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BA (Hons) Education

Your education starts here

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

BBB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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Education affects us all, but few people ever question the systems and structures which seem so familiar. Why do we have it? Why is it so expensive? Why is it organised in certain ways? Ultimately, who does the education system serve?

To answer these questions, you'll delve into a wide range of disciplines and fields, including psychology, sociology, social policy, politics, literature and history. You'll study how people learn; how education interacts with wider society; how politics affects what we learn and how we learn it. You'll explore how education is organised in different countries; and how modern education has been shaped by its historical roots.

Alongside rigorous academic study, you'll gain valuable skills and experience with a range of opportunities for placements and volunteering. Your studies will inform and guide you, giving you practice applying educational theory to real-world situations.

This course will not qualify you as a teacher. However, it is good preparation for a range of postgraduate initial teacher training courses, which many of our students go on to complete.

Watch video on YouTube
Helaina, a student from the US, talks about her experiences at York.

Work placements

Our pioneering programme gives you work experience in a variety of educational settings

Coming here has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Joshua, BA Education.

Read more on Joshua's blog.

Course content

This course will cover the concepts, theories and debates which underpin Education as a field of study. In your first year you'll study four core modules which introduce important background knowledge and key academic techniques.

In later years you'll study more optional modules, allowing you to focus on subjects which interest you. Education is closely linked with many other fields so you can cover a huge array of topics which could include:

  • The portrayal of schooling in books written for children
  • The educational needs of disabled pupils
  • The psychological processes involved in learning
  • The teaching methods used in primary schools
  • Whether bullying can be prevented
  • How social class is related to educational opportunities
  • The rise of mass education in the 19th century

A key focus of your final year will be your Dissertation. You'll identify an aspect of education to investigate in detail. You'll design and carry out a research project, writing up your findings in a 9,000-word extended essay.

Study abroad

There are a number of Study Abroad options at York. Here are some of the many opportunities you'll find:

Year 1

In Year 1 you'll study four core modules which introduce key concepts, theories and skills. You'll learn how to approach education from an academic perspective, and consider how your personal experiences inform your views.

In the Summer Term you'll spend five weeks working with community partners on a range of educational projects. Recent projects include developing an educational guidebook for Yorkshire Museum and creating learning resources for young refugees alongside Refugee Action York.

Core modules

Introduction to Disciplines in Education will acquaint you with various approaches to investigating the meaning and purpose of education. You'll consider philosophical, sociological, psychological, historical, political, and economic perspectives, each of which offers unique insights into the concept of education. (30 credits)

Introduction to Skills for Studying Education will help you to develop your skills for learning, reading and research. You'll gain specific academic skills of research and analysis of issues and ideas. You'll also develop more general transferable skills including communication, IT literacy and teamwork. (30 credits)

Introduction to Contexts of Education will challenge your prior assumptions about the meaning of education and what it means to be 'educated'. You'll contrast your own experiences with different national and cultural contexts, and consider alternatives to conventional schooling. (30 credits)

Introduction to Key Concepts of Education will equip you with theoretical tools with which to unpack five major areas of study: curriculum, inequality, inclusion, teaching and learning. You'll investigate contemporary issues, recent research and ethical debates which relate to the study and practice of education. (30 credits)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In Year 2 you'll study three core modules, developing your skills of research and critical analysis, as well as your understanding of the history and psychology of education. You'll also choose one optional module.

Core modules

Education, Policy & Society: Past & Present covers the development of formal education, from its historical roots to policy issues in contemporary society. You'll develop your understanding of theoretical perspectives, gaining skills of social scientific critical thinking and critical analysis. (30 credits)

Educational Research Methods introduces techniques for social science research in preparation for your Empirical Dissertation in your final year. You'll enhance your understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods, which will allow you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of educational research. (30 credits)

The Psychology of Teaching & Pastoral Care in Schools introduces key psychological concepts, perspectives and practices relating to two major complementary aspects of educational practice in schools: teaching and pastoral care. You'll look at concrete issues involved in effective teaching and pastoral care and explore how psychological concepts can be used as a basis for interventions.

Optional modules

Choose one of the following optional modules:

Teaching, Learning & Using Language in Educational Contexts focuses on the practicalities of language learning and teaching. You'll explore principles of language teaching, as well as the nature of talk and the role it plays in educational settings. (30 credits)

Teaching & Learning Literature explores ways in which formal academic approaches can be reconciled with more organic, personal responses to literature. You'll study poetry, prose and drama and consider the factors which may affect the way texts are written, read and understood. (30 credits)

Children & Literature casts a critical eye over children's literature. You'll study some of the major works of fiction for young people, including those which deal with issues such as violence, death, bullying, racism, family and school life. (30 credits)

Creative Writing for Children explores writing for children from literary, pedagogical and sociocultural perspectives. You'll develop your own creative writing for children, as well as working with children to improve their writing skills.

Educational Theory & Practice examines the link between research and practice in a range of educational contexts, including schools, tertiary education settings, museums and theatres. You'll learn to interpret and apply research and theory.

Year 3

The main focus of your final year will be your Dissertation - an extended essay based on your own research. You'll also take one core module which highlights some of our latest research, and choose three optional modules from a wide range of topics. Alternative options give you chance to follow your own interests on a placement study or an independent investigation into an educational topic of your choice.


Your Dissertation is a chance for you to engage with a specific topic in detail. You'll use the research skills you've developed to identify a research question and design and carry out an empirical study. You'll analyse your data and write up your findings in a 9,000-word extended essay, to explain and contextualise your work. You'll have frequent meetings with a dissertation supervisor, who'll have expertise in your area of research. You'll also benefit from a series of workshops and other activities designed to support and enhance your research skills. (40 credits)

Core module

New Directions in Educational Research develops your skills of chairing and presentation in a series of mini academic conferences. Each week a member of staff will deliver a research paper on a recent or ongoing project, followed by a Q&A chaired by a small group of students. (20 credits)

Optional modules

Choose three of the following modules:

Alternative options

Individual study module

If you want to study a relevant academic topic which isn't covered by our teaching you can propose an individual study module. If accepted, you'll pursue independent academic enquiry leading to a 5,000-word essay. (20 credits)

Placement study

The Placement Study is an opportunity to spend time investigating issues involved in the delivery of an educational service. If your proposed placement is accepted you'll spend around twelve days over six weeks pursuing research in the field, culminating in a 5,000-word report. Normally placements are based in York, but you may apply to go elsewhere in the UK or abroad. You'll be expected to meet any additional costs arising from your placement, although it may be possible to link some placements with sponsorship or exchange opportunities. (20 credits)

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Draw upon and apply a broad, critical understanding of educational theory and research to policy discussions and debates at local, national and international levels. 
  • Inform educational decision-making by identifying information and statistical data sources, evaluating such data in terms of its reliability, validity and appropriateness and presenting the information and data in accessible formats. 
  • Support and/or challenge educational practice and policy by making recommendations based on the effective analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Develop well-structured, evidenced argument and present such argument in written, oral and digital formats to support educational initiatives and projects.
  • Contribute effectively to team projects and interdisciplinary groups by communicating confidently, professionally and persuasively with others. 
  • Design and carry out a small-scale research project on a specific issue within the field of education. 
  • Manage specific educational projects by defining the project focus, producing project plans, carrying out project tasks and evaluating project results.
We look at who should be educated, what they should be educated about, the history and philosophy of education and much more. It will challenge everything you think you know about the modern day classroom.
Rachel, 2nd Year student.

Read more on Rachel's blog.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

Additional costs

You will need to cover the cost of travel to placements. This will vary depending on the location of your placement; the majority are in York.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We use a variety of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group activities
  • Tutorials
  • Guided reading
  • Online learning

Weekly lectures and seminars are a chance for you to debate and discuss topics with fellow students and your tutors. You will be encouraged to think for yourself, to engage in academic debate and to develop and present your arguments with confidence and skill.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars228 hours216 hours96 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Education on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Derwent College, with additional contact hours elsewhere on Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a number of different ways, depending on the modules you choose. Forms of assessment include:

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

You'll receive written feedback on all assessed work, helping you to understand your strengths and identify areas for improvement. You can also discuss your work with your tutors and your personal supervisor to help guide your development.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams17%23%17%
Practical exams6%8%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

Alongside developing academic skills you'll have many opportunities to enhance your employability. You can gain classroom experience on our well-established York Students in Schools programme, while placements taken as part of your course are an opportunity to explore alternative careers in education and make connections with local employers.

The vast majority of our students have been involved in a range of volunteering projects, placements and relevant work experience by the time they graduate, with proven skills which are attractive to employers.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in a huge range of industries related to education, including teaching, publishing, museums and libraries, the not-for-profit sector and the civil service

A significant proportion go on to teacher training at prestigious institutions at primary and secondary levels. A number take alternative routes into education, for example Teach First.

Transferable skills

  • Communication
  • Analysis of data and ideas
  • Computer literacy
  • Networking
  • Time management
  • Project management

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels


GCSEs We don't require any specific GCSEs for entry to this course. However, if you wish to train as a teacher you should be aware that GCSE or equivalent passes in Mathematics and English Language and, for primary teaching, a science, are required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC Extended National Diploma: DDM
Cambridge Pre-U M2, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 31
International Baccalaureate 75%
Irish leaving Certificate H3,H3,H3,H3,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Highers: AABBB
Highers + Advanced Highers: BBBBB + BB
Other qualifications

Entry requirements from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • Pearson: 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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.

Next steps

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