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Education Studies - Combined Subjects (Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This course enables you to explore education in its broadest sense, as learning for life, across all phases of the education system and of human development.

This subject views Education as a discipline in its own right, and recognises that in order to ensure that something is educational, requires a critical understanding of Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology. As students of this subject, you will engage with these perspectives and also develop an appreciation of the contexts they reside in such as the historical, economical and political.

In year one, modules such as the 'History and Aims of Education' encourage you to reflect upon your own experiences of education and relate this to the theoretical positions in order to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of your experience. You will also develop an awareness of the theories of learning and teaching.

In year two, you are encouraged to take an increasingly autonomous, critical and innovative approach to your work and consider ways that Education can meet diverse needs. You will have the opportunity to take a placement.

In year three, you will develop advanced research and enquiry skills and look at broader issues such as what skills we need for the 21st Century and comparing the education systems across the world.

A popular combination is education studies with a subject in the national curriculum, such as English, history or a foreign language, such as French or Spanish. This helps prepare you for a career in teaching.

Another approach is to combine education studies with a creative arts subject such as sport, dance or drama. This will allow you to pursue your passion for the creative subject while simultaneously developing your capacity to share that passion with others.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying a combined subjects programme at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core modules

  • History and Aims of Education (20 Credits)
  • Theories of Learning, Teaching and Assessment (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Socio Cultural Issues in Education (20 Credits)
  • Contemporary Issues in Education (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core modules

  • Approaches to Meeting Special Educational Needs (20 Credits)
  • Philosophy and Education (20 Credits)

Optional module

  • Students as Tutors (20 Credits)
  • Developing Creative Solutions (20 Credits)
  • Research in Education (20 Credits)
  • English and Society/Mathematics and Society (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core modules

  • Comparative Education and the Global Citizen (20 Credits)
  • Dissertation in Education Studies (40 Credits)

Optional module

  • Advancing Pedagogy in English (20 Credits)
  • Advacning Pedagogy in Mathematics (20 Credits)
  • Ethics and Education (20 Credits)
  • Learning in the 21st Century (20 Credits)
  • Advanced Independent Studies in Higher Education (20 Credits)
  • Leading and Managing in Education (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups.

There is no requirement to undertake placements or teaching practice.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects and presentations.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Education Studies Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on topics related to teaching, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:

  • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision at the University you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


Forster Building

City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Additional Entry Requirements:

  • DBS Enhanced Disclosure
  • Disclosure of any criminal convictions (required by DES Circular 9/93)

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 120 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student 

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website. 

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Education Studies aims to prepare students for further study and employment in areas such as teaching, human resources, alternative education, social, youth and community work, public sector, third sector, research, local and global development, service sectors, professional and vocational development areas.

It can also be seen as a very useful area of study for students planning careers that involve a range of roles in relation to learning, whatever the context. These include supporting and leading the learning of others, for example as a mentor or coach. The subject makes strong links between the development of academic skills and developing employment skills as an educationalist.

If you are considering a career teaching in a Secondary school then it is advisable that you study half of your course in a national curriculum subject. This will enable you to apply for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) that leads towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 
Please note that the Education Studies course does not award QTS.

Study Abroad 

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying.

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views. 

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers and Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland. 

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a PE teacher."

Catherine Grainger - X1 Education Studies - Combined

Catherine Grainger

Student Combined Subjects - Education Studies and Sport (Dual)

"For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a PE teacher.

"It was difficult to find a course that would combine my passion for sport with my interest in education. The combined honours programme is great for students who wish to combine their love of two subjects and broaden their horizons.

"The most memorable moment of my time at Sunderland has to be the moment that I handed in my dissertation, I was relieved to be handing in my dissertation, but also felt a great sense of pride as I had chosen how and what I researched.

"During my third year I was asked to act as a mentor for both 1st and 2nd year students.  I would attend the same lectures as them and participate as they did using my experience and knowledge to help them in any way I could.

"I feel the education side of my degree has given me a significant insight into the workings of the British education system – preparing me for my chosen career path."

"I would recommend that new students have a go at everything that is offered to them and regret nothing."

Matthew Cain - CSP Education Studies and Sport

Matthew Cain

Student - Combined Education Studies and Sport

“I chose the University of Sunderland as it was close to my home and was always my first choice. My degree of Sport and Education appealed to me because my aim is to be a teacher in secondary education.  

“There is a relaxed and supportive atmosphere amongst the students and the lecturers and I get on well with them all and find them all very approachable. The best thing about my course is the variety of the modules I can choose from.

“When I’m not studying I’m working in schools or coaching others in sport.

“My first week at Sunderland was good and I found my feet quite quickly. I would recommend that new students have a go at everything that is offered to them and regret nothing. My favourite thing about my course is the philosophical discussions we have in Education and the different directions they go in.

“The best thing about university life for me is the people you are on the course with.”

"A Combined Subjects degree allows for so much variety in your subjects."

Laura Arkley - Student

Laura Arkley - Student

BA (Hons) English Literature and Education - Combined Subjects

"Completing a degree on the Combined Subjects Programme allows for so much variety in your subjects. It also gives you the choice to choose what you study.

"I chose to combine English Literature with Education which has allowed me to get experience in the classroom and study English Literature, which I love."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.‌

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Education Studies - Combined Subjects (Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

120 points

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