Abdul is an Education Studies BA student, class of 2019. He talks to us about getting behind the scenes of education.
*From the 2024/2025 academic year onwards, this degree has been renamed as the Education, Society and Culture BA.
What is it like to study Education Studies and why did you choose this programme?
A lot of my family are teachers and I have always wanted to go into teaching one day, so when it came to choosing a university degree I wanted to learn more about the “behind the scenes” of education. When I came across this degree I thought it looked really interesting.
The programme is really broad; I have learnt about how education policy is enacted within the UK and globally, about childhood, about the sociology of education and about minority education around the world and in a local context as well.
What were your first impressions of UCL?
In the beginning I was a bit scared; it can be quite overwhelming to have to make new friends and get used to a whole new environment. But I settled in really well and I have made a good group of friends who have helped me along the way.
What is the biggest challenge you face while studying?
It tends to be that all our assignments are due at similar times at the end of the term, so the biggest challenge is making sure that you manage your workload and stay on top of your reading, so that it doesn’t become too intense at those busy times.
What do you hope to do after completing your degree?
I want to become a primary school teacher. I have been doing a voluntary placement in a local primary school and I have really enjoyed it. I hope to do my PGCE next year.
“What have you found most valuable about your degree programme?
I think the most valuable thing is getting to know what goes on behind the scenes of education and understanding how government and education policy affects children’s education.
What is the best thing about studying in London?
I think one of the best things about studying in London is having access to all of the other London universities’ facilities. I live in east London so if I can’t come to the IOE to study there are lots of universities which are more local to me and I can easily go to their libraries to study.
How have you been supported during your time at UCL?
My lecturers have been really supportive. There have been instances when I have been stuck on assignments and needed some clarification on certain aspects – I can just email them and they come back with useful tips and help as much as they can.
Every student gets allocated a personal tutor in the first year and they stay with you for your whole time at university. My personal tutor and I try to meet up often; it is nice to have somebody take an interest in your university experience. We met up before the beginning of this academic year to speak about any worries I had about the third year, graduation and life beyond university.
What would you say to somebody thinking of applying to the IOE to study your course?
If you are planning to go into education or just want to know more about how education shapes society I think this is the perfect subject. It is very broad, there is a lot of content to cover and there are a lot of modules to choose from so you can pick topics that interest you. The lecturers are very supportive and the facilities available in the IOE are really good. I think it is a great course for anyone with an interest in education and I would encourage people to apply.