School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) Education with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code X307
Institution code P60

4 years

Course type


Study location Plymouth

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.

Education with Foundation

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. 
  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 Educationor 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, key areas are introduced including: issues of social justice, sustainability and policy plus action for social change, alternative education, disability and inclusion, and education for sustainability. Equality sits at the heart of your learning, helping you develop an understanding of the practical, political and social issues in education today. Placement opportunities allow you to develop specific areas of expertise. During the second semester you will study the following three modules side by side:
    • Debating Values in Education (EDST409)
    • Introduction to Global Education (EDST405)
    • Education Futures (EDST411)

    Core modules

    • 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.

    • An Introduction to Critical Questions in Education (EDST415)

      The module addresses central questions in Education, starting with how learning experiences shape, influence, and construct our multiple and ever changing identities. Succeeding sessions will address key issues, such as ‘What is social justice?’; ‘How do we build an inclusive society?’ The weekly sessions will include written exercises to encourage a development of reflective thinking, and will integrate workshops from The Writing Café staff, and Library services to support your academic writing.

    • Introduction to Global Education (EDST416)

      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. We will be focusing on environmental, economic, social and political aspects of global issues and how they interrelate, exploring educational ideas and concepts that underpin the aspects of the field.

  • Year 2

  • In the second year of your extended degree, you are introduced to research and can take additional modules in outdoor learning, early childhood education, therapeutic interventions, and inclusive practices. Focus on vocational or postgraduate pathways, while work based learning allows you to use paid or unpaid work to enhance your graduate profile. You can also opt for a year or semester studying abroad. 

    Core modules

    • Learning Matters (EDST518)

      A 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 (EDST519)

      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.

    • Beginning Research Matters (EDST520)

      This module enables students to develop a self-directed in-depth study of an area of educational interest . It further provides a basic introduction to research methods to establish some of the fundamentals of research design and process. The student has the opportunity to identify their own educational points of focus by either studying 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Learning Outside the Classroom (EDST521)

      This module focuses on the understanding and personal exploration of Learning Outside the Classroom and Outdoor Learning. Understanding of the fieldwill be gained through theoretical and practical sessions. Students are encouraged to link theory with practice and will devise and justify (drawing on literature and personal reflection) a program of activities for a targeted group in a named real-world location.

    • Sustainable Education in Action - Challenge Module (EDST527)

      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 (EDST528)

      This module aims to conceptualise Inclusion through a broad lens, and explore therapeutic conditions, practices and processes and the roles they can play in developing Inclusive Communities in education and social settings. Discussion, group explorations and creative activities are used to develop understanding of therapeutic principles and consider what makes an inclusive therapeutic space and/or a site of belonging.

  • Final year

  • In the final year your main focus is educational research. Career-related option modules are available in years 2 and 3, linked to your personal development as an educator and member of society. There are opportunities to go on course-related residentials in selected modules. 

    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

    • 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.

    • Wellbeing and the 'Good Life' (EDST618)

      What is meant by ‘wellbeing’? How do we know what it is, what affects it, and how to evaluate ours? What do we need to consider if we are going to ‘manage’ our own and to have achievable goals for a ‘Good Life’? This module is about exploring concepts and theories surrounding wellbeing, and to question our own individual and cultural values and expectations in regard to it. Essentially, though, it is about questioning our own, and looking at a small but significant wellbeing toolkit to help us negotiate the myriad challenges of daily life.

    • Troubling Gender and Sexualities (EDST619)

      This module will explore theories and discourses surrounding gender and sexualities 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, practices, and attitudes towards sexualities. These will be contextualised within social and popular/culture phenomena in order to explore messages and representation of gender, transgender and sexuality issues, and to examine education and societal practices which foster the above. Ultimately, it is about raising a consciousness and inspiring action for change.

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 Sep23 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.

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.

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

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
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 support funds 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

The benefits of a foundation year

A foundation year forms part of a four-year degree and provides the understanding and basis needed to embark on the full degree, for those that have had a break in study, have qualifications other than A levels for consideration or did not get the grades they hoped for in their A levels. Our degree with foundation year courses have an outstanding record for retention and success.
In our experience, the additional foundation year gives students the opportunity to grow academically and personally in a university environment. This allows students more time to reinforce and complement existing understanding and perform to their full potential over the course of the four-year degree.

Bridging the gap

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."

Take the opportunity to study abroad

Once you have progressed to the BA (Hons) Education we offer you the opportunity to take 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.
Two students sat on the cliffs watching the sea
Open door concept for BA (Hons) Education

Academic staff

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