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Undergraduate course

Primary Education (3-7) BA (Hons)

Study to become a Primary School Teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at one of York's oldest teaching institutions.

Two students in primary education classroom

Education impacts everybody’s lives and York St John University has a long and proud history of providing high quality Initial Teacher Education. If you share our passion for teaching and our belief in the power of education then this is the degree for you.

  • Available in Clearing

95% of Primary Education students were satisfied with their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

100% of Primary Education students felt their learning had been well supported by the library resources. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – X310
  • Duration – 3 years full-time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    120 UCAS points

    5 GCSEs graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

The course combines academic study and practical teaching experience at every level. These two sides of the degree are constantly feeding into each other as you learn, with the knowledge and theory you gain on campus informing your teaching practice on school placements. Your university-based study will cover both the primary curriculum, building your subject knowledge and pedagogy in preparation for your placements and professional studies modules which give you the skills and understanding to ensure all children in the classroom make progress in their learning.

Meanwhile, in your school-based placements you will gradually take on more and more responsibility as you progress through the course until you are ready to lead a class of your own. We have very good relationships with our school partnerships across the region and you will get involved in all aspects of school life while you are on your placements.

You will have opportunities to personalise your course, specialising in the areas which interest you most. When you apply you will choose either the 3-7 or 5-11 route. These two Primary Education programmes study some modules together but others separately, giving you specialist knowledge for the age group you will work with. In your final year you can choose a further specialism selecting a module from a range of options. You will also have the opportunity to design, plan and carry out a research project with a focus of your choosing.

York St John University is an accredited Initial Teacher Training provider and on successful completion of this course you will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Course Structure

Level 1


Modules include:

Learning and teaching in the primary core curriculum 1 (40 credits)
This module will focus on learning, teaching and subject knowledge in English, mathematics and science.

Learning and teaching in the primary foundation curriculum 1: (20 credits)
This module will focus on learning, teaching and subject knowledge in the other subjects of the primary National Curriculum, plus RE, with a focus on Key Stage 1.

Developing your wider skills (20 credits)
This module will allow you some choices to personalise your study. A range of academic and teaching skills will be on offer to help you establish firm foundations in your assignments and build up additional skills to support your school placements. These skills may include: academic writing and presentation, BSL, first aid, practical music and sports coaching.

School experience 1 (20 credits)
Your first school placement will typically involve being in school with other students, having visits spread though your first year with a five week, full-time placement in May and June, during which you will typically teach around 50% of the timetable.

Level 2

At Level 2 you will be taught for all modules in just 3-7 age phase teaching groups, allowing a sharper focus on that age range.


Modules include:

Professional studies 2: Becoming a teacher (20 credits)
The same themes will be addressed as for year 1, covering new ground, at a higher level. In year 2 there will be strong focus on special educational needs, disabilities and inclusion, through theme 2, meeting the needs of different pupils.

Learning and teaching in the primary core curriculum 2 (40 credits)
This module will build on the first year module, with a sharper on the 3-7 age range.

Learning and teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage: (20 credits)
As its name suggest, this module will have an exclusive focus on the theory, principles and practice of learning and teaching n the EYFS.

The research informed professional 1 (20 credits)
This module will begin your critical journey as a teacher-researcher. First of all you will engage critically with a range of established educational research before moving on to learning how to plan, design and carry out your own research project.

School experience 2 (20 credits)
This placement steps up from your first placement in that you will be placed in a class on your own, the placement is longer and you will build up to teaching 60-70% timetable.

Level 3

At Level 3 you will have further chances to make choices and personalise your study.


Professional studies 3: The emerging professional (20 credits)
The same themes will be addressed as for year 1 and 2, covering new ground again, at a higher level. In year three, the focus themes will be pupil progress and assessment and also employability, with theme 1 (planning and assessment for pupil progress) and theme 5 (Planning and assessment for pupil progress) being the main ones. For this module you will be taught in your 3-7 age range group.

Contemporary issues in education (20 credits)
This module will focus on critical engagement in a range of issues that are contemporary in our education system at that time. There will be direct teaching about those issues, but the main focus will be on your participation in rigorous, critical, reflective and informed debate.  For this module you will be taught in your 3-7 age range group.

The research informed professional 2 (40 credits)
This module will build directly on its level 5 equivalent. You will apply your learning from year 2 and will plan, design, carry out and present, typically through a dissertation, a small scale education research project, the focus and title of which is largely your choice (subject to tutor approval).

Professional focus elective (20 credits)
This module is another area where you can make choices and personalise your course. You will choose one module from a range, which is likely to include:

  • Early Years (this is distinct from the year 2 EYFS module)
  • Creativity in primary education
  • Thinking and philosophy for children
  • Digital learning in primary schools
  • Learning outside the classroom

School experience 3 (20 credits)
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. You will become, to all intents and purposes, the class teacher and show you are ready to take on your own class as an NQT.

Teaching & Assessment

You will be placed into a teaching group in year 1, which is usually a mixture of 3-7 route and 5-11 route students. In years 2 and 3, the two routes are taught in separate teaching groups, apart from year 3 electives. Teaching is focussed on developing both your academic and teaching knowledge, skills and understanding and always reflecting critically on how the two relate to each other.

Teaching is mainly done through class sized groups of around 25 students. A typical session will be interactive with practical work, discussions, debates, group work and the chance to ask questions and raise points as well as direct teaching from tutors. There will also be times when students are expected to prepare and run parts of sessions under supervision of tutors.
The Primary Education timetable in years 1, 2 and 3 has inbuilt flexibility, varying from week to week due to the wide range of staff involved in teaching the course and because around 120 days are spent on school placement across the whole course.  Consequently there are busier and lighter weeks which may range from 6 to 18 hours in a week. There will also be additional timetabled tutorials, assessments and independent study sessions timetabled in some  weeks. As a general guide, semester 1 is busier than semester 2 in all years, but  especially in years 2 and 3 as block school placements typically start in semester 2.

In year 1, the timetabled contact hours reduce across semester 2 as more time is gradually spent on assessments and in school, prior to the first year block placement which is usually at the end of the year. Year 1 therefore, typically finishes a month later than years 2 and 3.

When you are on school placement, you will be working the full day of a primary school, with additional preparation for lessons the next day, marking etc. School placements are full on!

Self-study time is critical to success on the Primary Education course. This will be a combination of independent learning activities set by tutors and also your own self-directed study. These will build on your taught sessions and guidance for your assignments, and during placement, will be driven by the requirements of your teaching in school.

You will take three formal assessed school placements, one in each year of your course. The placements get longer and you take a greater timetable and level of responsibility as you move from year 1 to 3 of your course. In your final placement, you be expected to take on almost the full role of the class teacher, showing that you are ready to be appointed and paid to take on your own class as a Newly Qualified  Teacher (NQT) on completion of your course and award of QTS. Your placements will be in at least two schools  and you must take placements in the EFYs and KS1, the two age phrases of your course. Each placement will be supported by a mentor as well as a university link tutor. Securing placements is overseen by the university placement’s office.

Assessment is through a combination assessed course work and assessed school placements. 80% of the course is assessed by course work and 20% by school placement’s. Your final degree classification will be based only on the assessed course work. School placements are pass/fail but will be graded using Ofsted grading classifications. These grading are important to future employers but do not affect your academic degree classification.

All assessed coursework is graded given detailed, constructive feedback within stated timescales. All modules have formative feedback within the module provision; this may be verbal or written. School placements are assessed continually; you will receive regular formative feedback on your teaching as well as formal interim and final written and graded reports.

We have a variety of approaches to assessment, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in different  ways. These include:

  • Written assessments ranging from short pieces to an extended dissertation
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Subject knowledge audits in the core curriculum
  • Portfolios
  • Practical artefacts
  • Assessed school placements

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

120 UCAS Tariff points

You must pass a satisfactory medical report and a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check.

5 GCSEs at grade C/4/Level 4 or above (or equivalent) including:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science

We do not accept IELTs in lieu of the GCSE in English.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

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 Pass on the Department for Education Professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy
  • 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, Childhood and Counselling Foundation Year


Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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 EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

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

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

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

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 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

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

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. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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