Education Studies BA

London, Bloomsbury

Education is at the heart of global efforts to create more fair and equal societies. Based at the world-leading IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, this interdisciplinary degree draws on sociology, philosophy, psychology, and history, to provide our students with the critical tools necessary to reflect on education and society, and to become leaders of social and political change.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 years
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£24,000 (2022/23)
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
26 Jan 2022
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

BBB more about contextual offers
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

32 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 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:

Equivalent qualification

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 30 credits at Distinction, 12 credits at Merit and 3 credits at Pass, all from Level 3 units.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades ABB.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher).

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

T Level Technical Qualification in Education and Childcare (Level 3) with the overall mark of at least Distinction.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL 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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Good

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.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

Students complete 120 credits per academic year, which are usually divided into eight modules, spread evenly over two teaching terms. 

This is an interdisciplinary programme, and the degree is therefore structured to give students a broad set of social science skills with which to become leading educational practitioners, social science researchers, and policy makers, who are able to think, write and analyse from a variety of theoretical and subject-based viewpoints about the ways in which humans both develop and flourish throughout their lives.  

Therefore, the first year of this degree provides a broad overview of education studies as a discipline, and modules provide an introduction into the degree's core subject disciplines (sociology, psychology, philosophy and history). As students progress into years two and three the course, they can either choose modules that maintain this broad subject focus, or instead construct a specialist pathway more closely aligned with their interests, and plans for further work and/or study.

As a result, in years one and two, students combine both core and optional modules (see below). In year three, students get to chose all of their modules, and have the opportunity to conduct independent research into a specific topic as part of their dissertation, in a specialist subject area of their choice. 

Please note that this degree does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but students can apply for a one-year teacher training programme in primary and a limited number of secondary subjects after completing the degree.

What this course will give you

Our students are introduced to a broad set of social science subjects through which they gain an interdisciplinary understanding of education, and of the ways in which humans develop and flourish throughout their lives.  This Programme was recently ranked number 1 by 'Education' subject area in The Guardian's 'Best UK universities for education – league table' 2021.

Students learn to think about education as not only being something that happens in schools and classrooms, but as a driving force for change relevant to how we think about workplaces, the media, globalisation, migration, politics, social justice, and the economy.

Students are taught by, and work alongside, active researchers at IOE, ranked as the leading university in the world for studying and researching Education for the past eight years (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).

Our students go on to work in a wide range of careers: our curriculum therefore gives students the space to navigate their own pathway through their degree, choose from a range of teaching and assessment methods, and to specialise within particular subject disciplines if they wish.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Education Studies.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

Living in a Schooled Society
Education in the Age of Globalisation
Understanding Education Research

Optional modules

You will choose optional modules from a list which may include the following:
Foundations in the Sociology of Education
Philosophical Reflections on Education with Film
Modern Foreign Language with Centre for Languages and International Education
The Worlds of UCL: Critical histories of education, nation and empire
Literacy, Language and Communication
How People Learn

Compulsory module(s)

Policy and Politics in Education
Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods

Optional modules

You will choose optional modules from a list which may include the following:
Archival Research and Oral History in Education
The Learning Sciences
Education Studies Placement Module
An Introduction to Applied Quantitative Analysis in the Social Sciences
Children with Disabilities: Theory, Politics and Experience
Modern Foreign Language with Centre for Languages and International Education
Philosophical Research in Education
Educating and Organising for Social Justice
Philosophy, Thought and Perception: introduction to reflexivity in education and social science research
Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees

Your learning

As part of their dissertation option, students can opt to undertake fieldwork, and several of our optional modules involve short pieces of research, field trips to local archives, museums and other sites of educational interest.

We offer an optional placement module in the second year to introduce the theory and history of education as part of collective efforts to create a more democratic, equal, just and sustainable society. Alongside lectures and seminars, the module provides a hands-on opportunity to learn community organising skills and participate in a local community organising project with Citizens UK. Please note this module is capped and students interested in taking the module will be asked to write a short letter explaining why they are interested in the topic.

Each module consists of formal, teacher-led lectures and seminars, in addition to independent study and preparation which might include: reading in preparation for lectures and seminars, writing, independent research, group projects, placements, archival work and online tasks. Each module arranges these hours differently. 

As an indicative example, a typical week for a student following four modules in one term, might include twelve hours of teaching (4 modules x 3 hours of lectures and seminars), in addition to twenty-eight hours (4 modules x 7 hours) of independent study and preparation.

Additionally, there are opportunities to join extra-curricular reading groups, research seminars, and other events taking place in our department, at IOE, and across UCL more generally. 


We use a wide range of assessment methods that are carefully developed across all our programme's modules to develop students' thinking and writing skills. These include argumentative academic essays, journals and portfolios, empirical research assignments, multimedia projects, group discussions and debates, individual and collective presentations, writing drafts and outlines, and examinations.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

Our students progress into a wide range of careers, including work as education and social policy advisors, human rights, government, youth work, international development, human resources, school and FE teaching, and further academic study in specialist subjects across the social sciences.

We support our students' transition to work and/or postgraduate study through tailored career events developed in collaboration with UCL Careers. 

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad for a term.


In addition to technical subject knowledge and skills, our students develop a range of transferable skills in research, leadership, collaboration and teamwork, communication (written, oral and digital), and critical and creative thinking.

UCL is committed 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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £9,250 (2022/23)
Tuition fees (2022/23) £24,000 (2022/23)

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

If you select an optional module that requires you to undertake a mandatory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check the cost will be covered by the department.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.

Next steps

Your application

We look for applicants interested in developing a critical mindset, who have a desire to shape, redefine and reimagine what education is and can be. Applicants should have an appreciation of the broad social science approach of our programme, and an interest in engaging with a variety of subject disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. We welcome applicants with a range of experiences in different kinds of educational settings.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


We consider all aspects of your UCAS application, valuing compelling personal statements, academic abilities and commitment to the field of education, perhaps through voluntary or work experience. In some circumstances we may ask for additional information (for example, samples of written work). We reserve the right to interview applicants.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.