Postgraduate Certificate Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MAST) for Primary mathematics specialists

Year of entry

‘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.

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


  • 1 year

Entry requirements

  • You will normally need a degree 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 09/02/2018 14:06:00

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Last edited: 09/02/2018 14:06:00