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Primary Education with QTS BA (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This exciting three year, full time, innovative and high-quality Programme has been specifically developed to provide a route for students wishing to gain a BA (Hons) in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status. In each year of the course, there is a blend of studying at the University of Sunderland and in-school experience in our Partnership schools. This allows you to apply new subject knowledge and skills to your own classroom practice, and develop your critical understanding of effective teaching and learning within a primary context. 

While at University, you will study modules focussing on 'Professional Studies', 'Core Curriculum Subjects' and 'Foundation Subjects'.

Trainees will have the opportunity to choose an Early Primary or Primary route as well selecting a subject enhancement area studied during Years 2 and 3. Subject to validation

You will complete assessed placements in either the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 during your time on the course, with additional opportunities to engage in teaching and learning practice within Early Years, KS3/4 and Special Education Needs, EAL and non-traditional settings such as a museum or Art Gallery.

Enhancements provide students with more specialist subject knowledge in a curriculum area of their interest. These additional skills increase their employability and prepare Trainees for their NQT year and beyond..

We are proud that the 2015 inspection from Ofsted awarded our Primary Provision at Sunderland to be “Good” noting strengths in Trainee employability and Trainee confidence about entering the profession as well as their commitment to teaching.  Ofsted highlighted in particular Trainees’ awareness of potential barriers to pupils’ learning and personal development, reflected in the way they seek to tackle discrimination of any kind.

There are many benefits to a career as a primary school teacher. The average starting salary in teaching is £22,023. 

Video presenting the benefits of becoming a teacher:

Course content

Modules content on this course includes:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Core Curriculum Subjects /Foundation Stage
  • Professional Studies
  • Foundation Subjects
  • School Experience 1 including Theory Linked Practice Days (TLPs)  

Year 2 (national level 5)

  • Core Curriculum Subjects /Foundation Stage
  • Professional Studies
  • Foundation Subjects
  • School Experience 2 including Theory Linked Practice Days (TLPs)  

Final Year (national level 6)

  • Core Curriculum Subjects
  • Professional Studies
  • Foundation Subjects
  • School Experience 3 including Theory Linked Practice Days (TLPs)  

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop skills in communication, teamwork and independent study.

During the in-school training the emphasis is on practical learning supported by input from School Mentors, University tutors and peers.

Assessment methods include written assignments, portfolios, presentations and computer-based assessments, (including podcasts).

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK Universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

Primary partnership

The University of Sunderland forms part of a primary partnership that includes approximately 200 schools in 12 different local authorities. This means that there are wide opportunities for placements.

University Library Services

We have an abundance of books, e-books and journals on topics related to teaching and theoretical-related themes, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:

  • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
  • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision at the University you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


The David Goldman Informatics Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's,
St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 points (excluding General Studies and Key Skills) from a minimum of three A-levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award), with a minimum profile of BCC plus additional qualifications such as AS levels and/or vocational awards (see UCAS tariff for further information). Along with completion of the professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy (see additional requirements below). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We also require five passes at GCSE grade C or above which must include Mathematics, English Language and Science. We accept these as part of an Access course and also from Equivalency Testing

Applicants are asked to demonstrate recent and relevant voluntary experience of working within a primary school /early years context and supporting learning.

All successful applicants will be invited in for an interview. Interviews start mid to late November time so we recommend for you to apply as soon as UCAS opens in October

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 120 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. You should have achieved a minimum DDD (excluding toolbox). Please note: Extended Project is accepted for this course. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics, English Language and Science or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study the entire course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Additional requirements

The course includes working in schools so the following are required:

  • Applicants to this course are expected to attend an interview as part of the selection process. Interviews will be taking place from early November 2016
  • All trainee teachers are required to pass Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy Skills Tests before starting their course. It would be helpful, but not essential if you are able to take the tests before the interview
  • DBS Enhanced Disclosure
  • Completion of a medical pro forma (based on DFEE Circular 8/92)
  • Self-Declaration




Fees & finance

 The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Finance section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

This course gives you not only an honours degree but also Qualified Teacher Status, which will open doors to employment in primary schools.

According to the Teaching Agency in 2016:

  • The average starting salary in teaching is £22,224. This is high compared to the average graduate starting salary
  • Teachers see their salaries rise by an average of 30 per cent after their first four years in the job
  • Teachers receive more holidays than many people in other professions
  • The teachers’ pension scheme is the second largest public sector pension scheme in the country

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements. 

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 375


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

Discover what Primary Education BA (Hons) graduates Sarah & Adam thought about their experience at the University of Sunderland:


Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, seminars and practical activities. There is also non-contact time when you will be studying on your own. If you have any particular problems with certain assignments, it's usually possible to arrange one-to-one surgeries with tutors.

Your tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support in schools

We work hard to ensure excellent support while you are undertaking work experience in schools, as well as while you are at the University, Ofsted reported on our Initial Teacher Education (primary phase) identified key strengths that included the following:

  • "Tutors' good knowledge of schools in the partnership which enables them to identify and make effective use of staff and schools with specialist skills"
  • "The good pastoral support provided for trainees through good communication with tutors and through effective use of resources such as the virtual learning environment"

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It's all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"The support and encouragement from tutors to become unique, experienced and the best graduate possible is immense!"

LCS - Danielle Young BA (Hons) Primary Education X122

Danielle Young


"Sunderland University’s reputation, facilities and the staff I spoke to during open days really appealed to me, and the support and encouragement from tutors to become unique, experienced and the best graduate possible is immense!

"What I like most about my course is that it inspires me to be the best teacher and role model to my future pupils every single day! Boosting my grades and getting a 1st in assignments that I have worked really hard on are always memorable moments for me!

"Potential students should embrace every opportunity that is made available to them. Whether it be academically or socially, you will grow up and develop so much as a result.

"My favourite thing about university life is the friends that you make. You will laugh, cry, party and study with these people and therefore become each other’s greatest support system."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

Once we receive your application it will be forwarded to the Admissions Tutor who will consider your application in accordance with the University’s Admissions Policy.

This programme requires applicants to attend an interview if successful as part of the selection procedure. You will be sent an interview invitation via email so please check your emails regularly.

What Happens Next
After you have submitted you application you will receive one of the following from UCAS or our Admissions Office:

A Conditional offer (C) – this is an offer from our Institution which will depend on you meeting the conditions which we stipulate in the offer. You may be asked to send us a copy of your certificates/qualifications, to enable us to confirm your offer. Not all examination results are sent to Universities via UCAS.

Unconditional offer (UF) - if you have already met all of our entry requirements.

Reject (R) – if your application was unsuccessful.

You may also be offered a change of course offer (CCO) such as an offer onto our BA Education Studies course, or our Childhood Studies course if your application is unsuccessful for Primary Education. Both courses are an alternative route which can lead into Teaching. This route, however, takes slightly longer whereas you will need to apply and undertake an additional 1 year PGCE course in Primary Education upon completion to gain the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Want to know more about these courses or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 23rd February 2017
  • Time: 3:00pm-8:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Science Complex, City Campus, Sunderland SR1 3SD

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jacqui Cassidy

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Primary Education with QTS
Classification BA (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

120 points

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