Routes to becoming a teacher: primary education university courses

In the UK primary school teaching is a little different from high school and college, which is why primary education university courses can be taken as a single honours degree. As a high school teacher you'll need to undertake your degree in a specialist subject then either take a teacher training course or a PGDE (post graduate degree in education) to become qualified; subjects in high school are taught be qualified individuals in each class, so children aren't taught by the same teacher every year. In primary school, however, children are taught by one teacher each year and there's not much need to have specialist teachers in each subject as learning is relatively basic.

National Curriculum Core Subjects

Primary education university courses teach the three core courses expected from the national curriculum - English, maths and science. You're taught how to teach these subject to younger children and what kind of qualities are expected of you. You can also take additional modules to teach religious education, music, physical education, languages, information technology or art and design, but this really depends on the course content offered by your institution.


The great part of taking primary education university courses is the work experience you receive, which is normally a minimum of 24 weeks. You'll be able to gain some hands on experience working with children whilst studying, which may even be part of your assessment, and have some solid experience to offer potential employers upon completion of your degree.

Qualified Teacher Status

Upon completion of any recognised primary education university courses you will be awarded a QTS (qualified teacher status) but you must pass the National Skills Test in Numeracy, Literacy and IT before obtaining this qualification. You will not automatically gain a QTS but your institution will forward your application in the event you complete your graduate degree and pass the three skills tests.

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