BA English in Education

UCAS code Typical offer Length
X302 BBB (See full entry requirements) 3 years full-time
Apply now

Received an offer?

Log in to You@York to track your application

Explore Education through literature

Focus on employability

This programme uses literature and language as a means to explore education.

It will introduce you to a wide range of theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines applied to the study of language and literature in education.

Course overview


English in Education is interested in how education is represented in novels, plays, poem, short stories, autobiographical writing and other creative media. What is its purpose? How do different texts tackle similar educational experiences? How can fictional depictions of education shape social awareness, policy and practice? It also engages with the reality of English language and literature in policy and practice historically, from the Victorian Standards for literacy to the use of txt speak in homework.

English in Education offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of and skills in reading, critiquing and producing texts which portray education within and beyond the classroom. It enables students to engage confidently with literature in English from any genre, era or country.

English in Education also asks students to explore current debates about and cutting-edge pedagogies for teaching English language and literature in classrooms, theatres, clinics and prisons.

Why study Education at York?

Reasons to study Education at York:

  • Top ten in the 2016 Guardian and Complete University guides for Education
  • Top ten in the REF2014 for proportion of 4* world-leading research activity for Education
  • Flexible courses with wide range of optional modules
  • A pioneering employability programme
  • A strong learning community with excellent student representation
  • A dynamic, student-led Education Society
  • A high staff:student ratio
  • An international department with a range of perspectives, experiences and opportunities

During your time at York you can expect to:

  • Study the many aspects of English in Education as an area of enquiry
  • Identify the developments in English in Education that have shaped the current scene, and make links between the past, present and future
  • See English in Education in the wider context of social and creative endeavour
  • Understand the relationships between fictional representatives of education and its reality
  • Explore cutting-edge ways of teaching and learning English and the rationale behind them
  • Consider the relationship between language, literature and education
  • Find support for you to build a personal employability portfolio that broadens your expertise and makes you attractive to employers

At York you will also have the opportunity to spend a term studying abroad, undertake a placement study and conduct your own report on an education service or volunteer with York Students in Schools to gain invaluable classroom experience.

Course content

What you'll study

The degree programme falls into three stages designed to offer supported progression in both knowledge and skills. 

Stage one


In your first year you will gain a unifying perspective on Educational Studies as a field of academic inquiry.  You will also undertake a dedicated year-long module introducing you to language and literature in education.

Core English in Education modules and units

Introduction to Language and Literature in Education

  • Creativity and education
  • Focus on literature
  • Focus on literary criticism
  • Language development
  • English: past and future

Introduction to Disciplines of Education

  • Philosophical perspectives
  • Psychological perspectives
  • Political and economic influences
  • Historical development
  • Social theory

Introduction to Contexts of Education

  • Thinking about the context and meaning of education
  • Organisation of schools
  • Alternative forms of education
  • Education and schooling in other countries
  • Informal contexts of education

Introduction to Skills for Studying English in Education

  • Research literacy 1
  • Research literacy 2
  • Skills for studying English in education (core for BAEE)
  • Communicating and presenting educational ideas


Stages two and three

In the later part of the course, we offer both core and optional modules. You will personalise your study by choosing modules that particularly interest you. You will also complete a dissertation in your third year, focusing on one topic of your choice and with individual support from a specialist tutor.

Your final degree result will be based on your study in this part of the course.

Below are lists of the core and optional modules available in years two and three.

Stage two

Core English in Education modules and units

  • Education policy and society: past and present
  • Education research methods

Two option modules from the following

  • Teaching, learning and using language in educational contexts
  • Teaching and learning literature
  • Children and literature

Stage three

Core English in Education modules and units

  • Empirical dissertation project and support workshops
  • Synoptic

One option module from the following (List A)

  • Models of writing
  • Drama in education
  • Language and psychology
  • Transcultural communication

One option module from the following

  • Perspectives on literacy
  • Landmarks in British poetry
  • Disorders of language and cognition

One further module from List A above or one option module from the following

  • Education and development
  • Education and social change
  • Science, education and society
  • Philosophy, education and childhood
  • Supporting pupils' psychological development in schools
  • Psychology of social pedagogy
  • Placement module
  • Independent module of work

The University reserves the right to withdraw or to make alterations to courses and facilities if necessary. The information above does not form part of any contract.‌

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.


How you'll be assessed

Assessment can be in a variety of forms depending on the module including:

  • Open examinations
  • Presentations
  • Reviews
  • Posters
  • Policy briefs
  • Essays

The Department and the University Library run courses on how to write academic essays to help students who may not already be familiar with how to reference or layout an essay.

Feedback is given on all assessed work with comments on what the student has done well and how they might improve their performance. Any students who have further questions about their feedback are welcome to speak to the module tutor who marked their work, as well as their pastoral supervisor.

Other learning opportunities during your degree

York Students in Schools

York Students in Schools is a well-established volunteering programme that allows any student to volunteer in local schools, tutoring or mentoring pupils. This is valuable experience if you are thinking of taking a PGCE after studying at York, or if you would like to see what it is like in a real classroom before deciding what career to pursue after studying Education. You can also listen to three students from our Department talk about their experiences volunteering in schools.

Employability and enrichment programme

During the summer term of your first year you will have the opportunity to spend five weeks working on an educational project in the community. This will give you a chance to put what you have learnt so far into practice. Previous projects have included working on a children's guidebook for a local museum and working with a local charity to create learning resources for young refugees.

Placement study

You can choose to undertake a placement study in the autumn term of your second or third year. This is an opportunity for you to conduct an investigation on an education service operating in the York area, such as the youth and community education service, the provision of education in prisons or museums, or special schools. You will be required to write an academic report on your findings following the placement.

Studying abroad

If you are interested in spending some time overseas during your degree at York, we have particularly strong links with university education departments in Switzerland, Germany and Norway. In addition you can choose to study in Australia, Asia, or the United States. The typical time spent studying abroad is one term.


How you'll be taught

‌Our tutors use a variety of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group activities
  • Tutorials
  • Guided reading
  • Online Virtual Learning Environment

Emphasis will be very much on interaction: you will be encouraged to think for yourself, to engage in academic debate and to develop and present your arguments with confidence and skill.

Our students are happy with the teaching and academic support we offer: the 2011 National Student Survey placed us in the top 10 in the country.

How you will learn

Our modules comprise a combination of weekly lectures and seminars. Each week, one of our expert tutors will advise you on how to prepare – perhaps by reading carefully selected material, exploring key issues through your own independent study and using new technologies to watch relevant media. In the lectures and seminars, you will debate and discuss the issues with fellow students and your tutor.

To help you progress and to support you with your own study you will be able to:

  • Access the department Virtual Learning Environment which is an online area where students can access all of the course material at any time.
  • Visit the library
  • Visit a lecturer during their office hours, where lecturers welcome students to come and speak to them about the material and ask questions.
  • Contact your Departmental supervisor, who is there to advise you on academic and pastoral issues at University during the entirety of your study.


Careers and employability

The degree programme is designed to appeal to students who wish to prepare for a variety of career options. Those options could include entry to an early years, primary or secondary teaching training course. Alternatively, it could include the graduate schemes of international companies, Teach First or Schools Direct, educational research, adult education, journalism, the Civil Service, publishing, education consultancy, archival work, and many others. Recent graduates have gone on to Masters or Doctoral study in diverse areas including Education, English Literature and International Relations. The Department works closely with the University Careers Service.

For further information about where our graduates go after finishing their degrees here see the Career Service’s detailed breakdown of the destinations of Education graduates from York.

Employability and enrichment programme

Our Volunteering and enrichment programme is a dynamic community-based learning experience that is designed to allow students to put into practice the knowledge that they have developed through their academic studies. Our students are community partners for a five week period in the Summer term of their first year and undertake work on a range of educational projects. Previously, students have worked on a museum guidebook which involved developing activities for children based around exhibits in the Yorkshire museum. Another project involved the creation of learning resources for young refugees in collaboration with Refugee Action York.

Personal development and employability

The Department runs a number of initiatives designed to develop your academic, personal and employability skills. Important areas such as communication, analysis of data and ideas, computer literacy, networking, time management and project management are focused on through academic modules, careers workshops, employability fairs and a unique volunteering and enrichment programme. The Department is commited to supporting graduate employability. Activities are organised to introduce our students to a range of skills, experiences and career pathways. The Department arranges for guest speakers from educational consultancies, businesses, charities, local government and schools, this providing students with numerous opportunities to seek advice, make contacts and gain inspiration. Student complete a Personal Employability Plan as they progress through the degree to record the employability skills they gain and which is then used to help guide them when making career choices.Volunteering and Enrichment programme

The University of York has a small but vibrant campus with a wide range of activities to do for leisure and to improve your CV. As a student at the university you could get involved with any of the following:

  • Work towards The York Award, which acknowledges candidates who have added to their employability through extra-curricular activities.
  • Get involved in the incredible array of student societies at York; from our award-winning student media to Fusion, an annual music, dance and fashion show which raises thousands of pounds for local charities.
  • Compete on a friendly, college or university level in one of the university sports clubs. Each year York and Lancaster take turns to host Roses, Europe’s largest inter-university sports competition.


How to apply

We welcome applications from school leavers and mature students. We are looking for people who demonstrate a commitment to and a fascination with the study of education in its many forms.

We prefer applicants to have A level English. There is no other specific A-level requirement but we do expect applicants to be familiar with key, current debates in education and to be able to reflect on and engage critically with these. We accept General Studies.

If you intend to continue to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course after your study here, you should be aware that GCSE or equivalent passes in Mathematics and English Language and, for primary PGCE, a science, are required for all entrants to the teaching profession.

All applications must be made through the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) using the UCAS code which can be found at the top of the page. Intending applicants should also consult the University's prospectus.

Your application form and personal statement should convince us that you have a commitment to the study of Education, the intellectual ability to study at university successfully and the organisational skills required to structure your time at university well. We are also looking for a willingness to engage creatively with tutors and fellow students in the debate about this diverse subject. Candidates who are made an offer are invited to attend a group visit. Some candidates with non-standard backgrounds may be invited to attend an interview.

Typical offers

If you are a sixth-former applying for a single subject degree programme (Educational Studies or English in Education), we normally expect you to have grades BBB or better at A level.

We warmly welcome applications from students taking BTEC, GNVQ or Access courses. Mature entry applicants are considered on merit, although recent experience of study will be an advantage.

International students

The Department of Education at York has a lot to offer for international students, including the opportunity to study at a world-class university for a degree that does not require any specific pre-entry subject knowledge.

Alongside a wide choice of course modules, there are many good opportunities for you to develop your English language skills to a high level in a supportive environment. The University of York also has a strong network of support for international students.

You may also consider staying on after gaining your BA degree to do postgraduate research for a higher degree in an area of education.

If you are uncertain about whether you would be considered for selection then do get in touch – our contact details for undergraduate applications are:

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323451          Email:

Entry requirements

A levels


International Baccalaureate

An overall combined grade of 31 or above.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • Scottish Highers (without AH) - AABBB
  • Advanced Highers + Highers - BB + BBBBB

Irish Leaving Certificate



BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM.

European Baccalaureate

An overall average of 75% or higher.

Other qualifications

  • Cambridge Pre-U: M2 M2, M2
  • Access to HE: Obtain Access to HE Diploma  with 30 credits achieved from units awarded Merit

Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions

English Language Requirements


  • IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all units
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 61 overall with 51 in all parts
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):grade C
  • GCSE/O level English Language (as a first language): grade C


Further information on English language requirements can be found at

Any questions?

Please contact the Undergraduate Programme Administrator if you have any questions:


More about York