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Whilst employed in work with children and young people for at least half of the week - in either a paid or voluntary capacity - you will attend St Mary's University for one day a week to achieve a Bachelor's degree with QTS.

  • St Mary’s graded ‘outstanding’ in all areas of teacher training (Ofsted 2019).
  • 100% of students from this course are employed or in further study 15 months after graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020).
  • 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).
  • Each module is delivered by specialists with a background in the primary classroom.

Why study Primary Education with QTS (Work-Based Route)?

Primary Teaching is a rewarding and challenging choice of career. We offer three degree pathways for students who have successfully completed a Foundation degree in Education that would like to achieve Qualified Teacher Status  (QTS). 

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?

There are three pathways within this degree, which all prepare you to teach children aged 5-11. You can choose the standard Primary Education (Work-based Route) with QTS pathway or choose to specialise in either:

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

The programme includes students from a broad cross-section of society who work in faith and secular contexts, special needs, Primary and Early Years.

We have developed strong partnerships with a variety of faith and secular schools. Your block placements (one in your home school, a second one in one of these schools) will be arranged by our Partnership office.

As well as these two pathways, we offer a one-year, non-QTS undergraduate degree in Primary Education for anyone who has completed an education foundation degree.

Course lead

Carolyn Porter headshotCarolyn Porter
Programme Director - Work-Based Route Programmes

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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

An A Level, NVQ Level 3 or equivalent is required and you must have already gained a foundation degree in Education.

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 three years' experience working in 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.


To undertake the two-year QTS pathway, you will need to have gained GCSE level 4/C or above in English, mathematics and science (or equivalent).  We offer GCSE equivalency tests for those who need to improve their GCSE grades.

Further entry requirements

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Course content

'Teaching and Learning' is the focus of all modules within the two year programme. Generic principles within Professional Studies are at the centre of the programme.

Year one

  •  Optional
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional

Year two

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  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

The Primary Education (Work-based Route) with QTS pathway is suitable for you if you're working within a school setting and wish to move into teaching, but lack formal qualifications or are unable to become a full-time student.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study opportunities 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.

The course is taught using a range of teaching methods:

  • Presentations
  • Discussions
  • Small group work
  • Observations 
  • Practical-based activities

You are expected to bring your own work experiences into the discussions and to relate this to the academic theories to which you will be introduced.

A virtual learning environment will support you throughout the course with an appropriate range of resources.

Class sizes range from 25 to 35 students.

Work-Based School Experience (QTS Pathway)

As part of the Training and Development Agency (TDA) requirements, you will be required to gain experience in two key stages in two different schools. Throughout the two years you will be assessed at school by tutors and your school mentor, supporting you to meet the TDA standards. On completion of a QTS award you will complete the Career Entry and Development Profile in preparation for transition to a newly qualified teacher (NQT)

Teaching breakdown

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

  • Contact time: 10%
  • Work-based route: 11%
  • Guided learning: 27%
  • Independent study: 52%

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

All work is assessed by means of a course portfolio, which may include presentations and research undertaken at your place of work. Work-based school experience will be assessed through observations and the completion of a QTS portfolio.


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

2023/24 fees

  • Home: £4,625
  • International: not available to international students

*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.

Additional costs

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

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage


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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Meet your lecturers

Meet the team

Academic spotlight

Jennifer Murray (Senior Lecturer - Primary Professional Studies)

Jennifer Murray

I really value the work I get to do as a personal tutor. Getting to know a small group of students really well feels a bit like having a class of my own. We learn together and I am really committed to supporting them both academically and pastorally throughout their course. 

Teaching is the best job in the world and, in my opinion, one of the most challenging! It's an absolute privilege but also an incredibly busy job. Sharing ideas in groups, reflecting together and playing your part in a team can make it all so much more manageable and enjoyable.

Read Jennifer's story

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Further information

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Visit the campus

Upcoming open days

Meet current students, explore our green campus, and find out why St Mary’s could be the place for you.

You'll also get a chance to:

Staff from various teams, including the Student’s Union, Student Funding, and Admissions, will also be around to discuss any questions you may have about studying at St Mary’s.

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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