Education (BA)

Education is an exciting social science subject increasingly being presented as a principal means of fostering economic growth, social cohesion and personal well-being.

Education is an exciting social science subject that helps students develop a comprehensive understanding of contemporary developments and challenges within the field. It is an increasingly important area of study, with education discussed as a means of fostering economic growth and identified as key to social cohesion and personal well-being.

The BA Education provides students with the opportunity to explore and question some of the underpinning assumptions of the subject, as well as investigate the research basis of education policy and practice.

The Education degree was perfect because it enable me to keep my options for the future more open. The course has provided me with a wealth of knowledge which will be hugely beneficial in my teaching career.

Rebecca Lobb, Education Student

Key facts

UCAS CodeX300
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 280 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1250 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB-BBB, excluding General Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus grades AB or BB at GCE A-level dependent upon offer.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32-34 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Education Studies

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Our BA Education programme is designed for students who have a passionate interest in the topic of education and who are looking for the opportunity to pursue this interest in a broad social science context. As a student here you will encounter an exciting and challenging social science subject that explores and questions the social, psychological, political and economic foundations of education in rapidly changing times.

Education is a dynamic field that provides a lens through which to view the many challenges and opportunities life presents. Your study will be led by our research in this field and the latest developments in policy and practice, encompassing aspects of culture and identity, childhood and youth, gender and ethnicity, and social justice and inclusion.

Education at Cardiff

The core modules of our programme are aimed at developing a deep understanding of the social, historical, political, economic and developmental contexts of education – in Wales, the broader UK and internationally. In this way, you will be encouraged to consider education in a comparative and global context.

Having a broad-based understanding of education provides students with an essential basis for challenging many established paradigms and common sense beliefs about education and society. This approach will enable students to play a key role in the future in helping to transform and improve how we think about and practice education – not just in schools, colleges and universities, but within informal learning environments, such as the workplace and broader community, too.

Our teaching and research reflects our passions and examines the many facets and phases of educational experiences. You will have the opportunity to learn through a range of formal, informal and practical experiences, both within and outside of the university environment. Our graduates are able to use what they learn during their three years in our programme to enter into a wide range of careers and activities. 

While many follow up their time at our School with a one year teacher training (PGCE) course that enables them to become a primary school or FE college teacher, others go into youth and community work, social policy and government, management and other professions. 

Single or joint honours?

Whether you are studying for a single or joint honours degree in education you will be expected to take a number of core modules in each year. Single honours students then have the option of making up their remaining modules from a selection of those taught elsewhere in the School of Social Sciences. Joint honours students typically split their modules evenly between the two subjects and may have a greater number of core modules to include before choosing any options.

Whatever pathway you choose, studying Education at Cardiff will provide you with a degree that is regularly updated to reflect the cutting edge of education research. It is also a degree that opens the door to a wide range of employment opportunities and a large number of more specialist postgraduate qualifications.

Year one

All degrees schemes within the Cardiff School of Social Sciences put great emphasis on the combination of theory and method that is needed to apply social science work to real world problems. Our degree schemes are developed with this in mind and provide a solid foundation in core concepts and methods before moving on to more independent and critical thinking about their application in specific contexts. For Education degrees, this progression is accomplished as follows. In year one, all students take four core modules:

Year two

In years two and three, the themes that were introduced in the first year are developed in more detail.

There are core modules which all students will study, but you are also able to choose from a selection of modules that provide in-depth instruction in the research interests of academic staff.

Year three

For Year Three, students will have a choice of modules, but will be expected to take at least 40 credits from the following.

  • Equality and Diversity in Education and Work
  • Conflict and Change in Education Policy
  • Reflections on Teaching and Learning.

Students who opt to complete a dissertation in their final year must choose two modules from those listed above, while all three modules are part of the core curriculum for non-dissertation students and must be taken alongside additional optional modules.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

In the School of Social Sciences you will learn from scholars who are shaping the future of their fields. Our courses reflect both the core ideas of their disciplines and contemporary debates, theories and research.

In year one you will lay the foundations for later specialist study, taking a number of core modules and following a study skills programme designed to help you make the transition to higher education. In years two and three, you will be encouraged to study and learn more independently, giving you the opportunity to read more widely and to develop your own interests

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects. Depending on your degree scheme, you may also undertake a final year dissertation that will give you the opportunity to focus on one topic in depth and further develop your research and analytic skills.

As social science develops in response to the social world, so too our curriculum changes.  Our students play an important role in these developments, with the Staff-Student Panel being consulted about major changes and all students completing module evaluations and an annual student survey.

In 2013/14, 95% of School of Social Science graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.

Our dedicated Placements Manager offers advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.


  • Educational Psychology
  • Social Care Professions
  • Youth and Community Work
  • Retail Management
  • Police and Probation Service
  • Career Guide
  • Speech Therapist


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School admits 300 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes of which approximately 50 are studying single or joint honours degrees in Education.

Applications received

Typical applications received



QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Education Studies

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA Education provides students with a comprehensive understanding of contemporary developments and challenges in education. Education is increasingly being presented as the principal means of fostering economic growth, social cohesion and personal well-being. This programme offers students the opportunity to interrogate these arguments, to explore their underpinning assumptions and to investigate the research basis of contemporary policy and practice.

The programme is interdisciplinary in approach and invites students to explore the historical, sociological, psychological and political dimensions of education. In addition to the core modules, students are able to select from a wide range of modules within the School of Social Sciences.

The programme provides an excellent starting point from which to develop a range of careers in education and related areas. Students wishing to teach can progress on to a variety of post-graduate courses to obtain Qualified Teacher Status. Other career destinations include human resources, research with young people and children’s services in local and national government.

Degree programmes in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences reflect the National Qualifications Framework and benchmark standards of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

What should I know about year five?

Most modules are 20 credits. Students are expected to allocate 200 hours of study time to each of them: this is made up of lectures (22-24 hrs in Years 2 and 3, 44-48 in Year 1), tutorials/seminars/workshops (8-10 hours), independent study and time spent on assessment tasks. Students should attend all lectures and are required to attend all seminars.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found at:

Students are also expected to maintain regular contact with the personal tutor and, where appropriate, inform the School of any extenuating circumstances that might affect their academic performance.

In SOCSI we take the responsibility we share with you to support your learning seriously and if you have any particular requirements it is important that you let us know. In some instances you may just want to talk to your personal tutor or a member of the teaching team on a particular module. We also have a Disabilities contact and work closely with the Student Support Service.

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required

What should I know about year three?

Students will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include: communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team); using ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches); interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information; demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work; recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals; managing learning and performance (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Each year of study consist of 120 credits, usually taught as six 20 credit modules. In each academic year, there will be a number of core modules that provide the essential foundation for the degree scheme plus a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your academic work to your own strengths and interests. In the third year, students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation is counted as a double module and provides the opportunity for independent study and research supported by an academic supervisor.

A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the degree. Students will attend lectures, participate in tutorials or seminars and carry out practical tasks as individual or group activities. Seminar and practical work is particularly important as it provides an opportunity to student to obtain feedback on their progress and understanding throughout the academic year.

You will receive formal feedback on your assessments in a variety of ways. You will receive individual, written feedback on coursework, the purpose of which is to improve your understanding of the subject and develop transferable skills that can be applied elsewhere. General feedback will also be given on examinations, with individual feedback available for students who have failed the module and require a resit. Many modules also offer formative assessments, which enable you to develop your skills and obtain feedback without affecting your final module mark.

Some teaching will take place within the School of Social Sciences and some will be in other locations within the University campus.

What should I know about year one?

Each of the taught modules within the programme will be assessed using one or more of the following in-course assessments:

· Essays and coursework;

· Formal examinations;

· Class tests;

· Written reports;

· Oral presentations;

· Final year Dissertation.

There are also opportunities for formative assessment which do not formally count towards the final grade and are therefore an opportunity for students to gain insight on their progress.

Students are provided with oral and written feedback on formative and summative assessment tasks which will identify areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed. In addition, staff provide students with an analysis of overall achievement on any one assessment task.

Other information

Students will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of their studies. Tutors make themselves available for scheduled meetings to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, but they can also be called upon when needed.

All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with students regularly.

Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are also made available via the University’s central services, which include:

  • Academic and Skills Development Centre:
  • Information Literacy Resource Bank:
  • Careers Advice and Guidance:

Distinctive features

A typical graduate from this programme will be able to:

  • Understand the origins and organisation of education systems;
  • Comprehend the complex relationship between education and society;
  • Evaluate competing theories of the principles and purposes of education;
  • Analyse contemporary developments in education from historical, sociological, psychological and political perspectives;
  • Be familiar with theories of learning and teaching and their implications for practice;
  • Critically evaluate the evidence on which educational policies and practices are based;
  • Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to researching educational issues;
  • Apply educational knowledge and understanding to the analysis of learning processes, contexts and outcomes, including their own learning;
  • Demonstrate personal and academic communication skills. 

How will I be taught?

Students are strongly encouraged and supported to undertake visits to in a range of educational settings – from provision for early years to adult education. These visits are arranged through the University, the School of Social Sciences and/or the student’s own contacts. Activities may include mentoring young people at GCSE stage or acting as University Ambassadors to local schools and further education colleges.

Admissions tutors

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.