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Teacher Education BEd (Hons) Primary

This is a four-year honours degree programme leading to full recognition to teach by the Department of Education and registration with General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland. For BEd Primary students, Stages 1 and 2 of the programme consist of five elements:

  • Education Studies,
  • Key Skills (Literacy, Numeracy and Using ICT [UICT]),
  • Curriculum Studies,
  • Professional Development and School Experience and
  • Subject Study including Subject Application in a chosen subject area.

In Stage 3, there is a stronger focus on Subject Study and Subject Application. In the final year, students select specific Curriculum Studies options and also engage in a Capstone project. This is an individual, integrative study which provides the students with the opportunity to focus on a particular area of professional interest.


Compulsory elements:

  • Education Studies
  • Curriculum Studies
  • Key Skills
  • Professional Development and School Experience [PDSE]

Optional elements (Subject Study, chosen by the student from the following):

Compulsory elements of the programme

  1. Education Studies

    This is a broad area of study which draws on the main disciplines of Education and addresses a range of theoretical and professional issues. Through lectures, seminars and tutorials students cover a wide range of topics such as: philosophical perspectives on learning and teaching; child development and psychology; the curriculum in schools; child protection and children’s rights; the social aspects of schooling; principles of effective teaching and learning; issues pertaining to multiculturalism and inclusion; and the education of children who experience special educational needs. This broad area of study facilitates the development of the knowledge and understanding underpinning successful teaching.

  2. Curriculum Studies

    Modules within this strand of the programme involve the study of teaching strategies and modes of learning for all areas of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

  3. Key Skills

    There is a strong emphasis across the BEd Programme on the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, SEN and using ICT (UICT), as well as linking knowledge and skills in these areas to practice on School Experience.

  4. Professional Development and School Experience

    The PDSE element is central to the BEd Programme at St Mary’s. Within this element, students are encouraged to establish theory-practice relationships through the development of reflective practice. Each year as students gain experience and confidence, they are asked to demonstrate increasing levels of proficiency in the classroom based in line with the revised competence framework of the GTCNI. Over the course of the programme students will have opportunities to teach children of varying ages and abilities in a range of different contexts. There are also opportunities for students to choose options through which they may gain experience of teaching in the nursery and/or special school sectors. Students must pass School Experience each year to proceed to the next stage of the course.