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Guide to Studying Education

By Dr WestrupLecturer in Education within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia.

Education tag cloud © photosoup - Fotolia
© photosoup - Fotolia
Education – much more than
just teaching

What is Education?

  • Education is the subject to study if you are interested in becoming a teacher, but it is also so much more than that.
  • It is an interdisciplinary subject which draws on Sociology, Psychology, History and Philosophy to help us understand and broaden our knowledge about how people of all ages learn, and the factors that can impact positively and negatively on this.

Specific or general skills developed

  • The multi-disciplinary nature of Education provides students with the critical understanding and expertise to enable them to consider education within schooling, question different approaches and contexts to learning and how we develop as lifelong learners.
  • Outside of the classroom, students consider the role of education across different societies and cultures and the interplay between education, childhood and learning.
  • These are also important for further study. The development of skills such as teamwork, communication and presentation will also enhance self-confidence.

Coursework, assessments and exams

  • The variety of teaching methods used (e.g. lecture, seminar, workshop, placement and independent study) and assessments (e.g. essays, reviews, poster presentations, reflective reports, exams) supports students to develop the types of transferable skills valued by employers.

What degree can I get? 

  • You can get a BA (Hons) Education degree.

What qualifications do I need?

  • For the majority of courses students will need at least five subjects at GCSE, grade C or above (including English, Mathematics and Science) and further education qualifications such as A-Levels, BTEC, International, European and Welsh Baccalaureates and Scottish Highers.
  • The entry requirements vary depending on the course and institution.
  • Education degrees may also be of interest to mature students who do not have such qualifications – it is best to contact your chosen university for further details.

Use our CUG Course chooser to filter results to find Education courses.

Tips for your university application

  • As with any subject, try and find ways in which your interests and experiences demonstrate an enthusiasm for education and learning.
  • If teaching is your thing, why do you want to teach others? If your interest is broader, what is it about education and learning that captures your interest? What inspires you?

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • In addition to courses which provide Qualified Teacher Status, some students go on to complete Masters degrees (in the UK and abroad) in a range of Social Sciences subjects such as Education, Childhood and Youth, Paediatric Nursing and Speech and Language Therapy.
  • If you are interested in international travel, another option is to complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification, which enables you to teach English to learners for whom English is an additional language.
  • As a degree in Education has foundations within Educational Research, some students choose to study for a Doctorate in Education and go on to become researchers and lecturers in universities.

Graduate job prospects

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*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • An Education degree will help students to understand the processes behind the ways in which people learn and the different factors encountered within our lives that can influence the educational and learning opportunities we have.
  • With further study on a Postgraduate General Certificate in Education (PGCE) course or on the job training in schools (SCITT), many students become Primary and Secondary teachers.
  • Others choose to work in Further Education or in the wider education sector as education officers in galleries, museums and community services.
  • As Education is an inter-disciplinary subject, graduates also get jobs in media and publishing.