Postgraduate Certificate Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MAST) for Primary Mathematics Specialists

Year of entry

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

Develop the skills and understanding required to become a primary mathematics specialist teacher and support fellow teachers and teaching assistants with their subject and teaching knowledge in primary mathematics.

This course covers key developments in primary mathematics, such as approaches to promote children’s mastery of mathematical ideas. You will build a deep understanding of primary mathematics and receive support in introducing ideas into your own teaching.

During the course you will critically evaluate a wide range of teaching methods, including those used in other countries. You will also grow the skills needed to work effectively with colleagues and to lead whole school initiatives. The course will support you in developing your career as a specialist teacher and will provide you with the specialist knowledge to enable you to support others, in your school or across groups of schools. It also lays the foundations for a future role as a specialist leader in education.

After completing the postgraduate certificate, you will have the option to transfer your credits and complete the MA Education.

‘My key recommendation is the presence of a mathematics specialist in every primary school, who will champion this challenging subject’
(Williams 2008 p1)

If you are a qualified teacher who is enthusiastic about teaching mathematics and committed to developing the knowledge, skills and understanding required to become a mathematics specialist teacher, then this course is for you. 

You may be a mathematics leader and want to develop subject knowledge and teaching expertise in others. Alternatively, you may be a class teacher with a passion for teaching mathematics and wish to prepare yourself for a future position as a mathematics subject leader.

You will gain a postgraduate certificate (60 Masters level credits) which can be transferred if you undertake further Masters study.

In module 1, you will explore the mathematics within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and primary National Curriculum, and into Key Stage 3. You will identify key mathematical ideas and processes in the curriculum and trace how these progress. The aim is that you develop deep understanding of primary mathematics so that you can promote mastery of it in the children you teach.

Module 2 focuses on pedagogy. You will consider teaching approaches that promote children’s conceptual understanding of and fluency in primary mathematics. There will be an investigation of mastery of mathematics. You will evaluate a wide repertoire of teaching approaches critically, including those used in other countries.

In module 3, you will develop the knowledge and understanding needed to work with your colleagues. You will consider strategies to support other teachers’ and teaching assistants’ subject and teaching knowledge in primary mathematics. The module will also explore how to lead whole school initiatives and lead effective, collaborative professional development.

The course is written to support you in developing your career as a teacher who can offer specialist knowledge and support others, in your school or across groups of schools.

After completing the Postgraduate Certificate you will have the option to transfer the credits and complete the MA Education.

The course will be held as twilight sessions, usually 6–9pm on our Canterbury Campus. The sessions will include group activities, discussion, reflection, and tutor input on literature and research findings. You will explore each area of mathematics at various levels corresponding to the early years and primary curriculum. 

You will reflect on learning in the light of Government guidance, the National Curriculum, the Early Years Foundation Stage, and a range of research findings, literature and theoretical frameworks. You will be encouraged to share and discuss your thinking, and engage critically with ideas presented by tutors. 

You will be asked to complete short tasks after teaching sessions, which will relate to your teaching in school and your reading and preparation for assignments. 

Support will be provided in critical writing and reading and there will be individual tutorial time for assignments.


Notice of postgraduate taught tuition fees increase for 2019

The University has recently undertaken a review of its tuition fees and from 1 May 2019 the UK/EU tuition fees for this course will be increasing for new students starting in the 2019/20 academic year.

Complete and submit your application by 23:59 on 30 April to take advantage of the current tuition fees. Any applications submitted after this date will be subject to the increased fees.

2019/20 tuition fees for this course

 UK/EU (Applications received before 1 May 2019)UK/EU (Applications received on or after 1 May 2019)Overseas
Full-time  £2,215 £2,515 N/A
Part-time  N/A N/A N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

You will be required to submit three assignments of 4,000 words each. These assignments are designed tosupport you in developing mathematics in your own setting. For example, you will investigate progression from the early years across the primary phase in one area of mathematics which you wish to develop in your school. 

As part of this assignment, you will examine how to support progression in children’s learning of their mathematics. A second assignment will explore one approach to teaching mathematics such as the use of manipulatives or mathematical talk to support mastery. 

The final assignment will support you in working with your colleagues to develop their teaching of mathematics. 

You will be offered tutorial support for all assignments.

For application forms and further information on this course, please email

If you would like to speak to someone about this pathway, you can contact the Pathway Director, Dr Gina Donaldson on 01227 782176 or email

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year

Entry requirements

  • You will normally need a degree at 2.2 or above or equivalent level qualification. However, we recognise that some applicants may not meet these standard requirements, yet may have other appropriate skills, knowledge and experience. In this case you may be offered the opportunity to complete an orientation module or a portfolio to demonstrate your ability to work at level 7.
    You should hold Qualified Teacher Status and be placed in a setting where you work with children on mathematics.



Last edited 20/02/2019 08:16:00

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Last edited: 20/02/2019 08:16:00