Education (Primary Teaching Pathway)

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How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

The specialised awards in Education Studies are ideal if you intend to qualify as a primary school teacher. They are known as ‘3+1’ courses: a three year honours degree followed by one year of teacher training (PGCE Primary and Early Years).

Three single honours awards are available:

  • Education (Primary Teaching Pathway) (UCAS Code: X301)
  • Early Years Education (Primary Teaching Pathway) (UCAS Code: X311)
  • International Education (Primary Teaching Pathway) (UCAS Code: X390)

It is also possible to combine Education with another subject in our modular programme to achieve a joint honours degree:

  • Education (Primary Teaching Pathway): Combined Awards (see table below for UCAS Codes)
Combined with:UCAS code
Creative WritingXW18
English LiteratureXQ13
Study of ReligionsXV16


At the time of application you must have met the other requirements for teacher training (currently GCSEs grade A-C or equivalent in English language, mathematics and science) and have at least 10 days of recent work experience in a UK state primary school or early years setting. In your personal statement you need to write about this experience and discuss what you have learned from it, and also discuss why you are applying for a degree in Education Studies. Ensure you apply using the relevant code for the specialised award, rather than the non-specialised three-year option.

Why study Education (Primary Teaching Pathway)?

Bath Spa University has had a national reputation in education and teacher training for many years. We are a leading university in the field of Education Studies, providing a broad and flexible range of awards that enable you to discover the latest ideas about the world of education and education around the world. You will be taught by a very experienced and well qualified team of more than 50 tutors with different backgrounds as qualified teachers, academics, authors and researchers.

There is a wide range of modules for you to choose from which explore education from many perspectives.

The specialised Education award can be taken as a single subject or as part of a Combined Award with Education and a second subject.

This route into teaching is very flexible - you do not have to take your place on the PGCE if you change your mind in three years time.

Key features of the programme include:

  • Education Studies at Bath Spa University is rated highly by students, with 91% satisfaction with teaching in the 2010-11 National Student Survey
  • OfSTED has rated teacher education in the School as 'outstanding' in 2011
  • All our awards are very flexible and can be tailored to your personal interests and ambitions
  • You will be able to choose from more than 45 modules
  • All modules are taught by experienced and respected staff 
  • You will take a placement in a school in each year of your programme
  • You will have the opportunity to study overseas in each year of your programme

Course structure

Modules in each year provide opportunities for you to work in schools. We have an excellent partnership with schools and early years settings, where you can develop your understanding of the nature of teaching and learning.

In Year 1, core modules introduce key concepts and skills that underpin the subject. In addition there are modules that enable you to explore your interests in, for example: learning through life, early years education, adolescence, primary schools and education in Europe.

In Years 2 and 3 you will consider more deeply the current issues in education. In Year 2 you will undertake an assessed placement in a primary school researching an aspect of teaching and learning. The many optional modules will allow you to think critically about teaching, diversity, inclusion and educational policy and to explore global and international perspectives in education. There are opportunities to carry out original research and pursue your own interests in these areas. 

After graduating from the three-year degree you take a place on our one-year primary or early years PGCE training course which enables you to gain qualified teacher status. This place is available to you if you graduate with a good honours degree and successfully complete all compulsory course requirements.


Sample modules include:

Year 1: Education for Change, Introduction to Primary Schools

Year 2: Issues in Education Studies, Understanding Classrooms

Year 3: Teaching and Professionalism 

Course assessment

You will be assessed through course work submitted during modules and are required to pass a school-based placement in year two. Course work includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We will provide you with prompt feedback on how well you are doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding. There are no examinations in Education Studies.

The School of Education at Bath Spa University is one of the largest providers of education in the South West and has outstanding (Grade 1) Ofsted ratings for all three of its teacher education programmes: Primary, Secondary and Further Education.

Teaching methods


Teaching is through a mix of lectures (50 minutes), seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures - they are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates.  In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hrs per week.  All modules are led by experienced and respected university staff.  Many staff are active researchers and authors in the field of education studies - in years two and three they will introduce you to their particular specialisms and research interests through a range of optional modules.  We also have regular visiting speakers - these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.


You will attend a placement in each year of the programme. They usually occur on one day per week during a term, to allow you to continue with other university studies. Our optional modules provide further short placement opportunities to work with young people both locally and internationally. The School of Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport. 

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please email

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

280–320 UCAS Tariff points

GCSE or equivalent Grade C or above in English language, mathematics and science.

There is no interview for admission to the 3+1, but your personal statement must indicate clearly at least two weeks of recent experience of observing or working in a primary school. In your personal statement you need to write about this experience and discuss what you have learned from it, and also discuss why you are applying for a degree in Education Studies. Ensure you apply using the relevant code for the specialised award, rather than the non-specialised three-year option.

Please be aware that you will be required to complete a new Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Application through Bath Spa University as part of the admissions process for this course.

Note: The entry requirements for the 4th year of this programme (the PGCE year) may alter (for example, if the TDA implements national changes to entry requirements for PGCE courses). Students will be advised of any changes during the degree.

Career opportunities

Students on these Specialised Awards all intend to enter the teaching profession – these are three-year degrees with an option to continue onto the Primary or Early Years PGCE course, subject to meeting course requirements. These will require you to demonstrate your suitability for teaching on a compulsory school placement, to successfully complete the QTS Skills tests and pass designated compulsory modules during your undergraduate programme of study. The Bath Spa University PGCE is one of the best in the country, rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’

There is also flexibility to opt out of the fourth year, for example you may wish to pursue a career in secondary teaching and apply instead for the relevant PGCE at Bath Spa.

What students say...

Graduate Profile: Samantha-Jayne Moore, Education leading to PGCE Primary and Early Years

“I have found my time at Bath Spa University engaging, rewarding and unquestionably informative. A learning journey will inevitably create challenges however having inspiring and enthusiastic tutors who provide consistent and invaluable support, encouragement coupled with notable ‘sense of humours’ is fundamental.

I believe that completing the Education degree prior to starting the PGCE has provided an invaluable ‘foundation’ to the PGCE course. It has supported me on my learning journey and the knowledge gained has reaffirmed the reasons why I want to be a teacher – I want to be one of those teachers that all children remember as being ‘inspiring’ when they reflect on their education in adulthood.

The student base is diverse and I have been fortunate to meet extraordinary people who will remain my friends for life regardless of the different career ‘paths’ we take.“