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Education: Primary and Early Years

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

BA (Hons) Education: Primary and Early Years
School of Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: X301 or X311 (with professional placement year)
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

A specialised bachelor degree in Primary Education that prepares you for a PGCE in Primary and Early Years.

  • Gain the classroom experience that employers are looking for through placements in schools in each year of your studies.
  • Join our long-standing and highly respected School of Education and benefit from strong partnerships with schools.
  • On successful completion of this primary education degree, you'll qualify for a guaranteed interview for our PGCE Primary and Early Years.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#7 in the UK

for Student-Staff Ratio in Education (Guardian University Guide, 2024)

This is more than a primary teaching degree. BA (Hons) Education: Primary and Early Years sets primary education in a broader context of debates around education, professional practice, teaching and learning - both nationally and internationally. 

This primary education degree is ideal if you intend to qualify as an early years or primary school teacher, as it'll help you formulate your professional skills and career identity through experience of working with children in schools.

The course offers a guaranteed interview for our PGCE Primary and Early Years course, but is flexible; we'll support you in achieving your aspirations as a professional educator - however they develop during the degree.

You'll benefit from our tutors' wealth of research and practice-informed expertise when you join this community of learning and practice.

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Throughout my three years on this course, I've developed a wide and in-depth understanding of the many ways that children learn. I feel confident in applying this understanding to my PGCE year and to my own teaching.

Robert Collard, graduate

What you'll learn


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, which could give you that all-important edge when you begin your education career.

Course structure

Year one
The first year 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 education as an agent for change. The core module offers an introduction to primary schools and a school placement.

Year two
You’ll consider more deeply the current issues in education, such as pedagogy, pupil voice, special needs, assessment and classroom organisation. You’ll undertake a second primary school placement, this time with a focus on developing your professionalism. 

Year three
This year, the Teaching and Professionalism module prepares you for the PGCE. For your dissertation, you'll explore an issue of your choice and use your creativity and the skills you've gained so far to develop a classroom resource to address it. You'll also have opportunities to engage with PGCE staff and students; this eases your transition to initial teacher training.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. There are no exams. We’ll provide you with prompt feedback and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

How will I be taught?

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.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Education for Change
  • Introduction to Education Research
  • Introduction to Primary Schools
  • Controversial Issues in Special and Inclusive Education
  • Philosophical Enquiry and Education
  • Educational History and Heritage
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Issues in Education
  • Professional Practice in Schools
  • Understanding Classrooms

Optional modules may include:

  • Literacy Learning in a Multi-media World
  • Supporting Learners with Additional Needs
  • Environment and Education
  • Sociology of Education
  • Youth in Society: Power, Politics and Participation
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Education, Social Inequalities and Social Justice
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Education Research Project (Part 1)
  • Education Research Project (Part 2)
  • Teaching and Professionalism
  • Learning in Mathematics
  • Childhood, Reading and Children’s Literature

Optional modules may include:

  • Health, Education and Wellbeing
  • Young People, Identities and Subcultures
  • Professional Practice: Supporting the Dyslexic Learning in the Classroom
  • Learning in Science
  • Culture, Creativity and Society: Perspectives in Art Education
  • Identity, Philosophy and Education
  • Social and Educational Inclusion
  • Symbolic representations: Young children making meaning
  • Global and International Education

Please note, not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Schools and placements

During this primary education degree, you'll do more than develop an understanding of teaching - you'll gain firsthand experience in the classroom that could give you that all-important edge at the start of your career.

You'll attend a short placement during each year of the programme to give you the opportunity to work with children and young people in diverse settings. Through this you'll gain a critical understanding of the context of teaching and what it means for children and teachers in schools. By the time you graduate you'll have a working knowledge of schools and classrooms and will have begun to develop your identity as a teaching professional.

Alongside your experience, you'll also gain a critical understanding of and reflect on the context of teaching, and what it means for children and teachers in school.

Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


Successful completion of the undergraduate degree leads to a guaranteed interview for our Oftsted Outstanding rated Primary and Early Years PGCE course. 

Our students often enter the teaching profession in local schools and a range of other settings and benefit from continued participation in the School of Education community of research and practice.

Flexibility is key; this course is designed to inform a range of education careers - from classroom teaching to advisory roles that inform policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The primary education degree is based on Newton Park campus. You'll also undertake placements in schools in each year of your studies.

You'll benefit from access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

You'll have access to the PGCE team, particularly in your final year as you transition to initial teacher training, and you'll also benefit from talks by guest speakers and incoming experts. Access to our research centres will give you the opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest in teaching research and excellence.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
International full time £15,750

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Your personal statement must indicate clearly at least ten days of recent experience of observing or working in a primary school. You need to write about this experience and reflect on what you've learned from it, and also discuss why you're applying for this primary education degree. 

Note: The entry requirements for subsequent interview to the PGCE programme may alter (for example, if the DFE changes entry requirements for PGCE courses). You’ll be advised of any changes during the degree.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. All applicants will also be required to hold a grade 4 or equivalent in GCSE English, Maths and Science.

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required.
  • 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, at Merit or higher).

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Course leader: Eleanor West

Three year course

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