Undergraduate prospectus 2021


Education Studies BA

Education is a driving force for a better and more just world. The Education Studies BA at the world-leading UCL Institute of Education is an interdisciplinary degree supporting future generations to understand and critically reflect on education and society to become leaders of societal change.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

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. 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

Contextual offer

BBB (more about contextual offers)
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

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

32 (more about contextual offers)
A score 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 23 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

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

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

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

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.

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: 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.

Degree benefits

  • Students are taught by active researchers, benefiting from UCL’s Connected Curriculum approach, and from the research and teaching expertise at the UCL Institute of Education, ranked world leader in the field of Education for the last seven years (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020). 

  • We prepare our students to be agents of global educational transformation. Throughout the programme, they are encouraged to reflect on their identity and place in the world. 

  • Our curriculum allows them to navigate their own path through the degree, and our varied teaching and assessment methods support them to become independent and innovative thinkers capable of both responding to and leading the transformations of the future.

  • Gaining insights from sociology, philosophy, history and psychology in relation to educational issues, students learn to combine and apply different forms of knowledge to propose solutions to real world challenges. 

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Degree structure

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).

Our students critically evaluate policy, design independent research projects and become critical users and producers of technology.

In the first and 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 programme after completing the degree.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or 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

Core or compulsory module(s)

Policy and Politics in Education

Optional modules

You will choose optional modules from a list which may include the following:

Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods
Archival Research and Oral History in Education
The Learning Sciences
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
Ways of Thinking and Ways of Being
Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees

Optional modules

You will choose optional modules which may include the following:

Literacies Across the Lifecourse
Media Education in Schools: New Literacies and Production
Youth in a Globalising World
Social History of Learning and Learners
Creativity and Education
Modern Foreign Language with Centre for Languages and International Education
The Teacher in Policy and Research
Educating for Employment? Understanding Learning in the 21st Century Economy
Gender, Sexuality and Feminisms in Everyday Lives
Radical Education
Youth Cultures and Youth Movements: Sociological and Historical Perspectives
Rights, Equality and Justice in Education
Education, Religion and State: Historical and Contemporary Developments
Communicating Knowledge: Possibilities and Opportunities
Options from across UCL, subject to availability

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:    Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods (EDPS0009) will now be compulsory for Term 1. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Your learning

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 community organising projects.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.


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.

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Education Studies BA.


We prepare students to use their subject expertise in education for a wide variety of  careers in policy, schools, communities and international  organisations. Students gain the intellectual tools to enable them to take a lead role in transforming how we think about and practise education, wherever they go in their work, community and personal lives. 

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad for a term and experience a different education system. 

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.

Student view
The programme is amazing because we look at education very holistically; we look at how teachers, politicians, parents, children and the community all influence education and it is really great way to understand the broader picture. Read more Ibtissam El-Founti Hamed - Education Studies BA Third year
Student view
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. Read more Abdul Alim - Education Studies BA Third Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU 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 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£19,720 (2020/21)

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, you will need to meet the cost of this (approximately £70).

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


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.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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.

Application and next steps

Your application

We look for applicants with a desire to shape, redefine and reimagine what education is and can be. Applicants should have an appreciation of the approach of our programme and an interest in engaging with a variety of disciplines. 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.

Application deadline: 15 January 2020


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.

In addition to general open days, we run an offer holder day, usually in February, so prospective students can meet the team and experience what it will be like to study with us at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 12 March 2020