University of Chester

Programme Specification
Education Studies BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

Education Studies

Education Studies

University of Chester

University of Chester


Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

Education Studies


Education Studies Assessment Board of the School of Education

Sunday 1st April 2007

 The Education Studies Programme has the following aims:

  • To develop knowledge, skills and understanding in the field of education and training and of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts.
  • To provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice. 
  • Undertake the study of education for wider career applications and as a subject in its own right.
  • Develop a secure understanding of how people learn and develop throughout their lives.
  • Understand the educational processes and the cultural, political and historical contexts in which they are embedded and to question the aims and values of Education and its relationship with society.
  • Apply and reflect on the knowledge learnt and to construct and sustain a reasoned argument which demonstrates the use of critical thinking skills. 
  • Undertake work both independently and with others to become autonomous learners, demonstrating intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence

Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and understanding of key theoretical perspectives used to facilitate the investigation and understanding of educational issues. This will include the consideration of issues of gender, ethnicity, policy development and culture informed by the academic disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology and political science. The programme provides an introduction to current education research methodologies in order to foster the ability to evaluate evidence.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Emphasis on analysis, synthesis and reflection. Ability to handle cognitive complexity in order to evaluate and to apply knowledge and skills in new contexts.
In particular, the application of theoretical concepts and critical tools to enhance an appreciation of practice in the field of Education Studies.
Scholarly and literacy skills, methods and processes appropriate to evaluation and enquiry.
Analysis and synthesis of theories from a variety of sources.
The ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument on education-related issues.

Practical Skills

Reading, observation and assessment skills, and associated note taking skills, and skills of interpretation of information and research evidence.
The oral skills involved in discussing current national and international practice in seminars, small group work, tutorials and projects. Skills of debate and argument, including the rhetorical skills of the art of persuasion. The delivery of formal oral presentations and seminar papers which may include use of electronic media.
Writing skills. The composition of discursive and /or analytical essays. The appropriate use of information and communication technologies, particularly the use of word-processing software, email, the world wide web, CDRom /DVD and other audio/video materials.
Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Comprehension & transmission, including the ability to read, interpret, paraphrase & summarise electronic & paper sources of information lucidly and coherently.

Effective written & spoken communication. Presentation skills.

Application of numbers, the ability to interpret simple statistics and present data.

The ability to apply knowledge derived from abstract, theoretical and ideological sources to practical situations. The capacity to interrogate and critique various assertions, claims and arguments, weighting and adjudicating between alternative positions.

Problem solving skills. Project management skills. Organisational and time-management skills. Working to deadlines. Independent and collaborative skills.

IT and multimedia skills including word processing skills and the skills associated with using websites, email, CD-rom/DVD.
Personal growth and life skills.
Transferable Professional Skills

The skills outlined above are transferable to any professional context in education and to places of employment in education-related settings.

This Education Studies Programme involves the intellectually rigorous study of educational processes, systems and approaches. It is concerned with understanding how people develop and learn throughout their lives. Education Studies facilitates a critical study of the nature of knowledge and a critical engagement with a variety of perspectives and ways of knowing and understanding, drawn from the range of parent disciplines of psychology, sociology, philosophy,political science and history. This programme has a particular emphasis on the relationship between policy and practice at the national and international levels.

Education Studies is a subject on the Combined Honours programme which currently complies with the degree framework validated in August 2006. A full-time student would normally follow six 20-credit modules (or equivalent) at the appropriate level each year, giving a total of 120 credits at each level. Only marks at level 5 and level 6 contribute towards the final degree classification. All modules at level 4 in this programme are currently compulsory modules. At level 5 all Combined Hons students undertake the Work Based Learning Module.Students who minor in Education Studies can opt to do an additional module in their other combined subject rather than complete WB5101. At level 6 students have one elective choice.

At level 4, the three modules are studied by all students. If students intend to undertake the ED 6001 Dissertation in Education Studies, they would benefit from undertaking the module ED 5001 Research and Practice.  Other than this prerequisite, students have a free choice of modules at level 6 .

At level 6, students who intend to major in Education Studies will undertake the dissertation and two other level 6 modules.

Students intending to take Education Studies in equal weighting with another Combined Honours Subject will choose the equivalent of 60 credits worth of Education Studies modules

Students intending to take Education Studies as a minor subject within the Combined Honours framework must take the equivalent of 40 credits worth of Education Studies modules at level 6.

Student progression is enabled through the incremental development of student learning activity and approaches to teaching and learning specified in the table below. Higher levels build on, and further develop, characteristics of earlier levels. These generic descriptors are merely indicative; see the relevant module descriptors for specific details.

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
ED4002 4 Learning to Learn 20 Comp Comp Comp
ED4003 4 The Development of Schooling 20 Comp Comp Comp
ED5002 5 Beliefs, Values and Curriculum 20 Comp Comp Comp
ED5003 5 Lifelong Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
ED6001 6 Dissertation 40 Comp N/A Optional
ED6004 6 Inclusion Matters 20 Optional Optional Optional

120 credits at Level4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
240 credits including 120 at Level5 entitle the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
360 credits including 120 at Level6 entitle the student to a Bachelor's degree

Combined Honours Education Studies

• 240-280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels

• BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit/distinction profile

• Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects

• International Baccalaureate: 26 points

• European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%

• QAA recognised Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits

Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.

The design of this programme is informed by the Benchmark Statements for Education Studies (QAA, 2000). The statements assert that the nature of Education Studies is that it is “concerned with understanding how people develop and learn throughout their lives. It facilitates a study of the nature of knowledge, and a critical engagement with a variety of perspectives, and ways of knowing and understanding, drawn from a range of appropriate disciplines”. It goes on to recognize that there are many kinds of Education Studies programmes “but all involve the intellectually rigorous study of educational processes, systems and approaches, and the cultural, societal, political and historical contexts within which they are embedded”. Furthermore such programmes will “provide students with opportunities to develop their critical capabilities through the selection, analysis and synthesis of relevant perspectives, and be enabled to justify their freely chosen personal positioning about educational matters”. The benchmark statements suggest a set of principles to which Education Studies programmes should adhere and these have been taken to underpin this particular provision to an extent that is appropriate for a combined honours programme. It is suggested that programmes should:

* draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of education and the contexts within which it takes place;

* provide students with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts;

* encourage students to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society;

* provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice;

* encourage the interrogation of educational processes in a wide variety of contexts;

* develop in students the ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in a clear, lucid and coherent manner; and,

* promote a range of qualities in students including intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence.

Central to the Faculty of Education and Children's Services' learning, teaching, and assessment strategy is the concept of tutor-supported, student-centred learning. The Faculty is committed to the view that students should become increasingly autonomous learners as they proceed through programme levels. This is a matter of students developing and enhancing their discipline-specific knowledge and transferable skills as they become more mature, reflective and critical readers and writers. Students are made aware that formal teaching takes up only a small amount of the study time that they should spend on each module. Teaching will employ a range of methodologies and take account of best practice, particularly those which maximise active learning and take account of the learning styles of students.

Examples of teaching and learning strategies used are:

* group lectures with students encouraged to question and discuss;

* seminars as a whole group; smaller groups, pairs as appropriate;

* project work in learner groups;

* student led discussions, seminars and presentations;

* individual and small group tutorials; and,

* use of ICT and audio-visual material. In particular, extensive use of VLE through Moodle module folders.

Teaching approaches will be regularly monitored and evaluated by tutors incorporating information from student feedback, self reflection and peer review. The learning outcomes for each module will be made explicit and shared with students to enable them to evaluate their learning and the effectiveness of the teaching strategies. There is an expectation that as students progress though the programme they will be required to take increasingly greater responsibility for organising and managing their own learning. To facilitate progression, students will be provided with reading lists, and paper/IBIS-based support material and activities designed to promote autonomous learning. Students will be strongly advised and encouraged to attend all classes, in the context of developing mature self-discipline and a culture of mutual responsibility. Contribution to group interaction will enable students to challenge assumptions and form a deeper understanding of relevant concepts as well as developing key skills.

The Programme Team subscribe to the view expressed in the Benchmark Statements that “learning, teaching and assessment will be closely inter-related” and that the adopted approaches to assessment will “support student learning, and the teaching which promotes that learning”.

Assessment will take a variety of forms e.g. essays, presentation, coursework, as detailed in module descriptors. The criteria for selection will be that the form of assessment will be the most appropriate to enable students to demonstrate their achievement of stated module learning outcomes.

In general terms, students are assessed on their ability to: demonstrate knowledge and understanding, in breadth and in depth, of the subject-matter studied; discuss, interpret, and critically analyse a range of literature; utilise effectively the transferable communication and rhetorical skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and arguing; conduct independent and collaborative research, using relevant skills and methods (including IT where appropriate). The assessment methods used in each module correlate with the learning outcomes for that module. A range of assessment approaches is used to provide evidence of learning for the specified outcomes for each module. In line with University of Chester policy, not all learning outcomes are explicitly assessed. Where feasible, assessment should be used to inform planning to ensure that subsequent teaching addresses the identified needs of the students. Students are kept informed about the assessment requirements of each element of their programme. The formal assessment requirements are described in each module descriptors. As well as the generic assessment criteria, students will be provided with assignment specific criteria; this will be provided in module handbooks, available to students at the beginning of each module.

Reassessment will, as far as possible, follow the original intention as detailed in the module descriptor and will be in accordance with the revised institutional regulations (2004). Where a form of assessment can not be repeated, e.g. as with some presentations, an alternative will be prescribed which gives the student a similar opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the specified module learning outcomes. Such arrangements will be discussed with the External Examiner.

The particular benefits of this field of study are identified in the benchmark statement as the ability to “be able to participate effectively in a number of constantly changing discourses which are exemplified by reference to debate about values, personal and social engagement, and how these relate to communities and societies”.

Students who have successfully completed this programme will have developed “an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment”. Their studies will have enabled them to “evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively” and they should have “the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances”. (QAA. 2001:1) The majority of this cohort intend, on graduation, to embark upon a programme of professional training leading to QTS or to other professional work with children and young people. The Education Studies programme will also equip graduates with the necessary key skills to continue their studies through related postgraduate programmes or research degrees. 

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

Education Studies can be combined with most subjects within the combined honours system. Education is increasingly seen as fundamental to economic growth and 'intellectual capital' is ever more significant in our global era. As a subject area Education studies is particularly flexible. Education Studies enhances an understanding of learning across a range of subject disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences and deepens our understanding of learning processes in a variety of vocations, workplaces and institutions.

The programme has been adapted to meet student need and has ensured that level 4 provision in particular offers study support to all students.

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