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Education (BA)

  • X300

3 years (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

Education is an exciting social science subject increasingly being presented as a principal means of fostering economic growth, social cohesion and personal well-being. The BA Education will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of contemporary developments and challenges in education. It will enable you to explore underpinning assumptions and to investigate the research basis of contemporary policy and practice.

From 2015 the single honours Education degree will no longer offer a BPS accredited route. For entry in 2014 to the Education degree, please contact an admissions tutor to enquire if there are spaces on the BPS accredited route.

Key Facts

UCAS Code X300
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Accreditation  An optional route is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) – limitations on module option choices apply to this route
Typical places available The School admits 300 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes of which approximately 50 are studying single or joint honours degrees in Education.
Typical applications received 1,500
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB-BBB
Admissions Tutor Michael Arribas-Ayllon
Tel Number 029 2087 5122
Email address
School website

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

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

Education at Cardiff

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

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

Our teaching and research reflects our passions and examines the many facets and phases of educational experiences. You will have the opportunity to learn through a range of formal, informal and practical experiences, both within and outside of the university environment. Our graduates are able to use what they learn during their three years in our programme to enter into a wide range of careers and activities. While many follow up their time at our School with a one year teacher training (PGCE) course that enables them to become a primary or secondary school or FE college teacher, others go into youth and community work, social policy and government, management and other professions.

Single or joint honours?

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

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

Course structure

All degrees schemes within the Cardiff School of Social Sciences put great emphasis on the combination of theory and method that is needed to apply social science work to real world problems. Our degree schemes are developed with this in mind and provide a solid foundation in core concepts and methods before moving on to more independent and critical thinking about their application in specific contexts.

For Education degrees, this progression is accomplished as follows. In Year One, all students take three core modules:

  • Education and Society: this covers the role of education in society, the changing nature and management of educational institutions, and the wider impact of education policies.
  • Introduction to Psychology: this provides an introduction to the psychology of social life.
  • Introduction to Social Science Research: an introduction to the principles and skills that underpin social science research.

Single honours students will complete their programme of study with cognate modules from the Sociology and Social Policy schemes. Joint honours students will focus their remaining modules on those required by their partner subject.

In Years Two and Three, the three themes that were introduced in the first year – learning over the life cycle, education policies and their impact, teaching, learning and the organisation of education – are all developed in more detail. There are core modules in research methods and the ‘Sociology of Education’ but students are also able to choose from a selection of modules that provide in-depth instruction in the research interests of academic staff. These currently include issues and topics such as:

(Please note that the following modules are indicative, and subject to annual review and revision.)

  • Human Development
  • Children and Childhood
  • Gender Relations and Society
  • Conflict and Change in Educational Policy
  • Equality and Diversity in Education and Work
  • Current Debates in Social Psychology
  • Individual Differences and Personhood
  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Learning, Biology and Cognition
  • Self, Identity and Culture
  • Reflections on Teaching and Learning Practice, Theory and Experience
  • Policy and Practice in Contemporary Education

In addition, there are a range of other year two and three sociology and social policy modules to choose from. Further, all final year students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation project in which they will be able to design and conduct a small scale research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

Teaching in the School of Social Sciences is research-led and reflects the inter-disciplinary nature of the School.  Students are taught about the latest ideas within the social sciences by internationally recognised scholars who are themselves shaping the future of their respective fields.  Students also play an important role in the development of the curriculum, with the Staff-Student Panel being consulted about major changes and all students contributing to module evaluations and an annual student survey.

The teaching programme is designed to support students in the transition into University learning. Each academic year, students take six modules, each of which will be taught via weekly lectures and fortnightly seminars. In between this formal contact time, students will be given guided reading, online exercises or other work designed to consolidate and develop their knowledge. All teaching is directed towards meeting clearly stated learning outcomes, which are then assessed at regular intervals. Assessment methods vary from module to module but, over the course of their degree, each student can expect a mixture of exams, essays, practical work, individual and group projects and presentations.

The style of teaching also changes over the course of the degree. In Year One, all students are expected to meet with personal tutor every two weeks in order to follow a structured programme of study skills and readings through which they will learn how to be social scientists. In Years Two and Three students are increasingly able to study and learn independently and so have the opportunity to read more widely and develop their own interests. For many, this will culminate in their final year dissertation, where they will work with a member of academic staff to design and carry out an independent research project.

Typical A-level Offer ABB-BBB, excluding General Studies
Typical WBQ Offer Advanced Diploma Pass in the Core and grades AB or BB at GCE A-level dependent upon offer
Typical Int Bacc Offer 32-34 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In addition to its substantive content, our degree in Education provides skills in critical thinking, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and report writing. As such, social science graduates are able to find employment in both public and private sectors and their graduate employment rates compare favourably with other subjects. Examples of the careers our graduates have followed include: educational psychology; social care professions; youth and community work; local government; retail and other management; police and probation services; teaching; careers guidance; human resource management; speech therapy; social science, market and policy research.

According to Unistats data available in 2012, 63 per cent of graduates from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences were in employment within six months of graduating, while another 23 per cent were undertaking further study. Both these figures compare very well with other institutions and other degree subjects.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Undergraduate Admissions Office  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5122 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4175 


School Website:

More information

School of Social Sciences