BA (Hons)

Primary Education

Teacher reading with pupils
  • UCAS code(s): X101
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: Four years full-time

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Nelson Mandela

Become a Primary or Early Years teacher with our comprehensive teacher-training degree. Our expert tutors will support you to become a confident and creative teacher with the skills and experience demanded by schools.

This is one of the most highly regarded courses in the country, with an enviable employment record. Our close relationship with partnership schools means you gain a wide experience of teaching in many different kinds of educational settings, from large inner-city academies to small, rural schools.

Why choose this course?

You will develop the depth and breadth of your subject knowledge, so you can begin your career as a confident and innovative teacher.

You will benefit from:

  • accreditation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with the National College for Teaching and Leadership, allowing you to take a post as a Newly Qualified Teacher upon successful completion
  • the option to specialise in either Early Years, or Primary Education with a subject focus
  • excellent facilities and experienced and enthusiastic tutors.

Why four years?

We don’t take a three year course and stretch it out over four years.

We build in enrichment opportunities and a greater depth of study which would not be possible if we just had a three year course. We can provide you with more time in school – at least 160 days, but this is likely to be higher depending on your specific choices. Each placement ranges from five to eight weeks and helps you to become an excellent and highly reflective primary teacher.

Enrichment opportunities include:

  • a residential fieldwork trip in Year One to the Peak District
  • the Take One Picture project, linked to the National Gallery
  • a special placement in Year Three where you chose to spend at least ten days in an educational context anywhere in the world
  • extra school-based projects including Core Week and SEND Week.

Our students appreciate the extra time to develop their skills before beginning their career in primary education.

Masters study

With a four year course, we can include an in depth Leading Primary / Early Years Practice module which can be studied at Masters level. Successful completion at Masters level will result in 60 credits towards a full Masters degree. With a growing emphasis on higher level qualifications for teachers, you will be ideally placed for your future career. With a four year course, we can include an in depth Leading Primary / Early Years Practice module which can be studied at Masters level.  Successful completion at Masters level will result in 60 credits towards a full Masters degree. With a growing emphasis on higher level qualifications for teachers, you will be ideally placed for your future career.

What you'll study

Year One and Two

On this degree there is equal attention given to your professional development and teaching skills. In Year One and Two you will focus on your professional development and learn more about how children learn in educational contexts. The broad base of these two years allows you to learn to teach all areas of the curriculum and to work in schools with children across the 3 – 11 age range.

Years Three and Four

In Years Three and Four you opt to focus on teaching either the three to seven age range or the five to eleven age range, although the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) qualifies you to teach across the whole three to eleven age range.

Early Years specialism (3 - 7 years)

If you opt for the 3 – 7 age strand, you will continue to study English, Mathematics and Science tailored to the specific needs of this age phase. Your studies will concentrate on the breadth and interrelated nature of the curriculum and will support you in teaching in early years settings or Key Stage 1 classrooms.

Primary subject specialism (5 – 11 years)

If you opt for the 5 – 11 strand you will continue to study the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. You will also opt to develop strengths in chosen areas of the wider curriculum.

By the end of the course it is expected that you will be able to critically reflect on your own learning and thinking processes in order to further develop your own subject knowledge in a range of curriculum areas, through extending and generalising ideas with a focus on applying them to classroom situations.

  • Year One

    There are two 60 credit modules in Years One, Two and Three: Professional and Educational Development, and Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies. In Year Three the Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies module is offered with either a 3 – 7 years, or 5 – 11 years focus. In your final year you will undertake Professional and Educational Development 4, and a module entitled Leading Early Years Practice (3 – 7 years) or Leading Primary Practice (5 – 11 years). As part of this module you will engage in a collaborative Leadership and Management project and an independent study. There is the option to study this module at Masters-level and receive 60 Masters-level credits.

    Professional and Educational Development One

    During this module, which includes your first period of professional practice (PP), you will develop an understanding of how learners learn and how learning progresses. You will be introduced to statutory and non-statutory curricula and other relevant policies and frameworks within which teachers work and supported into considering how to apply these to the classroom context. Barriers to children’s learning and achievement will be considered and inclusive strategies to overcome these discussed.

    As part of this module you will spend time in a school completing professional practice where you will be supported in learning to plan and assess children’s learning. You will be introduced to your responsibilities regarding safeguarding and children’s well-being. You will be supported in understanding the nature of professionalism and how to make a positive impact in school in terms of your aspirations for children and relationships with both children and adults. An important part of the module is concerned with developing skills of reflection, relating your own learning experiences to those of the children you are training to teach.

    Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies One

    The aim of this module is to introduce you to the statutory and non-statutory frameworks in the context of the primary curriculum subjects and areas of learning and development. We will consider children’s possible difficulties in making progress in both the core and wider curriculum and how barriers to learning can be overcome. You will be introduced to the practices and associated pedagogies specific to each subject. The module will support your understanding of progression in each subject and enable you to make relevant links between subjects / areas of learning. You will be supported in developing your subject knowledge for teaching in each subject and will be supported in recognising areas for development.

    Residential Trip

    This is an extra experience for all first year students, where you learn to apply your growing subject knowledge for teaching to the context of outdoor learning.

  • Year Two

    Professional and Educational Development Two

    This module includes your second period of professional practice (PP). It is designed to support you in recognising the need to personalise learning and to take account of the needs of individuals and groups of learners. As a result, you will increasingly be able to meet the needs of learners through the use of appropriate planning, teaching and assessment strategies. The module considers some of the barriers children face in their learning and supports your developing awareness of a range of issues and theories around SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and inclusive education. We also aim to support you in the further development of your emerging educational philosophy. Emphasis is given to supporting your ability to engage in reflective self-assessment.

    Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Two

    This module will support you in developing your understanding of how to scaffold learning as appropriate to individual curriculum areas. It will also support you in making provision for children with a diverse range of needs across all areas of the curriculum. It will focus on formative assessment practices which will enable you to plan and teach lessons across curriculum subjects which feature creative and active approaches underpinned by a sound and explicit knowledge of the needs of individuals and groups of pupils and the requirements of the curriculum.

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to interpret the statutory and non-statutory frameworks. It will consider how specific practices impact on children’s learning and have knowledge of a range of practices (including use of ICT) and strategies relevant to specific subjects.

    This module will help develop your confidence in your own subject knowledge for teaching across both core and wider curriculum subjects and support you in recognising progression in children’s learning within curriculum subjects.

    SEND / Making a Difference Fortnight

    SEND / Making a Difference Fortnight This fortnight-long experience allows you to develop your understanding and knowledge relating to SEND provision across the primary age range, and make a positive impact within a school community. This will include additional school experience in a range of settings.

  • Year Three

    Professional and Educational Development Three

    This module includes your third period of professional practice where you will be supported in developing effective and inclusive classroom management skills. You will also be supported in identifying ‘best practice research’ and learn how to take a creative and inclusive approach towards innovation in your planning and teaching. There is an emphasis on developing your ability to reflect on your own practice especially in terms of the impact your approaches to teaching and learning have on the learning, development and progress of all children including children with diverse needs.

    This module also aims to engage you with the idea of the teacher as ‘researcher’ and to develop your understanding of research methods. We consider how such an approach develops professional autonomy, knowledge and skills. Thus we aim to foster the development of a community of practice and an awareness of the wider teacher-researcher community.

    Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Three (3 – 7 years strand)

    The aim of this module is to further extend your subject knowledge for teaching in the core subjects and to support your understanding of the holistic and interconnectedness of learning. This module will support you in developing an awareness of responsive, innovative and creative approaches informed by ‘best practice’ research which support young children’s sense of wellbeing, involvement and engagement. This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to research and critically evaluate new concepts and to explore your own values as a teacher. You will be encouraged to develop the confidence to articulate effectively your emerging ideas and values and be aware of the impact these have on your own practice.

    Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Three (5 – 11 years strand)

    The aim of this module is to further extend your subject knowledge for teaching in the core and in your chosen area of the wider curriculum. This module will support you in developing an awareness of three innovative and creative approaches informed by ‘best practice’ research. This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to research and critically evaluate new knowledge, concepts and evidence from a range of sources and to explore your own values as a teacher. You will explore the global dimensions of education and understand how it can underpin creative planning.

  • Final year

    Professional and Educational Development Four

    This module includes your final period of professional practice. It aims to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate that you can be an outstanding and creatively innovative teacher able to empower others and lead change within your educational context. You should aim to develop a detailed critical awareness of best practice / pedagogy in your specialist area and recognise effective approaches to classroom leadership. You should take full responsibility for your professional development during this module and be prepared to be accountable for your own progress.

    This module also allows you to undertake a research-focused independent study with tutor support. Through your personal study of current national and international developments in an aspect of primary education you will develop your ability to articulate your own critical understanding of theory and practice and thus formulate your own, distinct philosophy of education. You will be expected to offer, in your chosen area, new insights and ideas into how provision in this area might be carried forward in your practice.

    The module also includes a focus on Special and Inclusive Education. You will develop critical awareness of the current policies, debates, and practices relating to the field of SEND and inclusive education.

    Leading Early Years Practice (3 – 7 years strand)

    Teachers qualifying at NTU after a four year course should be empowered to lead, innovate and influence practice from an early stage of their careers. This module seeks to engage you in using and applying your emerging leadership and management skills through collaborative group work. As a result of taking this module you will gain an understanding of your own emerging strengths in the leadership and management of a team. You will also develop your confidence in leading change and articulating your vision for primary education through the development of policy and practice. This module also aims to enable you share your professional learning through disseminating the findings of your research study to your peers for critical review.

    Leading Primary Practice (5 – 11 years strand)

    Teachers qualifying at NTU after a four year course should be empowered to lead, innovate and influence practice from an early stage of their careers. This module seeks to engage you in using and applying your emerging leadership and management skills through collaborative group work. As a result of taking this module you will gain an understanding of your own emerging strengths in the leadership and management of a team. You will also develop your confidence in leading change and articulating your vision for early years education through the development of policy and practice. This module also aims to enable you share your professional learning through disseminating the findings of your research study to your peers for critical review.

    Please note: modules are designed to reflect current educational initiatives and may be subject to change to meet Government requirements.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Further information on what you'll study

Professional accreditation

We are accredited by the UK Government's National College for Teaching and Leadership as a provider of initial teacher-training courses. Successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This means you can be employed as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in a school to complete your induction year.

97% of students on the BA (Hons) Primary Education are satisfied with their course (NSS 2017).

Careers and employability

Your career development

What skills will I develop?

Through their Primary Education degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:

  • knowledge of teaching and learning processes
  • thinking critically and creatively
  • initiating and challenging ideas
  • planning and organisation
  • patience and flexibility
  • knowledge of child development
  • interpretive and analytical thinking
  • problem solving skills
  • oral and written communication

Your future career

Graduates have gained positions in Primary schools in the UK and overseas. Primary Education graduates also find employment in government departments, educational publishing, social service agencies, and research fields.

Our graduates* are following a variety of career paths including roles as:

  • Primary school teacher
  • Early years practitioner
  • Family and child community worker
  • Special education teacher
  • Teaching assistant
  • Supply teacher

*DLHE Survey, 2015-16

Our close relationships with partnership schools leads to a high proportion of graduates taking up employment locally.

With four periods of professional practice and wider enrichment opportunities, such as field work and specialisation, our graduates are confident, critical and creative professionals committed to the development of all through education and highly employable. Our emphasis on subject leadership in the final year of the course ensures that graduates are well placed to lead innovative practice in school.

See where this degree could take you with our Careers Brochure.

Teaching salaries

The average starting salary for a teacher is £22,240 and experienced teachers can earn up to £65,000, with Head Teachers reaching salaries over £100,000 (NCTL website, October 2015).

From the outset of your training, you will focus on developing your teaching skills and demonstrating the impact of children's learning.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • Enhance your communication skills
  • Enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • Boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

100% of our full-time graduates on BA (Hons) Primary Education are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015/16, first degree, undergraduate).

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

All applicants are required to have a Primary National Curriculum subject or one related to child development from:

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent; and
  • GCSEs – five at grade 4 or equivalent including English, Mathematics and Science.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility.

Other requirements

  • an interview and English test;
  • a Disclosure and Barring Service check;
  • a Prohibition Order check;
  • a satisfactory health declaration;
  • Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy (pass); and
  • a minimum of ten days mainstream UK school experience (paid or voluntary) in a Primary or Early Years setting, completed within the last two years, or planned prior to application.

School experience

Within your personal statement you must confirm how many full days you have spent in a UK mainstream Primary School within the last two years. Half days can be added together but breakfast clubs and after school clubs cannot be counted. You should ideally state the dates you worked and which schools you attended during this period. Failure to stipulate the work experience will result in a delay on your application form while we obtain this information.

Find out about the NCTL's School Experience Programme and read tips on how to arrange your school experience.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students, and those returning to education, who have studied appropriate qualifications. We accept a wide range of qualifications gained at the UCAS tariff points above including the following.

  • CACHE
  • BTEC
  • Access.

National Curriculum subjects accepted:

  • Art and Design
  • Citizenship
  • Design and technology
  • English (including drama)
  • Geography
  • History
  • ICT and Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Modern foreign language (including French, German and Spanish)
  • Music
  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Physical Education (including dance and sports studies)
  • Religious Education
  • Science.

The UCAS Tariff

We’ve created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

All applicants are required to have a Primary National Curriculum subject or one related to child development from:

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent; and
  • GCSEs – five at grade 4 or equivalent including English, Mathematics and Science.

Other requirements

  • an interview and English test;
  • a Disclosure and Barring Service check;
  • a Prohibition Order check;
  • a satisfactory health declaration; and
  • Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy (pass); and
  • a minimum of ten days mainstream UK school experience (paid or voluntary) in a Primary or Early Years setting, completed within the last two years, or planned prior to application.

School experience

Within your personal statement you must confirm how many full days you have spent in a UK mainstream Primary School within the last two years. Half days can be added together but breakfast clubs and after school clubs cannot be counted. You should ideally state the dates you worked and which schools you attended during this period. Failure to stipulate the work experience will result in a delay on your application form whilst we obtain this information.

Find out about the NCTL's School Experience Programme and read tips on how to arrange your school experience.

Alternative qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.  We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Further information on entry requirements

If you apply for a teacher training course then you must pass professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy as part of the application process. You must pass these tests before you start the course.

Registration and booking for the skills tests is available on the Department for Education website.

Find out more about the tests and how to prepare for them with our teacher training skills tests FAQs sheet.

96% of students on BA (Hons) Primary Education say that they have been able to contact staff when they needed to (NSS 2017).

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Interviews

All suitable candidates for this course will be required to sit an interview.

What to expect at interview

During the interview you will be asked to deliver a presentation and complete a test of your English ability. Full details will be provided before you arrive, so you have time to prepare.

There is also the opportunity to ask your own questions about the course, tour the campus and talk to current Primary Education students during the day. You are welcome to bring a parent or friend, although they will not be able to join you in the interview.

Interview days are normally run between November and March. You will be contacted after we receive your application with a relevant date if you meet our entry requirements.

School experience

School observation experience is essential and will always enhance your application. It will also help you to confirm that teaching is the right career choice for you.

Within your personal statement you must confirm how many full days you have spent in a UK mainstream Primary School within the last two years. Half days can be added together but breakfast clubs and after school clubs cannot be counted. You should ideally state the dates you worked and which schools you attended during this period. Failure to stipulate the work experience will result in a delay on your application form whilst we obtain this information.

Find out about the NCTL's School Experience Programme and read tips on how to arrange your school experience.

Diversity of our students

We are committed to promoting a diverse and representative body of teacher trainees. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, such as male applicants, applicants from BME communities, mature applicants and those with disabilities.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.  If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies.  If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

98% of students on BA (Hons) Primary Education say their course has provided them with opportunities to apply what I have learnt (NSS 2017).

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2018 entry have not been set yet. Please check our website in autumn for the latest information.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more on our fees and funding page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Education course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460