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Guide to studying Education

Education is a rewarding subject area where you'll learn how to share your knowledge and help shape future generations.

Teacher helping schoolgirl using a tablet computer in class


  1. What's Education?

  2. Why study Education?

  3. What jobs can you get as an Education graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Education?

Education is more than just teaching. It's 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.

Similar courses for Education include: 

  • Academic Studies in Education
  • Research & Study Skills in Education
  • Training Teachers

Why study Education?

The multidisciplinary nature of Education provides you with the critical understanding and expertise to enable you to:

  • Consider education within the school system
  • Question different approaches and contexts to learning
  • Improve how we develop as lifelong learners.

Outside of the classroom, you'll have a good understanding of the role of education across different societies and cultures and the interplay between education, childhood and learning.

Read our five reasons to study Education for more information on why you might choose this subject area.

design and technology lesson student and teacher

What jobs can you get as an Education graduate?

An Education degree will help you understand the processes behind the ways people learn.

With further study on a PGCE (Postgraduate General Certificate in Education) course, or on the job training in schools (SCITT), many Education graduates become primary and secondary school teachers.

Others choose to work in further education or the wider education sector as curriculum designers, education psychologists and education officers in galleries, museums and community services. As Education is an interdisciplinary subject, graduates also get jobs in media and publishing.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Education have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Education students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

For the majority of courses, you'll need at least five subjects at GCSE at grade C or above (including English, Mathematics and Science) and further education qualifications such as A Levels, or equivalent. The entry requirements vary depending on the course and institution.

Specific A Levels (or equivalent) aren't usually required, but you may need a CACHE qualification in Childhood Studies, or similar.

Education degrees may also be good for mature students who don't have such qualifications – it's best to contact your chosen university for further details.

Tips for your university application

As with any subject, try and find ways in which your interests and experiences demonstrate 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 degrees can you study?

  • BA (Hons) Education

How will you be assessed?

The variety of teaching methods (lectures, seminars, workshops, placements and independent study) and assessments (essays, reviews, poster presentations, reflective reports and exams) used will support you to develop the types of transferable skills valued by many employers. 

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

In addition to courses which provide Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), some students go on to complete master's 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're interested in international travel, another option is to complete a TEFL qualification.

As a degree in Education has foundations within educational research, some students study for a doctorate in Education and go on to become researchers and lecturers in universities.

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