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Education Studies

BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) - combined

School of Education

In today’s fast changing world, education plays a pivotal role. This course equips you with a depth of understanding about education’s role in a diverse society, both within and beyond the UK. It takes a broad, academically rigorous approach whilst giving you the opportunity to focus on key issues in education of particular interest to you.

The University has recently approved a new and innovative pathway in Education Studies: SEN, Disabilities and Inclusion (SENDI), a named award which offers you the opportunity to critically explore the experiences of children and young people who may be marginalised or excluded from traditional Educational settings. Education Studies students will be invited to consider this pathway during their first year of study.
We've reviewed our combinations for this course for 2018 entry - please check the current list of combined honours options in 'Combining this course with another subject'

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • If you are interested in exploring a range of educational issues while developing your knowledge and understanding of key education issues of particular interest then this course is for you. 
  • This course can lead into primary or secondary teaching careers, and during the course you can be advised over possible teacher training routes, but you are not required to take the Qualified Teacher Status skills tests. 
  • You will have opportunities to undertake educational placements in a range of settings.
  • You will have a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts. This course encourages you to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to societies and to participate in current debates relevant to education. 
  • The course draws on the four 'foundational disciplines' of Philosophy, Psychology, History and the Social Sciences. 
  • Education Studies is offered as both a single honours and a combined honours degree. Popular combinations are English Literature, English Language and Communication and Sociology. See the Combined Courses section for the full list of possible combinations.
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.

Study modules

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.

Year 1

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

Year 2

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.

Year 3
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.

Educational Sociolinguistics
'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.
Independent Study: 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.
Dissertation: 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.

Field trips

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.

Study abroad

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.

Additional costs

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.

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.

Teaching and learning

It is increasingly recognised that complex global questions require an inter-disciplinary perspective.  Inter-disciplinary collaboration is a feature of research activity in the School of Education and, reflecting this, a number of themes of the programme are designed around pressing contemporary issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. 

The course incorporates a wide variety of teaching and learning approaches, including traditional lectures and seminars, enquiry-led and collaborative learning, and online activities.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%84%1%
2 16%84%0%
3 13%87%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 12%88%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 16%84%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 14%86%0%

Approach to assessment

 Assessment is by coursework only, eg:
  • 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
  • Dissertation.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 0%0%100%
2 0%0%100%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%
2 6%0%94%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 0%0%100%
2 0%0%100%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 0%0%100%
3 14%0%86%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 20%0%80%
2 25%0%75%
3 0%0%100%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

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

IB Diploma: 30 points

BTEC: DMM in a relevant field of study


Other typical offers include:

  • CACHE Diploma in a relevant field of study at B
  • Access to Higher Education qualifications in a relevant field of study.

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

All applications for part-time study should be made directly to the University using the University application form.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

One of the world's great academic cities, Oxford is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

Seminars are presented by internationally recognised scholars and provide an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss educational matters with students on a range of programmes from various local higher education institutions.

Our close links with local schools, professionals and practitioners mean that some students are able to become involved in particular projects such as local mentoring schemes for children. Some of our students work with local charities such as Reading Quest that help to improve children’s literacy in schools.

Support for students studying Education Studies

You will be supported by a teaching team committed to both your academic progress and to offering strong pastoral support. These strengths have been consistently recognised in our regular surveys of student opinion and in comments from our external examiners.

Tutors on the Education Studies programme have published internationally recognised research in (among other fields) philosophy of education, history of education, vocational education and psychological research in education.  Consult the School of Education website for regular updates on seminar events and publications by tutors.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

A degree in Education Studies can lead to careers in many areas. We recognise that there are many career opportunities for Education Studies students, in addition to teaching. 

For those not wishing to follow a teaching career, the course offers an excellent preparation for careers in the public or private sector. Professions within a specialist education sector now include advertising, marketing, the arts, journalism, law, publishing and the media together with the charity and leisure industries. 

Some students do become teachers after completing their degrees, undertaking a further one-year PGCE course in primary or (for combined honours students) secondary education, leading to Qualified Teacher Status. Others have gone on to teach in further education colleges. Education Studies is not a programme of initial teacher education and does not in itself provide a recognised teaching qualification.  

Previous graduates from the course have gone on to have successful careers in many different fields including social work, youth work, community education, adult education, educational psychology, recruitment and retail management.

Further study

The undergraduate degree can lead to further study of education, at master's and research degree level. Your degree may also provide the basis to progress to professional courses in other areas such as educational psychology, social work, librarianship or human resources.

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes University offers opportunities in post-graduate research, including MAs in Education or Childhood, PhD study and a taught Educational Doctorate.