Primary Education with QTS with Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
September 2019

If you have a passion for inspiring and educating young learners, and want the best possible career opportunities after graduating, then this is the course for you. This exciting programme provides you with a variety of opportunities to explore your interests and develop core skills and experience in Primary and Early Years teaching with an extra foundation year.

Tailor your Society, Childhood and Education Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work. These include:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in either Society, Childhood and Education, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc or BA degree. 

So although you are studying a BA or BSc in a specific course –BA Primary Education with QTS – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Society, Childhood and Education, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

Our course offers you the chance to gain the professional qualification of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as well as a degree, helping you walk into your dream job immediately after graduating.

This course allows you to specialise in age phases 3-7 or 5-11, qualifying you to teach in primary schools and early years settings and gives you the opportunity to work in a Special Educational Needs School.

As the top university in the West Midlands to provide education training, you will have access to local schools where you can carry out placements and develop your practical experience right from the start of the course. We believe that getting our students working in schools with experienced teachers and children is key to developing committed, creative and confident teachers who will have existing relationships to benefit from when seeking employment after graduation.

Our course is underpinned by a commitment to the well-being and achievement of all of our students in a supportive and nurturing environment. The learning is led by highly experienced tutors who facilitate a wide range of practical experience and taught sessions to engage you in reflective and critical evaluation of research, policy and practice. You will be well supported during the course in your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher.

Why Choose Us?

  • We have many partnerships in the West Midlands, which means that you can benefit from training in local schools and early years settings 
  • High employability rate - 98% of our students are in work after six months of finishing this course (Unistats 2016*) and we provide excellent support in making sure you find the right teaching job for you
  • Practical hands-on experience in schools right from the start of your programme
  • Study at our brand new £41 million City South Campus where you will be from September 2018 
  • We have a number of international links (Spain, France and Germany) to enable you to experience primary education in another country, enhancing your employability skills

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25th November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Boldmere Junior School
  • Smith's Wood Primary Academy 
  • Annie Lennard Primary School 

And in jobs such as:

  • Primary School Teacher
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Foundation Stage Teacher

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English Language, Mathematics and Science or equivalent. 

For GCSE Science an equivalent in BTEC level 2 Applied Science with a minimum pass grade will also be accepted. Please note that the remaining additional two subjects need to be actual GCSEs.

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level 80 UCAS tariff points = CDD
Access to Higher Education Diploma

60 credits including 45 at Level 3, of which 30 Level 3 credits are at merits / distinctions. If you do not hold GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C or above, then credits must also include English, Maths and Science at Level 2.

BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in a relevant subject
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points. Must include Maths and English Language. 
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Please note: Upon completion of your foundation year, you will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. 

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Foundation Year

Academic Skills for Success

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own experiences and perceptions, whilst gaining an awareness and appreciating the differences of others. 

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Negotiated Study

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Birmingham’s Children and Society

This module provides opportunities for you to develop an understanding of children and society in Birmingham.  As the country’s second city, Birmingham offers a rich context for your studies and provides a perfect example of the ways in which children and society inter-relate.  You will also be laying foundations for your future studies by gaining knowledge of the environments affecting your chosen degree discipline.  No matter where you are from, exploring the ways in which a highly diverse city such as Birmingham provides for the needs of children will provide an invaluable insight.

The module will also provide a secure introduction to higher education.  By providing a safe and structured learning environment, you will be encouraged to develop and articulate your own thoughts and opinions based on class-based explorations of topics and ideas, as well as your personal reading and wider research.  An important part of any study at this level is your ability to reflect on your learning and understanding.  This module will provide plenty of opportunities for you to develop this skill, possibly in new ways or for the first time.

Policy and Politics

This module provides opportunities for you to develop an understanding of the politics and policies that impact society, childhood and education. Key aspects of working practice in the disciplines listed above are determined by the policies that come from the government; in the majority of cases, a government department oversees and regulates practice through its policies. This modules will explore the way in which the British constitution works, how policy making takes place and the impact that this has on society, childhood and education. The module will also consider the political spectrum and the way that this impacts policy. Importantly, as someone considering moving into the areas of study outlined above, you will also have the opportunity to consider your own perspectives and the ways in which you have been influenced by policy and politics, and the ways in which you might go on to affect them as a citizen and as a member of a given profession.

The module provides exciting opportunities for you to recognise your own political heritage and to reflect on your ideals and aspirations. Having a clear understanding of the nature of politics and policy making in this country will provide you with a strong foundation on which further knowledge can be built. Developing an understanding and considering your views and opinions takes place over time; personal responses change in the light of growing knowledge. This module allows you the opportunity to explore your ideas and you will be encouraged to share them as part of your learning journey.

Year One

An Introduction to Core

You will explore the nature of the core subjects (English, mathematics and science) and prime and specific areas of the EYFS. You will begin to develop your understanding of the subject knowledge required and will start shaping your own approach to teaching the core subjects and meeting the needs of all learners.

The Developing Child

Will seek to develop your knowledge and understanding of the ways in which children develop in the early years and primary settings. It will develop the link between theory and practice as part of the module will be delivered through observation of school practices and your experiences during school based training.

The Emerging Teach

You will be encouraged to consider your first experiences in your placement school, considering the complexity of the teacher’s role and the importance of adopting a professional stance at all times.  You will understand the importance of an effective learning environment and develop practical strategies to support you in managing children’s behaviour.

Understanding the Foundation Curriculum

An introduction to subjects taught in Primary Schools (besides core subjects). You will be introduced to key areas of learning for each subject and supported to understand some of the frameworks and resources used to deliver them. You will understand the relevance of each subject and how they support one another.

Year 1 (BA (Hons) Subject Study

Will enable you to develop your understanding and expertise in a specific subject area. It will address the relevant curricular content and learning and teaching strategies appropriate to the chosen subject. You will develop professional skills and attributes through collaborative group work.

School Based Training 1

You will work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment in order to help you to become a confident, creative and committed teacher. You will be able to implement theory and evidence-based understanding in your teaching. 

Year Two

Promoting Progress in Core

You will draw upon your classroom experience to develop their sense of responsibility for children’s progress in the core subjects (English, mathematics and science).  This module builds on the skills and knowledge introduced in the Year 1 core module and links to the Year 3 core module. 

Assessing and Reporting

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of how assessment and reporting are fundamental to learning and teaching in primary and EYFS settings. This module will enable you to become confident in meeting the challenges of inspiring all children to reach achieve their goals and to overcome disadvantage and barriers to learning.

Special Educational Needs and Disability and Inclusion

You will explore the diverse needs of pupils in EYFS and Primary settings with an emphasis upon SEND. The module explores the challenges for inclusive teachers within changing educational environments whilst providing opportunities for developing knowledge and practical skills relating to working with pupils with a range of individual needs. 

Developing the Foundation Curriculum

You will develop excellent subject, curriculum and pedagogical knowledge directly related to the foundation subjects.  You will develop a clear understanding of how subject planning will support and enhance children’s progress within subject areas. 

Subjects in Action

You will have opportunities to develop your understanding and expertise in a specific subject area, planning collaboratively for a specific age group in the chosen subject, having consideration of pupils’ individual needs when differentiating and personalising the learning. You will assess and monitor progress of children and evaluate your own teaching.

School Based Training 2

You will observe teachers and build on your teaching style and behaviour management strategies. Through extending your subject knowledge, understanding of differentiation and assessment, you will develop planning and teaching skills to ensure pupils make consistent progress in your lessons. You will evaluate and reflect on your practice to identify your individual strengths and needs.

Year Three

Critical Issues in Core

You will develop your understanding of formative and summative assessment, considering your own experiences and evaluating policy and research. You will reflect on your teaching experiences and evaluate and explore your own philosophy.  You will collaborate with a group to produce an assessed presentation exploring and analysing an aspect of one core subject. 

Current Issues in Education

Responding to changes and developments within education, you will develop an in-depth understanding of how these issues will impact your work in the primary classroom. A strong commitment to inclusive values will empower you to address issues of equality, diversity and justice to optimise the life chances for all children you teach.

Creative Teaching in the Foundation Curriculum

You will develop, support and enhance thinking and learning skills in EYFS and Primary settings. This will be considered through statutory and non-statutory curriculum guidance, and theoretical perspectives. You will focus on developing creativity and cross-curricular opportunities, and evaluating and justifying resources, enabling you to become a highly confident, committed and creative teacher.

Research in Education

You will be supervised by an experienced tutor so that you can conduct research relevant to your subject study in a supportive and nurturing environment, demonstrating good subject and curriculum knowledge. It will actively encourage you to develop your research skills and to pursue your learning journey at Masters level and beyond.

School Based Training 3

This module enables you to build on and demonstrate your mastery and achievement of the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical, school-based experience. You will have opportunities to create appropriate conditions for learning, demonstrate a secure understanding of the curriculum and implement assessment that ensures progression for all learners.

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Education and Social Work upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS Course Information

The content of the programme is research led, innovative and responsive to change and we employ a variety of learning and teaching approaches that focus on modelling good practice which, as a trainee teacher, you shall be encouraged to use in the classroom. 

The programme comprises five strands that combine to enable you to develop your skills and knowledge to become committed, creative and confident primary school teachers.

The strands are as follows: Core (English, Mathematics and Science and/or the prime and specific areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum), Professional Studies, Foundation (all other National curriculum subjects and/or the prime and specific areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum), Subject Study and School Based Training.  These strands are repeated in each year of study to enable you to build up your knowledge, understanding and skills in each key area.

The School Based and University Based aspects of the training course are interlinked and interdependent.

Overseas Opportunities

The programme hosts students on the Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes from a number of partner Universities from around the world who will study alongside you and facilitate debate about different approaches to learning and teaching. You also have the opportunity of a transnational teaching experience in a number of European countries through the partnerships the School of Education has established with The Sorbonne in Paris, The University of Cordoba in Spain and Schwabisch Gmund University in Germany.

Enhancing your employability skills

On the BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS programme you will experience a wide variety of learning and teaching approaches that are designed to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills as you progress through the course.

We will support you in the transition to university through a careful induction process, confidence building activities, group work and a carefully planned programme with a range of formative and summative assessments.

Your programme will be interactive, practical, engaging, thought provoking and challenging and is designed to promote independence so that you become a confident, committed and creative teacher ready to join the teaching profession.

On the programme you will experience a variety of learning and teaching approaches that focus on modelling good practice and these will include: workshops, conferences, lectures, seminars, a range of guest speakers, visits to schools/settings and other sites as well as a range of practical teaching experiences.

The content of the programme is research led, innovative and responsive to the educational climate to enable you to develop your subject and pedagogical knowledge and apply it in the classroom.

The BA Primary Education with QTS programme is a three year undergraduate course that leads to the award of a degree and qualified teacher status.

The newly designed programme offers you an honours degree and a recommendation for the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) on successful completion of all elements over three years full-time study.


We have developed a shared vision for educational excellence with the schools in our partnership. You will benefit from working with and learning from outstanding classroom teachers in schools and at University. Working in schools with teachers and children is key to you becoming a committed, creative and confident teacher.

The new concept for the school based elements of the programme provide greater opportunities to spend time in school. In your first and second year you will spend one day per week in school (during one term) to allow you to make links with your observations in school and the taught programme in university. There are also a number of block placements in school where you will begin to lead the learning for a class. The NCTL Professional Standards for Teachers which lead to recommendation for the award of QTS will be assessed through the school based training modules.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Employment prospects are outstanding compared to national averages - we expect all students to obtain teaching posts on graduation. League tables show that our primary graduates are consistently successful in gaining responsible teaching posts.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.


In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Kate Glanville

Senior Lecturer in Primary Geography and Professional Studies

I gained my BA (Hons) degree in Geography from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and returned there to complete my PGCE in Upper Primary Education in 2001/2.

My first teaching role was at a primary school in Walsall where I was appointed Geography Coordinator. Following this, I moved to a secondary school in Sandwell to pursue my interest in special educational needs. Whilst there I also gained my Master's degree in Autism.

My final teaching role before joining Birmingham City University was as a SENCO at a primary school in Walsall.