Plymouth Institute of Education

BA (Hons) Education Studies

Educators can have a lasting impact on people’s lives. Whether you want to become a teacher, work in the social or care industries, or become a researcher, education studies offers a flexible path to a challenging and rewarding career. Explore moral and social issues, and discover how the environment shapes learning, to understand how you can make a difference to a child’s wellbeing and future.

Take advantage of an optional paid or unpaid work-based learning module to help you stand out when it comes to starting your career. Participate in education-related volunteering in the Plymouth area and develop your knowledge and experience. Make the most of the opportunities presented by being part of a department that has strong links with universities in Canada, Spain, Africa and the USA, through the International Students Exchange Programme.

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.

Key features

  • Benefit from a multi-strand and mutli-disciplinary course that offers scope and flexibility to explore where your strengths lie in the field of education.
  • Learn from experienced lecturers and tutors who are leading national and international research projects in education.
  • Find out about eco-education: from outdoor and experiential learning to eco-philosophy, what is it and why is it important to people’s lives?
  • Tackle central education issues, such as disability and inclusion studies, with the help of experts in the field.
  • Engage in questions of social justice and inclusion and develop your ability to present well founded arguments.
  • Participate in education-related volunteering in the Plymouth area and develop your knowledge and experience.
  • Choose modules in early childhood studies to gain insights into important factors that shape us as young learners.
  • Seek advice from our expert employability service as you move through the degree.
  • Make the most of the opportunities presented by being part of a department that has strong links with universities in Canada, Spain, Africa and the USA, through the International Students Exchange Programme
  • Take advantage of an optional paid or unpaid work-based learning module to help you stand out when it comes to starting your career.

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 return showing 95% of students found our staff are good at explaining things, and 92% expressed overall satisfaction with the course.*  

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll be introduced to the three key strands of the course: disability and inclusion, eco-education, and early childhood. The concepts of values and equality will sit at the heart of your learning, helping you develop an understanding of the moral and social issues in education today. Fieldwork at this stage gives you the chance to recognise your strengths and develop specific areas of expertise early on.
    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.

    • 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.

    Optional modules
    • EDCO425 Year 1 Paired School Experience and English (alternative)

      Students work in pairs to begin taking a leadership role in classrooms. The emphasis is on team teaching in the core and non-core subjects of the National Curriculum. This experience will complement campus-based work in Education Studies and non-core modules. The paired experience provides opportunities for supportive critical appraisal of work undertaken. Alongside this module students will become familiar with both the subject knowledge and elements of curriculum design and delivery, which will equip them for the teaching of English in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.

    • 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.

    • EDST406 Early Adventures

      It is widely accepted that the early years of childhood set the scene for many aspects of future life. This module explores the ways in which young children discover the natural world around them and the strategies educationalists and organisations employ to enhance the experience. There will be numerous opportunities for fieldwork, site visits and work with children.

    • EDST407 The Experience of Disability: an Ethnographic Study

      This module allows the student to gain insights into the experience of disability. By working alongside a person with a disability the student will build up a profile of that person, including their educational history and present educational needs. Ethnographic methods such as observing and interviewing and report methods such as biography and critical independent reporting will be developed and used.

    • EDU400PP Autism in the 21st century; research from a range of disciplines

      This module will help students to develop a critical approach to their own studies and research. We will explore cutting edge research on the unusual strengths of individuals with autism. Areas covered will include synaesthesia, mathematical, artistic and musical savant skills and feats of memory. To celebrate the talents of people with autism we will explore current work from a variety of disciplines including mathematics, performing and visual arts, science, technology and education.

    • EDU402PP Knowing Inside Out: Learning outside Formal Education

      This module will facilitate students conceptualisation of learning as something that does not only happen in designated educational settings. All students will be expected to undertake a practical assignment to experience and support life wide learning and consider what supports and obstructs learning outside formal education. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDU403PP Philosophy into Practice: Enquiry, Reflection and Dialogue

      This module provides a democratic forum for thoughtful critical exploration of pressing philosophical or ethical questions and issues brought by participants. These will be addressed through collaborative engagement with philosophical texts and through philosophical questioning, reasoning, meaning making and dialogue. Students will keep a log and engage in a reflexive assignment on participation in a community of philosophical enquiry. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDU404PP Researching with, not on - participatory research with children

      This module will challenge students to consider the implications of working with children in research projects.  The module will support students in addressing issues around ethical balance, children's voice and appropriate research methodologies. Examples of research studies involving children at multiple levels of engagement and participation including as co-researchers will be considered and a short project intended for local schools developed.

    • EDU405PP Global Futures

      This module will facilitate students' conceptualisation of issues around education for sustainable development. The module will explore and facilitate the development of active learning approaches to be carried out and evaluated in designated educational settings. Students will be expected to develop, implement and critically review a learning activity in context to the wider issues related to learning for sustainability. (This module is subject to availability)

    • PSYC104 Contemporary Topics in Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module develops students¿ understanding of theories and methods of enquiry in social and developmental psychology, using topics selected to demonstrate how psychological theory can help professional and research psychologists understand human development as well as relationships with other people and the environment.

  • Year 2
  • Your second year picks up the three major strands studied in the previous year, but with additional modules in ICT, alternatives in education, critical theory and philosophy with children, as well as preparation for a PGCE in a school or adult context. You’ll have the freedom to focus on a variety of vocational or postgraduate pathways, while work-based, independent learning allows you to use paid or unpaid work (even a holiday job) to further your reflection skills and enhance your graduate profile.
    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
    • EDCO535 Year 2 School Experience (alternative)

      During the course of this module, students will become confident with both the subject knowledge and elements of curriculum design and delivery, which will equip them for teaching in the relevant age phase. This module is an alternative to permit referral for students not wishing to obtain QTS.

    • 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.

    • EDST506 Intersectionality and Disabling Conditions

      This module will deconstruct models of identification, assessment, diagnosis and the practice of labelling of disabled people. It will look at causation from a historical, social, educational, political national and international standpoint. It will explore disability in terms of intersectionality (including: gender, social class, race, sexuality) and the implications of this for education and society in the light of an inclusivity and diversity ethos. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDST508 Learning through Children's Literature: Childhood, Philosophy and Education

      This module engages students with debates about the value and role of children's literature. It develops knowledge and understanding of its social and cultural significance. It draws on the field of Philosophy for Children and its philosophy and pedagogy, to explore practices that employ narrative to deepen thinking and interaction in educational settings. Students will consider constructs of child in children's literature and these will be linked to discussion about child in society.

    • 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.

    • EDST513 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. (This module is subject to availability)

    • 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.

    • EDST516 Sex and Relationship Education

      This module will examine society's response to disability. It looks at attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers to disabled people. The rights of disabled people and how these have been recognised in legislation and policies will be discussed. The notion of an Inclusive society will be reflected upon and the contribution of the education system will be analysed.

    • EEC512 Working with a range of Professionals: the impact on young children

      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. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EEC525 Childhood & Well-being in the Majority World

      This module focuses on childhood and well-being of young children in the majority world, by looking critically at issues such as family patterns, access to resources, education, health, conflict and livelihoods and making links with the situation in the UK. It will offer students a critical perspective on what factors provide opportunities for, and challenges to, improving outcomes for children. (This module is subject to availability)

    • PSYC204 Applied Topics in Health and Cognition

      This module explores applications of basic research and psychological theory in two areas: health psychology and cognitive psychology. (This module is subject to availability)

  • Final year
  • In your final year, the three core strands from years one and two continue, while your main focus will be on educational research. Some options from year two are also available to study in year three. Entry at this level is available to students with a foundation degree or HND-related subject. 
    Core 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.

    Optional modules
    • 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)

    • EDST607 Drawing upon the Margins for Inclusion in Education and Society

      The module engages with a range of approaches to, and understandings of, inclusive values, practices and cultures within educational settings. The module is organised around two central questions. First, What is the difference between being in and being of an educational setting? Second, How might we best live and learn together? (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDST608 Interventions in 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) 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.

    • 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.

    • EDST611 Ecoliteracy

      This module investigates the ideas and efficacy of Education for Sustainability and its assertions that both cognitive and affective understanding of our place in the natural world are essential for all aspects of planetary and human welfare. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EDST613 Youth and Adult Community Learning

      This module will introduce and critically examine key areas of policy and practice in youth and adult community learning from a range of perspectives, including critical theory and education as emancipation. The module presents an opportunity to critically engage with the work of practitioners and learners in national and international youth and community education contexts

    • EDST614 Engaged Pedagogy, Love, and the practice of care

      In exploring the concept of `Engaged Pedagogy¿, and inherent notions of love and Eros, it will lead to critically considering constructions of care and nurture historically and trans-culturally, as well as the ethics and practices of care, and contextualising these within educational roles and settings, as well as our own professional/personal values and boundaries.

    • EEC615 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. (This module is subject to availability)

    • EEC617 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 the concept of curriculum, where it exists, the different roles adults play within it and how it might be shaped to support effective practice with young children. (This module is subject to availability)

    • PSYC392 Current Topics in Applied Psychology

      This module allows students to develop a critical appreciation of recent research in applied psychology. Students study four topics in depth. These are introduced by staff teaching in their specialist research area. (This module is subject to availability)

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 Studies Programme Specification 2017 18 1985

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


A level
You need a minimum of 2 A levels

24 points (with a minimum of 4 at Higher Level, subject-related profile preferred).

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 possible with a foundation degree or HND in a related subject. 

Merit, Merit, Merit

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 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and at least 7.0 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

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,250 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

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

Alice Potter – BA (Hons) Education Studies graduate

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 an SEN Statementing Coordinator for Devon County Council.

Read more about Alice's graduate career

Andy Grace – BA (Hons) Education Studies

Studying at Plymouth opened my eyes to my potential and it helped me to find my passion.

Andy talks about how his passion for education has taken him to Israel and back to Plymouth again.

Read more about Andy's graduate career

DBS assessments and other requirements

It is important to note all offers of a place to study with us are made subject to receipt of satisfactory screenings prior to starting your course.

If you do not pass these checks satisfactorily you will not be able to start a course with us.

Learn more about DBS assessments and other requirements


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