MEd (Hons) Primary Education with Recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (4 years)



MEd (Hons) Primary Education aims to educate creative and critically reflective practitioners able to engage in the complexities of education for the twenty-first century, whilst ensuring compliance with the latest requirements of the Department of Education. The breadth of the programme, which covers the core curriculum subjects, the full range of wider foundation subjects and a specialist subject study ensures that the programme is demanding and thorough, and meets the needs of employers. Members of the programme team offer a rich experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to nurture students through their academic and professional journey.

All entrants complete common first and second-year modules. In Year 2, with experience of both the taught programme and teaching in schools, students select their three or four-year route. This flexibility supports personal academic and professional development opportunities. The four-year route allows students to further enhance and enrich their professional practice and offers the opportunity to gain up to 120 Level 7 Masters credits before taking up employment in a first teaching post.

The programme aims are addressed through three key interdisciplinary themes, chosen for their relevance to the graduate primary teacher:

·       Identity

·       Perspectives

·       Relationships


The three interrelated themes provide a unifying structure to our professional educational programme, which combines the development of effective and skilled practice with analytical awareness and critique. The programme's approach is underpinned by tenets of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students are nurtured to reflect on their educational values as they develop into enthusiastic, creative and respectful educators, equipped to respond to the needs of children and to engage with wider aspects of schooling such as citizenship and sustainability.

Students follow a core programme that includes both theoretical and practical issues relating to teaching in primary schools.

·       Professional Theory, Practice and Research modules encourage students to consider the theoretical underpinnings of education and how they impact on children's learning and teachers' practice.

·       Curriculum Studies modules explore the range of subjects taught in primary schools and the discrete and inter-related aspects of a broad and balanced curriculum. Students select options to enhance their knowledge and understanding of areas of learning. Options include National Curriculum subjects and, more broadly, areas such as Learning Outside the Classroom, Additional Educational Needs, Early Years, Creativity and Professional Partnerships. This ability to personalise a professional portfolio in both breadth and depth enables students to meet their own needs and follow areas of particular interest.

·       School-based Experiences include a variety of placements organised by the University which are supported through University and school-based staff to ensure the growth and development of skilled practitioners. The University has an extensive partnership with schools, which give students excellent opportunities to undertake school experiences within and beyond the region. Placements are developmental and progressive ranging from short visits to sustained placements in educational settings. Students are also encouraged to arrange additional self-directed placements in settings such as museums, galleries, and residential centres to augment their range of experience, and overseas placements are possible. This ability to personalise a professional portfolio in both breadth and depth enables students to meet their own needs and follow areas of particular interest.

·       Specialist Subject Studies modules allow the study of a chosen area in greater depth and enable future contributions to the development of the subject either as a member of teaching staff or as a subject leader within early years setting or primary school. This programme offers a wide choice of specialisms: the indicative range includes art, drama, Early Years, English, primary foreign languages (French), geography, history, ICT, mathematics, music, physical education, religious education, science and Special Educational Needs. Students who follow the Early Years specialism engage in modules that focus on the development of young children aged 3-7 years.


Teacher education has been at the forefront of our learning provision at the University of Newcastle for many years. The institution began training teachers in 1840 and we have an excellent reputation for nurturing competent professionals.


Year 1

·       Education Theory 1A: Teachers and Schools

·       Education Theory 1B: Learners and Learning

·       School Experience Preparation, Practice, and Review 1a and 1b

·       Personal Professional Development 1

·       Curriculum English 1: Using Language

·       Curriculum Mathematics 1: An Introduction to Primary Mathematics

·       Curriculum Science 1: Teaching Scientific Inquiry and the Passionately Curious

·       Wider Curriculum Perspectives

·       Wider Curriculum in Practice

·       ICT across the Primary Curriculum

Year 2

·       Educational Theory 2: The Inclusive Classroom

·       School Experience Preparation Practice and Review 2

·       Professional Enquiry 1: Research Proposal and Literature Review

·       Personal Professional Development: Reflecting on Self-Directed Experience

·       Personal Professional Development 2

·       Curriculum English 2: Understanding Language Development

·       Curriculum: Mathematics 2: Children Learning Mathematics

·       Curriculum Science 2: Teaching Scientific Inquiry and Exploring Intriguing Ideas

·       Wider Cross-Curricular Perspectives

·       Students choose one specialist subject and complete two modules

Year 3

·       Educational Theory 3: Current Issues in Education

·       Finalist School Experience Preparation, Practice and Review 3 or Enhanced School Experience Preparation, Practice and Review 3 (depending on 3 or 4 years BEd/MEd route)

·       Professional Enquiry 2: Research Report

·       Professional Enquiry 3: Knowledge Exchange

·       Personal Professional Development 3

·       Curriculum English, Mathematics and Science 3: Making Connections

·       Inclusive Curriculum: Provision for and Evaluation of an Additional Need

·       Students choose one optional module and one specialist module 

Year 4

·       Educational Theory 4: Principles into Practice

·       Leadership and its Effect on Pupil Progress and Achievement

·       Enhancing Practice Through a Specialism

·       Developing Personal Pedagogy Through an Option Focus

·       Final School Experience Preparation, Practice, and Review 4

·       Personal Professional Development

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right-hand side).


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions 

The MEd course has both academic and professional requirements. Although the majority of placement hours are reflected in the block placement modules, every module has applied hours that enable students to relate theory to practice. These applied hours are allocated to each module as placement related activity to reinforce the links between theory and practice; in some cases they are not additional placements, while in some others they are direct experiences in school, for example, to enhance specific curriculum areas. Generally, students are timetabled for most days of the week, although not always for the whole day. During school placements, students are required to match the class teacher hours, being at the school for up to nine hours per day and doing further follow up work prior to the next day. BEd students are required to complete additional self-directed placements outside of normal University terms or during their non-timetabled periods

The University aims to shape 'confident learners' by enabling students to develop the skills to excel in their studies here and be transferable to further studies or the employment market. Staff and students form a community of learners who, together and independently, seek to generate and exchange knowledge. Over the duration of the course, students develop independent and critical learning, building confidence and expertise progressively through independent and collaborative research, problem solving, and analysis with the support of staff. Students take responsibility for their own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time (i.e. lectures, seminars etc), students are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, personal tutors and the wide range of services to students within the University.

A key feature of the student experience is the close relationship between University based and school based learning. DETC commend this coherence and consider “the overall effectiveness of the provider is outstanding because the training, assessment and quality of the provision across the partnership are of the highest quality, enabling trainees on all programmes to make excellent progress and to achieve consistently good or outstanding results.”

Programme Leader

·       Dr Peter Clarke


Teaching team

The teaching team has a wide range of experience in the field of education including teaching in schools and inspection and advisory work. Tutors contribute to the development of policy and practice in education through consultancy and work with, for example, the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, as well as a range of Professional Associations and Expert Groups.


All members of the team are actively involved in research and professional development activities including funded research and innovation projects. The team is complemented by a number of highly experienced practitioners who contribute to taught sessions in the University and offer support to students on school experience as Link Tutors.

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language, mathematics and science required. At the time of print, the NCTL are yet to specify their requirements in the reformed GCSEs graded 9-1 - once this information is available our website will be updated. Original certificates or certified copies will be requested at interview stage.

Additional entry requirements:

·       Applicants must be able to demonstrate, on their personal statement, recent and relevant work experience in a mainstream primary school amounting to a minimum total of two weeks in the two years prior to interview

·       Medical 'Fitness to Teach', assessed by an Occupational Health Adviser

·       Completion of pre-entry Skills Tests as required by the Department of Education

·       A further period of two weeks school experience after interview, and prior to joining the programme


Degree duration:

4 years full-time, with students being recommended for QTS on successful completion of a final school placement.

In Year 2, Semester 2, students have the opportunity to select a three- or four- year route. They will be supported in their decisions at this stage. This allows students time to experience both the taught programme and teaching in schools before selection, and addresses personal preferences for both academic and professional development opportunities. If students select the four-year route, the level of their award will be determined by their achievements in the final two years.

BEd (Hons) 3 year pathway
Successful completion of 3 years full-time study, students will have reached the level of a Bachelors degree and leave with a BEd (Hons) with QTS. For further information please see the BEd Primary Education with QTS (3 years) page.


BEd (Hons) 4-year pathway
Students may wish to continue with a 4-year pathway. This extended year provides the perfect opportunity to enhance and enrich professional practice, whilst achieving a BEd (Hons) with QTS. Additionally, students have the opportunity to gain Level 7 Masters credits in some or all modules (up to a maximum 120 credits for the award of MEd). For further information please see the BEd Primary Education with QTS (4 years) page.


MEd (Hons) 4-year pathway
Having chosen a 4 year route, students take 120 credits at Level 7 in the fourth year and upon successful completion are awarded a MEd (Hons) with QTS (first class, upper and lower second classifications are available). This is an integrated undergraduate degree so students who wish to proceed to a full Masters complete an additional 60 Level 7 credits at a later stage, usually during their teaching career.


Selection process:

The selection process requires experience in a mainstream primary school (a minimum total of two weeks) within the last two years, sufficient for applicants to gain a realistic understanding of the nature of primary teaching and current classroom practice. Suitable applicants are required to attend an individual interview, to make a brief presentation on an aspect of primary education in a group situation and to complete a short written task.

As the BEd 3 year, BEd 4 year and MEd 4 year Primary Education courses share a common Year 1 and 2 (with opportunities to change pathway until the end of Year 2), applicants are encouraged to apply for one Primary Education pathway as if you are successful at interview, you will only receive one offer.


Newcastle Initial Teacher Education graduates have a high employment rate and are well respected in the region and beyond. A programme of preparation for applying for teaching posts is held annually for students in their final year. Most students take up a position in teaching although, occasionally, graduates pursue other careers using the range of transferable skills gained during study.

DETC consider “the overall effectiveness of the provider is outstanding because the training, assessment and quality of the provision across the partnership are of the highest quality, enabling trainees on all programmes to make excellent progress and to achieve consistently good or outstanding results.”

Partnership teachers contribute to the programme from recruitment to preparation for the Newly Qualified Teacher year to ensure the University appropriately supports ongoing teacher development. Many local Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers are Newcastle graduates.


A programme of preparation for applying for teaching posts is held annually for final year students. If in rare instances, students realise that teaching is not their long-term vocation, they can complete a degree without QTS and advice and support is available to find an allied or alternative career.


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer-term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.


At the University of Newcastle, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.

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