Undergraduate course

Education Studies BA (Hons)

A brilliant foundation for a future in education or teaching.

On our Education Studies course you will look back to consider how education has got to where it is today but also look forward to imagine the possibilities for the future of education. We’ll will equip you to open up subjects to new learners, to cultivate learning habits in others and to evaluate and innovate new methods of teaching.

  • Available in Clearing

90% of Education Studies students said that the course provided them with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth (NSS 2019)

  • UCAS Code – X302
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Education

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year

    International 2019-20 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

questions such as ‘What is knowledge?’, ‘Are there different ways to “know”?’ and ‘How do you start to learn something new?’ our Education Studies course will draw practical and important lessons in education and teaching.

We understand that education is not confined to the classroom. Everybody has a capacity for life-long learning at home, in the workplace and in local communities. This idea permeates our Education Studies course and you will evaluate different learning contexts, investigate how people develop and learn
throughout their lives and consider how best to enable and support individual learning journeys.

Our course critically examines key issues in education and you will be challenged to consider political decisions, evaluate major education movements and express your own ideas and research findings. You will draw from a wide range of disciplines as you come to understand the processes at the heart of the education sector.

York St John University has over 175 years of teaching in the city of York, having been established as a teacher training institute, sharing knowledge and empowering others to do the same. We have seen the modern education system develop and have the experience and expertise to prepare you for a career within it.

Course structure

Level 1


Modules include:

Key Changes in Modern Schooling
Through this module, you will develop a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of English education in an historical context. By critically analysing Government policy both in this country and abroad, students can evaluate the effectiveness of the development of educational systems in post-industrial societies.

Learning as a Student
Students vary in their outlook and understanding of what it means to be a student of Higher Education. Some are fresh from school and some may have been engaged in other sorts of professional or recreational learning since leaving school. This module supports you as you reflect on your learning and understand your roles and responsibilities as a learner. This includes an understanding of the cognitive and meta-cognitive skills that they need to acquire or develop to be a successful autonomous learner.

Learning Beyond the Classroom
Learning happens in many contexts and settings. This module considers how learning within formal education takes places in settings beyond the classroom. It will draw on theoretical perspectives for learning outside of the classroom and through visits to a range of venues, will consider the value that particular settings contribute to the learning process.

What is Inclusive Learning?
This module critically investigates how specific groups of learners may be categorised and stereotyped within society and educational settings, leading to marginalisation and exclusion. The module offers you opportunities to explore how inclusive education might be applied in practice across a range of learning settings.

Questioning the Purpose of Education: Philosophical Perspectives
The purpose of education has been contested by philosophers, politicians and educators for millennia. This module forms one of the foundation blocks of the Education Studies course and guides you through a number of different philosophical approaches, value positions and educational ideologies that have been used to explain and rationalise certain approaches to education.

Global Development and Education
This module will examine global development as it applies to education around the world and offer a critique of theories of development as well as some measures of development. The module will engage with whether changing trends in education are to be welcomed and will critically assess some of the broader discourses surrounding education and global development.

Representations of Education
This module considers how depictions or representations of education are an important part of our cultural imagination and how they help to form and inform our understandings of education and schooling. Fictional accounts, works of art and media representations provide unique spaces to both reinforce and challenge dominant ideas about education and provoke debate about what should be taught, how effective learning occurs and the roles and relationships between pupils and teachers.

Level 2


Modules include:

Knowledge & the Curriculum
Knowledge and knowledge construction provide the focus of this module. You will engage in a critical examination of education for the 21st century and the role and purposes of knowledge in the learning process and what is taught. You will examine epistemologies and will consider these in relation to knowledge construction, curriculum planning and learning.

Education & Social Justice
Social Justice is seen by many as central to the idea of education. This module examines the concept of Social Justice, noting the different conceptions and the contestable nature of the concept. Seeing Social Justice as a form of distributive justice will enable students to look at how goods are valued and allocated, and whether education can be seen as a good in this sense. The notion of Social Justice as linked to Modernity will also be examined, and whether there is a need to move towards Ecological Justice, which means a discussion of social change.

Life Chances & Education
The module engages critically with the discourse surrounding improving educational outcomes for children and young people, which tends to see them as autonomous and disregards a critical understanding of the dynamics of life-chances. This module endeavours to develop students’ understanding of how life-chances shape the context within which children and young people grow and develop.

The Media & Disability
The media is central to twenty-first century life and as an industry has been critical in the dissemination of information, attitudes and social beliefs. This module takes a critical approach to how the media has been used to both entrench and challenge particular representations of disability and special educational needs by critically examining a range of primary media sources including film and TV, expressive arts, literature, newspapers, internet sources and charities to consider how disability and special educational needs are portrayed.

The Globalisation of Education Policy
This module will focus upon the impact of globalisation upon education. The controversies within globalisation theory will be examined, and the contestability of the idea discussed. Reference will be made to other global forces (impact of cold-war and post-colonialism) and debate whether globalisation is a continuing process within capitalism, or whether it is a new event. How different countries react to globalisation and the subsequent effect upon their education systems will form a large part of this module.

 Learning as a Researcher
With claims of ‘research-based’ evidence to support change in education policy and practice, it is important that you understand how meaningful conclusions can be drawn from data. This module combines a critical look at the research methods employed by others with opportunities to develop research skills to an advanced undergraduate level. It engages you in a range of research-related activities and exercises which will support future research projects.

Reflecting on Learning
Employability is central to the mission of York St John University. As a placement module this enables students to locate learning in the workplace, identify graduate attributes, and reflect upon future career options. This module links theoretical perspectives to practice, identifies personal values as they relate to the workplace and stimulates the development of a personal philosophy of learning.

Education & Development
The critical study of Colonialism and Imperialism will enable students to understand how parts of the globe came to be as they are, and to examine the variants, legacy and possible continuation of these two phases. The contestable nature of what is being studied will lead to questioning of what is meant by developed, and development. Global and local responses to the legacy of Colonialism and Imperialism, especially through educational systems, will be explored in this module.

Creativity & Learning
This module considers how creativity is an often misunderstood concept. As a human capacity, creativity is considered as an expression of the individual but can be devalued in a data-driven education system.  Knowledge of the nature of creativity and of creative processes will be developed including consideration of the source of creativity with links to spirituality. Features of current day schooling which promote or destroy creativity will be analysed in order to consider the future of creativity in education.

Alternative Educations
Much, though not all, of our learning takes place in educational institutions. Does this lead to the needs of the institution taking precedence over the needs of the learner? It can also be asked if ‘schooling’ is the only means of educating, and whether these two terms have been confused. This module explores the link between institutions and learning, and looks at alternatives and their implications. Central to this module is the examination of the idea that learning can take place in many different locations and some of these will be examined and evaluated.

Level 3


Modules include:

Investigating Learning
Current debates have centred on how education developments, approaches and interventions are measured as effective. Recent government policies have focused on a move towards developing and promoting evidence based practice and teachers are increasingly being encouraged to conduct research to evaluate and inform their practice.  However, some critics have argued that this medical-based approach does not work within an education environment, such as the classroom, where variables cannot be tightly controlled. This module explores the question about how educational practice can be effectively evaluated.

Education & Contemporary Ethical Issues
Education is underpinned by values, and especially ethical values. This module enables students to develop their own values through investigating normative and applied ethics. They will examine ethical theories, and then apply them to current issues. These will then be applied to educational settings.

Digital Learning - The Future of Education?
This module considers what education may look like in the future. With the growth of technology, educational institutions may well need to re-appraise learning. Claims that technology will enable humans to learn more efficiently will be examined, as will the converse that it will infantilise and trivialise learning. The virtual educational institution is one scenario amongst many that will be critically appraised. The ability to be free in time and space could have a radical effect upon learning.

Education, Health & Well-being
Government initiatives around health and wellbeing have become increasingly important in education and currently underpin the fundamental aims of the school curriculum. A key current debate centres on the extent to which education should be involved in health and wellbeing. Arguments focus on the extent to which education can address wider societal concerns such as childhood obesity, self-esteem and happiness.  This module critically engages with such debates and questions whether education can provide effective solutions for societal problems.

Autobiography Narrative – Writing Educational Journeys
Stories and narratives form essential ways in which meaning is constructed through experiences. This module explores the ways in which narratives construct personal and professional identities and considers how narratives and ‘stories’ might influence an individual’s ability to engage with educational opportunities and potential implications for professional practice. Students are encouraged to consider their own educational journeys/narratives alongside theoretical frameworks.

Education & the Environment
This module looks at the evidence for global change (population growth, biodiversity decline, climate change and resource depletion), and asks whether education as it is presently constituted is able to meet the possible challenges suggested by these changes. Is our current education system set up to meet the challenges of Modernity, and is it able to meet global change as shown above? Is humankind moving into post-modernity, with differing challenges? What would education look like if it concentrated upon the Earth, which all living and non-living things rely upon?

Teaching & the Role of the Teacher
This module examines the differing roles and purposes of what it means to be a teacher. Teacher Education in many countries has been structured and defined by the State. Within many countries state defined and accredited teachers carry out their roles within tight confines. Should there be more room for teacher agency? To who are teachers accountable? The multi-faceted role of the teacher will be explored from a spectrum of teacher as technician/ deliverer to teacher as liberator/ resister. This will be done by engaging in debate about purpose and role. Can the role be divorced from the social, political and institutional context?

Evaluating interventions and therapies
Interventions and therapies (for example speech therapy, Occupational Therapy and positive behaviour interventions) are used with children with SEN/D in classrooms throughout the world. Often these are adopted by teachers and practitioners with little consideration of the historical, cultural, political and medical discourses which underpin them, how they might be perceived by the recipients, or the quality of the evidence gathered to support their use.  This module will engage students in a critical evaluation of different interventions and therapies used with children with special educational needs and disabilities, building on much of the learning already established throughout the strand.

Researching in an Educational Context (Dissertation)
The emphasis in this module is on research processes and problems; students are active participants, creators and communicators of knowledge.  With tutor support, students have the opportunity to research into, and present their findings from, a specialist area of Education Studies.  Integral to this study is the embodiment of a range of knowledge, skills and understanding that demonstrate social and ethical responsibility, developing independence and self-awareness, presenting and summarising information in a range of formats, critical analysis and offering solutions to complex problems.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Teaching & Assessment

The Education Studies programmes includes some core and optional modules that build in complexity as you progress through your studies. The second year includes a placement module which gives you opportunity to link theory with practice and develop employability skills. A dissertation module in the third year allows you to focus on an area of education of particular interest to you.


This programme equips you with an understanding of the role of education critically examined through psychological, philosophical, historical, sociological and political lenses. In addition to compulsory modules designed to establish a foundation, there are a choice of modules within each level which allows you to build a programme that reflects your interests. During the first and second year, you will undertake three modules per semester (20 credits each). The second semester of the second year includes both a placement module that helps you to explore possible career options and a research module that equips you with the tools you will need for your dissertation in the final year. Alongside the 40 credit dissertation that runs across both semesters of your final year, you will choose two other modules per semester.

Contact hours

Across the 12 weeks of the semester, each 20 credit module includes timetabled sessions, Supported Open Learning (which includes set reading, tasks and group work) and independent study. Timetabled hours for each level are as follows: level 1 - 48 hours; level 2 - 42 hours; and level 3 - 36 hours.

In the final year, you will be allocated a Supervisor to support you with your dissertation and can arrange one-to-one tutorials at stages in your research to suit you.

Self-study time

Outside of taught sessions, you will be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete coursework assessments, reading published journal articles and preparing projects, posters or presentations for assessment.

We have extensive electronic textbooks as part of the reading lists for modules that you can access through the Information Learning Services website from anywhere. Module tutors and your Academic Librarian for your programme can also direct you to relevant sources to support your learning.


You will meet a range of tutors on the Education Studies team who will share their enthusiasm about particular research interests and lead you through the module content. They have teaching qualifications and/or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. The team has a wealth of experience and teach across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes within the School of Education.


There is an opportunity to undertake a 15 day placement in the second semester of your second year within a setting linked to education in some way. You can choose where to undertake your placement including schools, education teams within venues such as York Minster, The National Rail Museum, The Jorvik Viking Centre, Libraries and Museums. The Careers Team at York St John University can also help you to secure additional placements alongside your studies or during semester breaks which can contribute to your developing employability. 

Assessment methods

There are no examinations on the Education Studies programmes. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through a range of approaches including presentations, posters, artefacts, reports, reflections, commentaries essays. Your assessments will build in complexity and criticality as you progress through the degree so that by the final year, you are working with increasing independence.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.



View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.


Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

More than a degree

More to explore

Students walking through York

Join us this September

Get in touch

Cookie Settings