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BA (Hons) English in Education

Explore the complex relationships between language, education and literature

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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This course explores education, specifically in relation to language and literature.

You will learn about key educational issues, including how and why English is taught. You'll explore current debates about and cutting-edge methods for teaching English language and literature in classrooms, theatres, clinics and prisons.

You'll also study representations of education in literature and analyse their impact on perceptions of education. You'll consider how fictional depictions of education can shape social awareness, policy and practice.

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
Adrian talks about his experiences studying English in Education.

Work placements

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

A world top 100 department

We're ranked among the world's top 100 Education departments (THE World University Rankings, 2018)

Course content

In your first year you'll study four core modules which introduce some of the main theories and concepts which underpin the study of education. You'll learn key skills for analysing language, and explore English literature from both academic and creative perspectives.

In later years you'll have a choice of optional modules, which allow you to tailor your course to your personal interests. You could choose to focus on theories of language and learning, examine educational policy, study children's literature or develop your creative writing.

A key focus of your final year will be your Dissertation. You'll identify an aspect of English and 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 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. You'll also undertake a dedicated year-long module introducing you to language and literature in education.

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 Language & Literature in Education extends your exploration of creativity, language and learning. You'll study representations of education and young people in literature and other art forms, philosophies and pedagogies of language and literature, and develop your creative skills.

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.

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.

Skills for Studying English in Education include skills for learning about education, skills for reading and undertaking educational research, and transferable skills. You'll improve your analytical skills, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, presentation, ICT, research literacy, data analysis, and data presentation.

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 two core modules, developing your skills of research and critical analysis, as well as your understanding of the history of education. You'll also choose two optional modules focusing on language and literature.

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)

Optional modules

Choose two of the following 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.

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

You'll choose three of the following modules. Please note that some combinations of modules are not permitted. For more information please contact our admissions tutor.

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.

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 (though 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.

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:

  • Confidently analyse and critique literary and creative texts in English, using a broad knowledge of texts, concepts, theories and literary criticism. 
  • Articulate critical insights into the acquisition and use of standard English, world and dialect Englishes by a range of speakers, within and beyond educational settings. 
  • Identify and respond to key issues in educational practice by constructing and communicating well­ evidenced, researched arguments. 
  • Create and evaluate the usefulness of texts and resources for teaching and learning English language and literature in diverse settings and for diverse learners. 
  • Communicate and present information effectively on matters relating to education, English language and/or literature, orally and in a range of written and digital formats, to an international English­ speaking audience. 
  • Plan, lead and contribute to specific education, English language and/or literature projects in a range of settings. 
  • Plan, organise and undertake research on educational, literary and linguistic topics by defining research questions, utilising a range of appropriate methodologies, collecting and analysing data, drawing conclusions and reporting results in a professional manner.
Lectures were a new experience. They were an opportunity to share thoughts with lecturers and work with my classmates in groups, as well as a chance to learn.
Adrian, BA English in Education

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 and Alcuin 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.

My supervisor has been great in dealing with any questions I've had regarding the course or my future plans. I've found her easy to talk to, extremely well organised and efficient in everything she does.
Lucy, BA English in Education

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

BBB. We prefer applicants to have A level English.

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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