Education BA (Hons)

The BA Education (Hons) undergraduate course at Birmingham is one of the most prestigious education degrees in the UK. It combines the academic study of education with a practical focus on career development in related areas. 

The degree is interdisciplinary and combines ideas and research from areas such as education, psychology, sociology, philosophy, social policy and history. It is designed for both UK/EU and international students who have career aspirations and/or academic interests in the fields of childhood and education. 

The BA (Hons) Education gives you the option in your second year to study overseas at one of our partner institutions for the first term.

The School of Education has been ranked 6th in the 2017 Guardan University League Tables and is ranked 10th in the 2017 Complete University Guide. It is also in the Top 3 for HEI provision in the Good Teacher Training Guide. The course scores consistently high in the NSS for student satisfaction and 98% of our graduates go on to work or undertake further study.

Download information on all our School of Education undergraduate programmes (PDF, 121MB)

Information for Schools and Colleges



“I was particularly drawn to the diverse nature of this course; from studying the history of schools to creating posters in groups, there was always something new to be learnt in an innovative setting. One of my highlights of studying BA Education was volunteering at a special needs school, where I was able to put into practice what I had learnt. Studying abroad at the University of Maine for a semester was my other highlight.”

Quick links: Modules | Fees and Funding | Entry Requirements | How to apply

The BA (Hons) Education aims to equip students with the academic knowledge, as well as relevant practical skills and experiences, which aid progression to professional training and to careers working with children and young people in a diverse range of settings and geographical locations.

All our modules explore how people, and especially children, develop and learn in cultures around the world. We identify and evaluate different ways of knowing about and understanding children and young people and their behaviour; with how educational policy can promote, or frustrate, attempts to develop justice; and with the skills and competencies necessary to develop graduate careers in the UK, Europe and beyond. 

There are four curriculum strands.

History and Sociology

In the History and Sociology strand you’ll examine the emergence of the institutions and ideas that shape the way we understand children and young people today. Ranging across centuries and continents, and concerned with both formal and informal learning, you’ll critically examine the purposes of schooling, the role it plays in individual and national development, and how it relates to wider ideas about being an educated, restrained, emotionally sensitive and intelligent citizen of the world.


The Psychology strand begins by introducing you to key theoretical perspectives for studying the psychology of development. Behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic, social constructionist and evolutionary perspectives are introduced to prepare you for a more detailed examination of child development in your second year. Exploring the psychological and social development of children through themes such as perception, language and thinking, attachment and social relationships you’ll explore the development of children through early years and adolescence and into adulthood. The third year places these processes of development in their social and cultural settings. In Cultural Psychology and Development you’ll study the ways in which culture shapes development, taking into account varying parental beliefs and socialisation practices in different areas of the world.

Policy and Philosophy

In the Policy and Philosophy strand you’ll consider different ideas about the relationship between education and social justice. What constitutes fairness and what are the ways that education can promote more equal life chances? Examining attempts to promote equality and respect diversity, modules in this strand consider how different national systems of education and different types of schools attempt to achieve, or frustrate, fairness. It explores how educational policy can be effectively and intelligently debated and assesses opportunities for educational professionals to make a difference in the real world.


The Applied strand applies academic knowledge to real world settings and it will help you develop those skills and competencies characteristic of a University of Birmingham graduate. With modules in Special Educational Needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Managing Schools, we’ll help you become critical thinkers, effective communicators and educational leaders.

International Study Abroad

In your second year of study, you will have the option of studying abroad at one of our partner institutions for the first term. The European Educational Exchange Programme allows you to study at selected European institutions (There are currently four European Partner institutions, Oslo and Trondheim in Norway; Groningen in the Netherlands and Dortmund in Germany) and the International Exchange Programme allows students to study at one of a number of worldwide institutions through our International Office.

International study abroad students

There are plans to extend the Programme to other institutions. All courses are taught in English, at no additional cost to your study. All students participating on the International Study Abroad Programme will receive an Erasmus grant.

Further information on the Study Abroad Programme

Visit the course pages below to view information on our two joint honours UG programmes:

Why study this course

Xin Zheng from China spent a year on the BA Education course (speaking in Mandarin)

 English translation(97KB, PDF)

You can find out more about what students think of the BA (Hons) Education course by reading some of their profiles below.

You can also join the The Education Society facebook group where you can find out more about students within the School of Education and educational issues in general. The group hopes to have regular meetings, trips and speakers, and of course, plenty of socials! If you simply want to find out more about the Education Society or upcoming events, we also have a mailing list. Please email us on

Jessica Whiting

JessicaWhitingWhat were you doing before you came to University?

Before starting university, I went to Halesowen College where I did the International Baccalaureate.

What attracted you to the programme?

I thought that the course offered a broad range of areas, covering many different subjects such as psychology, sociology and history. I also liked the idea of a small group size, and how the lecturers were all academics in their field, many of whom were carrying out their own research.

What did you like most about studying on the programme?

I liked most how everyone was so friendly and ready to help, particularly the lecturers who were always available to discuss whatever issues you may have. I also really enjoyed the placement module in the second year, which enabled us to complete a two week placement in whatever educational setting we wished. This was a great experience and confirmed my decision to be a primary school teacher. Finally, the Education Society provided socials for the course, for example some of us went for a curry and four of our lecturers turned up!

What qualities do you think a student needs to have in order to be successful?

The most important quality, I think is to be organised! It can get very confusing when there is reading for each module, seminars and tutorials to attend all in one week! I think another quality is to be hard working and independent. At university it is down to you to succeed, and so it is important that you do the best you can to achieve your potential.

Why would you recommend the programme and the University?

Overall, the programme is a fantastic pathway into a career within the field of education. I cannot say a negative word about it and I thoroughly enjoyed the course. In terms of the university, it’s in a great location (perfect for treating yourself in the bullring), has so many different clubs and societies where you can meet lots of new people and develop your skills, and has a range of support available for every student. My week was full of activities, from Irish dancing, to volunteering twice a week with children who have disabilities, to playing in a string quartet and being a student ambassador. As the saying goes, ‘the possibilities are endless’ at the University of Birmingham!

Finally, if there was one thing you could have done differently over the course of your study what would it be?


Saadiyah Bhayat

Saadiyah BhayatWhat were you doing before you came to University?

Prior to starting University, I was studying A-levels in Sociology, Psychology and RS.

What attracted you to the programme?

The diversity of the course attracted me to the programme. As the course allowed me to further develop my passion in sociology and psychology and then apply it to education.

What did you like most about studying on the programme?

The lecturers and students I studied with.

What qualities do you think a student needs to have in order to be successful?

Commitment, Organisation, Passion and enthusiasm.

Why would you recommend the programme and the University?

The university on a whole is an amazing place to study, the environment including students and staff is just great. The facilities and help provided is just amazing.

Finally, if there was one thing you could have done differently over the course of your study what would it be?

Read more and talk more in the lectures.

Grace Harding

What were you doing before you came to University?

I was studying A Levels at Sixth Form.

What attracted you to the programme?

I had studied Social Sciences at A Level and was interested in Education. I was also interested in postgraduate study as I wanted to train to be a Primary School Teacher, so it seemed to combine all my interests and suit my future career plans.

What did you like most about studying on the programme?

The lecturers were really helpful and supportive and there was a great combination and selection of modules.

What qualities do you think a student needs to have in order to be successful?

  • An interest in Social Sciences and Education
  • An ability to work as part of a team
  • Self-motivation

Why would you recommend the programme and the University?

The course had a really nice group size; it allowed you to have a good relationship with lecturers and students. The University has really good library and career facilities; in-particular for Education.

Finally, if there was one thing you could have done differently over the course of your study what would it be?

I might have liked to take a MOMD module (Module outside the main discipline).

Zoe Edwards

What were you doing before you came to University?

Studying at college for a NVQ3 in childcare and education.

What attracted you to the programme?

The career aspects of the course as it can lead to many different jobs. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew it would be in the field of education, so this course was perfect for me.

What did you like most about studying on the programme?

The modules, as they were really interesting and we covered a wide range of inforamtion. I also liked the laid back environment of the programme.

What qualities do you think a student needs to have in order to be successful?

Hard working and willing to work with others are probably the most important qualities. You need to be able to work with others as well as work well on your own. 

Why would you recommend the programme and the University?

The programme, because it is really interesting, the modules are great and the lecturers are stimulating. The University because the campus is great, there are plenty of opportunites for students and its just got a nice feel to it.

Finally, if there was one thing you could have done differently over the course of your study what would it be?

Involve myself in as many things as I could and make the most of the opportunities given to the students.

Myra Samra

Myra SamraWhat were you doing before you came to University?

Before I came to University I attended a secondary school in my local area where I took a NVQ Level 3 qualification. This took two years to complete and is equivalent to 3 A levels

What attracted you to the programme?

What most attracted me to the Programme was that it was very broad and therefore covered several different aspects. Reading about the course content such as the modules each year really interested me and this is one of the main reasons why I chose this programme. I have always wanted to work with children therefore I felt that the course would be relevant in directing me to the path I wish to take once I have completed my degree.

What did you like most about studying on the programme?

I really enjoyed the social aspect of the course. There were always social events going on with the people on our course and everybody was really kind and helpful towards each other. I very much enjoyed the variety of topics which the course covers within education and also the lecturers are all extremely helpful and are always there if you need a meeting or would like to discuss any worries or issues you may be experiencing.

What qualities do you think a student needs to have in order to be successful?

A student needs to be motivated, hard working and also have characteristics such as patience, responsibility and kindness towards those around you. If you are prepared to work to your full potential then there is no doubt you will be successful in whichever field you wish to deal with or path you take in the future.

Why would you recommend the programme and the University?

The University as a whole offers such great opportunities in all aspects. There are plenty of sport activities to get involved in, education programmes going on and there is always lots of advice from experts and employments fairs available throughout the year. The programme is especially suitable if you are interested in education, for example becoming a teacher. As mentioned above, the lecturers are always willing to give up their time to help you get the best results.

Finally, if there was one thing you could have done differently over the course of your study what would it be?

If there was one thing I could have changed it would have been to seek help earlier on in the programme. When I started the course I was extremely worried that I would not be able to achieve good grades and was very stressed. Instead of contacting one of the lecturers I let it all build up and this was not a good way of coping with my work. I had not realised how helpful these lecturers were and as a result I was later not afraid to seek help when I needed it.


In Year 1, students can chose a MOMD for Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3. 

Year One



Year Two



Year Three



The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Modules outside the main discipline (MOMD)

These are designed to give students the opportunity to study modules in areas of study outside their main degree programme. Students studying the BA in Education can choose a MOMD in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3. There are nearly 200 modules available from a wide variety of subject disciplines.

For a list of modules please go to:

For more information on this degree programme please email

Alternatively, please contact Admissions for more information on admission and entry requirements. Email or telephone 0121 414 5488.

Related staff

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply. For 2016-17 these will be £9,000 (Home/EU); £13,860 (International)
Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

The University of Birmingham Undergraduate Research Experience scheme offers financial support for undergraduates to undertake work experience or a research placement in the summer vacation. The scheme is open to all first-, second- and penultimate-year undergraduate students. It is also open to final-year undergraduate students who are in the process of applying for, or who have already applied for, a place on a postgraduate programme at the University of Birmingham.

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
not accepted

  • BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are accepted but subjects are considered on a case by case basis - contact us for further guidance
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: 655 at Higher Level (Plus 32 points overall)

Additional information:

Maths and English at GCSE grade C or above. Please note, a GCSE Science at grade C is preferred but not essential. (For students wishing to pursue a career in Primary or Early Years teaching, it is essential to hold a GCSE Science at grade C).

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

We are keen to encourage applicants with a wide range of qualifications and prior learning experiences. These include the International Baccalaureate, international foundation programmes and BTEC, CACHE and Access to HE diplomas. Please address any queries about qualifications, APL or mature entry to the Admissions enquiry contact address:

A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required from accepted candidates before registration for the programme

International students:

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

We welcome applications from international students doing foundation courses. There are no particular subject requirements but evidence of essay writing is beneficial and IELTS scores are required.

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students whose IELTS score does not meet the entry requirements. If you successfully attend one of these courses you won’t need to retake IELTS.  

English language support - during your studies

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.  For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.   

Birmingham International Academy (BIA)

You may also be interested in the Birmingham International Academy. Our Foundation Pathways at the University of Birmingham combine the highest standards of one of Britain’s leading global universities with a fully integrated student experience. Designed for international students who require a preparatory year prior to UK undergraduate study, the foundation programme is equivalent in learning to year 13 of the UK education system.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

What makes a good personal statement?

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Hannah looks back over her last three years on the BA Education programme.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates). To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support. You will also have access to a wide range of dedicated e-learning, IT and library facilities within the School to support your studies.

Education is concerned with real life practices and processes. The tutors in the School of Education are experienced specialists who teach all levels of study. Our teaching and assessment strategy reflect this concern with the real world. As well as learning in lectures and seminars, students are asked to undertake a variety of enquiry based learning activities; undertaking small research projects, participating in public debates and working in groups to solve problems. The school also runs events which provide you with an opportunity to listen to such as esteemed speakers as Liam Byme (MP); Baroness Doreeen Larence (OBE); Dr Anthony Seldon and Nicky Morgan (MP). 

External Examiner Comments

“The programme content is excellent. It is well structured, with some excellent foundation courses in the first year and with some modules (e.g. research methods, placement) taking place over 2 years thus allowing for progression and continuity. The module offers a rich and diverse curriculum that is highly appropriate for this degree, with some very strong specialisms on gender, history and developmental psychology. The programme is very well designed and affords students much opportunity for cross-curricular learning in ways that develop their understanding (rather than repeating debates/issues across modules). The dissertations strongly evidence this with some excellent examples of students who have thoroughly engaged with the full breadth of the degree programme.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

We assess students not only the basis of the knowledge they gained, but also the skills that they have acquired. You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams. Students also prepare portfolios of experiences and activities which enhances their employability on graduation. Our assessment strategy does not just deliver grades. It seeks to widen horizons and to promote self-development so that our graduates are valued for their leadership and problem solving capabilities.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. The University of Birmingham was named University of the Year for graduate employment in The Times and the Sunday Times 'Good University Guide 2015-16' and our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree. 

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. 

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Transferable skills include: 

  • written communication developed through writing essays; 
  • oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations;
  • ability to work as part of a team, through collaborative group work;
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information;
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time; 
  • negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff;
  • problem solving; 
  • IT skills.

Job roles directly related to the degree

A degree in BA Education is a good foundation for many types of career. For example, if you are interested in teaching (Primary or Early Years), our Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education (QTS) may be an excellent next step. But please ensure you meet its entry requirements.

Additional careers include: 

(post graduate or further professional training may be needed): 

Learning mentor- provides a complementary service to teachers and other staff, addressing the needs of children who require assistance in overcoming barriers to learning. 

Special educational needs teacher- teaches children with emotional, behavioural or learning difficulties at one or more stages. 

Social worker- works with young people experiencing a variety of difficulties. Experience and/or professional qualification is usually required before embarking on social work in a formal capacity.

Child psychotherapist and Counsellor- works with children suffering from a range of problems, including serious psychological disturbances and behavioural problems. Training in psychotherapy is required for this role. 

Educational psychologist- applies psychological theory, research and techniques to help children or young people who may have learning, behavioural, social or emotional problems or difficulties. 

Speech and language therapist- works closely with people of all ages, including children, with varying degrees of speech, language or swallowing problems.

Play therapist- works with children and young people who are experiencing the consequences of a range of psychological issues and problems. 

Playworker - works with children aged between four and 16, facilitating play activities outside the curriculum. Settings may include breakfast and after school clubs, holiday playschemes and adventure playgrounds.

Careers that are indirectly degree related include:

Community development worker- aims to empower communities by developing the skills required to regain control over and improve quality of life, working with individuals, families or whole communities to facilitate the process.

Museum education officer- responsible for realising the potential of museum collections as learning resources for visitors and the wider community, including children. 

Youth worker- promotes the personal, educational and social development of young people aged between 13 and 19.

Careers adviser/personal adviser- provides information, advice and guidance to help people make realistic choices about education, training and work.

Many of our graduates go onto successful careers that are open to any graduate with an excellent Honours degree from a top University, such as banking, accountancy, public services etc. We also actively encourage students to explore opportunities for gaining experience outside the UK, taking advantage of links built in the field of education in Europe and beyond.

Personal Skills Award

The University of Birmingham offers an employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award which recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects. Many students participate in clubs and societies and volunteer in the local community. The University’s Personal Skills Award accredits this putting our graduates a step ahead.