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BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) Education (Primary)

Only available as a Combined Degree

Gain a primary teaching degree from the University of Stirling – we’re 2nd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK for Education Studies (The Guardian University Guide 2020).

Education (Primary)

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Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons), BA (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Accreditations General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Choose a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of Stirling, and we’ll equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to start a career in one of the most rewarding professions. 

We’ll prepare you to teach across the whole curriculum and primary age range, and also enable you to develop a specialism in a particular area. You can choose from seven subject specialisms:

  • Early Years
  • The Environment
  • Modern Languages
  • Inclusive Practice
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Primary Science (in partnership with Heriot Watt University)

You’ll be taught by world-leading academics and outstanding teachers who are seconded from schools to work at the University. This ensures you can access cutting-edge practice and research throughout your primary teaching degree. Our pioneering approach of studying education with a subject specialism, gives you the time to excel in teaching, critically reflect and grow in confidence.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, our Educational research had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Professional accreditation

    We’re accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), meaning that on graduation you can apply for provisional registration as a primary teacher.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    For all specialisms except Early Years

    SQA Highers
    ABBB - by the end of S5
    AABB - by the end of S6

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    Early Years specialism

    SQA Highers
    AABB - by the end of S5
    AAAB - by the end of S6

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    The following English and Mathematics entry requirements apply:

    • Higher English (B) or GCSE English Language and English Literature (B/6) or Communications 4 and Literature 1
    • Mathematics National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), Standard Grade (2), GCSE (B/6) or equivalent.

    There are additional requirements for some of our specialisms:


    Additional Requirements

    Additional Support Needs

    No additional requirements.


    No additional requirements.


    To include SQA Higher, A-level or equivalent in Mathematics

    Early Years

    No additional requirements.


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

    Modern Languages

    To include an SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in one of French or Spanish.

    Primary Science (Joint Course with Heriot-Watt University)

    To include SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in Chemistry or Physics.

    Widening access students
    Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

    Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

  • Other Scottish qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

    Access courses
    University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

    SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

    Essential subjects
    As listed for Year 1 entry

  • Other qualifications

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
    Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

    Essential subjects
    As listed for Year 1 entry

  • Advanced entry

    Advanced entry is not available for this course.

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

    Entry to our teaching degree course is provisional until the end of Year 1, and subject to an interview and a criminal record PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL 80 with no subtest less than 17
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    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.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

You’ll follow a course of eight semesters (four years). This will lead to an Honours degree in Professional Education (Primary). Alternatively, seven semesters (three and a half years) lead either to a General degree or to a Bachelors degree in Professional Education. General degree students may only be able to qualify in one teaching subject.

Year 1
You’ll develop your understanding of Education theory and practice alongside your subject specialism in Semesters 1-2. You’ll also undertake a self-organised placement in an educational setting of your choice.

Year 2
In Semesters 3-4, you’ll continue to study Education alongside your subject specialism. Your knowledge and understanding of literacy and numeracy will develop, along with a range of teaching skills. You’ll engage in on-campus microteaching that’s closely related to your education modules. This gives you the opportunity to teach small groups of children and receive constructive feedback before undertaking a four-week school placement.

Year 3
In Semesters 5-6, you’ll continue to develop your understanding of teaching literacy and numeracy. To help you link theory and practice you will take a placement over 11 weeks (three days a week, Mon to Wed) and return to the University for two days to undertake an advanced education module with a focus on differences, identities and inclusion. You’ll also take a module that focuses on pedagogy, policy and practice in relation to your subject specialism.

Year 4
Semester 7 includes a 10-week school placement, where you’ll have the opportunity to teach your chosen specialism. In Semester 8, you’ll complete an Enquiry into Practice that’s closely related to your placement, and undertake an independent study of your choice, linked to your chosen specialism.

If you opt to study Professional Education (Primary) with a specialism in Primary Science, your degree will be taught between the University of Stirling and Heriot-Watt University campuses, with access to expert teaching staff from both institutions.

Find out more about our joint STEM Education courses.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course details

  • Teaching

    Our course is taught through seminars, lectures and workshops. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake school placements to gain practical teaching experience.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is by continuous assessment. School experience placements are supported by school-based teachers and through tutor engagement. There are no examinations in Primary Education.

  • Work placement opportunities

    School work placements are an integral part of this course, culminating in a 10 week school experience where you can teach your chosen specialism.

  • Study abroad

    If you’re taking a Bachelor of Education with specialism in Modern Languages, we’ll encourage you to undertake a non-assessed optional work placement abroad for one year between Semesters 4 and 5 to improve your language skills.

    Find out more about study abroad options.

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2019/20 2020/21

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2019 and 2020 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2021 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on our University and Europe information pages.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.


    *This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £12,450 £13,100

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

What can you do with a Primary Education degree?

The majority of our graduates enter the Scottish Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS), which guarantees you employment for one year as a newly qualified teacher in a Scottish Local Authority school.*

Your teaching degree will also qualify you to enter into a wide variety of other professional roles, such as corporate training and development, museum and leisure education, educational psychology, translation or media.

  • 98% of our students were employed in a professional or managerial job, six months after leaving this course (UNISTATS 2016).

  • The confidence, communication and professional skills developed over a teaching degree, are transferable into other careers such as the media, PR and training roles.

Alternatively, you may choose to continue your education with a postgraduate degree or undertake doctoral research, leading to the award of a PhD.

*Participation in the TIS is not compulsory, and some students may choose to follow the alternative Flexible Route – which is less structured and may better suit their personal circumstances.

Students from Scotland, the rest of the UK and Member States of the European Union are eligible to join the TIS. Students from non-EU overseas countries are ineligible for the TIS scheme, but can follow the Flexible Route to complete probationary service if they plan to teach in Scotland following their studies.

Read the Scottish Government’s detailed guidance regarding students and the Teacher Induction Scheme.

  • Employability skills

    Our graduates are passionate about children’s education. Over the course of your four year degree, you’ll develop essential teaching skills for primary education. In addition, the ability to specialise in an area gives you an edge in a competitive job market.

    You’ll also develop a number of transferable skills, ideal if you choose to take another career route, including: communication, presentation skills and confidence.

  • Companies we work with

    We work in close partnership with Local Authorities, schools, Education Scotland and GTCS to ensure we support you throughout your studies, so you can become an effective educator. A number of teachers are seconded to us from local schools to provide practical and up-to-date experience and knowledge.

I feel like I have been given the tools to help me develop into a professional young adult thanks to being pushed to challenge myself but also supported by the staff at Stirling. The staff equipped me with the skills, confidence and resilience to combat a magnitude of situations.
Samantha Cairney
BA (Hons) Primary Education with specialism in Early Years
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I would highly recommend coming to the University of Stirling to study. Regardless of the programme you enter, the university provides an outstanding education to prepare you for the world beyond university life
I felt valued as a student at the University and both challenged and supported. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledge and skills that was shared with us.
Catriona Marwick
BA Professional Education (Primary) with a specialism in Modern Languages
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