Plymouth Institute of Education

BA (Hons) Education

Education is a driving force for a better and more just world. BA (Hons) Education informs, supports and promotes those looking to become innovators, pioneers and leaders of societal change. Educators can have a lasting impact on people’s lives. Whether you want to become a teacher, work in the social or care industries, as an educator in business, the environment or community development, BA (Hons) Education offers a flexible path to challenging and rewarding careers.

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.

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 what you can do with your Education degree.

Read what our alumni have to say about the career opportunities their degree gave them.

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 do an international study exchange for one or two semesters in the second year; 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 meaningful, inclusive and socially just forms of education.
  • 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; safeguarding training and qualification; 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, new opportunities open up 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 course; as well as the BA (Hons) Education course, you will have the opportunity in your second and third year to take one or two modules from the Early Childhood Studies course.
  • 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 myriad of opportunities available to all University of Plymouth students on our extensive, exciting city centre campus.

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
  • Core modules
    • EDST502 Learning Matters

      A core module that builds students¿ capacity to recognise and evaluate learning as it occurs in educational, work and recreational settings. It draws upon established, current and critical theory on learning and human development, and focuses on applying these theories to examples of educational practice from existing research and the students¿ experiences.

    • EDST503 Introduction to Work-based Learning

      This module is intended to provide students with the opportunity to maximise learning opportunities which accrue from part-time, term-time (PTTT), volunteering and vacation experience, which could include paid or unpaid work, based on the recognition that learning takes place in a wide variety of situations and settings. The module will contextualise work-based learning in higher education; and consider its potential for learning about the self, education and society.

    Optional modules
    • EDCO501 Educational Settings Placement Module Alternative - Year 2

      Students work to begin taking a leadership role in classrooms. The emphasis is on progression 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.

    • EDST504 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, when a student wishes to study an area outside the scope of modules on offer; or to pursue in greater depth an area touched upon in an earlier module.

    • EDST511 Outdoor and Experiential Learning

      This module focuses on the understanding and personal exploration of Outdoor and Experiential Learning. Understanding of the ways that the two fields are differentiated and integrated will be gained through theoretical and practical sessions. Students are encouraged to link theory with practice and will produce a personal critique of the way that one influences the other through the medium of their own experiences.

    • EDST514 Alternatives in Education.

      This module allows students to consider a diverse range of educational ideas and practices, including for example: de-schooling, radical/revolutionary pedagogies, Steiner, Montessori, educational utopias and democratic schools. Students will be encouraged to use these examples as a basis to consider both current and possible future educational practice.

    • EDST515 Inclusion and Therapeutic Interventions

      This module aims to conceptualise Inclusion through a broad lens, and to explore types of therapies and therapeutic interventions, and the role/s they can play, to encourage and enable social and educational inclusion. It will challenge participants to examine their understanding of key terms and their knowledge of art therapies.

    • EEC522 Working with a Range of Professionals

      This module is intended for those who wish to understand more about working with other professionals whose work impacts on young children and their families in some way; in Case Conferences; strategy meetings as well as report writing, producing and implementing developmental and/or safeguarding plans, etc.

    • EEC535 Childhood and Well-being in the Developing World

      This module focuses on childhood and well-being of young children in the developing world (defined as those that are low on the UN Human Development Index), by looking critically at issues such as poverty, global inequalities, access to resources, education, health, conflict, livelihoods and sustainability. It will offer students a critical perspective on what factors provide opportunities for, and challenges to, improving outcomes for children.

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
  • We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Further information

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

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 2020 2021
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed 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. For more information about fees and funding please visit

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, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business 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


Take advantage of the opportunity to do an international study exchange in your second year, 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 local, national and international research links including with Canada, Spain, Africa and the USA.

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 


Our students talk about their experience of BA (Hons) Education at Plymouth

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 international study exchange in the second year

To promote international opportunities for our students, we offer an optional second year study exchange for one or two semesters. Students have studied in partner universities in the USA via our International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and in Europe.

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


Maria Marin – developing positive change with education

"I loved the fact that the University was involved in numerous local projects that supported the different communities in Plymouth. It always felt like the University was part of the positive change that was happening in the city, either by supporting research, taking part in social projects and hosting events. I wanted to be part of that positive change too."

Graduate Maria talks about her experience as an international student studying education in Plymouth

Outdoor classroom in Plymouth shortlisted for MacEwen Award 2020

Education students and architecture students designed and built this amazing outdoor space with the children of a local primary school.

The collaboration has been shortlisted for RIBAs Macewen Awards 2020.

Read more about the project

Image credit: Toshiko Terazono


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

We're proud of our National Student Survey results*

  • ? 91% of students we're satisfied with the quality of the course overall.
  • @ 100% of students agreed staff were good at explaining things.
  • ? 97% of students agreed staff have made the subject interesting.
  • @ 100% of students were able to contact staff when they needed to.

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.