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Education Studies BA Honours

Explore how education defines our world. You'll go far beyond teaching with skills to work in any educational setting
September 2022
3 years full-time
Flexible part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Beth Gallagher

Our course goes beyond just teaching and learning to prepare you for a career in education and beyond.

Why take a course in education with us

We blend theory and practice to extend and apply your knowledge, skills and understanding of education studies throughout your time with us. You’ll be taught by experienced academics who are research leaders across areas of diversity, child development, multilingualism and education. This course draws from a range of disciplines so you’ll learn about subjects such as history, sociology, law, and philosophy, and how they relate to education.

A degree in education can open varied career avenues like education policy, management and research, charities, to name just a few.

We're in the top 250 in the world for Education (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019).

Practice your hands-on skills with us

We strongly encourage you to develop your employability skills throughout the course and this is often built into the modules from the start. These skills, sometimes referred to as soft skills, include reflection, professional development and team work.

You’ll receive a Placement Planning Pack to help with structuring and planning for work experience, ensuring you get the most out of it. Additionally, you’ll undertake a practitioner-based module, set within a workplace, and build a digital portfolio that showcases the development of your knowledge and skills throughout the course. The course’s timetable is specifically arranged to give you the opportunity to arrange voluntary or paid work experience, or shorter placements. Typically, graduates go on to careers in educational settings, training programmes, and charities. It's also a route into a teaching role through a Primary or Senior PGCE.

Get the support you need

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.

Whatever your career goals, our course aims to support what you want to do. Our links in the industry, along with your work placement, set you up for an exciting career in education.

Course highlights

  • You’ll be taught by experienced academics who are research leaders across areas of diversity, child development, multilingualism and education.
  • This course combines a blend of theory and practice to extend and apply your knowledge, skills and understanding of education studies
  • Full support gaining industry links with our Placement Planning Pack and the opportunity to build a digital portfolio that showcases the development of your knowledge and skills throughout the course.
  • Dedicated support throughout your studies where you’ll have a Personal Tutor and committed Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants who have studied your subject and can support you based on their own experience.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Education Studies?

You will examine both historical and contemporary approaches to education policy development in the UK and study an introduction to philosophy in relation to education. Alongside this, you will explore the psychological approaches to learning and the study of childhood (which includes the social construct of childhood and child development). You will be continually building on your learning and also studying the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 and beyond alongside comparative education, equality issues and research methods. You will also have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, gain practical experience on placement and have a choice of modules to complement your learning including disaffection and counselling in education, children's rights, education and the law, and children's literature.


  • Year 1

    • Historical, Sociological and Political Perspectives on Education (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is an overview of education policy from the beginning of universal state education until the present. The philosophical ideologies that have underpinned policy and a more detailed examination of some current education issues will be explored.

    • Approaches to Learning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is a study of a selection of learning theories and their relation to the learning of children and adults including learning styles and how this affects you as a learner. It also includes an exploration of the historical approach to the concept of childhood and how children develop physically, socially emotionally and creatively.

    • Early Childhood Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      An introduction to the history and the concept of childhood; theoretical perspectives of factors influencing development and an in-depth study of the child’s holistic development will be explored. You come to know and recognise the key stages in child development and their theorists associated with these developmental areas.

    • Key Thinkers in Philosophy of Education (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module allows you to explore the philosophical underpinnings of state education by reference to key texts and sources such as Plato, Dewey, and others. This module will help you begin to develop a critical analytical approach to education, raising questions such as: Why have compulsory education? Who is education for? Who decides the curriculum and what should its aims be? You will also develop a basic knowledge of the nature and methods of philosophical study.

  • Year 2

    • Researching Lives: Social Investigation in the Contemporary World (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The driving force behind this module is the idea that knowledge and skills of social research are today of fundamental importance in virtually all professions, but especially within the fields of education and early childhood. Therefore, the module encourages and trains you to go beyond the simply learning research skills and to engage with research critically and reflectively in your daily life.

    • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will discuss definitions of the key concepts (race, class, sex. disability) and the statistical evidence for underachievement in education. Sociological and psychological explanations that have been advanced to account for patterns of underachievement as well as central and local government policies and legislation that have sought to address inequality in educational provision and attainment will be explored.

  • Year 2 Optional Modules - choose two of the following:

    • Comparative Education (30 credits) - Optional

      This module examines education systems across a range of cultures and countries and compares them with the English system. Issues such as teacher training, gender, access to free education and the impact of globalisation will be considered. The value of comparing and classifying education systems in diverse settings will also be discussed.

    • Curriculum Studies: Primary and Secondary Education (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide a critical exploration of the National Curriculum from its inception to present day issues in the primary and secondary phases such as vocational education, pedagogy in relation to the needs of the child, assessment and quality assurance.

    • Education and the Social World: Who Educates Whom and Why? (30 credits) - Optional

      This module is aimed at those who want to engage with issues of education in a deep, serious and theoretically rich way. It challenges some of the ways education is usually approached and asks how we can change education for the better. You will be actively involved in designing and proposing changes and new models. It provides you with a range of theoretical frameworks –among them postmodern theory, theory of social reproduction and critical pedagogy – which are extremely important for better understanding and engaging with education. Uniquely, the module offers a weekly book club and a monthly film club.

    • Insight into Play (30 credits) - Optional

      The aims of this module are to engage you in an understanding of the value of play for children’s learning and well-being. It will support you to explore the role of the adult in children’s play, and enable you to take a socio-cultural approach in your understanding of play, so that you understand the importance of social and cultural factors when exploring how and why children play.

    • Professional Practice and Leadership in Educational Contexts (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to give you the ability to consider crucial aspects for those who work or undertake research in educational contexts, such as decisional processes, creating and managing work team, hierarchy, rules and procedures, leadership style, risk management, micro-management, allocation of resources. You will enabled to assess how these aspects impact on professional practices within educational organisations. You will gain a thorough understanding of educational organisations, in particular schools, and a critical understanding of the relationship between educational organisations and the families, the local and national government, the economy. The mutual influence between these social actors and educational organisation will be critically discussed.

  • Year 3

    • Dissertation Module for Education Studies (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will allow you to complete a small piece of detailed research of an existing field within early childhood, organise and manage a small scale research investigation with insight, demonstrate skillful use of research tools and responsibility, and display critical judgement in relating these to the wider educational and social context. You will present a research report following generic academic conventions, research of relevance to early childhood in an appropriate setting - it can be general research or Practitioner Research. Practitioner Research is suitable for those who are in an appropriate placement where you hold a fairly stable role within the organisation. This pathway to include both the research report and a self-reflective report.

  • Year 3 Optional Modules - choose three of the following:

    • Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (30 credits) - Optional

      This module looks at special educational needs, disability and inclusion in education and concentrates on the definitions of learning difficulty and disability and the extent to which parents, pupils and students with Special Needs and Disabilities have access to the same educational opportunities as others.

    • Children’s Literature (30 credits) - Optional

      From fairy tales and the picture book to books for older readers, this module is an analysis of some key concepts in Children’s Literature. It examines the historical framework in which literature for children emerged and includes opportunities for theoretical analysis of individual authors’ works as well as studies of different genres. In addition, the important role of literature for engaging children in the written word and their role in the early classroom experience will be explored.

    • The Social and Emotional Aspects of Teaching and Learning (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to explore the effects of social and emotional factors in influencing young people’s learning. The key underlying theoretical approaches are examined as are the effects of individual differences in emotional resilience as well as an evaluation of the strategies that are put in place to support young people.

    • Being Young: Issues and Perspectives in Youth Studies (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to give you a strong grounding in the field of Youth Studies such as the academic study of the social, political and cultural aspects and contexts of youth in the West and around the globe. Given recent world events, Youth Studies has become even more important as a field of research and study, considered by governments to have a direct impact on youth well-being and policy-making. Today’s graduates of Education Studies must have a solid understanding of the complex and shifting notions and practices of ‘youth’ in the West and the wider world. The module offers a range of innovative assessment methods including analysis of films and music.

    • The Child in Context: The Influence of Socio-Cultural Factors on Development (30 credits) - Optional

      The module uses Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems model as a vehicle through which to explore a range of issues from a local, social, cultural and global perspective. These will include a number of the following: socio-cultural constructions of parenting and childhood; the ways in which geography, community and neighbourhoods influence developmental outcomes; cultural variances in family types and child rearing practices and the impact of these on children’s outcomes; an exploration of the issues surrounding day-care and the effect of day-care practices on the child; cultural influences on play, migration; and childhood, theories of moral development. The module takes an international focus on the wide ranging factors influencing childhood health and well-being looking at child development research beyond the home and family.

    • Children’s Rights and Self Determination: Theory into Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      This module is a study of the concept of children’s rights in law and policy and how these apply in a variety of settings. Legal and policy documents such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Children Act, aimed at promoting children’s rights are debated. Philosophical issues around ‘rights talk’; ‘can children have rights’ are discussed in the context of young citizens, best interest, paramountcy and childhood as social construct.

    • Creativity and the Arts in Education (30 credits) - Optional

      Through this module, you will engage with the value of creativity and the arts in the learning and well-being of children and adults. You will explore how creative and artistic skills develop and what can be done to promote the development and use of these skills among all individuals. You will consider the role of creativity and the arts in various educational philosophies and approaches, as well as critically examine the place of creativity and the arts in current mainstream education in the UK.

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning from 2022
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Education Studies support your career?

Education Studies can lead to careers in educational administration, management and research, within a wide range of educational settings, as well as training organisations, caring organisations, charities, parents' advisory groups or learning support organisations. Combined with a National Curriculum subject, is a route to towards PGCE (primary) or a PGCE (secondary).

Usual career routes for our graduates are within policy, leadership and management roles in education, or as teaching assistants in local schools, teachers, learning support officers and a wide range of special needs roles.

  • Kerri Furlow

    Education Studies BA graduate

    We have lots of discussions and debates, and as a result, you learn a great deal from others, and get to know everyone. I enjoyed working with the tutors. They are unique in their expertise and all passionate about what they teach.

    I would highly recommend this course because it is so varied and interesting. For example, you will learn a great deal about the various factors which can impact on a child's social, emotional and cognitive development. You will also learn a great deal about the way in which children develop and learn and explore education policy and the inequalities within Education.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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