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School of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Would I need to have some primary experience before applying to the course?

Yes.  All applicants need to provide evidence within their UCAS application of having undertaken at least 10 days experience working in a mainstream primary classroom within Key Stage 1 or 2.  Please note, we would not consider nursery or reception experience as relevant to entry.

Can I come on an open day and visit the department before making an application?

Yes. Pre-application open days are held on Queen's Campus. For more information or to book a place please contact the Admissions Team. Alternatively Campus Tours are run on Wednesday afternoons, for further informations please contact the Admissions Team.

Which College should I apply for?

There are two Colleges at Queen's Campus; John Snow College and Stephenson College. Each College has its own social, musical and sporting activities. If you cannot decide which College to choose you can make an open application.

Will I have to attend an interview?

 Yes. If your initial application is successful you will be asked to attend an interview which will include a brief presentation and written task. There will also be the opportunity to look around the campus and find out more about the Colleges.

Will I feel out of place at Durham?

We welcome all students from all backgrounds, schools and geographical areas. Durham is great place to study, live and have fun, as well as mix with students from various different backgrounds.

I'm from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background and am thinking of training to become a teacher, who can I contact for further information?

The National College for Teaching and Leadership would like to see the teaching profession reflect the diversity of the population. If you are from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background and would like support with applying to Initial Teacher Education institutions in the north east, then please contact: Sheba Joseph (the MERIT advisor) whose contact details are available at

I don't have the required entry grades are there any other options?

If you do not meet our entry requirements you may be interested in the Foundation Programme.

Can I transfer from another University to the Primary Education degree and start in Year Two?

You should apply through the normal route via UCAS for Year Two entry. We will consider your application, but if you do not meet the requirments we will welcome your application to Year One of the programme.

Can I transfer to the Primary Education degree from another course within the University?

To ensure the quality of student experience, we have a target quota for our Primary Teaching Course and winning a place on this degree programme is very competitive.  The University makes it possible to change degree programmes, but there is no automatic right to do so.  The factors that are taken into account are academic merit as well as availability of places on particular programmes.  If you wish to change one or more modules, or even the degree programme you are studying within or across departments, you must seek advice from the department(s) concerned at the earliest opportunity.  Although the University wants to help students who wish to change module(s) or programme, it becomes progressively more difficult to change as time goes on, because of the amount of work which you will have missed.  You will also normally need to satisfy any pre-requisites for the module(s) or programme to which you wish to change.  If you are permitted to change modules or programme it is your responsibility to catch up the work which you have missed. 

It is important to note that as our Primary Teaching  programme is very popular and we generally recruit to quota each year, it is very unlikely that a request to transfer to Year One of our Primary Teaching course would be accepted. This is also because there are professional requirements which will not have been met.  We would also wish to act equitably in relation to the many excellent applicants who have applied for our Primary Teaching course through UCAS but to whom we were not able to make an offer in light of our limited quota.

It should also be noted that as a result of module pre-requisites and professional requirements, it is not possible to transfer to subsequent years of our Primary Teaching Course.