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Education Studies BA (Hons) Modules

First year

In your first year of Education Studies you will undertake four core modules and one core placement module running over the full year.

  • Developing Professional Agency - The module consists of a placement/work based learning opportunity.  Although there is no formal delivery of theoretical content, this module is used as a vehicle for students to get an insight into the professional responsibilities and working conditions of individuals working in an educational setting. Successful completion of the module requires experience of partnership working with education professionals.  
  • Perspectives on Education: Socio/Psych/Phil - In the first section of the module students will consider the role, purpose and function of schooling in contemporary society through a number of sociological perspectives of Education, such as functionalism, marxism and symbolic interactionsism. Students will also examine the outcomes of the education system and develop an understanding of why some groups are more educationally successful than others. In section two the focus is primarily through the examination of a range of key psychological theories of learning and cognitive development. Students will also examine how these theories have impacted on educational practice. In the third section of the module students will explore aspects of Philosophy of Education. They will be introduced to key philosophers and key schools of thoughts from the Ancient Greek philosophers to today. Students will develop a knowledge map of thinking about Education helping them to understand the wider context of and the reasoning behind current educational decisions.
  • Historical and Contemporary Issues in Education - this module will provide an understanding of how the UK came to its current state of educational provision. It outlines society’s journey towards a more equal and inclusive education system, including the key struggles involving class, gender, minorities, and other sections of society. It will also cover some of the key thinkers in the history of education, and key issues in contemporary education.
  • Childhood, Social Justice and Education - This module is an introduction to some of the important contemporary debates in Childhood Studies and society. The module will explore and evaluate the construction of childhood, the inequalities which surround childhood, and what it means to be a child in the UK in the 21st century. 
  • Thinking and Learning in HE - The module Thinking and Learning in Higher Education has been designed to support first year students in their transition to university. It will focus on key areas for academic success, namely looking at academic identity, discourse and conventions. The module also focuses on relevant psychological theories that can support students in understanding themselves and becoming self-regulated. Some examples of the concepts/theories discussed are: deep and surface approaches to learning, mindset theory, socio-cognitive theory, and self-regulation.  


  • Evidence based teaching and learning - The UK Government encourages schools and teachers to develop ‘evidence-based’ approaches to teaching and learning and is committing large amount of public funds to enhancing this knowledge base in coming years. This module familiarises students with educational research as a vital but contested field, considering its role in educational practice and engaging in discussions about the challenges of conducting ‘useful’ research. The module enables you to discuss and analyse the production and use of evidence to make decisions in a range of educational contexts. Not only will this help you to make sense of educational practice innovation and policy, but it will also help you to develop your own evaluation and research. This is important in the context of your own study for three reasons: first, because each of your other modules will rely upon and use an evidence base; second, because you will be working towards a dissertation in your third year; and third, because in life beyond the University you will have to make sense of data for decision-making. As a result, the content, structure and assessment for this module have been designed to help you to establish a good personal and academic ground on which to build your development.

Second year

Core modules:

  • Contexts for Inclusion - Inclusive education is concerned with providing appropriate responses to the broad spectrum of learning needs in formal and non-formal educational settings. Rather than being a marginal theme on how some learners can be integrated into mainstream education, inclusive education is an approach that looks into how to transform education systems in order to respond to the diversity of learners.
  • Researching Education - this is an important module on the programme. It has been carefully designed to build upon work on EDUC1115 (Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning) and to introduce you to the various approaches and methods that can be used to carry out research into the lives of both those giving and receiving education. You will be introduced to the process of conducting educational research in its entirety: the initial stages of thinking about research questions; designing a project; choosing particular methodologies and methods; and finally analysing your data. They will be encouraged to view this through a political and philosophical lens, as well as an educational perspective, and to consider the ethics of research. Our aim is to prepare you for the level 6 dissertation module

Plus, select one or two modules from:

  • Philosophy of Education - critically examines the contributions of key philosophers to our understanding of education, ranging from classical thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle to contemporary ones including Paulo Freire and Richard Rorty
  • Global Comparative Education - encourages students to look beyond UK borders by examining education systems around the world, utilising comparative frameworks and considering global conceptualisations of education
  • Computer Programming as a Tool for Learning - allows you to gain practical experience in key programming environments and languages that are widely used in UK primary schools, such as MIT’s ‘Scratch’. Practical work is situated through coverage of key theory, research and professional literature on the application and value of children’s computer programming. 
  • Music in the Life of the Primary School - offers students basic, core practical skills in primary music education, supported by engagement with key contemporary debates regarding UK policy, practice, theory and research into children’s musical development
  • Perspectives on Diversity: Rhetoric or reality - This module seeks to create the environment for developing critical consciousness within students. Through highlighting the historical and contextual nature of oppression the module will avoid the danger of reifying systems of oppression as motionless or treating individuals as one dimensional and static. The module will illustrate both tenacious and variable systems of oppression are, and how dynamic and creative practitioners must be to rise to challenges they pose.   
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Childhood, Youth and Education
  • How People Learn - this module is about ‘learning’, how we view the essential nature and meaning of the term, and what social and psychological processes shape learning and development. The module will offer an integrated journey, which considers how the cognitive, social and emotional realms of individual development are all closely inter-linked and mutually dependent. It will also build on a theoretical foundation through a discussion about how these processes are seen within the educational environment, thus giving the journey a pragmatic as well as conceptual character.
  • Preparing for Professional Practice - Preparing for Professional Practice aims tosupport students intending on going into both teaching and non-teaching-based careers. It will equip students to make informed, critical and confident assessments of the opportunities, debates and challenges that are presented by the graduate landscape. In module, students will consider what it means to develop one’s ‘employability’, identifying personal strengths, areas for personal and professional development, and opportunities by which this development might be achieved.
  • Forest School and Outdoor learning - The popularity of Forest school education and its relationship with outdoor learning in the UK is growing.  The Forest school concept is based on the idea that an individual’s contact with nature and regular interaction with the natural world is extremely important from a very early age. This module provides a practical insight into Forest School, where students will gain an understanding of its benefits for children’s wellbeing, environmental understanding and their overall holistic development, particularly in relation to their social and emotional competences.
  • The ‘Priorities’ and Politics of Education - This module will consider the key educational policy changes since the latter part of the 20th century and focuses upon the way these have influenced the education sector.  Students will study the ways in which governmental ideology has shaped education policy and how such policy has produced and normalised certain practices. The module will look in particular at issues in relation to neoliberalism and its effects on social justice, accountability, organisation, privatisation of education and the importance of listening to pupils, parents and others involved in education.


  • Applied Performance

Third year

Core module:

  • Dissertation with fieldwork
  • Dissertation – library based

You can choose two modules from:

  • Special Educational Needs in Primary and Secondary Schools - explores how primary and secondary schools support children who have special educational needs (SEN)
  • Education and Equality: Class, Race and Ethnicity - This is a yearlong module designed to introduce you to some of the debates underpinning social justice and the British education system.  The aims of the module include introduction to key debates and critical engagement with ideas and issues.
  • Gender and Education – this module examines the education system and its relationship to the wider society as well as social change with respect to gender relations. You’ll be encouraged to explore the literature and the themes in relationship to your own and others’ experiences and to your own practice. The module is facilitated through interactive workshops.
  • Adult Learners and Life-long Learning - explores the relationship between contexts, theories and methods of adult education as a lifelong activity. Focusing on real-life educational sectors, such as prison, community and museum education, the module seeks to promote theoretical and practical criticality, while highlighting alternative educational settings beyond primary and secondary schools
  • Radical Educations - This module affords students the opportunity to consider possibilities for radically different educational structures and meanings. It will make use of much of the work covered in the previous two years to develop critical perspectives on education and to explore alternative conceptualisations. Students will be encouraged to think critically and creatively and will have the chance to produce and defend their own educational innovations.
  • Arts and Education - This module will equip students with an understanding of arts education policy, pedagogy, curriculum design, and assessment in a time of educational, economic, technological and social change. We will explore the place of the arts in the evolving English education system and in the early years, informal, and community settings. We will consider the various motivations for the inclusion of arts in education and key contemporary debates regarding intercultural and multicultural arts education, the nature of ‘creativity’, STEM vs STEAM and the creative industries, the influence of technology, and access and equality of opportunity. We will also investigate life-long engagement with the arts via public spaces including museums, libraries, galleries and performance venues. 
  • Reflection on Practice: Teaching and Learning - This module requires you to source and undertake a placement within a chosen learning environment, immersing yourself in the everyday life of that environment, to gain a more holistic understanding of teaching and learning, while also developing your experiential awareness. Your placement will provide you with the opportunity to reflect on practice, which will allow you to not only deepen and consolidate your existing knowledge and understanding of education, but also to explore new branches of theory, practice, policy and pedagogy to explain, support and/or challenge your observations and experiences. The core aim for this module is to promote conceptual reasoning and evaluation through critical reflection on practice.  Through observing and working with professionals and learners, you will be encouraged to adopt the approach of a reflective practitioner, to develop your knowledge and understanding for education, while exploring critical incidents as well as the everyday routines of your chosen learning environment.
  • Education and Wellbeing - This module is about ‘wellbeing’, how we view the essential nature and meaning of the term and what social, political and psychological processes shape wellbeing from the perspective of educational theory, policy and practice. The module will offer an integrated journey, which considers how the social, cognitive and emotional understandings of ‘wellbeing’ are all closely inter-linked and mutually dependent, the aim being to provide you with a thorough and holistic understanding of wellbeing as both a social and personal construct.