BA (Hons) Education and History

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

Our Joint BA (Hons) Education and History degree course at Birmingham will provide you with the opportunity to study Education and History in equal proportions to Honours degree level.

You will have the opportunity to combine the study of the human past in one or both of the modern and medieval periods with the study of educational practices, processes and applications in a range of contexts and settings. As a Joint Honours student, you will work at exactly the same level and to the same academic standard as students taking that subject as a Single Honours programme.

Our students learn about the education as a dynamic process of human, cultural, economic, and social development that is fundamental to a changing, globalised world. Education combines ideas and research from education, psychology, sociology, philosophy and history. 

You will also be introduced to trends in the political, social, economic, cultural and religious development of Western Europe during the medieval and/or modern periods. You will gain knowledge and understanding in a broad body of historical informational characterised by geographical range and chronological depth with a special attention to Europe and the wider world. 

The course has a practical focus on career development and will help you display a broad knowledge over two disciplines. 

The programme includes a placement in your second year so that you can apply your knowledge to work with children and young people in a professional setting.

BA Education and History: At a glance
  • Education at the University of Birmingham is ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Tables
  • History at the University of Birmingham is in the Top 10 universities in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 and Complete University Guide 2018
  • The University of Birmingham has been awarded a Gold rating in the 2016/17 Teaching Excellence Framework  

Download a brochure for information on all the School of Education undergraduate programmes (PDF, 121MB) or visit the course pages below:

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

The combination of core and optional modules on this Joint Honours programme will allow you to develop key skills within the subject disciplines of both Education and History. In the second year of study, students will complete an assessed placement module, which includes a two week vocational placement.

The Education Programme

In the Education Programme you will have the opportunity to study educational practices, processes and applications in a range of contexts and settings organised in five pathways which will enable you to develop practical skills and experiences.

  • Sociology
    In the sociology strand you will learn about how people’s thoughts, feeling and actions shape and are shaped by their social, cultural and economic contexts. Using sociological theory from a range of traditions we will look at how policy and politics shapes educational institutions and practice. We will examine the contribution education can make to reducing social inequalities, and how education varies around the world to address different challenges. We will look at what it means to be young today, and the challenges young people face from employment to mental health.
  • Psychology
    The psychology strand introduces you to the theory and research that underpin our ideas of human learning and development. These are the basis to explore child development from early years through adolescence and into adulthood, through themes such as perception, language and thinking, attachment and social relationships. In the third year we will explore how social and cultural contexts shape development, taking into account parental beliefs and socialisation practices around the world.
  • History
    In the history strand you will examine the emergence of the institutions that dominate our experience of education, that shape our ideas of what it is to learn, and what it means to be educated. Ranging across centuries and continents, and formal and informal learning contexts, you’ll critically examine how education has been used to shape character, mould behaviour, and strengthen social groups. We will look at the purposes of schooling, and the role it plays in individual and national development. We will explore how the story of education is bound up with social science’s changing ideas about the capacities of humans, their differences and their limitations. 
  • Philosophy
    Through philosophy you are introduced to work by major Western philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Rousseau, Dewey) as well as figures specialising in the philosophy of education. You will examine the core concepts that define education and learn to debate fundamental questions. What does it really mean to learn and to teach? What is knowledge? That we undertake different kinds of education implies there is a distinct value to teaching knowledge, or a vocation, or character. Are these things distinct? How important are they? Our aims for education are often bound up with hopes of greater prosperity, personal fulfilment, and equality and social justice. What does equality mean? Is there a conflict between individual freedom and equality? Is education for more than prosperity? Does the existence of private education make the system more or less fair? 
  • Applied
    The Applied strand teaches you how to apply academic knowledge in real world settings. You will take part in local contexts of practice, evaluating what others do, reflecting on your own actions, and exploring personal values and commitments. You will learn to communicate to different audiences effectively. Through independent enquiry and problem solving you will develop the skills, competences 

 The History Programme

The History programme will enhance your knowledge and understanding of historical events and processes, as well as to develop your analytical and critical capacities to a high order. Though the programme concentrates on medieval and modern Europe including Britain and Ireland (c.400-c.2000), considerable attention is also paid to global history, particularly that of Asia, Africa and North America. By studying history as a joint degree you will have the opportunity to study the full range of periods and areas on offer by the Department of History.  

International Students

The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900. We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, how to apply and funding options, then you can visit our international students webpage. You may also wish to take a virtual tour of our campus

I enjoy the course very much because the content is very diverse. We get a lot of support from our tutors and lecturers. They are very supportive, especially to international students.” Ho Cheuk Lam, BA Education student 


First Year

In your first year of study you will take a number of core modules to develop you as a learner and to provide a foundation for later modules.

The compulsory modules are: 

You will also need to take:

In addition, you will need to take one of the following modules:

Second Year  

In the second year you will extend your subject knowledge of History through choosing from a range of modules in the Autumn and Spring options lists and develop you knowledge of Educational issues through a choice of Education Modules.

Compulsory modules

You will  need to take 40 credits from the list of optional modules provided by the School of History and Cultures (20 credits should be taken in both the Autumn and Spring terms). With the approval of the programme leader, you may also take an approved module or modules offered by a School or Department other than History in place of one or other or both of the Autumn and Spring History options.

You will also need to choose 20 credits from the following

Third Year

In your final year you will further develop your knowledge and skills in Education and History.


You will choose 40 credits from the following options;  20 credits from the options provided by the School of History and Cultures and 20 credits from options provided by the School of Education:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Related staff

Fees and funding

2018 - 2019

UK Students

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2018, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250.

EU Students

For EU students beginning their studies in September 2018, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250 provided this continues to be permitted by UK law.

Overseas Students

For overseas students beginning their studies in September 2018, the University of Birmingham will charge £15,720 for the first year of study.

Visit our tuition fees pages for more information on all these fees.

Learn more about fees and funding 

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.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards  

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
AAB (Grade A in History A Level required)
Required subjects and grades:
A level History, grade A
General Studies:
Not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are accepted but subjects are considered on a case by case basis. Only suitable if applicant is additionally taking History at A Level. Grades: BTEC Extended Diploma DDD plus grade A in A level History; typical offers when offered in combination with A Levels: A in A Level History plus DM in the BTEC Diploma; or A in A Level History plus A in 2nd A Level subject plus M in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 665  (plus 32 overall). Must have 6 points in Higher Level History.

Additional information:

Maths and English at GCSE grade C. 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).

Typical offer grades are for guidance only, and will depend on the subjects you are combining. Please read the entries for both subjects. Where there is a disparity between the typical offer for Subject A and the typical offer for Subject B, the higher offer should be taken as the usual offer for the combination of the two. 

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

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Standard English Language requirements apply

Learn more about international entry requirements

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

Birmingham International Academy (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.   

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.

As a Birmingham student you 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.

Learning experience

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, including lectures, seminars, individual tuition and individual and small group research projects.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but you will have access to a wealth of support to help you make this transition. Personal tutors and welfare tutors can help with both academic and welfare issues, and offer help for any particular areas where you need support. You will also have the use of dedicated e-learning, IT and library facilities within the schools and university to support your studies.

The tutors in the School of Education and School of History and Cultures are taught by experienced specialists. Many have published widely in their area of expertise and can offer a unique perspective of their subject.  Our teaching and assessment strategy reflect our concern with real life practices. 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.  

Contact hours

Throughout your Education degree you can expect about 10 hours of contact time per week. The precise number of contact hours will vary from year to year and will be affected by the particular module choices you make. Contact hours consist of lectures, seminars and a variety of other activities designed to help you to develop your learning.

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.

The University of Birmingham was named University of the Year for graduate employment in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. Our award-winning Careers Network team can help you develop your career from the moment you arrive with us, through bespoke training and events. Careers Network support is tailored to your academic subject area, offering specialist college teams who can provide you with expert advice.

A University of Birmingham degree is highly sought after by employers as 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.

Graduates from the Joint BA (Hons) Education and History degree will gain comprehensive knowledge of two disciplines. The programme will allow you to develop a range of skills and gain practical experience, which will enable you to pursue either historical or educational study at a higher level or to secure employment as historians or educationalists. Reasoning, communication and organisational skills acquired from this programme, and practiced in the context of two disciplines, are readily transferable to a large number of professions and other careers. 

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