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Undergraduate Course

Primary Education (3 to 7) BA (Hons)

If you share our passion for teaching and our belief in the power of education then this is the degree for you.

lecturer and students looking at work

Education impacts everybody’s lives, and we have a long and proud history of providing outstanding teacher training. This branch of the Primary Education degree will qualify you to teach across all primary years, but you will specialise in teaching 3 to 7 year olds. Our expert team will help you gain the skills you need to succeed as you prepare for a rewarding career inspiring young minds.

92% Primary Education students responded with a 92% positivity score for how well their course developed knowledge and skills that they will need for the future. (National Student Survey 2023)

98% Primary Education students responded with a 98% positivity score for how good teaching staff are at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2023)

York campus

  • UCAS code – X310
  • Duration – 3 years full time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    120 UCAS Tariff points

    5 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Science. We do not accept IELTs in lieu of the GCSE in English.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

Discover Initial Teacher Education

Keither Parker, Associate Head of Education, introduces us to Initial Teacher Education at York St John University.

Course overview

This course combines academic study and practical teaching experience at every level. The knowledge and theory you gain on campus informs your teaching practice on school placements.

You will study a variety of modules covering all Primary curriculum subjects to build your subject knowledge and teaching skills. You will cover professional studies modules which include essential overarching theoretical background, knowledge and teaching skills. You will also conduct educational research to support your studies and help you to carry out your own research project.

Meanwhile on your school placements you will gradually take on more and more responsibility as you progress through the course. Across the 3 years you will carry out 26 weeks of placements. Eventually you will be ready to lead a class of your own. We have very good relationships with our school partnerships across the region. When you are on placement you will be part of this partnership and will get involved in all aspects of school life.

You will have opportunities to tailor your course to your interests, specialising in the areas that interest you most. As well as focusing on the 3 to 7 age group, in your final year you can choose a further specialism within your professional elective module such as Creativity in Primary Education or Learning Outside the Classroom.

York St John University is an accredited Initial Teacher Training provider. This means that when you graduate you will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Please note: This course is in the process of being revalidated, which means there may be minor changes to the structure for 2024 entry. We will update this page with finalised changes as soon as we are able to.

Course structure

Year 1

This course can only be studied full time over 3 years. Our academic year is split into 2 semesters.

As you progress through the course your school placements will involve increasing levels of responsibility, as you progress towards Early Career Teacher (ECT) status.

In your first year:

  • You will study 4 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • Your first school placement will include visits spread throughout your first year and a 5 week full time placement in May and June

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is the first step in your journey towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You will begin to explore how both you, and the children you will be teaching, learn and build core skills, knowledge and understanding. We will discuss safeguarding processes, professionalism in an educational setting and behaviour management in the classroom. You will also learn to plan for and assess pupil progress and be introduced to the educational theory which will underpin your professional practice.

Credits: 50

Compulsory module

The core subjects for the primary National Curriculum are English, Mathematics and Science. This module will ensure you are equipped with specific knowledge and skills in these core areas. You will develop effective strategies for teaching and learning within these individual subjects. This is an opportunity to identify gaps in your own knowledge as well as developing the values and philosophies you bring with you to your teaching.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

A primary teacher is required to have a strong subject knowledge and pedagogical understanding across a broad range of areas. Focusing on Key Stage 1, this module will give you the tools you need to plan, teach and assess across the wider curriculum, and respond to diverse learning needs. This includes art, computing, design and technology, geography, history, languages, music, PE, PSHE and RE. You will be introduced to and evaluate both subject-based and thematic ways of planning and organising the curriculum.


Compulsory module

This module will introduce you to the classroom environment and the role of the teacher. It is the first step towards a more responsible teaching role and eventually gaining NQT status. Your first placement will typically involve being in school with other students, with visits spread throughout your first year and a five week, full time placement in May and June. On this placement you will typically teach around 50% of the timetable.

Credits: 10

Compulsory module

When you study Primary Education you achieve both a professional QTS qualification and a full academic degree. This module focuses on the academic side of the course, helping you to you to use your independent study time effectively and approach your assignments with confidence. You will develop your skills in academic research, reading, writing and presenting. You will also learn supplementary skills, including Makaton, computer game design or learning first aid, which will be valuable to you in your teaching career.

Year 2

In your second year you will:

  • Study 4 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • Undertake a longer placement in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Whilst this module is based around the same key topics as Professional Studies 1, you will cover new ground and delve deeper into them. There is a stronger focus on special educational needs, disabilities and inclusion. Learning to meet the needs of all individuals is an important part of the primary teacher’s role, and in this module you will discover how to adapt your teaching to ensure the progression of all children. You will learn about the legislation surrounding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), its historical context and how we define different groups of learners.

Credits: 50

Compulsory module

Building on the first year core curriculum module, you will further develop your subject specific skills, knowledge and understanding of the three core subjects of the primary National Curriculum. There will be a strong focus on mapping progression within the subjects. This includes considering and evaluating effective assessment strategies. The module will allow you to make direct links between theory and practice, through tasks which reflect authentic classroom experience.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

The Early Years Foundation Stage requires distinctive approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. You will only study this module if you are on the 3-7 pathway. This is your opportunity to focus on specific pedagogical issues relating to early childhood. You will critically consider the current curriculum for this age group, evaluate recent research into the learning needs of young children, and identify the principles of early years education. You will also consider the role of learning outside the classroom across the curriculum.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This placement represents a step up from your first, in that you will be leading the teaching in a classroom on your own. This placement is also longer, and you will build up to teaching 60-70% of the timetable. You will develop a more autonomous and independent role in the classroom and become part of the wider life of the school as you progress towards your QTS status. You will also be required to critically reflect on your own continuing professional development as a teacher and as a student.

Credits: 10

Compulsory module

This module will begin your critical journey as a teacher-researcher. You will engage with a range of established educational research before moving on to learning how to plan, design and carry out your own research project. You will gain an understanding of research methods and approaches, as well as learning to communicate arguments effectively through presentations. This will also enable you to use published research to inform your teaching.

Year 3

In your third year you will:

  • Study 4 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2 including a professional elective module
  • Undertake an extended placement of around 10 weeks in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Your final Professional Studies module will focus heavily on pupil progress and assessment. As your responsibility and accountability as a teacher grows, this is something you will need to take increasing ownership of. There is also a focus on professionalism and employability. As you approach the end of your studies, it is important that you are confident in formulating and articulating your own personal philosophy of education. You will develop as an autonomous professional able to make judgements informed by theory and practice.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will engage in critical, reflective and informed debate and a range of issues which affect our education system today. It is important to be able to interpret and respond to trends and issues arising and changing in the world of education. This includes ongoing debates within wider political, social, psychological and international contexts. You will use these debates to contextualise your own values, beliefs and professional approach to teaching.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This is the culmination of your professional studies. You will undertake an extended placement of around 10 weeks, where you will build up to teaching 80% of the timetable. Make the most of your final placement as an opportunity to refine your professional skills and take on wider responsibilities. You will become, to all intents and purposes, the class teacher and will demonstrate that you are ready to take on your own class as an ECT.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

Use what you learnt in your second year Research Informed Professional module to plan, design, carry out and present an education research project. This usually takes the form of a dissertation. It is up to you to decide the specific focus and title of your project. This will need to be agreed with your tutor, who will be there to support you in carrying out your own independent research. Learning to analyse and respond to research which critically informs your teaching will be an asset throughout your career.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This is one of the areas of the course which you can tailor to suit your own personal interests and goals. You will choose one module from a range available, which is likely to include:

  • Early Years
  • Creativity in Primary Education
  • Philosophy and Thinking for Children
  • Learning Outside the Classroom

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will usually be taught in classes of around 25 students. A typical session will be interactive, with practical work, discussions, debates, group work and the chance to ask questions. You will also be expected to prepare and run parts of sessions yourself.

Contact time on campus will vary across the year. Due to time spent on School Experience there are variations in timetabled hours on campus across the year. Block school placements normally take place in the Spring and Summer terms. When you are on school placement, you will be working the full day of a primary school. This includes lessons preparation and marking.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


You will have 1 formally assessed school placement in each year of the course. Your placements will get longer and you will take a greater level of responsibility as you move from year 1 to 3. Your placements will be in at least 2 schools and you must take placements in both age phases (Key Stage One and Key Stage Two) of your course. You will also be asked to undertake short additional placements to give you a broad experience of education. These may cover different contexts or focus on working with specific groups of learners.


Each module has assessment(s) attached to it. This may be written work, producing a teaching resource, or giving a presentation, for example. School placements are pass/fail, but your placement reports will reflect the strengths of your teaching and areas for you to develop further. These are important to future employers, and placements need to be passed to complete the course, but they do not affect your academic degree classification.

All assessed coursework is given detailed, constructive feedback. You will also receive formative feedback , so you can improve as you progress. School placements are assessed continually. You will receive regular formative feedback on your teaching as well as formal graded reports.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Primary Education

This course is designed to prepare you for a career as a Primary School Teacher, meeting the standards set by the Department for Education. As well as graduating with your academic degree, you will be recommended by the university for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is awarded by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) and will enable you to teach as a qualified teacher in a school in England or Wales. You will start your career as a teacher who places children at the centre of learning and teaching.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support doesn't end when you graduate. We have a dedicated Early Career Teacher (ECT) member of the team who will keep in contact with you to offer support and other opportunities as you start your new career. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    120 UCAS Tariff points

    5 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Science. We do not accept IELTs in lieu of the GCSE in English.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

Additional Requirements

For entry onto this course, you will also need:

  • To pass a satisfactory medical report
  • To pass a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check
  • An overseas Police check (where applicable)
  • To pass additional safeguarding checks including a prohibition check in line with the Government Keeping Children Safe in Education policy


You will need to attend an interview for this course. Find out more about the Primary Education interviews, what you will need and what you can expect on the day.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

This course does not accept IELTS in lieu of the English Language GCSE. We do accept the equivalency tests for English, Maths and Science from

In order to gain full QTS status, students will need to work for 2 years in a UK school following the completion of their degree. We therefore suggest that if you require a visa for study, you should also check whether you would be able to gain a visa for work purposes in order to qualify and work as a teacher.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

International entry requirements

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you.

You will need to meet the following criteria by the end of your Foundation Year to progress on to the Primary Education 3-7 Years BA (Hons) degree:

  • A satisfactory medical report and a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check
  • 5 GCSEs at grade C/4/Level 4 or above (or equivalent) including English, Mathematics and Science
  • Successful interview with the Primary Education team

If you do not meet these criteria, you will have the option to transfer onto one of the other BA (Hons) courses associated with the Foundation Year instead. A list of these is available on the Foundation Year course page.

Education, Children and Counselling Foundation Year

We do not accept Year 2 or Year 3 transfers for our Primary Education courses.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

International 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this course is £11,500 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include a DBS check, purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses.

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email

Course highlights

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