This broad-based, interdisciplinary programme challenges how we think about education. Looking beyond education as taking place only in schools and universities, to studying how education occurs across all social institutions (for example, employment and families), this degree develops critical understandings of education in the past, present and future, both locally and globally.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 6 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 90 (2018 entry)*
- No specific subjects.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.
M1,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principle Subjects
BBB at Advanced Highers (or BB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher).
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
A broad-based education programme that introduces students to educational insights from traditional disciplines including history, sociology, philosophy, psychology as well as innovative fields such as media, communication and technology studies, race and ethnic studies, feminist and cultural studies.
Developing students’ imaginative capacity and fostering critical understanding of education and society to enable you to engage in social justice and equality agendas through education.
Preparing students for careers in education and a wide range of other fields by providing you with an intellectual set of tools to take a lead role in transforming and improving society, no matter where you go next in your work, community and personal lives.
Our teaching team is made up of leading academics who draw directly on their research expertise to inform their teaching and provide students with specialist interest modules.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Education, Practice and Society.
- 78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Our first-year core modules establish a broad-based, globally oriented, interdisciplinary curriculum that provides our diverse cohort with the skills, perspectives and knowledge needed to succeed in higher education.
In the second year, students combine core and optional modules to pursue their individual goals and interests. In their third year students choose all modules and have the opportunity to conduct their own research on an area they are passionate about.
Modules address questions such as: What is equality in education? Why do class, race and gender inequalities persist in schooling? What significance does new technology have for transforming education? How do people learn? How and why does education vary across the world and throughout history?
Please note that this degree does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but students can apply for a one-year teacher training course after completing the degree.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
- Introduction to Education Studies
This module offers a multi-disciplinary introduction to the field of education studies. The module starts from the students own experiences in education by asking them to reflect on their own educational journeys and to work together to map the contours of the current educational systems. The module then takes a chronological approach to introducing students to diverse ideas about education that have developed over time (from Ancient Greece onwards) but continue to influence education in the 21st century. The module concludes with a series of interdisciplinary debates on some of the 'big questions' in education, in order for students to consider how various perspectives can be brought to bear on these key issues.
- Foundations in the Sociology of Education
The Foundations in the Sociology of Education is a core module in the first year of the BA Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education. The module allows students to explore current and enduring educational questions through a sociological lens and to identify the relationships between education and social inequalities. Special attention is paid to issues of social justice, inclusion/exclusion and possibilities for social transformation. The module considers various axes of power, identity and institutional organization, including sessions focused on social class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, intersectionality, and learner and teacher identities.
- How People Learn
This module will provide a general introduction to the processes of human learning, both as individuals and in groups and society, and in childhood and adolescence as well as in adulthood and over the lifecourse. This is a compulsory module to be taken in Year 1 of the BA (Hons) Education Studies.
- Living in a Schooled Society
The purpose of this module is to provide the foundations for one of the central ideas that motivates the UCL BA in Education Studies: the idea that education has become one of the most important lenses for understanding the world around us today. The close study of education is essential not only for understanding the nature and significance of teaching and learning in schools, colleges and universities, but also for developing our awareness of how education shapes - and is shaped by - the entire rest of society, outside of the formal education system itself. Some scholars speak of the rise of a 'schooled society', in which all social practices and institutions are increasingly influenced by and structured around ideas, values and discourses about education, learning, schooling, development, knowledge and skill.
The goal of this module is to help students develop their critical ability to recognise, reflect upon and analyse what it means to be living, as we all do today, in an ever more schooled society.
- Literacy, Language and Communication
The purpose of the module is to introduce students to a range of disciplinary perspectives on learning-related literacy practices in formal and informal education settings, including digital environments. It aims to provide students with key ideas in studies of literacy and language that explore the potentials of contemporary forms of communication for learning and working in diverse linguistic, cultural and social contexts.
- Representations of Education in Film and Literature
This module provides a general introduction to the foundations of education through film and literature. A number of films and some related literature are used to prompt us to think of ways in which educational relationships become the material for art and for entertainment. These also help us to consider the consequences of the way in which images of the teacher, students, the curriculum and academic institutions are presented on film. This is a means of considering both the relationship between representation and reality, and the way in which understandings of reality are affected by fictional or media images.
- Understanding Education Research: Numbers, Narratives, Knowledge and Nonsense
In this module, students will be helped to become critical, informed consumers of education research, particularly quantitative research. The module is in three parts:
- Part 1 provides an introduction to the nature and uses of quantitative and qualitative education research
- Part 2 focuses on technical issues related to understanding education research, introducing students to key research processes and statistical concepts, so that students can read research papers with confidence and a critical eye
- Part 3 of the module focuses on the relationship between research on the one hand and policy and practice on the other. Part 3 will include case studies of the ways in which education policy, programmes and research interact with and influence each other for example, looking at some of the ways that education research is used and misused in the pursuit of policy and programme development. It will also include analysis of some of the challenges associated with producing high quality education research.
Core or compulsory module(s)
- Global Issues in Education
This compulsory Year 2 module introduces students to some of the key issues affecting the contemporary global education context. The module focuses particularly on Robert Arnove's notion of education as being a 'dialectic between the global and the local' (2007), by stressing the ways in which formal education systems represent local needs, cultures and histories while also reflecting wider global influences.
Some of the key issues discussed include: the notion and practice of cross-country comparison in education; the impact of global testing regimes; the practice of 'policy borrowing' (and, in some contexts, policy imposition); and the tensions and opportunities afforded by multiculturalism within schools.
- Policy and Politics in Education
This module is a compulsory module in the second year of the BA Education Studies programme, and it provides a detailed analysis of education policy and the underlying political trends. It covers major debates within education policy-making and considers how politicians have sought to change education systems through policy. This involves an examination of different policy areas and their relationship to the social and economic context of the time, using historical and sociological approaches. It also considers the formation of policy within an international context. The module examines a range of case studies looking at the enactment of policy in practice.
- You will choose optional modules to the value of 3.0 credits from a list which may include the following: Archival Research and Oral History in Education
- Educating and Organising for Social Justice
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the theory and history of using education as part of collective efforts to try to create a more democratic, equal, just and sustainable society than the one we live in currently. In an age of global financial, environmental, political and cultural crisis, many now argue for the need to radically rethink education and reorient the core goals of learning to directly address the challenge of social justice.
The module looks closely at key concepts, traditions and thinkers in the fields of popular education, critical pedagogy and community organising and it examines both the role of education in collective efforts to transform society, and the role of collective organising in efforts to transform schooling and education. Finally, alongside core lectures and seminars, the module provides students with a hands-on opportunity to learn community organizing skills and participate in a local community organising project.
- The Learning Sciences
This module introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of the Learning Sciences while developing their understanding of the theoretical approaches that inform the design of learning environments and teachers professional judgment. It will enable students to develop an understanding of the cognitive and social processes that result in learning.
- Philosophical Research in Education
This module aims to introduce students without an academic background in philosophy to the distinct nature and significance of philosophical work on educational issues. The focus will be on questions of philosophical method and how these can be distinguished from the methods of empirical enquiry.
Students will be looking into the structure of philosophical arguments and the range of different ways in which philosophers construct and develop arguments, through a close reading of a selection of philosophical texts. The texts chosen will reflect central philosophical questions and concerns and will include both work by contemporary philosophers and classic texts from different philosophical traditions, with an emphasis on work that addresses educationally relevant concepts, questions and concerns.
- Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the practices of a social science research community. The module design offers students the opportunity to learn about research by directly experiencing it and reflecting on their experiences. Students will:
- undertake a group research project under the guidance of the lecturer and seminar leaders
- learn about qualitative research methods and theories, and the advantages and disadvantages of these different methods
- work collaboratively, exploring research questions exploring the teaching and learning practices on the BA in Education Studies
- produce a tangible collective output.
- Social History of Learning and Learners
This module examines the histories of learning and learners and enables students to consider how ideas, theories and policies played out in actual experience as well as the fundamental ways in which learning has been transformed over time. Examining learning will become a source for understanding wider social, economic and cultural factors. Students will be introduced to the ways that learning has been understood and practiced, to the forms of learning that took place as well as the role that learning played in peoples lives. Who was able to learn, and in which settings, will be themes of the module.
- Ways of Thinking and Ways of Being
This module, an option module in the second year of the BA Education Studies programme, explores ways in which human beings think and reason. What is it to think well? What is the role of reason in matters of emotion? Reasoning has been taken to be the feature of human beings that separates them most clearly from animals. How far is this true? The module explores what it is to be a human being from a variety of perspectives. It considers how far the difference between human beings and animals justifies the ways that animals are treated, a question that itself exposes profound differences between cultures. It goes on to consider what is revealed about human being by the advent of technologies of birth control and selection, and what this in turn suggests about the organisation of society. The module addresses philosophical questions in the light of classic sources, illustrated with examples drawn from real life and works of literature. The module works with texts that draw attention to the embedding of certain assumptions in the development of Western thinking and ways of being. This includes consideration of the gendered nature of dominant conceptions of reason, as well as the contrast between such conceptions and other non-Western traditions of thought.
- Sociology of Childhood
This module provides a comprehensive introduction to key trends and debates in the sociological study of childhood. It offers students an opportunity to explore cutting edge research on the diversity of childrens lives across time and place. Drawing on the work of leading scholars in the field, the module will prompt consideration of the contradictions and continuities in ways children are positioned in different contexts. This will enable exploration of adult-child power relations, unequal childhoods, the intersections of local and global childhoods, childrens rights, and childrens contributions to their social, political and economic worlds.
Students will examine a variety of representations of childhood (e.g. in film, advertisements, policy) and their social and political implications.The module will encourage reflection on the significance of sociological understandings of childhood for research, professional practice, and policy.
- Creativity and Education
The Creativity and Education module will provide students with an opportunity to:
- understand the key themes, theories and debates in the Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology of Creativity
- to examine the experiences and engagement of young people in different expressions of creativity
- to consider the extent to which creativity can be taught and its relationship to the creative work
- to explore multi-modal representations of creativity
- to explore thinking and acting creatively about Science
- to consider the relationship between design and creativity, creative lives and assessing creatively
- to consider the concept of a creative life and how to assess creatively
- to enable students to conduct a small-scale research project about creativity.
- Literacies Across the Lifecourse
This module will explore literacies, or literacy, across the life-course, examining reading and writing - and whatever else we may consider to be literacies beyond reading and writing - as lifelong and lifewide. We will examine theoretical approaches to conceptualising literacy and understanding its role in our lives, including, but not exclusively, education, work, faith, family and political life. In doing so, we will look at language history, language change, language variety, multilingualism, multimodality and digital literacies, considering ideas such as the dominance or invisibility of certain practices, the relationships between 'in-school' and 'out-of-school' literacies and social fears of 'illiteracy'. The ways in which reading and writing are conceptualised or defined determines their research, policy and teaching, which in turn influence conceptualisations.
This module aims to examine this dynamic as part of understanding the powers, pleasures and perils of literacies across the life-course.
- Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees
Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees (EMMR) module will offer students an opportunity to consider:
- both the sociological positioning of the minorities, migrants and refugees in education
- policy approaches to educating minority populations
- philosophical questions about inclusivity and rights to education
- a more comparative perspective on how different national education systems approach the issue and opportunity of minorities, migrants and refugees, and
- how in turn these groups find strategies for succeeding within or challenging such provision.
- You will choose optional modules to the value of 4.0 credits from a list which may include the following: Dissertation
- Educating for Employment? Understanding Learning in the 21st Century Economy
Students will critically reflect, question and analyse the purpose of education and the dominant beliefs regarding the relationships between education, labour markets and the economy. Exploring education in a range of formal and informal contexts, using theoretical insights and connecting with empirical research, they will gain an understanding of how social scientists have conceptualised and studied work and employees, how the nature of work has changed alongside a changing national and global economy and how workers are produced in different contexts to serve the needs of the labour market and how this impacts upon individual fulfilment and social justice and equality.
- Elites, Education and Inequalities
This module aims to introduce students to the concept of 'elites' and consider how these groups are shaping the geographies, educational opportunities and cultural imaginaries of our lives. Students will use London as a space to examine these issues further, and explore ways in which they can contribute to broader debates about the role of elites in structuring experiences of inequality in our capital.
- Gender, Sexuality and Feminisms in Everyday Lives
This module offers students the opportunity to think theoretical, empirically and experientially about how gender and sexuality imbue our social worlds. It combines a theoretically-framed engagement with these concepts, with an action-research and activist orientated approach to thinking about our experiences and those of others and evaluating the nature of these relations. Critically, the module engages directly with the concept of feminism and the ways social media is increasingly a space that entrenches dominant relations while at the same time opening up opportunities for thinking and doing gender differently. The module acknowledges that there exist a range of positions in relation to gender, and to sexuality, and the module aims to encourage each student to reflect critically on their position and their role in the reproduction and resistance to dominant/heteronormative relations. It also intends to involve students in considering the possibility of, and in potentially committing to actual public engagements on key issues raised in the module, however large or small.
Students will be supported by their tutors in considering and participating in such engagements, ensuring students are aware of the ethics of such work and consider fully the potential risk or harm of such activities. Topics include gender and sexuality in (social) media, in education institutions, in families, in public life.
- Media Production in Education
This module will explore the rationale for media production in educational settings, and enable students to explore the issues it raises through practical experience. The module combined three elements: lectures on the rationale for media production in education, including the development of critical and creative digital literacy; seminars introducing students to the main forms of media production in educational settings, including video making and editing, video-game making, animation and music editing; and finally, an independent project in which students explore the role of media arts production in education critically and creatively, and design an exhibition of their work.
- Radical Education
This module will focus on the various traditions and forms of educational practice that fall under the broad heading 'radical education', from a philosophical and historical perspective. Students will be introduced to a range of educational experiments that challenge, in one way or another, mainstream forms of educational provision and practice. These will include anarchist and libertarian education, critical pedagogy, de-schooling and home schooling. The syllabus will include a range of theoretical resources, historical accounts, secondary literature and media presentations to enable the students to engage both with the practical lived experience of different forms of radical education, with the intellectual, political and philosophical ideas that inspired them, and with broad moral and political questions about the purposes of education and the relationship between education and social change.
- Rights, Equality & Justice in Education
- Youth and Youth Movements in the Modern World
This module will critically examine the history of young people and youth movements in Britain and the wider world. It seeks to develop students knowledge, understanding and skills so that they have a greater appreciation of formal and informal educational settings in which youth and adolescence were situated in the past.
The module covers a wide range of topics in the history of youth including social constructions of youth and adolescence; leisure, culture and consumption; work and unemployment; justice and juvenile delinquency; youth movements and subcultures; and politics, protest and activism. Students will further examine how young peoples experiences were shaped by concepts of gender, 'race', class and sexuality, and how this changed over time. Students will critically engage with historical sources and historiographical debates on youth and youth movements in order to understand, analyse and evaluate the experiences of young people over time. The module has a primary focus on the twentieth century and is structured thematically with a rough chronological progression over the 10 weeks.
- Youth in a Globalising World
This module aims to introduce students to the key themes, theories and debates in Youth Studies and to examine the experiences and engagement of young people in different spheres and spaces. Key topics that will be covered include: the social construction of youth; (delayed) youth transitions; youth opportunities and aspirations in further education, work and housing; youth civic and political engagement; cosmopolitan values and youth; online cultures and practices; and the methods and ethics of researching youth.
- Education, Religion and State: historical and contemporary developments
Almost everywhere religion has become increasingly relevant for making sense of the society, including understanding education. This module is an invitation to explore the complex relationship between education and religion. This will include exploring their historical relationship, the impact of the modern state, range of contemporary debates in various parts of the world, the role of the faith schools, religion and human rights, religious diversity, extremism, and issues to do with identity formation.
The module will be particularly relevant for students seeking to:
- become teachers of Religion Education (RE), Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) and Citizenship
- engage in youth work or community engagement, or
- wanting to prepare for further academic study.
The programme seeks to help each student acquire a common set of intellectual skills and develop their own unique and principled voice for writing and speaking about education in the world. It does this through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, field trips, multimedia sessions, and individual and collective research and organising projects.
As part of their dissertation option, students can opt to undertake fieldwork, and several of our optional modules involved field trips to local archives, museums and other sites of educational interest.
We use a wide range of assessment methods that are carefully developed across all our programme's modules. These include student journals and portfolios, empirical research assignments, multimedia projects, group discussions and debates, individual and collective presentations, writing drafts and outlines, formal academic essays and examinations.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Education Studies BA.
This programme prepares students for careers in education and a wide range of other fields, but also provides students with the skills to lead in transforming how we think about and practise education, in your work, community and personal lives.
Many of our students are keen to become teachers and work directly as educators. Our programme is also ideal for students wishing to make and influence education policy at local and national levels, or those who wish to develop careers in community and youth work, international aid and development, social care and inclusion, media and the arts, and other related fields.
Our students have also been keen to continue their own education, going on to study for Master's qualifications in related fields at the UCL Institute of Education and other prestigious institutions.
First destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:
- Full-time student, PGCE Primary at the UCL Institute of Education
- Full-time student, PGCE Post-Compulsory Education at the UCL Institute of Education
- Primary School Class Teacher (Year 6), Unspecified Primary School
- Primary School Class Teacher (Year 6), Mitchell Brook Primary School and studying MA Policy Studies In Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)
- Primary School Teaching Assistant, Canon Barnett Primary School and studying MA Sociology of Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)
Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
“I have always had a great interest in education as a whole and the various ways it intersects with things such as politics and sociology. One of the best things about studying at UCL for me was the fact that I was being taught by world-leading experts in the field.”Khadijah Anabah - Education Studies BA (2015)
“I chose the programme, as I was interested in working in the education sector, and the degree helped prepare me for the Primary PGCE. In my final year I undertook some work experience in a mainstream primary school as part of the requirements for the PGCE programme. I also worked in a tuition centre that provided me with further experience of working with young children.”Hoomera Khurshid - Education Studies BA (2015)
“At UCL IOE I managed to foster networks with a range of world-leading practitioners and professors within education. This was an invaluable asset to my career as the adoption of their theories and practices have helped me to progress further in my career. The friendly atmosphere at IOE made this an easy place to study and socialise, and the level of support and guidance from tutors and lecturers reached levels beyond comparison. They truly went over and beyond.”Abdi Dahir - Education Studies BA (2015)
Fees and funding
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2018/19)
- Overseas students
- £17,890 (2018/19)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Listen to Dr Rachel Wilde, Admissions Tutor, giving an overview of the Education Studies BA.