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BA (Hons) Primary Education

Forge links between theory and practice; learn about the complex forces that shape the world of education and develop your practical skills as an a educator through work placements, one in every year of the course.

Explore how children learn and what it's like to teach.

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above.

Or Access 23-45 with minimum 6D.

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above.

DBS check required.

UCAS points 96

UCAS code X321

Duration Three years full-time or up to six years part-time

How to apply for this course

Course Summary

BA (Hons) Primary Education is for students who are interested in the world of young people, how they learn and how education systems support their development. The course offers the opportunity to critically examine and question current education systems (nationally and internationally), their historical roots and the profound effect that culture and society have on the lives of young people.  It also enables you to develop knowledge of the broad and complex issues that children face and how educators support them in their learning.

Education is no simple matter, and on this course you unpick many of the controversies related to curriculum, inclusion, creativity, and the nature of teaching. You explore in detail how children learn and develop, how they acquire language, become competent learners, learn to socialise, as well as how they participate and behave within school contexts.

BA (Hons) Primary Education is ideal if you are considering a career in primary education, and it caters to students from a wide range of backgrounds. So, whether you are a school or college leaver, or if you are a mature student and have already been working in the education sector, this course can take you one further step towards achieving your professional goals.

There are numerous opportunities to engage in practice, working alongside children in projects and on placement. These experiences allow you to reflect on the nature of practice, how children learn, and what you are like as a professional in education. Working collaboratively with your peers, or on individual and personalised placements that you help facilitate, you develop skills in planning, managing time, communicating information, and producing digital resources.

The course comes to fruition with an independent research project in your third year and our annual education conference provides an opportunity to share research, and outcomes from the range of learning experiences you take part in.


Show video transcript

Megan: My name is Megan Swan, and I did the BA Primary Education degree. I chose to do that course because there's two routes in, usually a BA or BEd, and to be honest with you, I wanted to learn a lot about educational theory and why people teach the way they do, so that was the best route to do that. I am now a reception class teacher, so I am in charge of 30 four to five year olds. I have two teaching assistants. And because I'm also an early years teacher, so I qualified at the same time, I will also have an early years trainee with me.

So I think with doing primary education as the degree, it sets you up. Every year, so you've got three years, you build a really solid base of knowledge, and you build on it and build on it, and you put it more and more into practice. And I think it prepares you for the real world. And Marjon has definitely given me those skills to go forward in my teaching practice, to continually make it better. And the theory side of it is so important to be able to do that.

I think in terms of networking, it provided one of the biggest networks we could have. We did quite a few different placements. I think I went into four different schools throughout the whole time. And actually, you go in there, you get chatting to teachers and head teachers, and they get to recognize you, so when you come to applying for jobs and things like that, you have an idea of if that kind of school is for you and you've kind of got your foot in the door already a little bit. And that was a huge thing. I've currently got my first teaching job through a placement that I took with Marjon. I volunteered at the school; three years later, they've hired me. So, I think that kind of works really nicely as well opportunity wise.

I'd say, come and see the uni. Definitely. That is the biggest thing. Because I think once you get there, you can just feel what Marjon's about, and you get there and you see it in the everyday staff that are in the shop or all the people who are walking around, and people are chatting. We're all so linked and, social wise, it's very social. And we've now got a really good mix of events going on. And just to come along and to talk to people, to get a real feel for it. And trust me when I say, give it an hour, you'll get a good feel for Marjon, I think, just walking around.

Why this course at Marjon?

Sets you up perfectly for postgraduate teacher training.

Readies you for teaching or a related profession.

Partnerships with hundreds of schools across the South West and London.

Learn about the complex and multifaceted world of education and the experiences of children.

Work with practising teachers on your modules, giving you an insight into the realities of the classroom.

An enrichment programme with practising teachers to learn about exciting new initiatives in the primary curriculum.

Students say...

Shannon Robertson

"Marjon has helped me to become confident within myself and has helped me to become a better person. I have developed so much in the last three years and I can now safely say I hope to teach for the rest of my life."

Ben Morgan

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss ideas with my lecturers and my fellow students. The fact that my lecturers come from a range of educational backgrounds means lots of different opinions are visible to me. This course has allowed me the opportunity to develop my skills for teaching children and learning about how children learn best. I am hoping to teach English as a foreign language in Asia and feel more sure of my philosophy of education as a result of this course.”

This course is perfect if you're curious about

Why our education system is the way it is

How children learn and develop throughout their school lives

What children learn in school and how this is done successfully

What it is like to be in a primary classroom and working with primary-aged children

How teachers and other professionals practice effectively

How education may develop in the future

What might you become?

BA (Hons) Primary Education sets you up perfectly if you are interested in becoming a primary school teacher. Postgraduate study, with either PGCE Primary or School Direct, for one year after your course will prepare you for an exciting and challenging career in education, making a real difference and contribution to the lives of children. Our postgraduate teacher training students are the most satisfied in the UK across all but one of the categories measured in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2020.

Secondary teaching is also an option on this course programme, as are graduate jobs in education or other areas.


Chloe Hazell

“BA Primary Education teaches you how to teach, not what to teach. Theories are presented to you by lecturers who are passionate and want to know you to help you achieve. You are given time to reflect, discuss, critique, practice and observe in order to develop your own beliefs and methods for how to teach. I would not be the trainee teacher I am now without the lecturers and this course.”

Chloe is now a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) working in a primary school

Jemma Joakim

“The course was extremely interesting and broad, teaching a wide range of subjects relating to education. This allowed me to develop my critical thinking skills and focus on areas of personal interest, leading me to pursue a career in academia. The tutors were highly knowledgeable, supportive and approachable. I’m now studying the Education Master’s at Marjon with a view to starting a PhD. This course was very enjoyable, reinforcing and extending my ardent interest in educational matters.”

Jemma is now studying for a Master's degree

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

Year 1 introduces a wide range of keystone education philosophies and theories. We explore the nature of education, research and politics, along with the psychology encompassing learning and child development. We start developing as reflective practitioners though work placement experience. Year 2, furthers our knowledge and understanding of education; studying young people, their families and the communities in which they exist. More placements see us apply our academic knowledge within a range of settings. Year 3 brings all of our knowledge, understanding and experience together. We develop our own identities as practitioners; we consider how our own values and beliefs shape us. We make plans planning for the exciting career journeys ahead of us.”
Patricia Cox - Third year, BA (Hons) Primary Education


1st Year

Educational themes and concepts
This module introduces you to the big themes and ideas in education today – schools, learning, the curriculum, the influence of politics – and prepares you with the crucial foundation for your studies over the three years. Engage in debate, share your thinking and hone your academic skills.
Creative & inclusive practice
You'll get to grips with two of the key themes in education today, creativity and inclusion. Through practical projects, you begin to reflect on your own opinions about these important ideas and how practitioners can develop a learning environment that supports them effectively.
Schools & learning environments
We live in an age of complexity and nowhere is this more evident than in the diverse range of schools that exist. But education doesn’t happen only at school, and in this module you explore the nature of learning environments in the widest sense, taking account of formal and informal positions in relation to education.
Child development
How do children develop and learn? What are some of the key factors in their socialisation and acquisition of language? Why do children play? This module aims to answer these questions and many more as you delve into the critical years of child development.
Children’s literature and drama
In this module, you begin to develop your knowledge and understanding of children’s literature and how this shapes their worlds, their language and their imagination. Alongside this, you consider how literature can be brought to life through drama – in particular within the context of practical activity that you lead in a local primary school.
Engaging with practice
This is an opportunity to get stuck into practice and test out some of the theory you have been looking at in the first year. Choosing from a range of projects, you collaborate with your peers to design and lead learning sessions for children, either in their schools or on campus. Deep and guided reflection on these allows you to grow as a practitioner.

2nd Year

Critical enquiry into primary mathematics
Some people love Maths, and some people hate it, but there is no denying its fundamental importance to children and to their life opportunities. In this optional module, we explore the nature of primary school Mathematics, how it is taught, how children learn and why it is so important.
Learning in the outdoors
This module brings you outside the classroom and encourages you to consider the value of outdoor education for primary children. From woodlands to beach settings, how can the outdoors be used as a vehicle for development and learning. Explore the theory and the practice of creativity in the outdoors.
Education and sustainability
In an ever-changing world, the environment has become a critical issue for the future. This module invites you to consider the role of learning about sustainability within education. How do we encourage a sense of citizenship and responsibility through educational settings?
Ideas, theories and paradigms
Teachers teach in many different ways and there are a wide variety of philosophical positions about how to teach successfully. From child-centred approaches to traditional didactic practice, why do teachers do what they do, what philosophical outlook underpins their practice and how do you perceive yourself to be as a practitioner.
Learning & teaching
Learning is undoubtedly a complicated and controversial idea and in this module we unpick some of the issues connected to broad aspects of learning. What is resilience? How do children develop this? Can it be taught? How do children become independent in their learning?
Experiential placement
This is the first of two opportunities to engage in an independent experiential placement in a school, or other educational environment or setting. Initiate contact with the setting, devise a plan for your professional development, engage in aspects of practice and then reflect on all of this under the guidance of experienced staff.
Educational research
Equipping you with knowledge and understanding about research design and process, this module enables you to begin thinking about yourself as a researcher, planning and developing ideas for your third-year research. Begin to investigate an area of interest to you and submit a proposal for your third year.

3rd Year

Professional learning in context
Building on your second year placement, engage in further professional development in a school or other setting. This is a chance to consider elements of practice fully, and to reflect on what is happening and why applying critical theoretical perspectives to the issues you see and experiences you have.
Personal philosophy of education
What kind of practitioner are you? By this point in your degree, you will already have a sense of your own ideas about education, and how your own values and experiences shape you. In thinking about your future development and next steps, this module enables you to ground your experiences and thinking, developing a sound and well-conceived philosophy of education.
Quality & leadership in education
We live in a world where performance is measured and this is as true of educational contexts as it is of the world of business. But how do we manage these pressures as professionals working with young people, and how do we make the most of complex systems which can be challenging to operate in?
Supporting children & young people
Children and young people need to be supported in myriad ways. Whether it is a special educational need, issue related to child protection, or medical condition, teachers and practitioners are on the front line, supporting children, young people and their families day in day out. On this module, you consider the principles and practices involved in this support.
Education project
Following on from the submission of your research proposal, the Education Project allows you to engage in primary research, collecting and analysing data under the close supervision of a university tutor. This module encourage autonomy and independence, and gives you scope to develop your researcher skillset.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching combines lectures and seminars with lots of practical activities and experiences. So, in a typical day, you may well have a lecture on an aspect of educational theory and also be designing a learning activity for a school-based project.

How will you be assessed?

Our assessment is broad and diverse on the programme, giving everyone the chance to shine. Posters, blogs, presentations, essays, practicals, debates: this variety helps you develop your skills and apply your learning in meaningful ways.

Course leader

Miles Smith

Miles is passionate about education and children’s learning. With twenty years’ experience of teaching, he brings enthusiasm and knowledge to the course. His interests include a diverse range of areas related to primary education and he works closely with a number of schools, both for the University and as a school governor.

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Marie Bradwell

Visiting Lecturer in Marjon Teacher Education Partnership

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Marie has worked in Early Years and education for the past thirty years, working in various roles from manager to teaching assistant and with individuals who have special education needs. She is interested in policy, Early Years, active listening and children’s rights. 

Kate Firks


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Kate specialises in Special Educational Needs and Disability. She is a Qualified Teacher of the Vision Impaired. 

Jan Gourd

Senior Lecturer

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Jan was previously a primary head teacher in the South West and she now leads a teaching team at Marjon who together draw on decades of classroom experience and wide-ranging research specialisms to deliver Education courses.

Dr Jonathan Harvey


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Jonathan's specialist area is disability studies. He is interested in viewing disability and impairment in terms of the way they impact on inclusion and much of his work is concerned with how social theory can be used to make sense of the lives of disabled people. Jonathan has an acquired brain injury so his work is influenced by direct experience of disbility.

Hannah Holdgate

Lecturer in Education

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Hannah is a former SureStart Children's Centre Manager, Nursery Manager and Early Years Professional, assessor and mentor. She is particularly interested in Early Years, Play, Inclusion and Leadership.

More information

You are going to need to get stuck in to a range of practical activities, so come prepared for working in the outdoors, engaging in practical PE work, and also looking your most professional for placements and projects in schools.

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