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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level ABB
International Baccalaureate 34

Course details

At Durham University, we are passionate about developing high-quality teachers who aspire, through their scholarly, reflective and inspirational practice, to make a difference to the lives of their students, 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 offers Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and is ideal for those committed to a teaching career in a primary school. In addition to preparing you to teach the whole curriculum, the course enables you to become a specialist in a particular curriculum area: English, Mathematics or Science.

The degree aims to help you develop an appropriate repertoire of professional knowledge and understanding to provide a foundation for effective teaching in a primary school; an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the core subjects of the National Curriculum; personal skills which would enable you to contribute to a school as a curriculum specialist in one of the core areas; knowledge and understanding of the other subjects in the primary curriculum to a level which will support effective teaching; understanding of schools and the National Curriculum as the framework within which children’s formal learning takes place; classroom effectiveness by drawing upon the expertise of practising teachers; a personal educational philosophy and a professional approach to your work; an understanding of the responsibilities and roles of the primary teacher.

The Primary Education degree offer closely aligns with the research focus and outputs of the department, offering evidence-based, recent and relevant materials alongside other academic elements, which will fully support the developing primary practitioner. There is an opportunity to personalise the degree from the range of optional modules on offer in Years 1 and 2. There are excellent opportunities for the consideration of international and intercultural perspectives; increasingly relevant with current UK policy looking to overseas pedagogies to inform curriculum development.

The course also offers forward-looking professional development opportunities such as the development of the role of the teacher-researcher and the opportunity to explore the role of subject leadership within schools for future career development.

Course Structure

Year 1

Core modules:

  • The Evidence Informed Primary Teacher: Developing the Practice
  • Shifting the Focus: From the “Three Rs” to the “Three Cs”.

Examples of optional modules include:

  • Context of Education
  • Introduction to Intercultural and International Education
  • Evidence in 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
  • The Three Cs: Criticality, Concepts and Curriculum
  • Educational Research Methods.

Examples of optional modules include:

  • Identity, Culture and Education
  • Constructions of Childhood
  • Assessing Education
  • Learning and Development in Childhood
  • Disability and Educational Needs: Impairment, Empowerment and Education.

Year 3

Core modules:

  • Future Leaders: Subject Co-ordination and Leadership
  • Beyond the Three Cs: An Adventure in Primary Pedagogy
  • Double Dissertation: Disciplinary Contexts of Education.

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 teaching background supported by the school, your School Training Centre Co-ordinator and a University Tutor.

The school-based activities involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and practical teaching - the latter starting by teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching. You will each have a designated teacher-mentor who will guide your work in schools. In all three years of the course, there are weekly serial visits and block placements in school; increasing in length from 4 weeks in Year 1 to 12 weeks in Year 3.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Lectures provide supporting frameworks of key theories and concepts with follow up seminars being used as peer-assisted learning opportunities and dialogic approaches to teaching and learning. The seminar mode of delivery reflects the nature and approach to teaching in the primary classroom and supports the additional aspects of professional development programme.

At many points throughout the degree students are encouraged and required to work in teams which will enhance cohort cohesion as well as support professional and academic development. Students will therefore learn from their peers as well as their academic and professional tutors. Students will be able to analyse a range of classroom perspectives and stakeholder viewpoints, triangulating between theory, practice and policy.

Entry requirements

You must have a demonstrable interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people and:

A level offer – ABB or above (or equivalent).

GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at Grade 4 (or C) or above (or equivalent).

If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution, you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDM.

IB Diploma score – 34 with 665 in higher level subjects.

Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to a selection day. Selection days will involve individual interviews with a pre-prepared presentation element and tests to assess written English and other skills.

Additional requirements

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply will be provided.

If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Caroline Emery, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check.

Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our Students must be applied for through Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £22,700 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £22,700 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

School of Education

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

  • 92% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 91% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £23,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

School of Education

Are you interested in teaching and inspiring future generations?

At Durham, we offer Primary Education with QTS and also BA (Hons) Education Studies. Our Primary Education course has been developed so that you are taught by primary education experts, using innovative and research informed methods to develop your knowledge and skills. Outstanding teachers require excellent subject and pedagogical knowledge, and our course offers both academic and practical opportunities to develop both.

For more information see our department pages.


  • Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 8th in The Complete University Guide 2021.


For a current list of staff, please see the School of Education pages

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for world-leading research impact (REF 2014).


Our School of Education is set in beautifully landscaped gardens above the River Wear and overlooks both the Castle and Cathedral. As well as an attractive work environment, it offers excellent study facilities, including a department library with a wide range of books and periodicals.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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