Plymouth Institute of Education

BA (Hons) Education

Educators can have a lasting impact on people’s lives. Whether you want to become a teacher, work in the social or care industries, business, the environment or community development, BA (Hons) Education offers a flexible path to a challenging and rewarding career. Explore social and political issues, consider diversity in education and discover how the environment shapes learning. This degree will help you make a difference to adults' and children's wellbeing and our global future.

Take advantage of funding to support a semester studying in the USA, work-based learning modules and placements for real world and professional experience, to help you stand out when it comes to starting your career. Participate in education-related volunteering in the Plymouth area. Make the most of Plymouth's education opportunities with our expert tutors, guest education sector speakers and strong research links in Canada, Spain, Africa and the USA.

Course renamed

This is a course title change from BA (Hons) Education Studies

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Charlotte Dunn:

"Experience is key. Make sure that you take the time to gain lots of experience within schools and working with children as this will help you to confirm whether or not it’s definitely what you want to do. This process will also give you the necessary experience to take with you into your career.

Personally, whilst at university, I worked in America as a camp counsellor for a summer, I took a placement in a nursery, I spent a few weeks in a school, and I undertook training to become an online mentor for BeatBullying. The University has a fantastic volunteering service which I used."

Read more from Charlotte in her case study.

Whether you want to teach, or work in social or care contexts, Education will open up a flexible and varied career path. Find out more about possible career choices 

Key features

  • We are about exploration: we love Plymouth but we also love to explore. Within the course there is the opportunity to broaden your understanding of Education in different environments and cultures: residential trips; an option to study for the second semester in the USA; work based learning placements, and more.
  • Learning and working with others: students are given space and tools to develop your individual voice, critical insight, and knowledge over a wide range of the education field. We encourage you to engage with different views and ideas about what a meaningful, inclusive and socially just form of education is.
  • Enriched student experience: there are many additional opportunities to nourish a thriving student experience, such as benefitting from visiting speakers; wide ranging free public lectures/performances; Makaton training; teaching English as a second language fully certified course; and a range of volunteering experiences and placements in schools and the community.
  • Developing confidence and critical thinking: we encourage and foster students’ knowledge and understanding of yourself and others, to develop confidence and conviction in personal opinions and beliefs and to have these challenged, as well as to build the courage to step outside of your comfort zones and to embrace new things.
  • Becoming a researcher: students arrive imagining they might enter teaching, or social work, etc, at the end. Often, however, as you develop as an academic researcher, it opens up new opportunities and you catch the research bug! Doing research also helps to build confidence and skills which are useful for many work disciplines in the years ahead.
  • Individual journeys and development: one of the things we particularly prize is the way we work to nurture, challenge and encourage personal growth and development. The course has the journey of 'you' at its heart: the person you wish to be, providing you with the enthusiasm and knowledge you need change the world around us.
  • Early Childhood options: You can dip your toe into another programme; as well as the BA (Hons) Education course, you will have the opportunity in your second year to take one or two modules in Early Childhood Studies.
  • Other learning opportunities: Take advantage of paid or unpaid work based learning module/s to help you stand out when it comes to starting your career. You can also participate in education-related volunteering; or pursue the opportunities presented in our International Students Exchange Programme.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • EDST401 An Introduction to Critical Questions

      A series of lectures given by members of the EDST team, focusing on their own research, interests and enthusiasms, and weekly seminars, will introduce students to the wide range of areas of study which are included in Education Studies. The weekly themes will include written exercise and regular input form our University's Learn Development support and Library services. This is to ensure you are developing the necessary study and communication skills. We will work in lecture groups, small seminar groups and aim to have an expedition to address matters of `sustainability¿ in education. We will integrate themes and ideas by means of active engagement in small seminar groups and support as you decide on your chosen method of assessment after week 4.

    • EDST404 An Introduction to Perspectives on Disability and Inclusive Education

      This module will introduce some of the key perspectives in disability studies and inclusive education. It will critically examine the historical background and different models of disability. It will look at the role of the educator and education system in relation to learners with disabilities and/or special educational needs. Stereotypes, labelling and language use will be examined. It will challenge participants to examine their own attitudes towards disability. Educational perspectives on and practices of exclusion, integration and inclusion will be explored.

    • EDST405 Introduction to Global Education

      The module takes a broad view of global education and analyses how it relates to human culture and our relationship with the world around us. Through fieldwork and site visits, the need for ecological literacy and global education are examined. The module explores educational ideas and concepts that underpin the aspects of the field.

    • EDST408 Equality and Justice in Education

      This module focuses on notions of equality and social justice as ways of investigating several important issues in both policy and practice of education. It offers an opportunity to compare ideological positions with practices which should be validated against observation and discussion of equality or social justice issues in education. It examines the role of education in addressing social justice.

    • EDST409 Debating Values in Education

      This module examines the basis of the values and attitudes we hold in relation to educational issues. In particular we address the aims and purposes of education through the perspectives of significant thinkers in the field. Students are encouraged to make an in-depth philosophical study of one example of the application of value systems to an area of educational activity.

    • EDST410 Praxis for change

      This module considers theories of leadership and management within educational settings, enabling students to develop their skills for leadership in their specialist subject.

    Optional modules
    • EDCO401 Educational Settings Placement Module Alternative - Year 1

      Students work to begin taking a leadership role in classrooms. The emphasis is on reflecting upon teaching in the core and broader curriculum subjects of the National Curriculum. This experience will complement campus-based work in Education Studies, Core and Broader Curriculum modules. The experience provides opportunities for supportive critical appraisal of work undertaken.

  • Year 2
  • Optional modules
    • EDST602 Research in Education

      This module enhances students¿ knowledge and understanding of the nature, significance and role of research and its impact on theory, policy and practice in the field of education. It develops students¿ knowledge, skills and understanding in respect of planning, designing, carrying out and critically evaluating their own independent educational research enquiries.

    • EDST603 Independent Study Module

      This module enables students to make an in-depth study of an area of educational interest not supported by the module menu. Such choices arise when a first module choice is unavailable, a student wishes to study an area outside the scope of modules on offer; or to pursue in greater depth an area touched on in an earlier module.

    • EDST604 Global Education: Teaching and Learning for an Interconnected World

      Global education is based upon the interconnectedness of everything. It asks the learner to explore contemporary global issues, development, environment, human rights, social justice, peace and conflict within the framework of the world as a system. This module offers an introduction to global education theory and practice. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDST609 Wellbeing and Education

      This Module will question some of the significant factors and experiences of personal and institutional stressors, and individual and cultural values and expectations, which impact on our lives, and the experiences of education for both students and staff. We will examine key concepts, theories, evidence and issues relating to wellbeing and critically question the role of education in contributing to it; whilst examining our own professional practice, understanding and experiences of factors and processes effecting/affecting personal and cultural wellbeing issues.

    • EDST610 Gender and Difference

      This module will explore theories and discourses surrounding gender to examine historical, philosophical, political and cultural references, as well as personal experiences. The intention of this module is to raise personal and professional awareness of our differently gendered identities and professional practices. These will be contextualised within social and educational processes in order to inquire into being differently gendered according to, for example, our culture, ethnicity, sexuality, dis/ability, social class backgrounds, etc.

    • EDST616 Sustainability and Environmental Education

      Teaching and learning about sustainability and environmental issues is crucial at all levels. Through direct experience in the natural world this module explores the central notions of education for sustainable development, ecological literacy and the practicalities of interpretation, teaching and learning outdoors.

    • EEC627 Enabling Environments for Young Children's Learning

      This module considers issues surrounding the spaces in which adults interact with children in teaching and learning relationships. Students will examine governments' and practitioners' beliefs and principles that influence the creation of these `spaces' and the pedagogic practices within them

    • EEC629 Politics, Welfare and Society

      Key social, political and educational issues that affect the lives of young children, 0-8, and their families will be studied in this module. Some comparisons will be made with Europe and other countries. Students will be encouraged to develop a considerable personal perspective on social questions related to early childhood services.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Education programme specification 6763

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 112

A level
From a minimum of two A levels. Other combinations will be considered. Preference is given for Arts/Drama/Social Sciences/Early Years/English/ Humanities/Media, however all subjects are considered.

24–26. Preference is given for Arts/Drama/Social Sciences/Early Years/English/Humanities/Media, however, all subjects are considered.
English accepted within - Advanced Level = 4, Standard Level = 5
If overseas and not studying English within IB – MUST have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements

Although you do not require GCSE grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics for this course, please note that if you choose to go on to study a PGCE you will require them.

Third-year entry is possible with a foundation degree or HND in a related subject.


MMM. Preference is given for Arts/Drama/Social Sciences/Early Years/English/Humanities/Media, however, all subjects are considered.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Pass of which 33 must be at merit or distinction level.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact

Extended entry requirements

  • disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure

  • all offers made for this course are subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check

  • we also ask all applicants to complete a self-disclosure form so that the University can consider suitability for programmes that involve contact with children and vulnerable adults.  This form offers the opportunity to declare any criminal convictions prior to completing a DBS application

  • if English is not your first language you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below. If you are considering another equivalent qualification, please contact admissions

  • IELTS - Overall average score of at least 6.0, with a score of at least 5.5 in the listening and reading sections and at least 5.5 in the writing and speaking sections

  • meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further

Further information

  • Come and visit us at University open days and/or applicant days to find out more and meet some of our tutors and current students!

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email


Championing a better understanding of equality and diversity in education

I wanted to understand how discrimination, harassment and bullying is so prevalent in schools ... It became something that I was passionate about and, until I started studying, I hadn't realised just how passionate I was.

Stuck in a career that made him miserable, Andy Grace gave it all up at 23 to go to university where he found his voice

Andy Grace, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Advisor

"Being on the ground and working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds and with special educational needs I felt passionate about inclusive education and interested in finding out about alternative approaches.

"The course gave me more subject knowledge about the way things worked behind the scenes and about the importance of challenging existing ideas on inclusion and the ability of students."

Graduate Sharon Gawman, now works for Next Steps South West

Optional semester in USA:

As a part of our international reach, we offer an optional second year second semester in the USA. You may choose to spend that studying at our partner University- Plymouth State University in New Hampshire or in other partner USA universities via our International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).

Students enjoy time spent learning in a different environment where tutor and peer support continue, travelling in the US, making new international friends, developing new expertise and attending US sporting and cultural events. The students who opt for this have referred to it as a life enhancing and changing experience!!

Alice Potter, Commissioning Support Assistant for Devon County Council

 "My studies at Plymouth were incredibly rewarding. I really appreciated the support and encouragement I was given by my tutors."

Alice Potter interned at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is now working as a SEN Statementing Coordinator for Devon County Council.

BA (Hons) Education graduate Alice's talks about her graduate career


Charlotte Dunn, Key Stage 1 teacher

"After doing a placement through the University I decided that teaching was the route I wanted to take. Plymouth gave me a change to get a well rounded view of education, I got to study outdoor education, children's literature, disability in education, and this has helped me to become a better teacher."

"Whilst volunteering at a local primary school, with both KS1 and 2 children ... I found that I thrived in the role of helping to shape a child’s learning and knew that this was something I wanted to do.
Having previously worked in accountancy, I wanted a more rewarding career. I felt my experience gained at the local primary school and in assisting at a local cub scout pack had given me the drive and enthusiasm to further make an impact on children’s education, wellbeing and their futures. This inspired me to study Education at University and discover and investigate broader topics such as cultural and social issues that can influence a child’s learning."

Mark O'Carroll, primary teacher