Teacher Education: Primary and Early Years - Primary

BA (Hons) with Qualified Teacher Status

At the heart of this degree is a vision of the teacher as a skilled professional, ready to enter the profession with confidence and equipped to make a significant contribution to the education of children now and into the future.

At the University of Chester, we are committed to developing excellent teachers and the three year BA QTS Primary or Early Years - Primary degree qualifies you fully for this demanding but exciting role.

This degree will enable you to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) across a minimum of two consecutive age-phases*.

*age-phases (3-5, 5-7, 7-9 and 9-11 years)

 

Why study this course:

Our three year BA QTS degree offers you:

  • Qualified Teacher Status across a minimum of two age phases with enhancement in age-phases either side;
  • Extensive experience in schools with at least 24 weeks in at least four schools or settings across and beyond two age phases;
  • Excellent coverage of primary curriculum subject areas (and Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development for Early Years students) to enhance your skills, your confidence and your excellent employment prospects;
  • The opportunity to develop an area of special interest of personal, professional significance;
  • Guidance and support from a team of highly skilled and dedicated tutors in university and in schools.

 

Features:

This programme is defined by the:

  • Opportunity to gain qualification across a minimum of two age phases;
  • Professional placements in at least four partnership schools or settings;
  • Excellent coverage of National Curriculum subjects, and for Early Years students the EYFS Areas of Learning and Development, as well as Religious Education, and Personal, Social and Health Education;
  • Opportunity for professional development in a non-school but education related setting
  • Opportunity for some students to undertake a period of study/placement abroad;
  • Opportunity for research based work related to an area of special interest;
  • Input from a variety of outside experts and conferences.

The range of placement opportunities and the coverage across the curriculum enables you to become a better teacher and makes you more attractive to employers.

Programme Structure

Each year includes modules on:

·         Professional Development and Training:

Each year contains a substantial period of working in schools and settings. The responsibility for your training rests on a strong and effective partnership between us and schools/settings with each having their part to play. From the rich diversity of schools and settings within our partnership we offer you a variety of professional placements across a minimum of two age-phases with enhancements to extend experience of working with children outside of the focus age group.

Reflecting on your teaching and children’s learning is a key feature and will be supported by your study of the theory of education and how it relates to your professional role as a teacher. You will address key issues such as planning for and assessing children’s learning, developing professional relationships with colleagues and parents/carers, managing behaviour in a positive way, and much more. As befits an honours degree, you will learn to reflect critically on the educational issues of the day and make reasoned and justified decisions in your everyday practice.

·         Curriculum Studies:

These modules will equip you to teach essential aspects such as early reading and mathematics and also will address the much wider primary/EYFS curriculum as appropriate for the age-phases you are training to teach.

·         Areas of special interest:

Students will be given the opportunity to focus in more depth on an area of special interest related to Primary education/EYFS provision.  In Year 3, a substantial research project will be undertaken in this area allowing students to demonstrate in-depth understanding to schools/settings when applying for teaching posts.

Each module of university or school-based study is assessed.

Our approach is one of continuous assessment which includes essays, reflections, folios of work, presentations and observations of your teaching and professional practice in schools and settings. Thorough feedback is provided on all assessments to enable you to better your performance.

The subject knowledge you require for primary teaching is audited and you would be guided and supported towards further development at your own level.  It is anticipated that to give students the best start on the programme they will enter it with a good level of English and mathematics competency and have broad coverage across a number of curriculum areas.

Work in schools and settings is assessed against the government's requirements for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This assessment is undertaken by university and school based mentors working in partnership. You will receive regular, detailed feedback on your work with children and will be provided with targets to guide you towards meeting the required standards.

Successful completion of the degree allows the University to recommend you for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

As this is a vocational degree, the vast majority of our graduates enter one of the following roles:

Longer-term career progression may be through a specialist curriculum or pastoral role, or by moving into management.

Geographical mobility can improve prospects.

Teachers may become coordinators of their specialist subject or a cross-curricular area, for example:

The degree of BA QTS carries the same status as any other honours degree and may therefore be used as an entry qualification to other careers requiring this level of certification.

These careers are not necessarily limited to

 

those relating directly to education, but could include:

You will be equipped with transferable skills which are valued by employers such as:

  • communication and interpersonal abilities
  • numeracy skills
  • analytical skills
  • organisational and time-management skills
  • initiative, leadership and supervisory skills
  • teamworking abilities
  • imagination and creativity

For further information please visit:

www.chester.ac.uk/careers

 

UCAS:

300 UCAS points from GCE A Levels, or equivalent.

GCE A Level:

Typical offer BBC - BBB

BTEC:

BTEC Extended Diploma/Diploma: merit/distinction profile - Typical offer DDM

Irish/Scottish:

B in 4 subjects

International Baccalaureate:

28 points

Access:

Access to HE Diploma to include 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit

Extra Information:

OCR National Extended/Diploma: merit/distinction profile

Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.

All candidates must have GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in English Language, Maths and Science (Grade Bs preferred).


We will normally invite to interview only those applicants who have already gained these qualifications at the time of application. However, we waive this time requirement for applicants:

  • Applying via Access Courses (providing the required GCSE equivalences have been completed within the Access HE Diploma)
  • Where mitigating or other exceptional circumstances apply


All successful candidates who receive an offer of a place for this course and choose the University of Chester as their Firm choice will be required to apply for a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) . The DBS Disclosure process provides institutions with information about the suitability of those seeking to work/train in positions of trust.

What we are looking for in your UCAS application for the BA QTS Primary or Early Years honours degree

UCAS applications for the BA QTS degree are carefully screened by a team of experienced Admissions Tutors. From this a number of candidates will be asked to complete additional documentation outlining explicitly their school and related experiences.

After this process, selected applicants are invited to interview.

In order to begin study on the BA QTS degree, you must meet the basic entry qualifications for entry to Initial Teacher Training (GCSEs, UCAS points and so on. Please see guidance above and our on-line Prospectus for details). Given that these fundamental entry requirements are met, Admissions Tutors will make a judgement about your overall profile for entry into primary teaching. In essence, in making the decision to invite you to interview, they will look for evidence of:

  • The potential security of your overall knowledge base for teaching across the range of subjects taught at primary level.
  • Your academic and personal capacity for degree level study.
  • Clear and correct communication in written English. (Spoken English would be explored at interview.)
  • A Personal Statement that demonstrates commitment to Primary and/or Early Years Education and an enthusiasm for it.
  • Relatively recent experience in a mainstream, state-maintained primary school. Ideally, this would be a school that delivers the English National Curriculum and, as a guide, we would expect your experience to be a minimum of 10 working days. Of course, you are not expected to have worked in a full teaching role but rather to have gained some direct classroom experience, helping the teacher in whatever capacity was available and gaining some knowledge of teaching and learning. Undertaking this experience both allows you to check out whether teaching is the career for you and us to check out your basic appreciation of the fundamentals of your potential professional role.

 

Please make the dates and type of your experience clear
  • Your reflection on your direct experience in schools of teaching and learning with primary children or a reflection (linked directly to the issues of teaching and learning in primary schools) arising from other experience with children
  • A supportive reference that ideally comments on your academic aptitude for degree level study, your work ethic and your experience with children. (We recognise that your referee might not be able to comment in detail on the quality of your work experience with children.)

 

In addition, Admissions Tutors will also take into consideration other ‘desirable' characteristics:
  • All other experiences of working with children;
  • Any paid or voluntary work you have undertaken;
  • Your personal experiences and interests, especially those that could directly contribute to your role as a teacher.

 

Please remember that at the University of Chester we are committed to developing you into an excellent teacher. Do make sure that your commitment and enthusiasm to become an excellent teacher are clear in your application.

Contact us

For details about your course or your application please get in touch.

Jennifer Povall

Getting my current job would not have been possible without getting my degree and the help I received whilst studying.”

University of Chester GraduateJennifer Povall

Ellen Thomas

The lectures at Chester were personal and I felt as if the tutor was actually teaching me and the other students!”

University of Chester GraduateEllen Thomas