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Why choose an Education Studies degree?

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If you’re interested in pursuing a career in education but you’re still undecided about the area you’d like to specialise in, or you’re already working as an educator and want to progress within your field, you might want to consider a degree in Education Studies. Find out all the reasons why choosing an Education Studies degree could be right for you.

A student in the library holding a book by the shelves

Education Studies courses at the University of Sunderland

There are three different versions of the BA (Hons) Education Studies degree available at Sunderland. The first is our most traditional route, the undergraduate degree in Education Studies, which is available full-time over three years or part-time over six years. This course may be suitable for you if you know you’re interested in a career within education but are still unsure of which area you want to specialise in – and you’ll have a chance to discover this during your studying.

We also offer the BA (Hons) Education Studies degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, which is a four-year version of the same course. The extra year of studying is designed to support those who might not be ready to go straight into the full-time degree and during your first year, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your study skills first.

The final option we have available within our provision of Education Studies courses is a part-time, two-year degree, which is appropriate for those applicants who have already worked in an educational setting and want to progress within their field or change career direction. You should have at least two years’ experience in-service within a relevant role and use a portfolio of professional evidence as part of your application to access this direct entry route, effectively fast-tracking you towards your career.

Four great reasons to choose a degree in Education Studies

Now you know a little bit more about the courses we offer in Education Studies, we’re going to share with you all the great reasons why you should consider studying education at degree level.

1. Gain some valuable skills

Choosing an Education Studies degree will allow you to gain a detailed understanding of the principles of education, its systems, and its structures, and in so doing, you'll develop a wide range of valuable skills to prepare you for future employment.

First and foremost, you'll have the opportunity to build on your research skills. Being a confident professional who is knowledgeable about research and the complexity of it shows your ability to demonstrate your creativity, independence and trustworthiness. You'll also improve on practical skills such as reflection and criticality. Knowing how to make a decision and what decision to make in a difficult situation is crucial, as no two situations will be the same. This ability to be adaptable in a wide range of conditions is a disposition that all employers are looking for.

Studying for a degree in Education Studies will help you to develop a deeper understanding of all phases of education by exploring a range of historical, philosophical, sociological, and psychological perspectives. As well as this, you'll enhance your problem-solving abilities, which is particularly relevant to curriculum design and resource development. Other valuable skills you’ll gain during your studying include organisational, communication and interpersonal skills, particularly once you’ve undertaken your placement.

"I love the multidisciplinary nature of education. The sheer complexity of educational practice fascinates me. As a good educator, you need to have a sound awareness of the disciplines of philosophy, sociology, and psychology, as well as an understanding of how these fit into any decision you make. You can have a profound effect on someone else’s life as an educator and it’s so important that those of us studying education always reflect upon this. Each area of the Education Studies course touches upon these issues, so when you’re ready to enter employment in whichever educational setting you choose, you’ll feel confident to make the best decisions for the people you work with and for."

Kate Duffy
Senior Lecturer in Education

2. Be employable in a range of careers

Another great reason to consider a degree in Education Studies is that when you graduate, you’ll be employable in a wide range of careers. Many students study for an education-related degree as they want to go into teaching, but Education Studies can offer so much more than this.

Educational decisions affect the life chances of us all and how we live our lives and engage with others. Having a secure understanding of this can help you in any careers that involve managing social and educational projects, research and journalism into social and educational issues, developing and designing curriculums for alternative and community provision, human resources, and personal development areas. The ability to view situations from a wide range of perspectives and demonstrate creativity and autonomy is essential in any career that requires you to work with people. Graduates of the Education Studies degrees have gone into jobs in care, information and vocational learning, professional development, educational training, and curriculum development.

Although our degrees in Education Studies don’t qualify you as a teacher, if you do decide to become one when you graduate, you’ll be guaranteed an interview for a PGCE at the University of Sunderland.

3. Specialise in your own areas of interest

One of the distinctive features of our Education Studies degree is that it focuses on all phases of education, so you can tailor the course to your own career plan.

Mathematics and English modules are threaded throughout the programmes, and you can specialise in one of these subjects during your final year. The key factors that affect life chances are the ability to be numerate and literate. Without this knowledge, people are limited in what they can achieve, so there is a need for educators in all phases and contexts to be knowledgeable about these areas. You'll develop your own subject knowledge and evaluate appropriate pedagogies to support teaching and learning, and you’ll learn how to assess within each curriculum.

You’ll also have the opportunity during one of your Year 2 modules to gain a more thorough understanding about the impact policies and practices have on the education of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which will be incredibly beneficial should you aspire to go into a career in this area of the education sector.

A student teacher helping secondary school pupils with a science experiment

4. Take advantage of fantastic opportunities while studying

If you choose a degree in Education Studies at Sunderland, there are several exciting opportunities you can make the most of of during your studying. You’ll be encouraged to take on a volunteering placement in an educational context to ensure that your experience is current and that you’re demonstrating application of the skills and knowledge you’re developing on the course. The Education team has strong partnerships with local education establishments and many of them have helped to shape our courses so that students are ready for the posts that they are applying for. As well as practical experience, you’ll be invited to national education research conferences and have the opportunity to engage with our research centres.

One of the benefits of choosing the part-time route of the Education Studies degree is that flexible learning is embedded into the course, which is ideal for those already working or who have worked in education already. Teaching takes places on evenings and weekends with some sessions taught via distance learning.


To find out more about our Education Studies degrees, check out the course pages or book yourself onto an Open Day. In the meantime, you can explore our University virtually.

Published: 27 February 2023