BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary)*

This course is new in 2019 and offers an approach to teaching that is founded in evidence-based research in the social sciences. If you want a career as a primary school teacher where you will genuinely make a difference in the world and inspire our future citizens, this course is for you.

Scotland’s newest four-year Education Studies (Primary) degree provides a fresh, innovative approach to teacher education, recognising the rewards and challenges that teaching presents in the 21st century. It is a dynamic programme of learning, which will give you the expertise, confidence and professional qualification you need to teach in primary schools.

Why QMU?

  • This newly launched course offers a forward-looking, evidence-based approach to teacher training.
  • Our teaching degree will be distinctive in its forward-looking focus on education in community settings, as well as in schools, and will build on our strong existing collaborations with local and national community organisations.
  • You’ll study on an attractive, modern campus just 6 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh.
  • This is an intellectually inspiring course that is also your first step on a rewarding career in education.
  • A curriculum and ethos suited to those with a social conscience who want to engage with socio-political issues and make a difference.

About the course

This degree is about more than simply preparing you to inspire a class of young learners; it will engage you in the wider socio-political issues that affect education on every level and how this in turn influences educational outcomes for children.

You’ll study contemporary issues in education, psychology and sociology to develop a sound knowledge-base of children’s developmental pathways and the range of factors that affect them. You’ll gain an understanding of how pedagogic theory and knowledge informs classroom practices at early years and primary school level. By developing a detailed knowledge of all areas of the curriculum, including outdoor learning, you’ll become skilful at integrating literacy, numeracy and wellbeing throughout your teaching.

Through practical experience in educational and community settings you will learn how to build positive relationships with children and work alongside other professionals. Our education courses draw on our expertise in, and focus on, wellbeing, resilience, child welfare and inequality. You’ll learn how to assess individual needs and plan inclusive learning experiences taking account of diversity and difference.

Over the four years you will develop your academic literacies including digital and data literacy. You will develop research skills to enable you to develop as an autonomous, critically thinking, reflective professional.

This is a fresh, modern and ambitious approach to teacher education. We hope you feel as passionate about this new direction as we do and look forward to receiving your application.

At QMU we are committed to widening access to education and we welcome applications from all backgrounds and genders.



You will study for four years to become qualified to work as a primary school teacher. Progression in to year two will be dependent on successfully completing all modules, placements and reflective report in year one. If after the first year you decide not to pursue teaching there is an option to transfer to our Education Studies course. This is a broad based social sciences degree with an emphasis on broader aspects of education. On both courses you will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, workshops. enquiry-based student-led activity, independent study, online group tutorials, school experience and community placements.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


Year One modules

  • Academic Literacies
  • Education Studies
  • Society and Lifestyles
  • Learning through the Lifespan
  • Psychology
  • Community based education experience


Year Two modules

  • Childhood Learning
  • Literacy: Theory and Pedagogy
  • Numeracy: Theory and Pedagogy
  • Teaching and Curriculum Studies
  • Learning for Sustainability
  • Optional modules
  • Early Years and Lower Primary placement


Year Three modules

  • Inclusive Practices
  • Language and Literacy
  • Mathematics and Numeracy
  • Teaching and Curriculum Studies
  • Teaching as a Reflective Practitioner
  • Middle or Upper Primary Placement


Year Four modules

  • Teacher as Professional: Interprofessional working
  • Teaching and Curriculum Studies
  • Professional Enquiry into practice
  • Optional module with Community Placement
  • Middle or Upper Primary Placement


School experience

School experience is a core element of the course. Over the four years you will complete a total of 30 weeks’ school experience. Students will undertake four blocks of placement as follows:

  • Year Two: Nursery-Primary 1 (4 weeks) Primary 2-3 (6 weeks)
  • Year Three: Primary 4-5 or 6-7 (10 weeks)
  • Year Four: Primary 4-5 or 6-7 (10 weeks)

School placements are allocated through the Student Placement System (SPS) which is automated and administered by General Teaching Council, Scotland (GTCS). Placements are allocated by matching students to schools based on information provided by universities, local authorities and schools. Placements are based on a student’s term-time address and students are not required to travel in excess of 90 minutes each way to a school placement. Students are not permitted to seek placements independently. Students are continually assessed throughout each school experience by maintaining a placement file and a portfolio of progress. All students are supported on placement by school and university tutors.

Community experience

Undertaking a community-based education placement is a unique aspect of this course and enables students to learn about the integration of formal and informal education through a range of community projects. You will complete two community education placements as follows:

  • Year One — you will arrange a five-day (or equivalent hours) voluntary community placement
  • Year Four — you will complete a minimum of three weeks (or equivalent hours) community-based placement

Students are responsible for sourcing the placement host organisation which can be in the UK or abroad. To help with the process, we hold a recruitment event on campus to help pair you with a suitable organisation.

Exchange opportunities


Entry requirements


Scottish Higher: ABBB

A Level: BBC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H3

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects:

  • Highers - Higher English at B AND Maths at S/Int2/Nat 5 C.
  • A levels - GCSE English Literature B/6 AND GCSE English Language B/6 AND GCSE Maths B/6

Irish Leaving Certificate: – English H2 AND Maths O3

Mature/Access: We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience - see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/college-leavers-and-mature-students/

Direct Entry:

Associate student places


Working as a teacher

When a person successfully completes a teacher education programme at a Scottish university they will receive a teaching qualification (TQ).  

By law they must register with the GTCS before they can be employed as a teacher in a Scottish education authority nursery, primary, secondary or special school. A teacher’s fitness to teach (i.e. in terms of conduct) will be considered at the point of application for registration.

Newly qualified teachers in their probation year currently start on a salary of £22,416 in Scotland.  Secondary teachers get an additional £8,000 if they choose to complete their probationary year anywhere in Scotland, while primary teachers get £6,000 extra.

Once you are fully registered, this increases incrementally over the first five years from £26,895 to £35,763.

The Teacher Induction Scheme offers a guaranteed one-year training post to every eligible student graduating with a teaching qualification from one of Scotland's universities. www.in2teaching.org.uk/Students/student-teacher-induction-scheme-faqs.aspx   

Students from Scotland, other parts of the UK and other Member States of the European Union, who are studying at a Scottish Higher Education Institution are eligible to join the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) as they are recruited within the controlled numbers which have been set for teacher workforce planning purposes.


You will graduate fully qualified to work as a primary school teacher. You will have the skills, confidence and passion to make a real difference in the lives of young learners.

Graduates, will be provisionally registered with GTCS, and will be eligible to join the Teacher Induction Scheme and undertake a one year induction in a Scottish Primary School in order to become fully registered with the GTCS.

Newly qualified teachers in their probation year currently start on a salary of £22,416 in Scotland. Secondary teachers get an additional £8,000 if they choose to complete their probationary year anywhere in Scotland, while primary teachers get £6,000 extra. Once you are fully registered, this increases incrementally over the first five years from £26,895 to £35,763.

Professional registration/accreditation

If you are awarded a teaching qualification from a Scottish university, you become provisionally registered with the GTCS. On completion of a probationary period working as a teacher, usually one year as part of the Teacher Induction Scheme, graduates will then be considered for full registration with GTCS. It is a legal requirement for any teacher to be registered with GTCS whilst teaching in a Scottish school.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

Awarding body


Please see the ‘External review’ section.

 *subject to validation by the GTCS


Course Overview

4 years
Start Date
September 2019
On campus
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding