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This course combines a degree with a qualification to teach (QTS). We are currently judged as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

  • 100% of Primary Education with QTS students are employed or in further study (or both) within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, 2016/17).
  • One year after graduating our education students are, on average, the second highest paid across the sector earning £3,300 more per year (on average) than the median salary. Five years after graduating this figure goes up to £6,100 (Department for Education LEO data, 2017).
  • 96% overall satisfaction in the 2020 National Student Survey, as well as 96% teaching satisfaction and 95% satisfaction with the academic support offered.
  • Our Primary Initial Teacher Education courses are judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ - the highest grade attainable in an Ofsted inspection.

Why study Primary Education with QTS (with a Foundation Year)?

Primary Education leads to one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers.

Our degree programme trains you to teach children aged 5 to 11 years old. It teaches you how to educate and inspire future generations, and gives you the perfect foundation for future pathways such as educational leadership. 

You will gain an in-depth knowledge of primary education with three years to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills needed to be an outstanding teacher.

Why St Mary's?

We are a renowned institution and have close connections to many leading primary schools in London. School experience is an integral part of the course. You spend a minimum of six weeks in school each year where you progress from teaching small groups to whole classes. 

Your school experience will be with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Placements are organised by us to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of support. These placements could be close to the university or close to where you live, but you may be required to travel up to an hour each way. We promote international links and there are opportunities to study abroad during the course. 

You will be supported by a passionate and caring team of experienced tutors who strive for excellence in the theory and practice of teaching. By studying with us fantastic resources and support systems will be available to you throughout your degree. 

In line with our Mission Statement, we seek to prepare teachers for both religious and secular schools with special provision for those intending to teach in Roman Catholic and other Christian schools.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

To transition onto the BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS programme, you must successfully complete the Education Foundation Year pathway. You will also be required to successfully complete the government skills tests in numeracy and literacy, pass an interview process and  gain a fitness to teach check. Applicants must satisfactorily gain an enhanced DBS check prior to be registered onto the programme

For students who do not meet these requirements, there is the opportunity to progress onto one of the other undergraduate degrees offered in Faculty of Education and Social Science.

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Ofsted Outstanding logo

We are Outstanding!

Following our inspection in 2019, we are delighted to announce that Ofsted have graded St Mary’s University as ‘outstanding’ in all areas of teacher training. Read more...

Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

On successful completion of the Education Foundation Year pathway you will need to pass an interview process and obtain a DBS and fitness to teach check in order to progress on to the undergraduate programme.

GCSE grade C/4 in English, Maths and Science are required.

Physical and mental fitness to teach and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are required.

Applicants will need an awareness of how learning and teaching is managed in a primary classroom in KS1 and KS2 (not Reception).

Skills tests

The Department for Education has announced that applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses from April 2020 will no longer need to take Skills Tests in numeracy and English. The responsibility for assuring trainee teachers have met an appropriate level of skill in these important areas has been passed to the ITT provider. 

At St  Mary's University we therefore require, that by the end of your teacher training programme, you can demonstrate you are competent in English and mathematics.  For St Mary's to be assured of this, and as part of the recommendation for QTS, you will be able to seek guidance in developing these fundamental skills as required.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

Offers will be subject to a successful interview and 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.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

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Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Functional and Interview Skills Core
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically Core
  • Sociology of Education Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • School Experience 1 Core
  • Professional Studies 1: Teaching and Learning Core
  • Core English 1 Core
  • Core Mathematics 1 Core
  • English, Mathematics and Science Subject Knowledge Audits 1 Core
  • Core Science 1 Core
  • Core Physical Education 1 Core
  • Core Foreign Languages 1 Core
  • The Broader Curriculum: Expression Core
  • The Broader Curriculum: Communication Core
  • The Broader Curriculum: Innovation Core

Year two

  • School Experience 2 Core
  • Professional Studies 2: Valuing Learners as Individuals Core
  • Core English 2 Core
  • Core Mathematics 2 Core
  • English, Mathematics and Science Subject Knowledge Audits 2 Core
  • Core Science 2 Core
  • Core Physical Education 2 Core
  • Core Foreign Languages 2 Core
  • Cross Curricular Learning Core
  • Elective Module 1 Core

Year three

  • School Experience 3 Core
  • Professional Studies 3: Promoting Progression Core
  • Core English 3 Core
  • Core Mathematics 3 Core
  • English, Mathematics and Science Subject Knowledge Audits 3 Core
  • Core Science 3 Core
  • Core Physical Education 3 Core
  • Core Foreign Languages 3 Core
  • Personal Research Project in Primary Education Core
  • Elective Module 2 Core

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.

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Career opportunities

St Mary’s graduates are very successful in securing teaching appointments at the end of their studies. Many take up employment in one of our partnership schools and go on to inspire and mentor students who follow them through St Mary’s.

Many students continue on to study one of our Master's degrees in education.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Primary Education students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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

Teaching takes place in purpose-built classrooms that mirror those found in primary schools. Tutors model good practice in the use of ICT and use lectures, seminars, and group activities to stimulate and encourage you to become reflective practitioners.

Class sizes are usually around 25 students.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through essays, rationales, portfolios, lesson plans, presentations, resource innovation and one formal examination. School experience is assessed against the government’s standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £9,250*
  • International: £12,900

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

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

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

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

Whilst on school placement, you can claim help with your travelling expenses from the university. You have to pay the first £3.10 of additional travel costs each day (i.e on top of what it normally costs you to travel to University) and you have to take the cheapest mode of transport. The amount of £3.10 is set by the University and reviewed annually.

In Year 1 there are few additional costs. You are encouraged to buy a textbook in Maths (£9) and a display board for English and professional studies assignments (£5-10).

In Year 2 and 3 electives, we take you out on some trips to museums and galleries in London, and out into local schools. You are only expected to pay your travel costs on these trips, which would be unlikely to exceed £50 per year. Art and design and technology students are asked to buy sketchbooks (£5-10) and some students buy display boards and provide some additional materials for presentations.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

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.

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Further information

Teaching staff

Kerry  Assemakis Kerry Assemakis
Lecturer - Primary Education (English)

Catherine Balfour-Roberts Catherine Balfour-Roberts
Senior Lecturer - Primary

Liz Berry profile photo Liz Berry
Primary Education Lecturer

Kath Ezzeldin profile photo Kath Ezzeldin
Programme Director - BA ITE Primary

Sarah  Green profile photo Sarah Green
Senior Lecturer in Primary Education (RE)

Rene Hartmann Rene Hartmann
Lecturer - Primary Mathematics

Wendy Hughes profile photo Wendy Hughes
Senior Lecturer - Education (History and Geography)

Manish  Kothari Manish Kothari
Lecturer - Primary Mathematics

Susannah Robert profile photo Susannah Robert
Senior Lecturer - Creativity (Primary Curriculum)

Christine  Sellwood profile photo Christine Sellwood
Lecturer - Primary Education (English)

Amy  Strachan profile photo Amy Strachan
Senior Lecturer - Primary Science

Finola  Utton profile photo Finola Utton
Lecturer - Primary Education

Viki  Veale profile photo Viki Veale
Senior lecturer: Early Years and Primary Education

Joanna Woodbridge profile photo Joanna Woodbridge
Coordinator - Education Foundation Year

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Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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UCAS Application Timeline