University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Education (Primary)

About the degree

Primary offers students professional training in all the Key Learning Areas (primary-school subject areas) with special attention to the mandatory areas of Indigenous education, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and special education. Students will study for four years comprising of generalist units in education and professional studies as well as elective units of study in the sciences, social sciences and humanities subject areas that are offered by the University of Sydney Business School, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Across their degree, students will complete 79 days of professional experience beginning in their second year. Students can specialise in one of a number of year-long elective units in their fourth year of studies which include subject areas such as creative arts, special education, TESOL, Aboriginal education, primary languages, and information technology. Students can also choose to specialise in either Mathematics or Science and Technology.

As a graduate, students will be well prepared to meet the Australian Professional Teaching Standards. This course gives students a professional qualification to teach in a primary school and other contexts with young children (aged 5–12 years) in Years K–6.

Requirements for completion

To qualify for the award of the Bachelor of Education (Primary), students must complete 192 credit points of units of study as described in the unit of study table.

First year

In the first year, students encounter general concepts relating to education and teaching in contemporary society. Students consider such contested concepts as child protection, the nature of the curriculum, curriculum construction, teachers' knowledge, and the teacher as a professional. The relevance of these concepts to classroom practice is explored in lectures and seminars. Students will be introduced to Science, English, Creative Arts and Mathematics key learning areas.

Second year

In the second year, students investigate teaching from the perspective of the learner in each of their second-year units of study. This perspective will be informed by both sociological and psychological theory. Students will become familiar with PDHPE, indigenous education as well as Human Society and its Environment (HSIE). Students continue their learning in key learning areas of English, Creative Arts, Mathematics and Science. Students experience their first professional experience in the classroom, inducting them into the cycle of assessment, planning and teaching.

Third year

In the third year, students enhance their knowledge of teaching in the key learning areas they have previously studied. Students will gain a greater understanding of how to cater for students from diverse sociocultural and language backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities and special educational needs. Each of the units of study contain multiple opportunities for students to analyse and reflect on their teaching experiences in different contexts. Students will develop their knowledge on how students learn by planning teaching and learning opportunities through their second professional experience.

Fourth year

In the fourth year, students will deepen their knowledge of the key learning areas – mathematics; science and technology; English; and human society and its environment (HSIE) – and there will be an added focus on how to integrate these areas while maintaining the integrity of each. They will also learn to strengthen their ability to respond to student diversity through a second unit of study devoted to teaching children with special needs. Students will be able to select year-long electives that specialise in the areas of: IT, Primary Languages, Special Education, TESOL, Integrated Arts, Aboriginal Education, Science and Technology or Mathematics. Students will complete two professional experiences in year four with the same class through the year.


The Education honours program is available to all students enrolled in an undergraduate education degree within the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

Education honours is an integrated program undertaken during the final three semesters of an undergraduate degree. For students enrolled in four-year degrees, the program commences in Semester Two, Year 3.

Students enrolled in the honours program are required to undertake two honours units of study, and complete an honours dissertation.


The Sydney School of Education and Social Work, Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree offers two specialisation options in Primary Mathematics and Primary Science and Technology.

Bachelor of Education (Primary) students who elect to undertake the specialisation study pathway will complete the normal generalist teaching degree with the added benefit of a specialisation in either mathematics or science and technology.

Contact and further information

Bachelor of Education (Primary) Program Director: Dr Cathy Little

Phone: +61 2 9351 3685
Sydney School of Education and Social Work