Education Studies

BA (Hons)

UCAS code: X301

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 8 years

Location: Harcourt Hill

Department(s): School of Education, Humanities and Languages

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How do we learn? What place do power and privilege play in education? Examine questions like this as you explore the world of education from conception to our early 20s as you prepare for a career supporting learning inside or outside of the classroom. 

Study our Education Studies BA and you'll develop strong critical and analytical skills in core aspects like psychology, sociology, history and the philosophy of education. From Wittgenstein to forest schools, diversity and inclusion to themes of social justice, you’ll study the topic of education and its impact on human development and society from the medieval age to the present day and beyond.

You’ll develop career-enhancing skills with annual placements that fit your career goals and discover new ideas on optional field trips to, for example, Sweden. There is also an optional year at a partner university in the USA or Europe. 

Plus, if you discover a passion for supporting children with additional needs, you can switch to the special educational needs, disability and inclusion (SENDI) pathway at the end of your first year.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Inclusivity focus

    One strength of the course is the study of inclusivity in its broadest sense from SEN to cultural diversity, gender, refugees and beyond.

  • Outdoor learning

    Develop a sought-after outdoor learning specialism through optional modules every year of the course.

  • European field trips

    The department’s strong links to Sweden give you a yearly opportunity to explore different educational approaches on self-funded field trips.

  • Annual work placements

    Build connections and explore alternative education settings, such as museums, galleries, forest schools and adult facilities.

  • Conferences

    We’ll challenge you to publish your work and take part in conferences to build confidence and share your ideas.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Oxford Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

Course details

Course structure

In year 1, you’ll look at human development from birth and explore education from the Middle Ages to today. Nurturing and inclusivity are also key themes. Optional topics include play, outdoor learning, and teaching practices that promote STEAM and technology.

Year 2 focuses on contemporary issues and the psychology of education. You can complement this by exploring creative and therapeutic approaches like play or dance therapy or specialising further in outdoor learning. 

Next, you can choose a year abroad at a partner university or continue to the final year.

In your final year, you’ll focus on your own interests in your dissertation and study key ideas in education. You can continue to build on previous specialisms or focus on social issues or ideas in international education.

Each year offers work placements with educators and allied professionals outside mainstream classrooms plus an annual field trip. You’ll also develop advanced academic research and writing skills as you prepare for your dissertation.

Student sat down at a table using a laptop

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn via a wide variety of teaching and learning approaches, including:

  • traditional lectures
  • seminars
  • enquiry-led learning
  • collaborative learning
  • online activities.
  • International year abroad

Interdisciplinary collaboration is a feature of research activity in the School of Education, Humanities and Languages. Many themes of this course are designed around pressing contemporary issues across subjects.


Assessment is 100% coursework.

Coursework may be in the form of:

  • a written essay (up to 3000 words)
  • group presentations
  • an observational study
  • a case study of a cultural artefact
  • creation of a learning object (online teaching resource)
  • critical/ thematic reviews of literature
  • development of a portfolio of work
  • participation in online activities, eg contributions to forum discussions
  • independent study
  • a dissertation.

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • History of Education

    You'll learn about important things in education policy and how it works in England. You'll focus on schools and the links to bigger changes happening in society. In areas like

    • the economy
    • culture
    • technology
    • and politics. 

    Also you'll look at how education has changed over time, starting from the 1800s until now. With a main focus on England, you'll also compare it to other countries in the UK to gain a broader understanding.

  • Introduction to Studying in Education

    While studying early childhood and education you'll read various texts, such as:

    • research papers
    • government policies
    • and media reports. 

    It's important to learn how to interpret texts and gain knowledge creation understanding.  On this module you'll start to develop key academic and study skills necessary for higher education:

    • library skills
    • literature searches
    • academic writing
    • essay planning
    • and referencing. 

    Additionally, you'll also learn through an academic integrity course. You'll focus on personal learning, with opportunities for reflection. You'll finish the module able to work on your own or collaboratively. You'll also advance your skills for academic reading and writing.

  • Childhood and Adolescent Development

    You'll explore important aspects of childrens’ and adolescents' development from different perspectives. You'll learn theoretical knowledge about how growth, play, and learning interconnect in development. 

    You'll also explore practical applications for supporting holistic development. You'll draw on theories from:

    • developmental psychology
    • sociological and anthropological research.

    You'll also study practitioner texts and theoretical materials related to supporting children and adolescents' learning and development.

  • Placement 1: Understanding Education

    This is your chance to work in the community and learn about education in real-life situations. The goal is to give you a wide range of experiences and show you that education also happens away from the school environment. You'll also discuss important things like:

    • keeping people safe
    • being fair and inclusive
    • and doing the right thing. 

    You'll have the choice to pick a place locally that interests you, and we'll help you arrange your experience there.

  • Nurturing Inclusivity

    You'll focus on the importance of nurture and care in education, with a specific emphasis on promoting inclusion and wellbeing. By studying this module, you will learn about inclusive practices and how to put them into action. This will help you prepare for work placements and to gain insights into policy and legislation in this area. You'll also explore the long-term effects of promoting inclusion and wellbeing for everyone. 

    We'll look at national and international perspectives on how children and young people experience inclusion and understand diversity. You'll consider various perspectives from different fields such as:

    • history
    • sociology
    • psychology
    • and philosophy. 

    You'll examine policy, teaching methods, and actual practices related to fostering inclusivity. You will gain an understanding of how to create an environment that reflects the needs of all individuals by reviewing research and analyzing relevant materials.

Optional modules

Young Children's Outdoor Learning

You’ll explore how young children learn through play. You’ll also discover how adults plan exploration and play for children in outdoors environments. You’ll get to grips with two key areas:

  • maintaining good provisions and interactions in an early years outdoors area
  • teaching and learning through the Forest School approach.

You’ll look at how children and adults interact in a variety of situations. You’ll also gain core knowledge of health and safety training, as you study issues such as:

  • children as risk-takers
  • off-site travel
  • maintaining a safe environment

You’ll develop core analytical skills as you explore how research and government policy affect children’s outdoor learning.

Pedagogies to Promote STEAM

You'll start an exploration of how educators can support and encourage curiosity and exploration in children, through the use of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). 

You'll focus on understanding and developing teaching methods that can enhance childrens' learning. Incorporating STEAM concepts into each of these areas. You will have the chance to 

  • investigate
  • observe
  • and create opportunities for hands-on experiments and problem-based learning. 

You'll also join discussions on the challenges and difficulties that may arise when implementing STEAM in different educational settings.

Pedagogies to Promote Play

You'll focus on understanding play from various personal and professional perspectives. Exploring how children, young people, and adults engage in play, make decisions, and express their creativity. You'll also look at the role of professionals in developing effective teaching methods. To support exploration and play  in different environments:

  • indoors
  • outdoors
  • or in virtual settings.

Throughout the module, you will learn how children use play to express their knowledge, skills, ideas, and interests. You'll examine the importance of inclusion in play. Also you'll be evaluating the impact of physical and virtual creative spaces on promoting play.

You'll study the foundations and principles of play, helping you to identify appropriate strategies and interventions to meet the needs and preferences of individuals and groups. We'll also explore how to create play spaces and places, as well as develop an understanding of managing "risky" play.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Placement 2: Contextualising Education

    In this module, you'll get to expand on your community work experience. You'll gain a greater understanding and build on your previous placement experience. You'll have the opportunity to choose a setting in our local area based on your interests. There are different areas like:

    • outdoor education
    • special educational needs and disabilities
    • creativity and the arts, 
    • and technology 

    in which you can take your placement.

    You'll also explore different issues in education by looking at community experiences. You'll discuss past and current issues, so you can explore topics that interest you and relate it to your placement. You'll develop and progress your critical thinking skills. By reflecting personally, professionally and academically on your experience. You'll have the support to think about and talk openly about your experiences by the end of this module.


  • Psychology of Education

    What can the most famous psychological theorists tell us about human learning through the ages? You’ll look at learners in various settings. You’ll examine the learning environment, and factors such as motivation and different types of intelligence. You’ll gain excellent critical skills as you examine teaching and learning styles and the importance of self-esteem to the learning process.

  • Becoming a Researcher

    What are the ethical issues of doing research on children? You’ll gain the core tools you need to carry out effective research in early years. You’ll develop the confidence and expertise to succeed in your degree, and understand the research methods that social scientists and educational practitioners use, including:

    • interviews
    • observation
    • questionnaires.

    You’ll have a grounding in reliable and valid research, giving you fantastic skills for your future career.

  • Contemporary Issues in Education Studies

    You'll learn about important ideas and concepts in:

    • schools
    • higher education
    • and lifelong learning. 

    You'll also discuss how these ideas are still relevant in today's educational debates. You'll explore these ideas from a theoretical perspective. Then you'll take a critical approach to current educational policies and positions.

    Also you'll look at and consider different educational "alternatives." Thinking about learning:

    • at home or at school
    • progressive or traditional approaches
    • organizing education based on different subjects or goals
    • and whether the curriculum is explicit or not. 

    You'll discuss these alternatives and you'll have a chance to question your own educational experiences. Using the theory you've learned, you'll apply critical thinking to common educational situations and practices.

Optional modules

The Social World of Childhood and Youth

Do you remember how you felt as a child? We’ll explore the world of children, and how our ideas about childhood have changed through time. You’ll consider the impact of different models of socialisation on children. And you’ll explore the factors - cultural, structural and experimental - which develop a child’s identity.  We’ll make good use of life and historical material.

Supporting Wellbeing

You'll build on what you've learned in your first year. You'll explore ways to support people's physical, mental, social, and emotional needs through education. You'll review existing policies and practices that aim to promote wellbeing. 

Throughout the module, you'll develop a critical understanding of the factors that influence health and wellbeing in 

  • children, 
  • teenagers, 
  • and adults. 

You'll gain insights into the complexities of supporting and promoting wellbeing within the education system. This includes working together with different agencies and facing practical challenges when planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies and services for mental health and wellbeing in schools.

Creative and Therapeutic Approaches

You'll learn about therapeutic interventions and creative approaches that support people in different situations. You'll cover various therapies, including:

  • play therapy 
  • art therapy
  • medical health therapy
  • physical health therapy
  • occupational health therapy 
  • and mental health therapy. 

You'll explore the application of approaches to individuals, families, and communities. By the end of the module, you will be able to use this knowledge in your own field, considering individual and group therapy, educational support, supervision, and safeguarding.

Children’s Literature

In this module, you'll deepen your knowledge and understanding of children's literature and the importance of positive early literacy experiences for young children. You'll have the opportunity to read and think about a variety of texts and authors, with a focus on picture books. Also you'll discuss the significance of diversity and representation in children's literature.

You'll develop your critical reading skills and explore how words and pictures work together. You'll look at how children learn to read. You'll also learn to choose texts that support their reading development and enjoyment. 

Finally, you'll consider how the digital world might affect children's experiences with literature.

Children with Diverse Needs

You'll build on what you learned in previous modules. You'll focus on celebrating diversity. Including ways to support children, families, and siblings in accessing services to meet their needs. 

You'll look at a wide range of needs that can affect children and families. You'll also look at educational settings and communities, going beyond special educational needs. You'll examine the issues and difficulties surrounding inclusive services for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities. 

Our goal is to help you understand how policies and practices related to special educational needs have evolved over time. We'll also delve into the legal framework that governs special educational needs provision.  Also we'll discuss discrimination and challenge you to reflect on your own attitudes and beliefs.

Outdoor Learning

You'll learn about the natural environment and its importance in relation to childrens' learning and development. 

You'll explore ways to enhance learning experiences. You'll look at engaging in ecological projects and developing your understanding of global climate issues. 

You'll also examine outdoor learning and environmental education in: 

  • early years settings
  • schools
  • and communities.

Educational Inequalities

You'll explore how formal education, like schools, affects our society and our lives. You'll look at different ideas about fairness in education. Assessing how they show up in the rules and plans made by the people in charge. 

You'll also study how schools connect to the 'bigger world' and how our own identities and experiences shape our education. You will focus on how:

  • gender
  • culture
  • and social class 

can influence education and you’ll explore if we can understand them separately?

We will look at education from a sociological point of view. We'll discuss educational inequalities in England. Looking at the policies that try to fix or make them worse, you will also think about education in other countries. You'll use specific examples from both rich and poor countries to help you learn more.

Independent Study Module

You'll have the opportunity to focus in depth on a specialist area of research or other co-curricular topic not otherwise available in modules on the course.

You'll discuss with your academic supervisor on what you will focus on. Your independent study focus will be approved by this module's leader.

International Year Abroad

Optional modules

International Year Abroad

This is your opportunity to work or study in another country, so you can experience a different culture from the UK. You’ll be able to apply and test your knowledge and skills in new contexts that will significantly develop your employability profile.

Choosing this module will allow you to exhibit the development of self-management and working or studying in unfamiliar contexts, alongside practising cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills.

You will receive support and guidance to help you find a place in an available partner university, or to find a work placement for your international year abroad. This international year abroad module lasts for one academic year and is taken after the conclusion of your second year of study, once you’ve completed all your level 5 studies. Your international year abroad is not credit-bearing.

The opportunity can be approached in 2 different ways. Please see your options below: 

Study in a non UK University Option

You can attend a non-UK higher education institution for a full academic year. You’ll be able to choose modules in your own subject or in a subject you consider would benefit your overall course of study. You may choose to deepen your knowledge of your degree subject or enhance it by developing complementary skills.

By studying in an international university you’ll progress your interpersonal skills through cross-cultural communication with fellow students and tutors, building lasting relationships. Also you’ll further develop your study skills as you focus on your selected areas of interest to you - while developing and progressing an international study experience that will add significance to your CV.

Work-based Learning Option

Undertake a work placement or work-related project based on your interests and existing skills. You will create an initial learning contract that shows clearly how your proposed placement or project will link with your academic and/or professional aims.

This pathway helps you to have full control over what your work-related learning looks like. You will advance your skills in a practical setting, gain first-hand experience in a work environment, and begin to create your professional network. Also, taking initiative of your learning in such a way will mean that you will stand out when you apply for jobs after graduation.

Final Year

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation

    You’ll carry out independent research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll produce a dissertation of about 10,000 words, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of substantive and methodological issues in your specific area of study. You’ll have the support of an expert tutor in education. 

    Recent dissertation topics have looked at issues as diverse as:

    • the role of play in early years education in the UK and globally
    • what factors contribute to independent learning in Maths in Year 4
    • how technology is used to support communication for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders, in particular the use of iPads
    • the impact of the undergraduate fee rise on student aspirations.
  • Philosophy of Education

    What can philosophy tell us about education and its aims? You’ll get to know a range of current and historical perspectives on education. You’ll understand that education is full of differing values, and that its core concepts are frequently contested. You’ll gain critical skills for your future career, as you analyse some of the key texts which shape the way we understand education. You’ll also examine your own assumptions about education, and create your own reasoned arguments as you participate in current debate.

  • Placement 3: Professional Development in Practice

    You'll build on your experience of working in education. You'll also think about the professional role in education. You'll gain more experience related to education, building on your previous experiences.

    You'll have the choice to work in different places in your local area. You'll be able to pick the place that interests you the most. You will learn about:

    • development of your employability skills
    • industry knowledge specific to your chosen area of interest
    • career guidance to prepare you for employment as a graduate on your placement.

    You'll reflect on your learning while on placement and how it may influence your approach. 

    You'll look at different perspectives and ideas about learning, personal and professional growth. Including how organizations work. You'll gain the confidence and skills to work in the field of education.


Optional modules

Children, Youth and Families in Society

You'll study how people think about and treat children, young people, and families in the UK. You'll look at different ideas and beliefs about them, how they interact with society, and how society responds to their needs. 

You'll explore different ways that children, young people, and families are raised and influenced by society. Also you'll consider the cultural and personal factors that shape policies and practices. As part of the module, you will choose a specific topic to study on your own. You will investigate how society has viewed and supported a particular group of people. Whether they are children, young people, or families.

Young People in Challenging Circumstances

Why have some children been excluded from education? How can we work to include various groups in education? You’ll build on your knowledge and explore the experiences of children who have been marginalised or excluded, and how this impacts the child. You’ll look at national and international models and practice relating to inclusion.You’ll gain core analytical skills as you explore and critique different models and practices for improving inclusion. 


Alternative Spaces for Learning

You'll look at different places that can help us learn, feel good, and do well. You'll explore places like Pupil Referral Units, Alternative Provisions, and Special Schools that offer different ways of learning. You will also look at other places like museums, galleries, and the great outdoors that can inform learning.

International Contexts and Comparisons

You'll learn about education and care policies and practices. You'll look at previous practices and compare them in the four countries of the UK. You' ll also study education and care practice in different cultures and countries. 

You'll see how education is part of programs that can help development in countries. Also you'll look at how provision and policy differs between countries, and look at it from different points of view like 

  • financial support
  • political support
  • and media perceptions. 

To understand how it works in real life, you'll study real projects from around the world. You'll learn about important things in education and care. Seeing how different countries develop their education systems.

Compassion and Care in Practice

You'll build upon what you've learned before about inclusive teaching methods. You'll focus on ways to help others grow and develop, showing kindness, understanding, and strength when providing care. 

You'll look at compassion and care practice, considering different theories and ideas. Then you'll explore how these concepts apply to various professions. Also you'll learn about the current policies in the UK and study educational approaches that emphasize compassion and care. Throughout the module, you'll use research to gain knowledge and understanding, building your critical thinking skills in exploring these topics.

Environments for Learning

You'll build on what you already know about learning and growing up. You'll explore different places and spaces that help us learn and develop. By studying and thinking about physical and psychological spaces, you will gain a better understanding of where and how learning can happen. You'll also learn about the role that professionals play in planning and creating these learning environments in different settings.

You'll discuss practices and places that try to address challenges. Also you'll consider how to make sure these environments are accessible to everyone and celebrate diversity.

STEAM in Pedagogy and Research

You'll look at how we can study teaching and research from different viewpoints like,

  • science
  • technology
  • engineering
  • the Arts
  • and maths. 

By examining things from different angles, you'll get a better understanding of the whole picture instead of just focusing on one. We'll learn about the similarities and differences between these approaches on paper and in practice. We'll also discuss creativity and how it's seen from psychological, sociological, and teaching perspectives.

Children in the Outdoors: Critical Issues

You'll explore the discourse around children being in the natural environment. You'll also look at the contested discussions about children being outdoors. 

You'll build on previous knowledge you've gained about children learning outside and playing in ways that might be a bit risky. We'll look at how children use and feel about natural spaces like,

  • forests
  • adventure playgrounds
  • and parks. 

Also you'll learn how these places can help children learn about the environment and understand important issues, through programs like Forest School or Environmental Education.

Independent Study

In this module, you will work on your own project, choosing a suitable topic or set of topics. The module leader will guide you and provide supervision. Your project may involve practical work if relevant. The specific focus of your project and how it will be assessed will be discussed and agreed upon by the module leader and you. Instead of traditional lectures, you will have tutorial support to help you throughout the module.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


You’ll build a network of professional connections through your annual work placements. Past students have pursued careers delivering education programmes in non-school settings such as museums and galleries. Others have gone into community-based, charity and NGO work, family liaison and social work, and human resource management. Some graduates now work with charities, and others have gone into schools as specialist behaviour support workers.

After completing the BA Education Studies, you might want to pursue a PGCE in Primary or Secondary (alongside a specialist subject). You could also continue studying with an MA Education, MA Education (SEND), or MA Education (Childhood and Youth Studies).

This course also prepares you to pursue postgraduate qualifications in therapeutic fields, such as play therapy or speech and language therapy.

Student profiles

Joint honours options

You can also study this course as part of a joint honours degree. This course can be joined with:

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions:

If you don’t achieve the required tariff points you can apply to join a foundation course or international foundation course to help to reach the required level for entry onto this degree.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.