Education (Primary Teaching Pathway)

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How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

A three year honours degree followed by one year of teacher training (PGCE Primary and Early Years).

  • Taught by highly experienced and enthusiastic tutors.
  • Offers a school placement in every year.
  • Leads to our PGCE Ofsted rated Outstanding courses.

"I believe that completing the Education degree prior to starting the PGCE has provided an invaluable ‘foundation’ to the PGCE course."
– Samantha-Jayne Moore, Education (Primary Teaching Pathway) graduate

Why study Education (Primary Teaching Pathway)?

The Primary Teaching Pathway is ideal if you intend to qualify as an early years or primary school teacher.
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 study the Education (Primary Teaching Pathway) as part of a combined award; this means you can select another subject in our modular programme to study alongside education. Possible combinations, and their UCAS codes, are:

  • Art (XW11)
  • Biology (XC11)
  • Creative Writing (XW18)
  • Dance (XW15)
  • Drama (XW14)
  • English Literature (XQ13)
  • Geography (XF18)
  • History (XV11)
  • Music (XW13)
  • Psychology (XC18)
  • Sociology (XL13)
  • Study of Religions (XV16)
  • Textiles (XWC2)

This route into teaching is very flexible – you won’t have to take your place on the PGCE if you change your mind in three years time.

Course structure

We offer a wide range of modules for you to choose from, you’ll be able to explore education from many theoretical and ideological perspectives.


  • Year 1
    The core module introduces key concepts and skills that underpin the subject of Education Studies. In addition there are a range of modules that enable you to explore your interests in, for example: early childhood education, childhood narratives, youth and community, adolescence and international ed. The compulsory module offers an introduction to primary schools and a ten day school placement.
  • Year 2
    You’ll consider more deeply the current issues in education. You’ll undertake an assessed placement in a primary school researching an aspect of teaching and learning . Your compulsory module provides a deeper understanding of the primary classroom considering aspects of pedagogy, pupil voice, assessment and classroom organisation. At the same time you can continue to pursue developing interests by selecting from the range of modules on offer which include learning through drama, international development, special educational needs and environment education amongst many others.
  • Year 3
    Your Core module is the Education Dissertation which allows you to explore in depth an area of interest by way of an empirical enquiry. This is an independent study supported by a designated academic supervisor. The compulsory module, Teaching and Professionalism helps to bridge the gap between undergraduate study and teacher training. A ten day school experience will enable you to reflect on models and understandings of teacher professionalism and focus on areas for personal pre-professional training and development. A full range of additional modules is available to help expand or deepen your study in particular fields of enquiry.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed through coursework and are required to pass a school-based placement in year two. Coursework includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. There are no examinations.

We’ll provide you with prompt feedback and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

Schools and placements

We have an excellent partnership with schools and early years settings, where you can develop your understanding of teaching.

You’ll attend a placement in each year of the programme of approximately ten days. They usually occur on one day a week during a term, to allow you to continue with other university studies. Our optional modules provide further short placement opportunities to work with children and young people both locally and internationally. We’ll 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.
You must be in possession of a Bath Spa DBS disclosure. Details are sent once you have accepted your place with us.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, the Netherlands and America.
We also have links with Zambia, India and Denmark.

Teaching methods

Teaching is through a mixture 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, students will be timetabled for at least 12 hours each week.

All modules are led by experienced and respected university staff. Many staff are active researchers and authors in the field of education studies; from the outset they’ll introduce you to their particular specialisms and research interests, through a range of optional modules. You’ll also benefit from regular visiting speakers – these include headteachers,practitioners, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

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

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level -Grades BCC- CCC preferred in addition to GCSEs at Grade C or above in English, Maths and Science.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject in addition to GCSEs at Grade C or above in English, Maths and Science.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 27 points with evidence of an interest in Education accepted in addition to GCSE Grade C or equivalent in English, Maths and Science.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to GCSE Grade C or equivalent in English, Maths and Science.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

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 the Primary Teaching Pathway intend to enter the teaching profession. You’ll complete a three-year degree, with the option to continue onto the Primary or Early Years PGCE course, subject to meeting course requirements. PGCE entry requirements currently require you to demonstrate your suitability for teaching on a compulsory school placement, to complete the QTS skills tests and pass designated compulsory modules during your three years of undergraduate study.

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.“