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
The course provides Masters level professional development for teachers in the curriculum area of mathematics. The content is focused on developing connectionist pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning in primary mathematics. This programme is especially relevant since it focuses on developing aspects such as fluency, reasoning and mastery that reflects current government agendas. The aims of the course provide opportunities for the teachers to:
- Broaden and deepen mathematics subject and pedagogical knowledge through critically analysing the connections and structures within mathematics.
- Deepen understanding of how pupils develop understanding of mathematics through analysing mathematical thinking and reasoning with a range of pedagogical approaches.
- Critically analyse and evaluate their own and their pupils’ learning of mathematical thinking and reasoning.
- Develop professional collaborative and leadership skills using a peer coaching approach to improve teaching and learning of mathematics in their school.
- Further develop leadership skills by undertaking a whole-schoold evelopment project to improve a particular aspect of mathematics teaching and learning within their own school.
Course modules (16/17)
Subject and Pedagogical Knowledge in the Teaching of algebra and geometry
- Module code: EDUM096
- Core module Y
Subject and Pedagogical Knowledge in the Teaching of number, calculation, measures and data handling
- Module code: EDUM097
- Core module Y
Methods of Learning
The course covers several methods of study which include:
- face-to-face university-led tutition delivered through two residential weekend events. (These are included in the tuition fees for the accomodation and meals) Regular local network meetings each year.
- Autonomous learning is an important aspect of masters level study. This is achieved through work at the University and at school including: directed mathematical tasks pedagogical research
- Engagement with online materials such as library resources
- Engagement with online discussions and face to face discussions
- Analytical and critical approaches to relating theory to practice with particular reference to work in school
- Teaching activities, workshops and seminars, online tutorial and support: 30 study hours
- Directed tasks and network sessions: 50 study hours
- Directed reading: 50 study hours
- Self-directed study: 70 study hours
- Assessment activity: 100 study hours
The teaching activities and workshops are achieved mainly through two weekend residential events each year (making four weekends altogether). For 2016-17 the first two residential weekends are on 5th/6th November 2016 and 4th/5th March 2017.
The first year of the programme has two assignments. The first is a reflective discussion of your own mathematical learning with an activity, which you then relate to children’s learning for the same activity. The second assignment is a small project to coach or mentor a colleague within school. For this assignment you will reflect on the impact on teaching and learning for the colleague but also on your own development as a leader of mathematics in school.
The second year has one assignment. This is a small-scale research project that develops an aspect of mathematics across your school. You will use and reflect upon approaches to teaching and learning from the course to improve an aspect of mathematics in your own school. You will also present your whole-school project with a small presentation at the final network meeting. For all of the assignments you will receive personal tutorials and feedback on draft assignments
Facilities and Special Features
The key feature of this course, and the main reason for its success, is that this programme provides a direct impact upon teaching and learning across the whole school. While this is continuing professional development for one teacher, there is a process of enabling the teacher to lead change in mathematics teaching across the whole school.
Askew, M. (2007) Transforming primary mathematics. London: Routledge.
Barmby, P., Bilsborough, L., Harries, T. and Higgins, S. (2009) Primary mathematics: teaching for understanding. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Boaler, J. (2009) The elephant in the classroom: helping children learn and love maths. London: Souvenir Press.
Gifford, S. (2005) Teaching mathematics 3-5: developing learning in the foundation stage. Maidenhead: Open University Press
This programme allows teachers to gain a Post Graduate Certificate in mathematics specialist teaching. It has enabled teachers to gain recognition as excellent teachers and leaders of primary mathematics teaching and learning. Some teachers have progressed and gained employment specifically as leaders of mathematics in schools. Others have set up their own companies producing teaching and learning resources based on the principles of the programme. Some teachers have also gained further modules towards a full masters degree. This year some of the first graduates of this programme will be receiving their Masters Degree in Mathematics Education
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
Any qualified teacher working within a Primary School setting is eligible to apply. They do not necessarily need to be a leading mathematics teacher or a mathematics coordinator, but will require the recommendation and support of their Head Teacher.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,350 (Year One 30 Credits) £1,350 (Year Two 30 Credits)|
The costs of attendance at residentials and network sessions is met within the cost of the course. However, there is a yearly conference connected to this programme. This is an optional element of further professional development. There is an additional charge for this conference, which this year (2015-16) was £99.
Schools are often willing to underwrite costs and some Local Authorities will support students.
Year Two may be subject to an inflationary increase in 17/18