Education studies are beneficial for those wishing to enter the world of teaching, but it is also an interdisciplinary subject which draws on History, Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy to help gain insight about how people and society learn, and the negative and positive impacts on this.
Education is an important part of the growth and learning development of children through to adults, and there will always be a strong demand for those able to educate others and our future generations.
The good aspect of choosing this degree is that there aren’t any definite prerequisite needed to get onto the course-specific universities may ask for certain grades in subjects but this usually happens if a student is studying a joint degree. For candidates studying education on its own, universities typically look at a student’s UCAS entry points as a whole. However, as those who study education tend to continue to work within the sector, or teaching, having a strong foundation of Maths and English proves beneficial.
The course entry requirements differ depending on the institution and degree course, therefore, students are advised to conduct research into their chosen courses and universities to ensure they understand what is required to gain admission to the course.
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Individuals can gain work experience as teaching assistants and learn while working, while others who wish to become fully qualified teachers can study a Bachelor’s of Education (BEd) qualification, or to complete an undergraduate degree and obtain a postgraduate qualification known as a PGCE qualification.
A BEd qualification will equip candidates with an overview of the teaching industry, learning about risk assessment, CRB checks, funding and health and safety, as well as skills for a specific area. Students will also study the psychology of education, and cover varying cognitive approaches towards the possession of information. This type of qualification tends to appeal to individuals who wish to teach younger children or those with special educational needs.
The second option, to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is ideal for those who wish to gain an undergraduate degree in an area that interests them or a subject they wish to teach, then the PGCE will enable that they understand how to teach others in general, as well as teach their undergraduate subject.
An education course will include two branches: practical learning and theoretical studies. Candidates will gain hands-on experience within a classroom and teaching environment, and towards the end of the course, these practical sessions will contribute towards the degree final grade classification.
Individuals wishing to take the PGCE after graduating should ensure that they hold as much work experience as possible before applying to prove that this route is right for you as well as standing out during the application process.
During the first year, individuals will complete compulsory introductory courses that set the foundations of the subject area which introduce students to key concepts and theories within education studies. Students will also study how people learn, various theories of learning and key contemporary and historical debates regarding this area.
Students should expect a variety of teaching methods, such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, lectures and independent studies as well as placements (Learn more – What is a university lecture like). Assessments will include reports, exams, essays, reviews, presentations and grades for practical work.
The multidisciplinary nature of an education degree provides candidates with a critical insight and expertise to consider schooling, to question different approaches and theories and learn how to develop other students.
Students will graduate with the ability to make oral presentations and to produce written work effectively, as well as becoming participants within the research process.
Students who attend and especially those moving away to university tend to gain skills which become transferable through different areas of life after graduation, from time-management and organisational skills to social skills from presentations, group work projects and working with others and taking part in debates.
Those in education are always in demand, the need for teachers and educational specialists will rarely decrease as our culture evolves. For those interested in education, or to become a teacher and have a passion for learning and an impressive set of communication skills will be ideal for this subject area.
Many students of education at degree level tend to begin a career in teaching afterwards, while others may obtain postgraduate qualifications, such as a PGCE, or School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), or even a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification.
A degree in education studies will provide students with an understanding of the processes of how people learn, and the varying factors it takes to influence others. Education studies also allow people to gain confidence in their communication and presentation skills which are very beneficial to obtaining employment as a teacher.
Graduates are well placed within careers of youth and social work, research, educational support, administration and local and national government, as well as libraries, archives and the heritage sector – and of course, as teachers and educators!
For those individuals wishing to continue with their studies, may study postgraduate degrees to become an Educational Psychologist, Paediatric Nursing, Speech and Language Therapy, Childhood and Youth Officers and Members of Educational Research.
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