University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Bachelor of Education (Primary)

The Bachelor of Education (Primary) offers students professional training in all 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. The four year course comprises 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 the degree, students 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, including 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.

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

Degree structure and Requirements

Bachelor of Education (Primary)

To qualify for the award of the Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree, students must complete 192 credit points in total, comprising:

  • A total of 136 credit points Curriculum and Professional Studies units;
  • 12 credit points of Education One units;
  • 12 credit points of 1000-level units of study from Arts and Social Sciences Table A Subject Areas or from Table S.
  • 12 credit points of Education Two units;
  • 6 credit points of Education Three core units;
  • 6 credit points of Education Four units*; and
  • up to 12 credit points of Education Three optional units*.

*If you are undertaking honours you must complete 12 credit points of Education Four units and 6 credit points of Education Three optional units.

The enrolment pattern of requirements can be found on the Primary 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 the key learning areas of English, Creative Arts, Mathematics and Science. Students undertake 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 deepen their knowledge of the key learning areas – mathematics; science and technology; English; and human society and its environment (HSIE) – and there is an added focus on how to integrate these areas while maintaining the integrity of each. Students 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 are 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 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 of Year Three.

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


The Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree offers two specialisation options in Primary Mathematics or in 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.

Contacts and further information

UG Primary Education Program Director: Dr Heather McMaster

School website: Sydney School of Education and Social Work. See the website for location and counter opening hours for the Office of Professional Engagement and Program Support.

Example pathway

Year and semester 

Units of study     

Year 1

Sem 1

EDUF1018 Education, Teachers and Teaching

EDUP1002 English, Literacy and Learning

EDUP1005 Primary Science and Technology 1 

1000 level unit of study – Table A or Table S


Sem 2

EDUF1019 Human Development and Education

EDUP1001 Creative Arts 1

EDUP1003 Mathematics and Numeracy

1000 level unit of study  – Table A or Table S


Year 2

Sem 1

EDUF2006 Educational Psychology

EDUP2002 English: Learning to be Literate

EDUP2004 PDHPE 1: Physical Activity

EDUP2006 Aboriginal Education: K-6

EDUP2007 Creative Arts 2 


Sem 2

EDUF2007 Social Perspectives on Education

EDUP2005 Mathematics Education 1: Early Numbers

EDUP2015 Primary Science and Technology 2 Concepts 2

EDUP2009 Intercultural Understanding in HSIE K-6

EDUP2010 Professional Experience 2 (Primary)

EDLN2000 LANTITE Undergraduate 

Year 3

Sem 1

EDUF3031 Positive Approaches to Special Education

EDUP3001 PDHPE 2: Active Healthy Primary Schools

EDUP3002 Human Society and its Environment 2

EDUP3003 Teaching in Multilingual Classrooms

EDUP3008 Creative Arts 3


Sem 2

EDUF4044 Reading & Applying Educational Research OR EDUF4020 Education Honours Preliminary

EDUP3004 Mathematics Education 2

EDUP3006 English: Becoming Literate

EDUP3007 Professional Experiences 3 (Primary)

EDUP3009 Science and Technology 1

EDUP3034 PHHPE 3: The Health Promoting School

Year 4

Sem 1

Education III Option Unit of Study

EDUP4018 Science and Technology (K-6) 2

EDUP4074 Mathematics Education 3

EDUP4076 English: Being Critically Literate

EDUP4079 Professional Experiences 4 (Primary)

Primary Four Option Unit of Study


Sem 2

Education III Option Unit of Study OR EDUF4021 Education Honours Dissertation

EDUP4017 Professional Experiences Internship

EDUP4077 Teaching Children with Special Needs

EDUP4080 Human Society and its Environment 3

Primary Four Option Unit of Study