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Education Studies (BA) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)

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Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full-time

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Education Studies

Location of Study
University of Warwick

Our innovative Education Studies (BA) programme offers a comprehensive study of education from a variety of subject approaches. It addresses not only the theory and practice of teaching and learning, but also the related subjects of the marketisation of education, political perspectives on educational policy, creativity and culture, childhood and society, and psychological and philosophical perspectives on how children and adults learn.

Course overview

Critically analysing education in a fast-changing globalised world, the BA (Hons) Education Studies will introduce you to creative and forward-thinking approaches to teaching and learning. It will also enable you to develop your understanding of contemporary educational policy at both global and local levels, while exploring the background to the history and development of education. You’ll gain hands-on experience through a work-based placement, with tailored career advice throughout the course. With optional modules to choose across a range of different related disciplines, from philosophy to sociology, economics to psychology, you’ll gain a broad set of skills to help you progress to where you want to be.

Course structure

Year One

You will study eight compulsory modules.

Year Two

You will study compulsory modules in Research Methods, Globalisation and Education, Policies and Politics of the English Education System, and Professional Identity and Skills: Work Based Placement. You will then choose optional modules to complete your Year Two programme.

Year Three

You will study two core modules including dissertation, plus modules from within the Department or up to two education-focused modules from other Departments.

There is an optional 13-week Erasmus placement in Year Three.

How will I learn?

Teaching sessions tend to be in smaller, seminar-type groups rather than large lecture theatres. As you would expect, our course uses a wide variety of teaching and learning methods ranging from traditional lectures to practical workshops where you'll collaborate with your fellow students.

Contact hours

12 hours per week in the first year, and additional time for self-directed study. For your second and third years, the amount of time you spend in lectures, seminars or tutorials will depend on the modules you choose.

Class size

Tend to be smaller groups of around 10-25 students with some taught sessions of around 50 students.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes a number of different forms on the course, including essays, examinations, presentations, reflective on-line journals, creative projects and the development of policy ideas and other professional documents.

The first year will be a 50/50 split between coursework and examinations, while in Years Two and Three your assessment will depend on the modules you choose.

Alongside the assessed work that counts towards your marks for each module, you will receive a range of formative (non-credit) feedback, including comments on written work, seminar contributions or peer-group presentation skills. This formative feedback is invaluable in helping you to get the most from your degree – pushing you to achieve more, and ensuring you’re always learning and developing the quality of the work you produce.

In addition to course and module leaders, you’ll have a personal tutor to support you with any issues you might have - either academic or more generally - helping to keep you on track with your studies. In your third year you’ll also have a dissertation tutor to guide you through this important piece of work and help you develop the extended research skills you’ll need.

Study abroad

Studying overseas can add immeasurably to your personal development and future study and career opportunities. As part of our BA Education Studies, we provide the opportunity for students to take either a 13-week placement abroad or a full intercalated year, where your third year will be spent at one of our partner Universities. For example:

  • Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole in Trondheim, Norway
  • University of Boras, Sweden (13 weeks only)
  • Maria Ulrich College of Early Childhood Education, Portugal (13 weeks only)
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

A year abroad will not count towards your final degree mark, but it will give you the chance to experience studying Education in another country as well as experiencing life in a new and exciting culture.

Work experience

You can take a work-based placement module (core) in Year Two, with a minimum of 15 hours on placement.

Find out more about our work placements.

General entry requirements

A level:

  • ABB


  • 34


  • DDD in a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma in a relevant subject
  • We also welcome applicants taking combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications

Additional requirements:

You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

Contextual data and differential offers

Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)

All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).

Find out more about standard offers and conditions for the IFP.

Taking a gap year

Applications for deferred entry welcomed.


We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

Year One

Theories of Learning

This module introduces you to various theories of how human beings learn. The module covers leading child development theorists' perspectives on learning in the early years (such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky) as well as examining the work of theorists who explore learning from the perspective of older children, young people and adults. By the end of the module you'll have acquired the tools for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of contrasting learning theories. This module also aims to give you an insight into the relationship between social values, culture and theories of learning.

Social Contexts of Childhood and Education

This module investigates the relationships between childhood, education and society. Throughout the module, we explore a number of arenas through which children are nurtured, protected and socialised, including family, peer group and the virtual world of mass media and digital technology. These contexts are viewed as important educational sites in their own right, as well as providing crucial supportive networks for schools and children's schooling. The module focuses on the way that these social contexts have changed as well as concentrate on the expanding roles that children themselves play in their own socialisation, schooling and identity formation. We also critically analyse the impact of class, poverty, gender and ethnicity on education and childhood.

Foundations for Learning: The Early Years

What motivates children to learn? How do they learn? What should they learn? In this module, you’ll consider what very young children (0-5 years) need to take part in education and society. Topics include:

• Developmental theory (prenatal and through early years)

• Holistic learning

• Diversity and inclusion

• The role of adults in education and society

• Leadership and governance

• UK and international initiatives to improve the outcomes for disadvantaged young children and their life chances

International Education

This module will explore models, concepts and themes relating to education at a global level. There are two overarching trends which structure the sessions. First, processes of globalisation provide a theoretical frame within which students will examine themes and trends that cut across geographical and national boundaries. Among other things, globalisation and children’s rights to education, the Millennium Development Goals, the investment in early years education, and the marketisation of schooling and higher education are discussed. Second, the module will focus on the way that education is promoted within different international contexts, thereby exploring how factors such as ideology, culture and economics impact on education. There will be more of a case study approach here with students focusing on country specific education systems, such as Scandinavia, America or Italy. In each case the focus may be on the schooling system, the provision of early years education or the shifting role of higher education.

Creativity, Culture and Learning

The idea of creativity is at the heart of contemporary educational policy and practice. You could say that developing creativity is a 21st-century educational ideal. Yet claims about creativity often avoid questions of what creativity is and why creative activities might be valuable. Through this module, you’ll understand:

• The key debates and concepts relating to creativity

• How different forms of creative thinking, behaviour and learning can be encouraged

• The role of ideology in shaping personal, local, national and global attitudes to creative forms of thinking, learning and behaving

• How to debate and evaluate what a creative learning experience is

Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

What is philosophy? What does a philosophical question about education look like? What role has philosophical thought historically played in shaping education? What role and status should philosophy have in education today? Can teaching and learning be effective if there is not a philosophical element to it? This module considers these questions, in the context of exploring the relationship between the discipline of philosophy and the field of education. The module will provide an introductory starting point for wrestling with these questions through close reading of extracts of key philosophical texts and through practically exploring the teaching of philosophy with primary aged pupils in a local school setting.

Education Today

This module interrogates contemporary trends within education and the social values they reflect. The module will approach the topic of education through many contrasting perspectives. You'll critically appraise the social, cultural and political factors that affect students, teaching professionals, parents and other key stakeholders, as they negotiate and participate in the contemporary education 'offer' provided at a local, national and international level. Key practical approaches and philosophical perspectives will be introduced and debated, as you consider how factors such as inclusion, equality, diversity, community, religion, attainment, quality, excellence, economic growth and political instability interact within contemporary education systems.

Academic Identity and Skills

This reflective and practical module allows you to explore your preferred ways of learning. Through considering the academic standards, assessment methods and teaching and learning practices used in Higher Education this module will support you to develop an informed, personalised and critical approach to academic scholarship.

Year Two

Globalisation and Education

This module will explore models, concepts and themes relating to the globalisation of education. In particular, there are two general trends outlined and critically examined with reference to globalisation.

The first overarching theme is the idea of globalisation as a process of global standardisation. The module will pick up on a number of debates and issues relating to how attempts have been made to homogenise education globally, or at least move towards more universal provision at a number of different levels. This will involve analyses of the political and economic dimensions of globalisation as it affects education including the involvement of supra-national organisations, NGOs, and nation states.

The second dominant theme is the emphasis on global diversity. Attempts at globalising education come up against political and cultural obstacles. The second half of the module will focus more on trends and cases of education and schooling that highlight the diversity of provision, and practices within education. The sessions will refer to global and national policy contexts where relevant, as well as pick up on novel attempts to provide education and schooling in contexts of political and economic adversity.

Policies and Politics of the English Education System

This module will introduce you to the core areas of policy contention, innovation and development in the English educational system. Starting with the historical context, you’ll discover how the major reviews of education in the 20th and 21st centuries have shaped educational policy and practice. You’ll also explore:

• formal educational assessment

• how policy affects educational inequality

• how social and cultural changes within English society have affected the education system and curriculum

• different approaches to teacher training

• trends in the marketisation of education in England

Professional Identity and Skills: Work-Based Placement

This module gives you the opportunity to hone your professional skills and career aspirations through an education-based, work-based placement. In taught sessions you’ll explore the professional characteristics of organisations who work with children, young people and their families in an educational capacity. This will include investigating the staffing and leadership structures of example organisations, their policies, their modes of work, professional roles and conduct. In addition, the role of reflective practice in professional development will be examined from both theoretical and practical angles. You’ll be given support with organising your placement, which can be in a location of your choice (however, approval must be gained from the module leader who must see a clear connection between the work of your chosen organisation and the concept of ‘education’) or may be based with one of the Centre for Education Studies' (CES) key partners. CES placement partners consist of organisations that deliver both formal and informal education in a variety of contexts (i.e. schools, hospitals, charities, children’s centres, sports organisations, youth theatres, community organisations).

Research Methods

This module will equip you with the theoretical knowledge, and the practical research design and ICT skills, required for research in the education field. You’ll study:

• How to form research questions and hypotheses

• How to match research questions to appropriate research methodologies

• When to employ quantitative or qualitative research, and what their strengths and limitations in education are

• How to design data collection materials such as questionnaires and interview schedules

• Ethical and legal issues involved with research in an education field

Year Three

21st Century Educational Innovation

This module explores current and future innovation in education. Topics include: the future needs of education practice, from birth to adult; global and local cultures and practice; multiliteracy; diversity; social justice; the marketisation of education; and governance. You’ll also investigate the difference between equity and equality – and analyse how different models of education positively or negatively impact students’ learning.

After three years of study, this module will enable you to apply the knowledge you’ve gathered during your course to present your own possible alternative models of education.

Individual Research Project

Examples of optional modules/options for current students

  • Philosophy in Education
  • Education, Race and Ethnicity
  • Children’s Literature in Childhood
  • Introduction to Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Education Policy and Social Justice
  • Education for Sustainability
  • Masculinities, Fatherhood and Young Children
  • Social Theory and Education
  • Theatre and Drama for Children and Schools
  • The Developing Child in the School Context

Tuition fees

Find out more about fees and funding

Additional course costs

There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work in a wide range of sectors, including careers in:

  • Primary School teaching
  • Secondary School and Post-16 teaching
  • Arts and Heritage work
  • Community-based, Charity and NGO work
  • Family Liaison and Social Work
  • Training and Development roles
  • Social Research

Helping you find the right career

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Meet Your Alumni: real-life career stories from the Centre for Education Studies Alumni
  • Careers in Education
  • Careers with children and young people
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Centre for Education studies Careers Workshops

Find out more about careers support at Warwick.

"Wide range of perspectives"

“I chose to do a degree in education studies due to its multi-disciplinary nature. The course consists of content from various fields of study, many of which I encountered during A levels. There are many elements of psychological theory that we study on the course where we look at how people learn and how children develop.

We also study the politics behind education, which my understanding of Law and History at A-Level has certainly helped with. However there are also many things which I have never studied before that we encounter throughout the degree, such as a whole module on the philosophy of education which is both challenging but very interesting.

An education studies degree provides you with a wide range of perspectives that deal with everyday issues and allows you to get an insight into many different academic disciplines.

The most inspiring part of the degree has certainly been the ability to witness the clear passion that our tutors have for their fields of study. Education is a huge topic and different members of staff have a wide range of specialisms and interests which range from the study of philosophy, creativity, childhood and many more.

Being able to witness how these different areas interact and overlap and how passionate our tutors are has certainly been a fascinating and motivating part of the degree.”


BA Education Studies

My placement

"I completed my placement at Ridgeway School, a primary school for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN). I would like to be a SEN teacher, eventually aiming to become an educational psychologist.

The key to both of these roles is to have sufficient knowledge of how children with various types of SEN learn and my placement has given me the knowledge of how to help children with work and activities as well as practical roles."


BA Education Studies

This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.