Why Study Education?

The study of education encompasses a broad spectrum.  In fact, UCAS list a grand total of 1,639 education-related courses beginning in 2010.  These courses range from HE diplomas to BA and BEd undergraduate studies to MA and MEd postgraduate courses.

Teaching courses

Quite simply, if you want to work in the classroom, you need to take a teacher training qualification.  Many universities offer three and four-year BEd courses to bring you up-to-date with the national curriculum, current government education initiatives and the responsibilities that come with being a primary school teacher.  BEd students usually have to study another supplementary subject as a classroom specialism, such as history, maths or science. Courses for students who wish to work in secondary schools are generally at postgraduate level.

If you have already completed a first honours degree in any subject, there is always the option to apply for a PGCE.  This is usually one year full-time or two years part-time, with a large chunk of time spent teaching in a school.

Education studies

For those of you who are interested in education as a subject, but don’t necessarily want to work on the frontline as a teacher, do not fear as there are many other options.  Currently, only half of people working in the education sector are teachers, with the other half working as education professionals. 

A variety of education studies courses exist to give students an understanding of how people learn and develop throughout life.  These courses tend to look at education models and theories.  They demonstrate that learning is not confined to the classroom, but can take place in a multitude of locations and environments.  The courses consider how education fits into the broader cultural, political or historical context, rather than the ways in which it is practically delivered in school. Many education studies courses include work placement opportunities to help you get a taster of what it would be like to use your knowledge and skills in different settings.

What skills will I get?

After completing your studies you should not only have the confidence to stand up in front of a class full of students, but you will also have developed the following:

  • Knowledge and understanding

… developed through the use of education literature and current research

  • Application

… of your subject knowledge and the ability to think critically

  • Reflection

… on the concepts and theories that underpin your studies

… upon your own development and learning

  • Transferable skills

… such as written and oral communication skills; ICT skills, (for instance word processing, use of databases and internet proficiency); interpersonal and team-working capabilities; and problem-solving.

What job could I get?

The most obvious career move for education graduates is teaching, but there are numerous possibilities within this field, from education administration to educational psychology.

Check out our education job profiles to get an idea of the wide range of careers that education students can chose from.