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X1V1 Education Studies - History BA Undergraduate 2016


UCAS code X1V1
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical offers A Level
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 0180

Course Content


Year 1

In the first year there are three compulsory modules in Education which set the scene for the rest of the course. You will spend time studying three modules in your partner department.

Education modules

  • History of Education
  • Context of Education
  • Learning and Teaching.

Year 2

In the second year you may choose from a list of modules. You will also study Education Research Methods – to help you find out just whether what people say about education is actually true. The second year list also contains modules looking at wider concepts within society and education such as the Philosophy of Social Science, and Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion, a module which has attracted worldwide publicity. Again, half your time will be spent in your partner department.

Education modules

  • Education Research Methods (compulsory module)
  • Identity, Culture and Education
  • Learning in the Early Years
  • The Philosophy of Social Science
  • Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion.

Year 3

In the final year one of your modules is your Dissertation where you will choose a topic to study in depth – many students regard the Dissertation as the most enjoyable and important piece of work they undertake in the whole three years. You may also take one of the modules from the second-year list above. As in the first and second year you will also be working in your partner department.

Education modules

  • Dissertation (compulsory module)
  • Citizenship Education
  • Limits of Assessment
  • Political Sociology of Education
  • Responding to Special Educational Needs
  • New Directions in Social Science.

Throughout the three years you are encouraged to make links between the education half of your course and your partner department. One recent Dissertation, ‘Simply Mothballs’, explored the relationship between children’s literature and national identity. Another, entitled ‘Rice, Rum, Reggae and Risk’, investigated the effects of HIV/AIDS peer education programmes in Belize. Here the student undertook independent research during her visit to Belize as part of her volunteer work for a charity. Other recent titles include ‘The Perfect Prince: A Creation of Childhood?’ which looked at the how the medieval notion of Mirrors, or handbooks, influenced Louis IX in France and Henry VIII in England. In a recent report the course’s external examiner said that the breadth of Dissertation topics studied was ‘inspiring’.

Learning and Teaching

Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, fieldwork (school placements), informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a state of the art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars, tutorials, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and practicals can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors. Practicals also allow hands-on experience of the work professional teachers perform.

This emphasis on small-group teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent learning as students move from their first to their final year. Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation—supported by one-on-one supervision—that makes up a third of final year credits.

This progression, coupled with real classroom experience, systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.

Students can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting edge research.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information or contact our Admissions Selectors
  • We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2016 entry in the summer of 2015 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2016 entry on the University’s website and at UCAS before 1 September 2015
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

English Language requirements

IELTS of 6.5 (no component under 6.0); TOEFL iBT 92 (no component under 23); Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) Grade C; or Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Grade A.

Requirements and Admissions

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding


Fees have not been set for this academic year.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities

School of Education


The Education Studies degree is a great programme if you want to keep your options open. The programme opens up routes into teaching, but also qualifies students for careers in educational research, educational publishing, educational administration or management, as well as a range of careers in the commercial or public sector. 


Students who have graduated from Education Studies in the past 5 years have taken positions as Archivists, Charity Development Officers, Publishers and Music Therapists as well as professional preparation and study as Social Workers, Teachers, Psychotherapists and Midwives.

The programme is an excellent preparation for a career in teaching at either primary or secondary level. Although the degree does not offer Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you may be able to progress onto a one year Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme (PGCE)  which has been awarded Outstanding again by Ofsted.

A range of financial support of available for our PGCE students some are entitled to a bursary (this depends on the subject area) whilst they are studying. The Durham PGCE is also the first year of our MA Education which is designed to get your teaching career off to the best possible start.

However, it is important to stress that you are not expected to teach. Whilst equipping its graduates to go on to PGCE the programme makes no assumptions, and will help you to develop skills of critical and independent thought, analysis and communication which will be of value to a range of employers. 

Some of our students such as Kate (see below) choose to take up volunteering opportunities and others have a gap year and travel. 

Of those students who left in 2013:

  • 40 are in full time employment

Of those in employment:

  • 61% are in graduate level employment
  • Median salary £20,000

Of those in further study:

  • 93% are in graduate level study

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2012/13 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

�I am writing to you to give you a short reference for your student Katie Dougal and to tell you that she was an incredibly valuable team member in Sri Lanka. Katie joined our team in Sri Lanka, working in Mental Health Projects in Colombo along with many other Durham University students. Your students have made an incredible contribution to our projects in Sri Lanka and we would like to let you know how grateful we are. Your students were so positive, hardworking and committed to the projects which has meant that our organisation has improved a lot over recent months, and we continue to get very positive feedback from the projects, about the volunteers from Durham University. �
Lee Mendeloff Recruiting volunteers for a Mental Health placement in Sri Lanka

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre run a number of bespoke sessions aimed specifically at Education Studies students. For example, there is a talk for Year One and Year Two students on the value of vacation work for enhancing their skills and increasing their employability value. 

Additionally there is a presentation in the Easter Term in conjunction with the Careers Service which looks at modular choices, and impact that the modules might have on students' career decision making. There is also a Question and Answer session with Final Year students which focuses on their specific career needs.

�"Everyone has an opinion on it; if you study it here you can make sure that what you say is right!!" �
(Jennifer T.)

The BA Education Studies - Psychology is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and as such provides clear career paths into a number of professions including teaching and educational psychology. The BPS recognition ensures that students who wish to work in a field requiring memberships of the BPS are prepared and qualified to do so. The programme provides a clear first step to future careers in psychology and allied disciplines and is well placed for those wishing to pursue such roots.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

School of Education


If you have an interest in education and learning – if you want to study a rigorous, relevant, academic discipline that will lead to a career in the public or private sector – including business, commerce, charitable work, social and health care, or progress to social and educational research, then this could be the degree for you.

This is a multidisciplinary programme in which you will study how people learn, think about the contexts that help people to learn, and examine issues such as educational disadvantage, how education policy is made, and whether people and schools can be made more creative.

You will have a strong interest in continuing one of your A-level subjects, but you will also want to broaden your knowledge to include a new and stimulating field of study. You will have an intellectual curiosity, and a desire to explore areas including philosophy, psychology, sociology and politics along with the ability to reflect on your own educational experience, and to relate this to the theoretical questions you will meet throughout the programme.

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for World-leading research impact (REF 2014).
  • 100% of our Education students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey three times in the last five years.
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2015.

Our School of Education is set in beautiful landscaped gardens above the River Wear and overlooks both the Castle and Cathedral. As well as an attractive work environment, it offers excellent study facilities, including a department library with a wide range of books (over 60,000 volumes) and periodicals.


NB: Information contained on the website or in the literature with respect to the fee is correct at the time of publication but the University reserves the right to change the course information or fee at a later date.