Returning to Teaching

Are you a qualified teacher who has taken a career break from the classroom? Do you have qualified teacher status, but your career led you in a different direction? Are you considering returning to teaching? Don’t be put off by a lack of recent experience. We welcome and celebrate life experience on this course, and we aim to support you to use it while confidently returning to the primary classroom.

The University of South Wales is one of just a few universities to provide the Returning to Teaching course which is designed to meet the requirement of qualified teachers who have been out of the profession for any amount of time. The course will enable you to familiarise yourself with the new professional standards for teaching and leadership, develop a range of behaviour management strategies, and to develop and enhance your digital competency skills in the classroom. It also aims to refresh your knowledge alongside other professionals while improving both your understanding and confidence in the primary classroom

This is not a conversion course, but it is designed to further your professional development and help with new opportunities. The Returning to Teaching course will prepare you to come back to teaching in a primary school, or if you're looking to move from secondary to primary school teaching. What's more, if you're in regular supply work and looking to obtain a long-term or permanent teaching appointment, the Returning to Teaching course will give you the confidence to apply for a permanent teaching post with the knowledge that you can speak with recent and relevant experience.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 10 Weeks March Newport City C

The 20-credit course covers all areas of learning and experience in simulated classrooms in the university. You will have 10 university sessions and 10 days or equivalent working in a primary school or schools, in either a volunteer or paid position.

Curriculum, pedagogical approaches, assessment, management, and resourcing are discussed as integral aspects of classroom practice and the course provides an opportunity to explore recent developments, reforms, and innovations. Students will also learn how using a digital device can enhance both planning and learning in primary schools.

It is structured to provide plenty of practical experience supported by the relevant theory.

You will study with other qualified teachers and will review, enhance, and consolidate your skills, knowledge, and understanding of successful practice in primary education.


The course is delivered one day per week over 10 weeks. The University sessions will take place on the Newport campus each Wednesday for 10 weeks beginning in March.

Lectures are delivered by a range of university academics and guest lecturers from local primary schools, with each session focusing on a particular area of the primary curriculum or school environment. Becoming a reflective practitioner is a key element of the course. We will also help you to develop your skills such as interview techniques and advice on job applications.

In addition to the 10 days in university, each member of the course is required to complete 10 days or equivalent working in schools, in either a voluntary or paid position. The classroom experience is undertaken as an opportunity to develop confidence, skills, and recent classroom experience.

This part of the programme must be arranged by you and may be tailored to your individual requirements. To complete the course successfully, a pass in the assignment is required. The assignment is a reflective log based on your ten days in school which is linked to the theory and research you have engaged with on the course.


There is an open-door policy on this course which enables professionals to engage in constructive discussions and to return with confidence to a primary classroom.


Students will be assessed through the submission of a 4,000-word reflective journal which will be based on school experience, supported by session content, and reading materials.


In addition to the 10 days in University, each member of the course completes 10 days or equivalent working in schools, in either a voluntarily or paid position. The classroom experience is undertaken as an opportunity to develop confidence, skills and understanding.

This part of the programme must be arranged by you and may be tailored to suit individual requirements. To complete the course successfully a pass in the assignment is required. The assignment is a reflective log based upon the ten days in school.


We have a number of dedicated simulation classrooms at USW where you will be able to engage with a range of current resources.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Qualified Teacher Status (primary or secondary) and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List. 


Please upload the following to your online application:

  • Evidence of your DfES Number – official letter from the teaching council
  • Reference on institution/company letter headed paper


Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £740 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Please apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement

The course has been very successful in enabling teachers who have previously taken a career break to return to the classroom. It also enables secondary school teachers to understand the pedagogy of the primary phase of education if they are considering a change of direction.

Previous students have noted that it is the group discussions which take place amongst like-minded professionals which really enhance the course experience.

Potential careers include Primary School teaching and working with primary aged children in a range of alternative educational settings e.g museums, libraries, outdoor learning environments.