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Primary Education FdA

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UCAS code



2 years

UCAS points


The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Primary Education is a work-based teaching foundation degree. You will attend St Mary's University one day a week whilst employed in work with children and young people for at least half of the week (in either a paid or voluntary capacity). For those wishing to enrol in September 2024, classes will be held on Tuesday and the course will start on Tuesday 10th September 2024.

  • St Mary’s graded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas of teacher training (Ofsted 2019)
  • Successful completion of the course allows the opportunity to progress on to either BA Hons in Primary Education QTS (Work-Based Route) (Two Years) or BA Hons in Primary Education (Work-Based Route) (One Year)
  • Recognised qualification for HLTA status
  • 100% satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2021.

This foundation degree provides opportunities for people working directly with children to build on their knowledge and experience through study at higher education level (one day a week).

We offer an established vocationally-based degree that prepares you for working in schools and other educational settings. 

The programme allows you to build your knowledge and experience through study at higher education level. The programme will help enhance your understanding of your current professional role. It can be completed within two years studying one day a week during term times.

Students completing the programme have found that they have become more confident in their ability at work and at home, and have been offered opportunities to develop their role in a variety of ways. The current emphasis on the development of the school workforce as a whole has been one of the driving forces behind this degree.

Our partnership office will help you to find a placement. Though we will try and place you near to where you live, you may be required to travel up to one hour each way.

Why St Mary's

This foundation course is suitable for anyone working with young children, such as teaching assistants, learning support assistants, higher level teaching assistants, or early years or special educational needs practitioners.

Primary Education - Foundation Degree is an extremely popular and flourishing course. It gives you the unique opportunity to continue to work within the education sector whilst studying for a foundation degree.

This pathway into teaching can be completed in a minimum of two years study (one day a week during term time). It also provides a stepping stone on to our undergraduate programmes:

The QTS programme also allows you to specialise - if you wish - in one of the following subjects:

  • Early Years
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Carolyn Porter

Programme Director - Work-Based Route Programmes

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Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2023/24 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2024/25. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

We are committed to recruiting trainee teachers who have the 'ability to work in a way that promotes the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.' The interview process will cover the suitability of applicants to work with children and young people.

An A Level, NVQ Level 3 or equivalent is required. 

You will need to be employed in work with children and young people for at least half of the week (in either a paid or voluntary capacity). At least one year's experience working in a school (either paid or voluntary) is also required prior to the start of the programme.

List of free level 3 qualifications available to eligible adults

The UK government website has a list of places where students can find colleges that offer free level 3 qualifications which in turn will allow them to apply to St Mary's.

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references, and your motivation for study.


UCAS points


GCSE level 4/C (or equivalent) in English Language is also required.

We offer GCSE equivalency tests for those who need to improve their GCSE grades.

Head teacher supporting statement

Your head teacher will need to complete the Supporting Statement Form in order for us to confirm your place on the course. We will notify them of your application, but feel free to send them the link. 

UCAS Personal statement support

Create your UCAS personal statement through our online builder and we'll email you a copy of your completed version at the end.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

Tuition fees





Funding Information

*Please note: tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.

Information about tuition fees, student loans, and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

You can claim help with travel expenses during your school placement, but there will be no costs around coursework or additional materials.


Find out more about our range of scholarships and bursaries available to undergraduate students.

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

How the degree is taught

Contact time - 82%

Independent study - 18%

*Contact time includes 72% of guided learning

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

The course is taught using a range of teaching methods including presentations, discussions, small group work, observations and practical work-based activities.

You are expected to bring your own work experiences into the discussions and relate them to the academic theories that are introduced. A virtual learning environment will support you throughout the course with an appropriate range of resources.

Tutorials will be used throughout the programme to support your learning experience.

Class sizes range from 25 to 35 students.

Assessment methods

All assignments are designed to develop your knowledge, understanding and use of transferrable skills in teaching children, linking theory with practical.

A range of assessment methods are used, these may include both group and individual presentations, practical visual presentations (posters, leaflets, 3D display, use of green screen) essays, case studies and portfolios.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within 15 working days.

Career opportunities

This foundation degree is suitable for anyone working with young children i.e. teaching assistants, SLA’s, HLTA’s, Early Years or Special Educational Practitioners.

We support people who wish to progress further with their own studies and future employment within education.

More information about career opportunities can be found on the following websites:

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

More from St Mary's


Thinking about whether St Mary's is the right place for you? Come and visit it us on campus.


Discover what life is like on our London campus.

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.