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Study alongside your work: you will attend St Mary's University one day a week whilst continuing to work with children and young people for at least half of the week.

  • Judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2019.
  • 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.
  • Study part time while working in an educational setting.

Why study Primary Education (Work-Based Route)?

Working with children and young people in a primary setting is a challenging career, but is incredibly rewarding. This one-year course allows graduates of our Education in Context foundation degree to complete a Bachelor's degree.

Studying part-time whilst working within education provides you with a unique opportunity to apply your learning in a practical environment throughout the course.

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?

Students on the course come from a range of settings including Primary and Early Years, special education needs and those working in faith and secular contexts and people special needs.

We have developed strong partnerships with a variety of schools including Catholic, other church and secular schools. Colleagues from these schools are involved in selecting students and supporting them through school experience. They also contribute to University-based modules.

St Mary's also offers two work-based degree courses that lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS):

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

You must have already gained a Foundation degree in Education.

An A Level, NVQ Level 3 or equivalent is required, as is a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English Language. You will also need to have successfully completed 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.

Please note: 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.

For more information please email

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Course content

Over the one year programme the course will focus on educational support.

Year one

  •  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

This non-QTS pathway will help you improve upon your classroom practice and develop your career within the education sector.

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

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Primary Education (Work-Based Route) 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.


Teaching breakdown

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

  • Contact time: 10%
  • Guided learning: 74%
  • Independent study: 16%

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

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £9,250
  • 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.

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

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

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.


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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Teaching staff

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

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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