In addition to following each of the four foundational disciplines, you may choose to explore a number of academic themes including:
- Academic Research in Education: this begins with 'Introduction to the study of education' which is a compulsory module. This introduces you to the key concepts and practices of academic literacy and provides grounding in the main areas of Education Studies, including learning theory, and the sociology, philosophy and history of education. It also introduces you to the notion of empirical research in education, giving you practice in developing your academic criticality by exploring how knowledge is constructed in the field of educational studies.
- Education changes in relation to the development of ICT, new media and technologies: it includes modules on Education and Childhood through Film and Literature, Children and the Media, the development of e-pedagogy and cultural and arts based learning
- Policy critique: for students interested in how government policy affects education, there are modules on social change and education, education and the world of work, addressing educational inequalities and debating contemporary controversial issues
- Inclusion: inclusion, social justice and addressing diversity and special educational needs are a particular strength of research in the School of Education and in our teaching team. Students therefore have the opportunity to deepen their engagement with these issues
- Global Awareness: the programme is particularly committed to studying education in its widest sense, and that includes a commitment to an international approach, looking at different education provision across the world, the very different experiences (and understandings) of learning in different cultures, and how education is developing in the new globalised world of the 21st century. This academic theme takes in modules on Cross-national Perspectives on Education and Education for International Development.
- Childhood: modules on the Introduction to Child Development, Constructions of Childhood and the Social World of Childhood draw on historical, cross-cultural, psychological and sociological perspectives to understand the role of the child in society and the development of child identity.
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.
Introduction to the Study of Education (compulsory) encourages you to reflect on your own position as a student in higher education. You will explore different learning approaches, strategies and styles. You will learn key skills for the academic study of education.
Education in a World of Change: Policy and Provision (compulsory)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to central aspects of education policy and provision in the English context. Schooling will be related to broader forces of social change, including economic, cultural, technological and political. There will be focus on formal education but alternative educational settings will be considered. You will be introduced to some of the major philosophical ideas that have shaped educational policy in England and encouraged to make connections between central themes from the late 19th/ early 20th centuries and policy developments in the present day. You will be introduced to the study of the history and philosophy of education and to policy critique.
Constructions of Childhood (compulsory) shows how childhood is thought of differently, and how this has changed, over time and place. It draws on sociological, historical and cross-cultural perspectives to look at childhood in different contexts, and the role of children in society.
Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development (compulsory) examines notions of development and the ways in which developmental issues both underpin, and impact upon, children’s learning.
Education and Childhood through Film and Literature
This module sets out to explore the way schools, teachers and their students are represented in popular culture, specifically in selected key film and television texts and literary works. The module will examine educational themes which recur and the way they reflect contemporary debates about the purpose of education, childhood, youth culture and teacher role/ performance. Does popular culture embody alternative perspectives of education and its societal role, or does it tend to reproduce common stereotypes and popular myths? How can we explain the enduring popularity of reliving school days through fictional books and moving image texts?
For a full list of of modules please see the downloads section for a course overview.
Years 2 and 3
Core Texts in Education
A number of classic writers from Plato to Paulo Freire are essential to understanding contemporary debates about education. This module enables an in-depth critical study of three contrasting and complementary texts from different historical periods that have shaped the language and concepts with which we think about education and childhood. Your reading of these texts will be informed by historical context and their reception in contemporary educational literature. You will be encouraged to engage with questions the texts raise about the status of knowledge, the nature of human flourishing, and the vocation of the educator. You will need to connect and compare the texts with each other and with key contemporary debates in educational policy and practice. You will ask questions about the legacy of our intellectual inheritance and the lessons that we can learn from the thinkers of the past.
Historical Perspectives on Education
This module will explore the ways in which education has been historically envisaged in the UK, covering the interrelationship between culture and pedagogy, and looking at how educational opportunities have been organised. Students will have the opportunity to develop an historical perspective on some current models of education.
The Developing Child
During this module you will have the opportunity to explore alternative explanations of developmental processes and deepen your understanding of child development introduced in the year one module Introduction to Child Development.
Educational Inequalities: Schooling and Youth investigates the relationship between formal education processes and outcomes and wider social processes and structures. It considers contesting visions of equality in educational debates, and how these are manifested in policy. It will examine the relationships between identity, school and wider cultures, the subjectivities of learners, and consequent experiences of education.
Literature for Young Children
This module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the range of texts available to young children. It will establish skills of reflective and critical reading, encouraging students to investigate and analyse the relationship between words and pictures in texts. Students will develop skills in selecting texts which support language development with particular focus on phonological awareness and reading development.
Inclusion: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities explores the issues and challenges around inclusive provision for children and young people with special educational needs/disabilities. It analyses notions of discrimination and challenges you to think about your own attitudes and beliefs.
Psychology and Education
The views of major psychological theorists will be examined together with the application of these views to human learning across the age span. The module will look at the learner in context, examining aspects of the learning environment as well as factors such as motivation and different types of intelligence. Critical consideration will also be given to teaching and learning styles and the importance of self-esteem in the learning process.
Research Methods in Childhood and Education introduces you to various research tools (interviewing, observation, questionnaires, etc.) and appropriate data analysis. It equips you with the skills necessary to undertake a final year dissertation.
The Social World of Childhood and Youth involves a consideration of the implications of different models of socialisation and an examination of structural, cultural and experiential factors in the development of identity. A strong feature of the module is its use of life and oral history approaches to the study of childhood and youth.
Media, Technology and Education
You will develop an understanding of how media and technology impact on our lives and our understanding of the world around us. Emerging theories, frameworks and contemporary academic literature explore these dynamic issues and their impact on our concept of education. You will have first-hand opportunities to examine media and technology.
Children's Outdoor Learning will explore how young children use play to learn and how adults plan for exploration and play in the outdoors environment.
Gender and 21st Century Education
You will develop an understanding of how concepts of gender are lived in different ways by teachers and learners. You will examine how these sometimes competing concepts shape social, cultural and educational contexts. The media, socialisation and education play vital roles in shaping teachers, learners and learning contexts. You will be expected to analyse these key domains in relation to your own experiences, and to apply your reflections and analyses to a range of key theories.
Language and the Mind
Will introduce students to central issues in cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics and to the methods which researchers use in these fields. Students will have the opportunity to draw on a number of topics including non-literal language processing, language development in infancy and early childhood, cognitive processing in reading, the neural bases of bilingualism, and cognitive processing of sign language. A number of empirical studies from a wide spectrum of geographic and linguistic contexts will be explored.
Values and Religion in Schools
This module addresses controversial and contemporary questions around the place of moral education, values and religion in schools from a philosophical perspective. You will be encouraged to develop your own answers and make recommendations for policy and practice.
Philosophy of Education engages with questions about the nature, aims and justification of education through a distinctively philosophical approach. By examining a range of contemporary, historical and international perspectives, students will appreciate that education is a value-laden enterprise whose core concepts are contested. Students will engage in a critical dialogue with some of the seminal texts that have shaped the way we understand the educational endeavour and will be encouraged to examine their own assumptions about education and participate in the contemporary debate through reasoned and cogent arguments.
Becoming a Reader
This module looks at children's literacy, investigating theories and debates about how children learn to read and become readers. You will interrogate various models of how children learn to read exploring the contribution of decoding skills, comprehension of text and attitudinal and motivational dimensions. You will critically explore the issues of multiple literacies in an era of digital communication. This module will build on Literature for Young Children module and will enable you to scrutinise a range of developmental theories and to appreciate and articulate your own position within a theoretically complex and controversial aspect of development.
Controversial and Contemporary Research in Education will follow up key issues introduced in previous modules and enable you to explore and debate these in some depth, through group discussion and extended individual research.
Education in International Development studies the place of education in international development programmes, and explores the impact of economic development, foreign aid and international relations on educational opportunity. Educational case studies from actual development projects around the world enable you to learn about development education policy and practice.
'How do we harness linguistic variation for better education?' You will explore a wide spectrum of linguistic and geographic contexts that are inherently connected to the question, and will include the use of appropriate pedagogies, language-teacher training, parental/community involvement for effective education, appropriate assessment of bilinguals, and language-education planning.
Inclusion: Diverse Perspectives provides you with an opportunity to explore the ways in which various groups traditionally excluded from education can be included. We will look at the experiences of children who are marginalised or excluded and focus on the impact on the child. We will also explore and critique a range of national and international models and practices relating to inclusion.
This module involves individual or group work on an appropriate topic or set of topics, under the supervision of the module leader. You will have the opportunity to devise your own programme with the support of, and in negotiation with, a supervisor. You will consider issues central to Education Studies which may be an extension of work from areas raised in other modules in the discipline, or some other agreed issue or set of issues.
Independent Study: Work and Community Related Learning. This module will help you develop graduate attributes and employability skills by requiring you to reflect critically on learning gained from activities in work, community related and extra-curricular settings. You will develop your awareness and understanding of the world of work and your future employability.
The University will help you make contact with organisations, and you will arrange your placement on this module. Your placement can be in Oxford or in the surrounding area of Oxfordshire - students are responsible for their own travel and associated costs. Costs start from £14.50 for a 7 day weekly pass for Oxford and the surrounding area.
On this module you will:
- gain benefit personally and academically from experiences in the work and community context
- engage in self-directed learning with appropriate academic supervision and structured reflection
- reflect critically on and illustrate using specific examples the learning and personal development gained from work related or extra-curricular experience in relation to possible future professional roles.
This module runs flexibly, like an independent study, and can fit in with a variety of work or volunteer work experiences. This could include things you do alongside your degree on a regular basis or something you plan to do eg over the summer break.
Examples of projects that students have previously focused on are:
- Working as an E Pioneer for the University; to support the use of technology in teaching at Oxford Brookes
- Working part time in a North Oxford nursery
- Working on a voluntary basis with children with Special Educational Needs
- Working as a language tutor to support BMW workers in their use of business English
- Working as a marketing intern at Oxford University Press
- Working with local charity, Reading Quest as a volunteer supporting primary aged children’s reading.
: an in-depth study (under the supervision of an academic tutor) of a chosen problem related to education.
For a full list of modules please the downloads section for a course overview.
We are always keen to explore ways in which you broaden your experience of education and development. In the past we have visited The Gambia developing long standing relationships with schools and colleges and we are actively exploring international opportunities in other parts of the world, aiming to be responsive to students' needs and interests.
These field trips are optional and will incur extra costs. The approximate cost for the Gambia trip in 2017 is £1000.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
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.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion.
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