Plymouth Institute of Education

BA (Hons) Education with Foundation

Educators can have a lasting impact on lives. Whether you want to become a teacher, work in social or care industries, business, the environment or community development, education offers a flexible career path. If you're wondering if university is for you or if you have enough entry points we want to hear from you, whatever the circumstances. With opportunities to work with children, young people and adults in a variety of contexts, this course allows you to create your own career path.

We offer high-quality teaching, a stimulating learning environment where you'll feel supported and ready for degree study. In your first year, you'll develop your knowledge of the ways children and adults come to know what they know. You’ll acquire skills and the confidence to know how to use it. Upon successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the undergraduate BA (Hons) Education course where you develop your understanding of the ways children and adults learn together.

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

Your foundation year will:

  • enable you to enter University from non-traditional entry routes, whether you are returning to education after a break or if you come with qualifications other than A levels.
  • introduce you to supportive and accessible academic staff in a welcoming community with personal tutor support.
  • prepare you for level 4 study in a research-rich environment, establishing relationships with the University, support services, teaching staff and other education students.
  • provide research-informed teaching opportunities which build on your prior learning, encouraging you to draw on your work/professional/personal experiences
  • provide you learning experiences which offer small group work, problem-solving and interactive approaches through a wide range of diverse and innovative teaching methods.
  • support you in developing essential study skills through a variety of coursework-based inclusive assessments – from essays and presentations to creative projects, personal development plans and written projects.

This course is an integrated part of the BA (Hons) Education degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of  BA (Hons) Education or BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies.

When you join the BA (Hons) Education with Foundation, you will:

  • Engage with our three cores: social justice, inclusion and sustainability
  • Critically consider eco-education: from global education to outdoor and experiential learning
  • Tackle central education issues, such as diversity, special educational needs, disability, mental health and wellbeing
  • Learn from experienced lecturers and tutors who are actively engaged in national and international research projects in education.

Course details
  • Foundation Year

  • In your foundation year (Year 0), you’ll acquire the knowledge and skills you’ll need to progress through your studies and become a confident, independent learner. You’ll take four 30 credit modules which will introduce you to a range of education-related topics whilst preparing you for degree-level study at the University of Plymouth.

    Please note that BA (Hons) Education with Foundation and BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation will be combined for the foundation year only.

    Core modules

    • Questioning Education (ED001)

      The module introduces students to the key debates within education in its widest sense. It takes a sociological perspective, exploring how education has been shaped throughout history, policy and society. Exploring both popular, political and personal perspectives of education and the education system.

    • Studying Learning and Learning to Study (ED002)

      The module introduces students to the theories and approaches of learning. Key ideas of how learning is facilitated will be explored and considered in light of students own learning and transition to university study. Academic skills will be introduced and embedded in the learning activities engaging in application and development of these.

    • Children and Stories (ED003)

      This module will explore ideas about children and their stories from a number of perspectives. These might include philosophical, methodological and literature based approaches. It will look at the importance of story in the early years; narrative, thought and language; story, fantasy and role play in children's understanding of the world.

    • Independent Enquiry (ED004)

      This module centres on a desk-based enquiry into an aspect of education and learning. Students will be supported to undertake a detailed exploration of their chosen topic using a range of secondary data.

  • Year 1

  • In the first year of your extended degree, 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

    • An Introduction to Critical Questions (EDST401)

      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.

    • Introduction to Global Education (EDST405)

      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.

    • Equality and Justice in Education (EDST408)

      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.

    • Debating Values in Education (EDST409)

      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.

    • Education Futures (EDST411)

      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.

    • Introduction to Critical Dis/ability Studies and Inclusion (EDST414)

      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.

  • Year 2

  • Your second year of the extended degree picks up the three major strands studied in the previous year, but with additional modules in alternatives in education, disability and Special Educational as well as preparation for graduate work and/or PGCE in a school or other education context. You’ll have the freedom to focus on a variety of vocational or postgraduate pathways, while work-based and 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

    • Learning Matters (EDST502)

      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.

    • Introduction to Work-based Learning (EDST503)

      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.

    • Independent Study Module (EDST504)

      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.

    Optional modules

    • Outdoor and Experiential Learning (EDST511)

      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.

    • Working with a Range of Professionals (EEC522)

      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.

    • Service Learning for Sustainable Change Challenge Module (EDST517)

      Through this module you will be thinking about the big challenges of today in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through a service learning and collaborative sustainable education approach, you will be creatively engaged with pressing issues across the city and local area in order to facilitate learning that helps us make positive change together. This module will enable you to reflect on your development as: competent and confident professionals, sustainable and global citizens, resilient and thriving individuals, and critical and creative learners.

    • Creating Therapeutic Spaces in Education and Communities (EDST525)

      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 a range of therapies.

    • Child Well-being in the Developing World Challenge Module (EEC545)

      Through this module you will be thinking about the big challenges facing young children today in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through reflecting on childhood and the well-being of young children in the developing world (defined as those that are low on the UN Human Development Index), we will be looking critically at issues such as poverty, global inequalities, access to resources, education, health, conflict, livelihoods and sustainability.

  • Year 3

  • In your final year, your main focus will be on educational research. Some options 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

    • Research in Education (EDST602)

      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

    • Wellbeing and Education (EDST609)

      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.

    • Gender and Difference (EDST610)

      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.

    • Education for the 21st century: Global, Sustainable and Wild (EDST617)

      This module offers an integrated approach to key themes in envisioning future fit education; namely global citizenship, sustainable development and environmental care. It asks the learner to explore contemporary educational issues such as the impact of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Global Action Programme for ESD. It critically and creatively considers the role of compassionate engagement in education with regard to ecological literacy, global citizenship, human rights, social justice, peace and planetary well-being.

    • Enabling Environments for Young Children's Learning (EEC627)

      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

    • Children and Risk (EEC638)

      Looking at the complexity of child protection issues, within a personal, institutional and community context, addressing the issue of risk and the decision-making process the right decision against the defensible decision, in order to develop a personal, and critical perspective on issues of protection and control. In addition an exploration of the concept of Risk In the wider context.

    • Voice and Participation in Education and Society (EDST627)

      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 and how can inclusive practice be developed by focussing on issues of voice and participation in education and society.

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 with Foundation Programme Specification 2021 22 6663

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

Don’t have 32–48 UCAS tariff points? We will consider ‘non-standard’ applications on a case-by-case basis.

A levels: For Level 3 entry the Tariff points entry level will normally be 32–48 points from A level or equivalent. Non-standard applicants will normally be interviewed.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended

All Access courses: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (preference to education/ social science/health and social care, but all considered) with at least 33 credits at Merit/Dist.

T levels: Pass (preference to education, social science, health and social care, but all considered)

Welsh Baccalaureate: Refer to the Admissions Tutor.

Scottish Qualifications Authority: 32–48 points at Advanced Highers – refer to Admissions Tutor.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Irish Highers, H5 in five subjects equivalent to 32–48 points.

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall

GCSEs: Applicants are recommended to have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English at Grade C/Level C or above. If applicants do not have the equivalent, completing this during this degree will be promoted.

Proficiency in English: Students for whom English is an additional language will need to demonstrate ability in spoken and written English equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.0 and/or successfully complete the university’s special test before entering the Foundation Year.

We are looking for applicants with good potential including with non-standard qualifications and background, so will consider every application on a case by case basis. Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the entry requirements listed above we would encourage you to contact the Admissions Team on +44 1752 585858 or email, where a member of the team can offer you further advice.

Non-academic requirements

  • All candidates will be required to complete a satisfactory DBS (formerly CRB) Enhanced Disclosure, register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority and complete a criminal convictions self-declaration form.
  • 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.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

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.

Essential technology for your studies 

The university recommends that all students have access to their own technology to access their programme. If you’re purchasing a laptop, you should review the specifications listed below, but if you’re unsure about the requirements for your course, ensure that you ask your programme team before you buy anything:

  • Minimum specifications for basic processing (enabling the use of university web-based systems and general-purpose applications, such as Office 365): Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, SSD storage, Full HD display or equivalent, Windows 10.
  • Recommended specifications for students intending to run a variety of software applications: Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, SSD storage, Full HD display or equivalent, Windows 10.

Bursaries and funds

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to extra costs, unexpected health issues or other factors, there are bursaries and funds to help you. Take a look at our bursaries and other funding options page.

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


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 with Erasmus.

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 transformational life enhancing and changing experience!

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 


Mathematics with education students working on outreach as part of the Mathematics Enrichment Project

Alice Potter

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

Academic staff

When electrician Antonio decided it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher, his out of date qualifications posed a potential barrier. Finding BA (Hons) Education with Foundation, a course that provided a foundation year to bridge this gap, proved to be the perfect solution. 

"It's really good for mature students, especially for people who haven't been in education settings, or learning settings, for a long time. It was a really nice stepping stone, going from full-time work to what would be full-time education, and freshening up on simple, basic skills like referencing ... having this really nice foundation to then be able to go on to my degree."

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."

"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

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