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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 qualifications do you need?

  5. What degrees can you study?

  6. How will you be assessed?

  7. 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?

Education can be very rewarding. Many teachers say the best aspect of their job is seeing a child overcome a struggle and understand something being taught. Working in education is also helping to pioneer the future – you'll inspire younger generations who'll continue making the world a better place.

If you could never choose which subject you liked best at school, Education may be the perfect all-round degree. You can specialise in different areas such as primary education or adult learning, where a career could see you teaching maths in the morning and music in the afternoon.

The structures of Education courses are in place to keep you engaged and teach you a versatile skill set. There will be lectures, seminars and plenty of practical work – most courses include multiple school placements.

If you want to become a qualified teacher after undergraduate study, there are further training programmes you can take. You can also teach abroad after completing the TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and postgraduate options include courses that focus on social sciences, health and wellbeing.

The multidisciplinary nature of Education provides you with the critical understanding and expertise to enable you to consider education within schooling, question different approaches and contexts to learning and 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.

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.

Professional job: Usually needs a degree
Non-professional job: Doesn't usually need a degree

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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