What’s it like studying Primary Education?

Charlotte Bryan-Lambert

I really enjoy the course as I am passionate about education and love thinking deeply about it. The course is really varied, and you get to meet lots of lovely people who share your interests too! 

What’s Primary Education?

The Primary Education BA with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a great way to combine a degree and qualify as a teacher. The course has an academic, university-based side which involves lectures, seminars and assignments and is how you achieve the Primary Education BA degree. There is also the practical, placement side, where you will be placed in a primary school class to practise teaching. This is how you get your QTS to become a primary teacher at the end of the three years.

Why did I choose Primary Education at Durham?

I chose to study primary education because I loved working with children, so I thought it was a great way to become a teacher in only three years! I chose Durham because I had heard it was a great university academically and because I loved the city. It’s also not far from home so I can still see my dog lots!

My dog

What do I enjoy most about my course?

I really enjoy writing essays on interesting education topics. It gives me the chance to understand a subject in a lot of detail!

My favourite module was called ‘Historical and Philosophical Ideas in Education’ which I chose in first year as one of my two optional modules. This module was so inspiring, and I got to explore school uniform policies from a feminist perspective which I found really engaging! 

What does my average day look like?

Usually, I start my day with a run by the river. Then I have breakfast and do some independent study at home or in the School of Education. I normally have a lecture or seminar in the middle of the day and then come home for lunch. In the afternoon, I like to go to one of the university’s study sites or a coffee shop to keep working on my assignments. One of my favourite places to sit is on an upper floor of the Bill Bryson library, looking out onto the Cathedral!

my workspace

Field trips

In second year, the whole cohort of second year primary education students had a trip to Beamish Museum to explore how to organise an educational visit and what you could do with a class at a venue like Beamish. It was great to talk with friends about trip ideas and the challenges you might face as a primary teacher!

School placements

Alongside the academic side of the course, there is the practical placement side. The school and year group you go to will vary. I have been in reception, year 2, year 3 and year 6. As you progress through the course, you spend more time on placement. For me, it was 5 weeks in first year, 6 in second and 12 in third, with extra days building up to those blocks too. Placement has helped to develop my classroom management skills and flexibility, and we all feel we develop really quickly on placement!

What else do I get involved in?

One of my favourite things I am involved in is the Durham University Concert Band. I play alto saxophone and am the secretary for the band. I have loved playing in amazing venues across Durham (including the Cathedral), and I am looking forward to our band tour to Germany this summer!

the Durham University Concert Band

Some of my other favourite moments have been the times I have shared with my friends. I have loved college formal dinners and balls, having dinner nights and just spending time together!

Discover more

We are one of the leading Schools of Education in the UK and ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.  

We aim to expand the frontiers of educational knowledge and to inspire our students to become the future architects of an equitable and sustainable world. Our students go on to successful careers in a wide range of different sectors. 

Feeling inspired? Visit our School of Education webpages to find out more about studying with us. 

You can visit this link for further information about the BA in Primary Education X101 – Durham University

Create your own personalised prospectus here

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Charlotte Bryan-Lambert

Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’m a final year primary education student from John Snow College. I have absolutely loved my time at Durham so far and have made wonderful friends. My hobbies include playing alto saxophone in the Durham University Concert Band, exploring the outdoors and running.

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