Primary Education at Durham University - UCAS

Course summary

At Durham University, we are passionate about developing high-quality teachers who aspire to make a difference to the lives of their pupils, both now and in the future. At the core of our vision is a more equitable world in which education plays an important role in enabling individuals, communities and societies to flourish. The Primary Education degree is ideal if you are committed to a teaching career in a primary school. You will complete a minimum of 140 days school experience, including training about whole-school issues that affect children’s learning environment. The degree programme offers the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and this is awarded through an accredited provider. The degree develops the professional knowledge and understanding to provide a foundation for effective teaching in a primary school. This includes: An understanding of responsibilities and roles of the primary teacher An understanding of schools and National Curriculum as the framework for children’s formal learning In-depth knowledge and understanding of core National Curriculum subjects Knowledge and understanding of other primary curriculum subjects to support effective teaching Classroom effectiveness, drawing upon expertise of practising teachers Personal educational philosophy A professional approach to your work. The degree is aligned with the research focus of the department, offering up-to-date, relevant materials to support you as a developing teacher. Professional development During the course, you will be assigned to one of our Partnership School Training Centres, where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in a classroom context, supported by the school, your School Training Centre Co-ordinator and a University Tutor. These school-based activities involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and practical teaching – the latter starting with teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching. You will have a designated teacher-mentor who will guide your work in schools. Across all three years of the course, there are weekly serial visits and a range of block placements in school. From September 2024 Durham will be entering into a partnership with Newcastle University to support the delivery of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in North East England. This partnership will provide high quality teacher training, drawing upon both universities’ world-renowned expertise in education and research as well as the professional expertise of their partnership schools across the North East. If you begin your programme with us from 2024 onwards your main degree – BA Primary Education - will be awarded by Durham University, but your professional (Qualified Teacher Status) qualification will be awarded by Newcastle University. This new partnership builds upon a long and rich legacy of teacher training at both Durham and Newcastle universities. Moving forward, Durham will remain in initial teacher education, offering both PGCE primary and secondary programmes and the BA Primary Education degree from September 2024 working with Newcastle University. It will ensure the two universities continue to provide high-quality teachers to local schools and will offer exciting opportunities to build upon and strengthen their contributions to teacher education both regionally and nationally.


Year 1 Core modules: The Evidence Informed Primary Teacher: Developing the Practice will help you develop an understanding of the Primary National Curriculum Framework and the key concepts underpinning primary learning. You will review relevant policy and legal requirements, and develop a critical appreciation of Foundation subject delivery in the primary context. Shifting the Focus: From the ‘Three Rs’ to the ‘Three Cs’ develops your understanding of the key elements underpinning the primary curriculum and strengthen your knowledge of their connections. You will examine ways in which the core curriculum is taught and consider the issues involved in ensuring effective provision of the National Curriculum for all children. Examples of optional modules: Historical and Philosophical Ideas of Education Intercultural and International Education Foundations of Psychology in Education Disability and Educational Needs: What’s so ‘Special’ about SEND? Year 2 Core modules: The Evidence Informed Primary Teacher: Enhancing Expertise enables you to develop a deeper understanding of the Primary National Curriculum Framework and the key concepts underpinning primary approaches to teaching. You will evaluate Foundation subject delivery and explore alternative curricula design and delivery methods. The Three Cs: Criticality, Concepts and Curriculum further develops your understanding of the key elements underpinning the primary curriculum and strengthens your knowledge of their connections. You will explore issues involved in ensuring effective provision of the National Curriculum for all children, including contemporary influences and initiatives. Educational Research Methods will help you understand the purposes and implications of educational research. You will develop a critical appreciation of the different ways in which research can be carried out in education, and learn how to assess the quality of educational research. Examples of optional modules: Cultural Identity, Interculturality and Education Constructions of Childhood Assessing Education Learning and Development in Childhood Disability and Educational Needs: Impairment, Empowerment and Education Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement or year abroad) Double Dissertation: Disciplinary Contexts of Education. For your dissertation you will undertake an extended, independent piece of research with an appropriate educational focus. The dissertation is an opportunity to bring together all the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the course into one in-depth piece of work. Beyond the Three Cs: An Adventure in Primary Pedagogy gives you a rich and connected understanding of the primary curriculum, and an understanding of progression beyond primary phase. You will have the chance to develop your critical awareness of effective provision of the National Curriculum for all children. Future Leaders will deepen and extend your knowledge and understanding of the role of the subject leader within the primary school. You will engage with the challenges of leadership and how to work with colleagues effectively to support them in teaching across the curriculum. You will also be introduced to important current initiatives and curriculum legislation.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Primary

How to apply

Application codes

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Durham City
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Grade 4 or C in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and a Science is a standard offer requirement. Our contextual offer for this programme is A level BBC (or equivalent). Grade 4 or C in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science is a contextual offer requirement. To find out if you’re eligible, please visit:

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)


English language requirements

Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.

English language requirements

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
EU £24750 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £24750 Year 1

Additional fee information

There may also be additional course costs for things like books (if you want to purchase them), field trips etc.
Primary Education at Durham University - UCAS