BEd (Hons) Post-Primary

This is a four-year honours degree programme leading to full recognition to teach by the Department of Education and registration with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland.

At St Mary’s we believe that our vocation is to prepare and provide excellent teachers who can lead and inspire children in a life of learning and who will pass on the beliefs, values, knowledge and skills necessary for leading a full life in society. Teaching is not just a job, it is a vocation. Teachers must believe in their vocation and in the importance of their work for the future of the individual child and the well–being of society as a whole. In our teacher education courses we aim to provide teachers who have:

  • a liking and caring for children and a sensitivity towards their needs;
  • an enthusiasm about teaching and a commitment to the education process;
  • a belief in the promotion of equal opportunities, recognising differences occasioned by race, religion, sex, class or disability and the need to adopt non-discriminatory practices in all these respects;
  • a willingness to learn and an openness to change and innovation;
  • a lively mind and a range of cultural and other interests.

For BEd Post-primary students, the first two years of the programme contain four elements:

  • Educational Studies;
  • Professional Development and School Experience (including Literacy, Numeracy and UICT);
  • Main Subject Study and Subject Application; and
  • Subsidiary Subject Study and Subject Application.


Students can choose from the following subjects as their main subject study:

In years 1 and 2, students also study a subsidiary subject which they choose themselves. The Subsidiary Subjects are:

Main Subject Subsidiary
Mathematics Science
Technology & Design ICT
Business Studies English or History or ICT or Science
Religious Studies English or History or ICT or Science




Compulsory elements of the programme

  1. Education Studies

    This is a broad area of study which draws on a number of disciplines and addresses a range of professional issues. Through lectures, seminars and tutorials students cover a wide range of topics such as: child and adolescent development and psychology; the curriculum in schools; child protection and children and young peoples’ rights; the social aspects of schooling; principles of effective teaching and learning; the principles of classroom management; issues pertaining to multiculturalism and inclusion; and the education of children who experience special educational needs.

  2. Professional Development and School Experience

    The practical element of teaching is central to the Initial Teacher Education programmes. The BEd Degree is competence-based in line with the revised competence framework of the GTCNI. Each year as students gain experience and confidence they are asked to demonstrate increasing levels of proficiency in the classroom. 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, for example in the special sector. Students must pass School Experience each year to proceed into the next year of the course.

    This element of the course also addresses issues relating to the Revised Curriculum and the Entitlement Framework. Areas of study include for example; Learning for Life and Work; Local and Global citizenship; Education for Employability; Education for Sustainability; and Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum.