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School Direct - Primary

Qualify as a primary school teacher. Designed by teachers, for teachers.

89% student satisfaction (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2019).

(Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2019)

Entry requirements

A degree at 2:2 or above.

GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade 4 or grade C or above (or an equivalent qualification).

Experience of working with young people.

UCAS code Click 'more info' below to see UCAS codes for specific partner schools

Duration One year full-time

How to apply for this course

Course Summary

Train with School Direct to become a Newly Qualified Teacher in a primary school in one year. You will be based out of two different primary schools across the year, immersed in school life and taking an active role in the school team. You will work mainly out of a lead school, with an additional placement for six to twelve weeks to give you breadth of experience. Some training will be school-based, led by teachers and working with other trainees from other schools, and you will also attend University and be part of a broad cohort of University students.

Studying School Direct with Marjon will mean you enter a proud tradition of outstanding teacher training. We have been training educators and teachers since the 1840s and have a huge alumni network and extensive school relationships to support your future career.

With School Direct you apply directly to a partnership, and the assessment and interviews are run together by head teachers and Marjon. We will start to talk to you about your ambitions from the first moment we meet you.

Our jobs fair in late winter is an opportunity for many School Direct trainees to meet potential employers, practice interviews and to finalise an offer for their first role in September. After you graduate we keep in touch. During your first year you will be invited back to our NQT conference to catch up with classmates, share your experiences and take part in continuing professional development.

Why this course at Marjon?

School Direct relationships with a large number of school partnerships across the South West to give you a wide choice of learning experiences.

Our trainees scored us 89% student satisfaction for postgraduate teacher training, this puts us in the top 25% quartile of all providers in England (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2019).

93.9 % of our graduates are in further study, sustained employment or both five years after graduating, compared to a sector average for England of 88.2%. We are 1st in the South West and 6th in England (LEO, 2019).

Our expertise covers many specialisms of education including childhood development, early years, literacy and wellbeing.

Students say...

Billy Buckingham

“I most enjoy the experience of being in a school from day one and having a new experience every day! Also meeting children who teach me just as much as I hope to teach them. I have the opportunity to meet and learn from a wide range of professionals who have given me the confidence to explore new ideas and strategies and then apply them confidently to my own work in the classroom and beyond!”

Hope Rowe-Jones

“The best thing about this course is being in school so much. I learn by doing and therefore this course suits me perfectly. I am able to get stuck in and put my theory learning straight into practice and work alongside my class teacher and observe other teachers. Being in the school environment allows you to feel like a teacher, work with the staff and be part of the ‘family’. I get advice from my mentor and other professionals on how to progress and how best to help the children to progress.”

Hugh Ogilvie

"I am pleased that I am experiencing every aspect of school life from the very start, which makes me feel more involved in the whole process of teaching. I am well supported by other teachers and my mentor. I feel that I am learning all the time"

This course is perfect if you're curious about

What does it feel like to be a part of a school team?

What are the differences in how very different schools address behaviour management?

What sort of school do I enjoy working in most?

How do I encourage parents to support children’s learning?

What are the challenges of taking 30 children on a school trip?

Should we teach children that hard work can let them achieve anything?

IIt was clear that all trainees felt very satisfied with the delivery of the programme and praised Marjon’s full support, clear information and excellent communication ... there is a good assessment diet evident with journal entries, case studies and reflective assignments ... assessment is fair and consistent and tutors provide supportive and constructive feedback to develop students’ learning further ... processes are exemplary.
External Examiner - 2020

What might you become?

You will become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in a primary school. Most trainees start to apply for jobs from January ready for September start. School Direct is very attractive to potential employers because all training is undertaken in schools which gives graduates a wealth of practical classroom experience.


Sam Marker

“As a primary school teacher, I really feel that I make a significant difference in the world. Although hard, I believe that being a teacher is quite simply the most rewarding job in the world. The combination of lectures, school experience and university assignments increased my ability to organise myself, which is a vital skill as a teacher. My university experience balanced the independence of the working world with the support that is essential to help you learn and improve.“

Sam is a Year 5/6 teacher in a primary school.

Shauna Burroughs

“I love the fact that education is something that is fluid - you will never have two days the same. I also enjoy the fact that we are changing children's lives for the better. Teaching truly is one of the hardest careers, but it is also the most satisfying and rewarding. University prepared me for working life in many ways, working towards deadlines and ensuring everything is to a good enough standard. It also taught me how to interact with different people from different places.”

Shauna is now working as a teacher.

Samantha Williams

"School Direct not only taught me to understand how children learn, but enabled me to become part of a school community. The course helped me to transfer and apply theory into practice, helping me to become an outstanding practitioner. Supportive and engaging tutors made learning fun and inspiring. We gelled as a class and it was extremely useful to be able to share ideas and exchange good practice. I can wholeheartedly recommend Marjon."

Samantha is now a Year 6 class teacher.

Modules for this course


1st Year

Inclusion in the Primary Classroom
This module supports your understanding of the factors that contribute to an inclusive classroom, allowing you to recognise the impact of individual difference on teaching and learning.
Developing Knowledge for Planning, Teaching and Assessment
During this module you will learn how to critically assess and monitor progress to enhance children' s learning. You will also have opportunity to consider how children learn.
Developing Knowledge for Planning, Teaching and Assessment
During this module you will consider different approaches to teaching and discover your own philosophy of teaching. You'll also reflect on the type of teacher you want to be and consider your future career plan.
Current Educational Issues for the Teaching Professional
You will be assessed over the course of the year in your lead school on how you demonstrate progress against the Teachers’ Standards to meet Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Teaching Placements
You will be based out of two different primary schools during the course of the year.

Fees and funding

Funding available for this course

Funding and bursaries may be available.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

You will attend school-based taught sessions, run by the partnership for all of their School Direct trainees to help support your development as a trainee teacher. University teaching takes place on one day a week and includes lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops. A School Direct programme is intensive and akin to being in a full time job.

How will you be assessed?

Based on the same way you will be assessed when you are a qualified teacher and includes: teaching portfolios, assignments, presentations, observed teaching and case studies.

Course leader

Kate Brimacombe

Kate took her PGCE at Marjon becoming a primary school teacher here in Devon. She has been working back at Marjon for 13 years training future teachers where her favourite part of the year is 'celebration day' in July when the trainees get their results, they know they have passed and all celebrate together.

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Ruth Benton


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Victoria Brown

Senior Lecturer

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Caroline Colfer

Senior Lecturer

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Caroline teaches aspects of the course related to how children learn and leads on Design & Technology teaching.

Kate Firks


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

Dr Tara Hollins

Senior Lecturer

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Tara specialises in teaching primary mathematics and is also currently involved with an international project about making maths more accessible to primary aged children and their parents.

Alexandra Parks


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More information

See our School Direct Partnerships 2021 (Primary) to see where you could be training to teach and to get the UCAS codes.

Providing you meet the entry criteria, you have two options for the School Direct programme:

  • Non-salaried: Open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees may receive a bursary of up to £30,000 from the Department of Education. This is the perfect route for graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one.
  • Salaried: Perfect for high-quality graduates (usually with a first class or upper second honours degree) who already have experience in a school. Trainees will earn a salary as an employee of the school, and will partake in a minimum of 60 days of training. You will also be invited to train at another school for variety of experience. During your training, you will have the support of school-based trainers and University trainers.

More about entry requirements

  • A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
  • We have a responsibility to ensure that trainees have the health and physical capacity to teach. Candidates must meet the Secretary of State’s requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach as detailed in ‘Fit to Teach’ by completing an on-line medical questionnaire
  • Candidates must take part in individual and group interviews with representative from partnership schools and the University.
  • The Skills tests no longer exist as an entry requirement however, all teachers are expected to be competent in fundamental English and Mathematics. We will be assuring that trainees have these skills either during the selection process, or later during the training programme.
  • Partnerships take the lead in interviewing and selecting candidates, but all School Direct candidates must also meet the standard entry requirements of the University, and be approved by the University.


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