How do people learn? What gets in the way of learning? Where might people learn best – and how? Do we need schools? Is it possible to ‘school’ the world? Can education make a difference to human rights? Womens rights? Nationally? Globally? These are just some of the big questions that our Education Studies course will examine. We are proud of our highly contemporary, reactive and issues-based course that has been carefully designed to give you that ‘bigger’ picture of education in a global society. A degree in Education Studies from BGU will equip you well for the future, no matter what your career destination, but if you are planning to go on to teach you will find that our modules will open your eyes to some different ways of thinking about education and its purpose and place in society.
We have a long tradition of excellence in education, with highly committed, research active and experienced tutors who are passionate about Education, as well as a superb range of specialist guest speakers. Combine your passion and determination to ‘make a difference’ with this course.
About Education Studies at BGU
This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of education in its widest sense, nationally and globally, and is a great choice if you are interested in a career in teaching or are thinking about working in other education-related areas. It will provide you with a deep and reflective knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues in education, directly related to everyday practice. You’ll debate education policy, find out more about the drivers of educational change in England today and critically consider different approaches to schools and schooling, both within the UK and globally.
A key feature of the course is a focus on YOU as a developing practitioner. You will be encouraged to develop a strong personal ideology of education and will be supported in the development of secure employability skills through our work based placements. A number of core modules each year incorporate placements in schools or other education-related settings and carefully structured placement tasks will ensure that you gain valuable first hand practical experience.
The course is taught through a combination of practical workshops and seminars in class groups, whole year group lectures, small group and one-to-one tutorials, independent study and work based placement. The course is assessed through coursework of different types, including essays, reports, oral presentations, poster presentations, multimedia presentations, reflective logs and portfolios. There are no examinations.
Throughout each year of your course you will be introduced to key research principles and in your final year, Single Honours students will have a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with Education Studies tutors on a ‘real’ research project.
By the end of our course we expect that you will have developed strong, transferable, professional skills; that you will be well equipped for further study and that you will have a clear and informed understanding of the kind of teacher or education practitioner that YOU want to be and the kind of education system that YOU would like to work in.
What You Will Study
During your study of Education, you will cover a variety of ideas and issues directly relevant and applicable to the process and practice of education today. As well as considering current educational practice many issues are drawn from sociological, psychological, cultural, historical and political perspectives.
In your first year all students will study four 30 credit modules. Combined Honours students will study two ‘core’ modules within Education Studies and two modules drawn from their other subject discipline; Single Honours students will study all modules outlined below.
The first ‘core’ module draws on psychological perspectives on learning, and applies these to both your own learning journey and to learning and teaching in schools today. A particular focus is the development of your own learning at University, and we carefully integrate study skills into this first module to support you in your academic work. The second ‘core’ 30 credit module examines pupils’ learning through sociological ‘lenses’ and you will consider a variety of factors that affect how well pupils ‘do’ in school and find out how teachers and schools can help all young people achieve their potential. Both ‘core’ modules include: a weekly placement in a school setting to provide you with the opportunity to both understand the theories through first-hand experience and to begin to develop secure professional and practical employability skills.
The first Single Honours 30 credit module examines a range of ideas about intelligence, from historical perspectives to the very most recent thinking about the role of the natural world on our intellectual abilities. The second module you will study is a fascinating and highly contemporary focus on local and global concerns regarding young people’s wellbeing and resilience. You will examine practical and philosophical implications for educators, which will prepare you well for your work with young people during future work based placements, as holistic wellbeing is a prime consideration for schools and similar settings today.
In your second year all students will be introduced to the principles of inclusion. You will explore issues concerned with a range of different needs, including pupils who are gifted and talented and those with English as an additional language (EAL). A second module introduces all students to a wide range of different ideas about education policy and practice, such as Montessori Education and the principles of Forest schools, and you will explore alternatives to formal schooling. You will examine the education systems in countries such as China, Finland and the Pacific Rim and begin to articulate and develop your ideas about your personal educational ideology.
Single Honours students will study three additional 20 credit modules. The first examines a range of views, drawn from across the world, about highly effective teachers and teaching approaches; a second, highly contemporary, module explores the impact, strengths and limitations of mobile digital media on teaching and learning and a third module will introduce you to key research methods, including methods of data analysis – crucial preparation for your final year dissertation.
The second year concludes with an extended placement for all students. Currently we offer a choice comprising Primary, Secondary or Special schools, as well as a range of other, education related, settings such as PRUs, education departments in art galleries and museums and alternative education settings. This extended placement will provide you with a fabulous opportunity to put your knowledge into practice and to further develop practical and professional skills.
Your final year builds on the knowledge and understanding that you have developed in years 1 and 2 and the first module studied introduces all students to key thinking about, and the significant debates concerning, the purpose of the curriculum that pupils study in schools today. Guaranteed to get you thinking, this module is highly reactive – as political ideas change and develop, the module adapts to ensure that you are informed about the very most recent ideas and issues. A placement integral to this module will facilitate your understanding of curriculum planning and delivery and provide you with a final opportunity to hone your professional practice. The placement also provides all students with the opportunity to collect data for a small scale research project – this could form the basis of your dissertation, which Single Hons students may extend to a full 40 credits – invaluable if you are thinking about going on to complete a Masters degree.
Third year Single Honours students will also complete modules that focus, variously, on the impact of language and literacy on learning; different contexts for learning, including the role of life long learning, and will have the opportunity to take part in an innovative collaborative research project with academic staff.
The final module that all students study presents issues of social justice and human rights linked to the globalisation of education and you will have the opportunity to research and explore an internationally relevant topic of your own choice.
We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and accordingly use a wide range of assessment strategies. You can expect to be guided and supported carefully in your first year, gradually becoming more independent as the course progresses.
The course is assessed through coursework of different types, including essays, reports, oral presentations, multimedia presentations, reflective logs and portfolios. There are no examinations.
You can expect to give one or two oral presentations or poster presentations as one of a small group of students throughout the course. You will gradually build up skills of multimedia presentation and third year students currently present a short, assessed multimedia film to their peers. You will build up your writing skills steadily throughout the course and in the first year you will complete a portfolio of shorter written pieces and two longer essays, receiving formative feedback from your tutors to help you build up your academic capabilities.
By the end of the course you will have confidently completed and written up your own small educational research study.
What Our Students Say
I really like the way that the lessons were structured in Education Studies in order to reflect on our school placement. I can then check to see if I have met my objectives from my placement.
Melanie, Second year
The Education studies tutors are passionate about their subject, which comes across in the lectures and workshops they deliver. The whole team are energetic and enthusiastic!
Amber, Third year
My favourite aspect of my course would be the placements as they give us a real experience of what teaching is really like and enable us to put what we have learnt into practice.
Sarah, Third year
Careers and Further Study
- Education Studies is an excellent choice of course if you are thinking about a career in primary or secondary teaching, or would like to pursue other education-related, health or voluntary careers. This course does not limit you to any one career option and will allow you to develop and be able to apply a range of transferable intellectual, research, practical and professional skills applicable to a wide range of career choices. This is ideal if you want to study your subject within a strong vocational context, if you are considering studying additional qualifications or pursuing a career in educational research, or if you simply want to understand your own academic and professional development.Throughout the course you will develop a range of academic and professional skills that are perfect for starting a journey into teaching but that are also sought after in a range of different jobs and professions. Possible future careers for Education Studies graduates may include:
- Primary/Secondary teacher
- High level teaching assistant (HLTA)
- Youth or community work
- Coaching work
- International TEFL or EAL work
- Work with disengaged/ disaffected young people
- College and university lecturing
- Human Resources
- Retail management
- Outdoor/activity centre work
Successful graduates of this course have also continued to study for higher degrees, with many choosing to pursue further study in the field of education. Those wishing to pursue a career in early years, primary or secondary teaching will need to take one of a variety of teacher training courses either at BGU or elsewhere, subject to separate application.
Fees and Funding
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sorting out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.
How To Apply
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.
Core modules (Combined degree and Single Honours students)
Perspectives on Learning
An understanding of pupil learning is fundamental to any study of education and this module is designed to introduce you to key theoretical ideas and principles that will enable you to understand both the learning of pupils observed during placement and of your own learning in Higher Education.
Pupils, Schools and Society
This module provides teaching and classroom-based experience through which you will develop knowledge and understanding of the ways in which a variety of sociological factors affect the educational outcomes of learners, together with a critical examination of the extent to which schools may begin to close the gap in pupil achievement.
Single Honours modules (Single Honours students only)
The Brains Behind It: Concepts of Intelligence
This module will provide an introduction to concepts and ideas concerning intelligence, including types of intelligence, intelligence testing, genetics and environment, gender and race differences and contemporary ideas about the effects of music and the natural environment on intelligence.
Wellbeing and Resilience
The wellbeing of children and young people is an issue of international concern, as global indicators identify an increasing number of problems which many young people face. This module will help you develop a holistic and evidence based understanding of educators’ contributions to supporting pupil wellbeing.
Core modules (Combined degree and Single Honours students)
Inclusion and Diversity
An understanding of the principles and practice of inclusive education is crucial to those who intend to work in the education sector. Through this module, you will be introduced to theories and ideologies of inclusive practice and you will be able to examine interpretations of diversity and inclusion in different contexts.
From Vision to Reality?
How did schools come to assume their present form and function? Who were the architects of ideas about education? This highly responsive and contemporary module examines a range of different ideas about the purpose and practice of education, including those of the most recent Government, relating to the common educational ideologies. It considers a variety of ways in which the purpose and outcomes of education may be interpreted and the diversity of settings in which it may take place. You will examine the education systems in countries such as China, Finland and in the Pacific Rim and begin to articulate and develop your ideas about your personal educational ideology.
This module provides you with an opportunity to complete an extended placement in a school or education related setting. Currently we offer a choice of placement settings, comprising Primary, Secondary or Special schools, as well as a range of other, education related, settings such as PRUs, education departments in art galleries and museums and alternative education settings. This extended placement will provide you with a fabulous opportunity to put your knowledge into practice and to further develop practical and professional skills.
Single Honours modules (Single Honours students only)
An Introduction to the World of Research
This important module introduces you to key qualitative and quantitative research methods, providing you with vital skills to support your dissertation in your final year. You will be taught how to use and critically analyse current, published Educational research.
Thinking through Pedagogy
Pedagogy (the art of teaching) isn’t something that can be left to chance. This reflective module will examine a range of international perspectives, debates and dilemmas concerning the science, craft and art of enabling pupil learning. We will introduce you to current educational research concerned with planning, teaching, learning, assessment and feedback and examine how this research influences every aspect of teaching and learning in contemporary classrooms.
Education in a Digital Era
Mobile digital technology usage has grown exponentially in recent years. How can this power be harnessed? What are the strengths and limitations in the context of education?
Core modules (Combined degree and Single Honours students)
A 21st Century Curriculum
Excellence and innovation in curriculum design, organisation and delivery is a central tenet of any world class education system. This module will provide you with a theoretical and critical understanding of key considerations in the development and implementation of curriculum policy, content and practice in schools today, together with an appreciation of innovative practice in this area. You will also be given an opportunity to study this at first hand during placement settings.
This module will challenge some of your deepest assumptions about knowledge, learning, ignorance, poverty, success, and wealth – and educations’ role in this. You’ll consider ways in which education – in its widest sense – may be a driver of change in communities and societies.
Your will design, develop and undertake a small scale research project, writng this up as your dissertation
Single Honours modules (Single Honours students only)
Inspiring Learning: Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and Revellin’
Language and literacy are a foundation for learning at any age and a focus for research and policy in education. This module focusses on inspirational approaches to language and literacy teaching with a particular focus on developing pupils, enthusiasm and enjoyment
Collaborative Research in Practice
In this module you will learn more about new methods of data collection and how they link to different methodologies for educational research. You will collaborate with peers and tutors to carry out research and design new research methods for a piece of research intended for wider publication.
Contexts for Learning
Learning isn’t something that is confined to schools and school pupils. Underpinning this module is an understanding of the role of less formal contexts for learning in the development of lifelong learning.
Barbara Murphy – Academic Coordinator for Education Studies
Barbara Murphy coordinates and teaches on undergraduate Education Studies. She is a firm believer in lifelong learning, with current research and publications in the area of widening participation. Although notably passionate about all areas of education, her first career was in biomedical science, and she specialised in medical microbiology. She subsequently worked in microbiology research until 1985, when she joined the teaching profession working in the primary sector and undertaking a variety of teaching, leadership and senior management roles. Barbara joined Bishop Grosseteste University in 1999. She has been a Fellow of the HEA since 2004 and was twice voted ‘lecturer of the year’, in 2013 and 2014, by the BGU student body.
Barbara is the coordinator of undergraduate Education Studies. Her teaching specialisms include the sociology of education, re– engaging the disengaged, and social and cultural influences on young people. Barbara is noted for her energetic, passionate and critically analytical perspectives of contemporary educational initiatives and issues.
Dr. Adam Hounslow–Eyre: Senior Lecturer in Education
Adam holds a PhD from the University of Hull having researched ‘Conceptions of Human Nature in Contemporary Political Thought’. He has taught in a variety of Primary Schools over the last sixteen years, leading as SENCO, Senior Teacher and Headteacher in a number of small schools, specialising in mixed year group teaching. Adam joined BGU in 2010, and initially worked as a senior lecturer on the Postgraduate PGCE Primary programme. He joined us as a tutor on the Undergraduate Education Studies programme in 2015. Adam is the East Midlands regional coordinator for the Cambridge Primary Review Trust and an accredited trainer for the Critical Skills Programme. He contributed to the national consultation and writing of the Computing curriculum. Adam’s current research interests include the pedagogical implications of new technologies and computing, the use of mobile computing in dialogic teaching and complexity theory. His most recent publication is the CfBT funded ‘Effective Pedagogy in Multi-Age Range Classes’.
Dr Emma Pearson: Senior Lecturer in Education
Prior to starting work at BGU, Emma taught in teacher education at universities in Australia, Hong Kong and Brunei. Her substantial international research activities and outputs reflect a commitment to understanding and promoting the importance of diverse value systems and needs in early childhood theory, policy and practice. Her consultancy work with UNICEF and UNESCO has provided opportunities to work in many countries, among these Bhutan, Cambodia, India, North Korea, Vanuatu and Vietnam, with her most recent project in 2016 examining the impact of innovative pedagogy in the Early Years. Emma continues to build on these experiences in her teaching and research at BGU, and the modules she leads are strongly informed by her international work.
Graham Meeson: Associate Head
Graham is the Associate Head of the School of Social Sciences. Graham teaches on the undergraduate Education Studies programme and teaching interests include the psychology of learning and teaching. Current research focuses on risk attitude amongst academics and he is currently undertaking an Ed.D Graham held senior management roles in a variety of primary schools before joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Elizabeth Hopkins: Senior Lecturer in Education
Elizabeth joined Bishop Grosseteste University in 2005 having worked in secondary schools for twenty five years in four large schools, teaching English and Drama. In her years in higher education, Elizabeth has taught across a range of modules from Bachelors to Masters’ level. Elizabeth is interested in innovative pedagogy, the teaching of English, work related learning and student voice. Her real passion lies in working with students to help them reach their full potential. During her time as a senior leader in schools Elizabeth worked with SCAA and QCA on a number of national projects including careers education, vocational education and the National Record of achievement. She is currently an external examiner at Bath Spa and Bedford Universities and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Elizabeth is a trustee and the chair of governors of a large junior school, which has become an Academy under her guidance. Elizabeth has been a fellow of the HEA since 2007.
Dr Helen Hendry: Senior Lecturer in Education
Helen oversees and co-ordinates provision for the ‘21st Century Curriculum’ Module, and the ‘Collaborative Research in Practice’ module as part of the Education Studies Undergraduate programme. Helen’s career history includes working as the English co-ordinator and tutor on the Primary PGCE programme at BGU and her first career as a primary and early year’s teacher and advisory teacher with responsibilities for early years, special educational needs and literacy.
Helen is keen to develop innovative and engaging practice in higher education and has been a fellow of the HEA since 2008. Helen’s research history has included research into teacher preparation to teach children learning English as an additional language as well as a Poetry Society national project investigating the impact of working with authors on trainee teachers’ confidence, knowledge and pedagogy in poetry teaching. More recently, she has developed a new module which involves students and staff working as partners in education research and through this researched teachers’ experiences of Ofsted inspections and first year undergraduate experiences as they developed skills for university level writing. She gained her PhD from the University of Leicester in October 2016. Her doctoral study focused on the development of student teachers’ and newly qualified teachers’ knowledge and practice for teaching early reading. This was influenced by an activity theory perspective on learning. She is currently working on a project for the Department of International Development investigating the development of training packages for early years professionals in low income countries.
Sam Elliot: Senior Lecturer in Education
Sam joined the staff of Bishop Grosseteste University in 2009 following seven years at Birmingham City University where she had a course leadership role and contributed to Initial Teacher training courses. Prior to this Sam gained fourteen years’ experience teaching in schools latterly including senior leadership roles. She teaches on a range of modules offered on the undergraduate programme for Education Studies. Her specialist interests include international perspectives, past and present key thinkers’ perceptions of the process of teaching and learning, inclusion and diversity and research methods in professional contexts. Her research background is in measuring and developing Peer Observation of Teaching and Collaborative Reflection for post-graduate Trainee Teachers. Current research interests include student engagement, developing strategies to overcome barriers to successful university study and investigating if participation in primary research can enhance undergraduate student engagement. Sam is a Fellow of the HEA.
Katie Potter: Associate Lecturer
Katie teaches on a range of Education Studies modules. Prior to joining us at BGU in 2010, Katie was a Head Teacher. Katie has over twenty years of experience in the Primary sector and has taught all Primary years including the Early Years in schools in the UK. Katie also has substantial experience in a range of international settings, and she has taught in state schools in Sweden, speaks fluent Swedish, and has worked in an international school in Portugal. Katie also works for Pearson Education, training staff in schools across the UK on early reading and the new English curriculum. She has links with an international kindergarten in China where she has worked as a consultant.
Tracy Jeffery: Associate Tutor
Tracy teaches on the BA in Education Studies and the BA in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion programmes. She joined Bishop Grosseteste University as a Visiting Tutor in 2010, after 7 years as a lecturer in F.E. her background in in Language and Communication Impairment in Children and she has specialised in the use of music and singing activities in developing speech, language and communication. Tracy has worked as a music facilitator ina range of educational stings and as an FE lecturer, she taught in the Functional Skills programmes and developed and led a programme that used music as a tool to develop communication skills in young people with learning disabilities.
Head of School
Dr Graham Basten – Head of School of Social Sciences
Graham holds a PhD from the UK Government’s Institute of Food Research and has researched and lectured extensively over the past 10 years on clinical biochemistry, nutrition and folate at the Medical Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham (UK). He was previously Acting Head at the School of Allied Health Science at De Montfort University (DMU) and a DMU Teacher Fellow. As a expert in Clinical Chemistry, and Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science he has written and published several journal articles and textbooks on interpreting blood results. Graham has completed the award winning DMU Leadership, Management and Development Programme, as well as a series at BGU from the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education. He is an advocate of authentic, empowered leadership.
Education Studies graduates enjoy very high levels of employability – the course facilitates your personal and profession employability skills superbly through regular work based placements – and our students are in high demand. Currently, around 70% of our students complete a teacher training course and will go on to be highly successful Primary or Secondary teachers, but with a Education Studies degree from BGU your career opportunities are diverse.
In addition to careers in Education, graduates of Education Studies are well placed to work in the other education related, health, social care, public information or communication sectors. The course provides good training for a role within business, service industries, personnel, museums, galleries or charities.
Education Studies alumni have been successful in gaining employment in a range of various and diverse occupations, including outdoor pursuits centres, museum and art gallery education departments, as managers in large corporate businesses such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencers, as researchers in National educational organisations, including NFER, and have also successfully gained entry onto a range of Masters courses, including Health and Social care and Education Development.
Education Studies makes highly effective of applied critical pedagogy to the examination of contemporary, individual, local and international issues in education today.
A key purpose of the course is not to provide all the answers, but to ask questions, to open a conversation and to encourage YOU to take a critically analytical approach in the consideration of the challenges and debates.