Education (Primary)

Study Education (Primary) and graduate with a university degree

1st in Scotland and 4th in UK for Education (Times / Sunday Times League Table 2013)

How do you provide an environment within which children feel safe and secure, and can develop their potential? How can I be challenged to develop my understanding of education? What are the best methods of structuring learning and teaching opportunities? How do you manage behaviour effectively and ensure all children in the classroom are included?

Stirling has long been distinctive amongst Scottish universities in offering concurrent courses to prospective primary school teachers. These degree courses enable you to graduate with both a degree and teaching qualification for primary education, whilst studying a subject at university level.

Another distinctive feature is you will become a specialist in one of the three areas' Modern Languages, the Environment or Early Years. Primary school teachers with this specialist knowledge have recently become highly sought-after.

Our concurrent degrees in primary education  will appeal to students who wish to become more than a generic primary school teacher.  The primary education degree will suit those who wish to  study primary education alongside a specific subject or specialism (modern language, environmental science or early years). This means that primary education students will take the appropriate subject modules alongside education modules for the first five semesters of their programme.  In the remaining three semesters of the degree students will study modules within education which draw upon their subject specialism. 


This course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:


IB Diploma:
32 points

Essential subjects:

The GTC requires all students to have the following English and Mathematics requirements: 


  • Higher English (B)
  • GCSE English Language and English Literature (B)
  • Communications 4 (Higher) and Literature 1


Mathematics requirements (SCQF level 5) one of the following:

  • National 5 Maths (B)
  • National 5 Lifeskills Maths (B)
  • Standard Grade award in Mathematics at grade 1 or 2.
  • National Qualifications in Mathematics at Intermediate level 2 – C or above.
  • GCSE Mathematics grade B and above (England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

There are also additional requirements for each specialism: 

Early Years - to include an SQA Higher (B), A level (C) or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.

Environment - to include an SQA Higher (B), A level (C) or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Mathematics or Physics.

Modern Languages - to include an SQA Higher (B), A level (C) or equivalent in one of French or Spanish.

Other qualifications


Minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
Not possible

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Essential subjects:
As listed above.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

Entry to the professional programme is provisional until the end of year one and subject to interview, a criminal record PVG check and successfully passing all first year modules. If you have a criminal record you should contact the Head of Admissions in confidence to discuss entry to this course.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full time (three modules per semester). You can study part-time (one or two modules per semester) in the early stages. Teaching placements cannot be part-time.

Course contact

ITE Programme Secretary
School of Education
University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467606

Course Director

John I'Anson

Alternative routes

The University currently has an Access Course which permits adult returners to gain entry to various degree studies. The courses offered by the School of Education are open to applicants who wish to gain entry through this route, and a proportion of our intake is set aside for this.  Due to the nature of the degree, and the requirement to have completed modules EDU9E1 and EDU9E2 before progressing onto Year 2 of study, direct access to Year 2 would necessitate a candidate having gained appropriate experience/qualifications elsewhere, generally in a higher education setting.

Find out more

Application procedure

Entry to this degree is highly competitive. Applications received after 15 January will not normally be considered.

Please note that the main focus of this course is on teaching children and you should be able to demonstrate an aptitude for this.

Degree course

You will follow a course of eight semesters (four years). This will lead to an Honours degree in Professional Education (Primary). During five semesters you will study modules in either Environmental Science/Geography or Modern Languages or Psychology, Social Work, Social Sciences and Nursing

Semesters 1 – 2

You will take the following core modules:

  • Education: Purposes, Principles and Practice
  • Education: Learning and Teaching

Semesters 3 – 6

You will take core modules in Education that cover a range of teaching skills, and advanced modules in your academic subjects (see subject listings for Environmental Science/Geography, Modern Languages, Social Work, Social Sciences and Nursing). In addition, you will study specialised primary modules in literacy, numeracy and your chosen specialism (Environmental Science, Modern Languages or Early Years).

You will undertake two school placements in January, February and April between Semesters 3 and 4 (nursery and early years) and between Semesters 5 and 6 (middle stages).

Semesters 7 – 8

In Semester 7, you have a school placement of 10 weeks' duration, as well as supplementary taught classes. In the final semester you will undertake an educational research project linked to your final school placement. Plus another module which will focus on an aspect of teaching either Early Years, Languages or Environmental Science within a primary school setting.

Optional work placement abroad or within a company

Students undertaking BA (Hons) Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Languages are strongly encouraged to undertake an optional work placement for one year between Semesters 4 and 5. The work placement is not assessed, nor is any credit given for undertaking the placement. Students undertaking the primary course with a specialism in Modern Languages have the opportunity to undertake their work placement as an English Language Assistant in a country where their language(s) of study are spoken.

Module titles

Year 1

  • EDUU9E1 –  Education: Purposes, Principles, Practice
  • EDUU9E2 – Education: Learning and Teaching

Year 2

  • EDUU9E3 – Pedagogy I: The Nature of Learning and Teaching
  • EDUU9P3 - Literacy and Numeracy in the Early Years - moving to first level
  • EDUU9AO – School Experience (Placement)
  • EDUU9E4 –Pedagogy II: Differentiation, Assessment and Progression

Year 3

  • EDUU9P5 - Literacy and Numeracy in the Early Years - moving to upper level
  • EDUU9AP – School Experience (Placement)
  • EDUU9E6 – Differences and Identities

Students will only take one of the following modules:

  • EDUU9S6 - Primary Pedagogy III - Environmental science in the primary school
  • EDUU9M6 - Primary Pedagogy III - Modern languages in the primary school
  • EDUU9X6 - Primary Pedagogy III - Early years teaching

Year 4

  • EDUU9P/H7- Professional Enquiry Dissertation
  • EDUU9P8 - Primary Pedagogy IV: Planning an Educatonal Enquiry

Teaching and assessment

The courses are taught through seminars, lectures and workshops. Assessment is by continuous assessment. School experience placements are supported by school-based teachers and through tutor engagement.

The School of Education offers a concurrent degree path towards qualification as a teacher. This means that students study both pedagogy (the craft and practices of teaching) and their subject specialism(s) in tandem, one frequently informing and enriching the other. Stirling has offered such a route for over 40 years, and our confidence in this process is reflected in, and validated by, the recommendation of the Donaldson Report into Teacher Education in Scotland that the model used by us should be propagated and adopted by the other providers of teacher education in Scotland. Our size may be considered another strength, as we believe that we get the opportunity to establish close working and pastoral relationships with the students enrolled on our courses over the four years they are with us.

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad  through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.


Education was rated 1st in Scotland for the quality of its research in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise

The independent Complete University Guide for 2015 has rated the School of Education, University of Stirling as fourth in the UK a provider of Education programmes and for its research in Education.


The School of Education at the University of Stirling is currently rated number one in Scotland for Education by a number of University Guides and for the quality of its research, and has been highly regarded throughout its 44-year history. The School prides itself on its prominent position within Scottish Education, and works hard to maintain its cutting edge approach to developing new knowledge within the field, as well as feeding this new knowledge into our teaching courses to enrich our core provision.

We work in close partnership with the Local Authorities, schools, Education Scotland and GTCS to ensure that students are supported throughout their studies to become effective professional educators.

Academic strengths

The School of Education has at its head a group of world-leading academics, with strong and established research records, and a wealth of world-class publications ranging from Adult Education to Inclusion. These academics in turn lead successful research groups within the School of Education which are all engaged in knowledge acquisition and exchange. Our teaching is thus informed by the research undertaken by its staff, and this permeates the Initial Teacher Education courses offered by the School.

94% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2012/13).

Career opportunities

The great majority of our graduates enter the Scottish Government’s Probationary Teacher Scheme, which entitles them to guaranteed employment for one year as a newly qualified teacher in a Scottish Local Authority school.  Of course, your degree and teaching qualification will qualify you to enter into a wide variety of other professional roles, such as corporate training and development, museum and leisure education, as well as other career routes less closely allied to teaching.

Fees 2016/7

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in The Environment

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Language

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Early Years  

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Fees 2015/6

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in The Environment  

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Language

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Early Years

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

Education (Primary)
  • Degree award BA (Hons)
  • UCAS Code XR18; XC11; XX13
  • Type Campus based, Full-time, Part-time
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