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Primary Education BA
UCAS Code: X120

This innovative programme prepares graduates to make a difference in the schools and communities in which they work. It is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The programme has been designed in response to the recommendations of the Donaldson Report, Teaching Scotland’s Future. It replaces the University’s internationally recognised BEd programme and is a route into primary school teaching in Scotland and around the world.

Year 1
All BA students in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences undertake a common programme in Year 1, choosing three subjects from across the Faculty catalogue. Primary Education students study Education together with two other subjects. All students studying Education in Year 1 undertake a placement. This placement experience gives students the opportunity to work with children in a variety of contexts and settings. Students undertaking placement are required to register with the Scottish Government’s Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme. At the end of Year 1 those who want to continue on the BA Primary Education programme go through a selection process. Students are supported in preparing for this selection throughout their first year. If you decide at the end of first year that Primary Education is no longer your chosen career, you will have the opportunity to study for a BA degree in your other first year subjects.

Year 2

  • Education Studies
  • Primary Curriculum Studies
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Placement Learning – school-based placement
  • Option – further study of one first-year subject

Year 3

  • Education Studies
  • Primary Curriculum Studies
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Placement Learning – school-based placement plus nursery placement
  • Option – students have the opportunity to specialise in a range of curricular subjects

Students have the option of international study in Year 3.

Year 4

  • Education Studies
  • Primary Curriculum Studies
  • Teaching and Learning  
  • Placement Learning – school-based placement
  • Option module - students have the opportunity to select a specialism
  • Research Methods and Dissertation


2014 Entry

Minimum Grades


1st sitting: AAAB

2nd sitting: AAABB

A Levels: ABB

International Baccalaureate: 34

HNC/HND Social Sciences
HNC Social Sciences, A in Graded Unit may enable first-year entry to any of the subjects within the BA; HND Social Sciences, ABB in Graded Units may enable second-year entry to any two of History, Politics or Psychology provided that the applicant has six HNC/HND credits in each of the two subjects

HNC Early Education & Childcare
HNC Early Education & Childcare or Social Sciences, A in the Graded Unit, plus two Highers at B may enable first-year entry to Education; passes in Higher English and Maths Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 are also required.

HND Social Sciences
ABB in Graded Units, plus two Highers at B may enable first-year entry to Education; passes in Higher English and Maths Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 are also required

HNC Communication or Journalism
HNC in Communication or Journalism with A in the Graded Unit may enable entry to first year in Journalism & Creative Writing.

Irish Leaving Certificate
Subjects and grades as for Highers

Required Subjects

Higher or AS Level in English and at least one of the following:

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

In addition to these two essay-based Highers (English and one other from the above list), we recognise a wide range of other Highers, eg science subjects.
Passes at Maths at Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 or GCSE or IB (SL5); for joint degrees with Mathematics, Higher (A) or A Level (B) is required.


Additional Information

Advanced Highers

An Advanced Higher and a Higher are given equal credit and the grades for each qualification count towards the total grades required.

Personal Statement
It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred Entry
Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Highers Students
Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than BBB at the first sitting of Highers.
Second year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours
All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.


The BEd course uses a wide variety of assessment methods. In the first year students are well supported in learning about academic reading, writing and referencing as these skills are essential to ensuring success as an undergraduate student. Peer support is utilised throughout the course to help students to develop their own assessment skills and to learn from each other. Student-led tutorials, student tutorial papers and student presentations all allow for formative assessment opportunities and feedback from staff before students are expected to submit work for formal assessment.

Formal assessment is mainly by written submission or practical application. There are four exams across the four years of the course.

The BEd course offers a wide range of innovative methods of teaching which accompany the more traditional methods used for lectures and tutorials. Workshops for practical aspects of the course are common and use is made of lab space and specialist teaching space for teaching science and the expressive arts, including physical education. Students have opportunities for field trips, and elective and option classes can provide more opprotunities for this kind of learning beyond the university. Students on the BEd course have school placements in all years of the course. These placements make up 32 weeks of course content and students work with children across all stages from age three to twelve years.

Staff teaching on the BEd programme have more nominations for the Strathclyde Teacher Education Awards than any other department in the university. The standard of teaching on the course is deemed by our students to be of a very high standard.

A career in Primary Education is challenging and very rewarding. Primary teachers are faced each day with complex and demanding tasks. Teachers develop, plan, implement and evaluate programmes of study in all curricular areas (Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Languages, Literacy and English, Mathematics, Religious and Moral Education, Sciences, Social Studies and Technologies). They promote the social and personal development of all children, working with parents and fellow professionals both within and outwith the school. Teachers who want to work in Scotland are required to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). The BA (Honours) Primary Education at Strathclyde is accredited by the GTCS.

Funding available to students on undergraduate degree programmes depends on a number of factors including, where the student normally lives and whether or not any funding has been received previously.

Eligible students from Scotland and EU member states may be entitled to have tuition fees paid on their behalf and to apply for student loans to contribute towards living expenses. Further information on funding and associated eligibility criteria for Scottish students and students who are EU nationals, including a range of allowances and bursaries, can be found on the Student Support Agency website.

Students whose usual place of residence is in England, Northern Ireland or Wales may be eligible to access a range of tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and grants, and they should contact their local/regional funding body for further details. Information on funding and application processes is available at the following links:

The University of Strathclyde offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to eligible students and our specialist Student Financial Support Team provides guidance and support to current and prospective students. More information on student financial support can be found online.

Accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).


Courses Support Team

t: +44 (0)141 444 8413
e: hass-admissions-ba@strath.ac.uk

Degree preparation course for international students who do not currently meet our entry requirements

University of Strathclyde offers international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at University of Strathclyde the option of completing pre-undergraduate programmes at the university’s International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.