Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

X390

Entry requirements

A-level: BBC
BTEC: DMM
IB: 31 points with three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or up to 9 years part-time

Course overview

This degree will develop your knowledge of the education system in the UK and beyond. You'll enter into key debates about policy issues with a focus on social justice and equality, and understand education from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Why study BA Education, Culture and Society at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll gain an in-depth understanding of the role of education in diverse societies in the UK and beyond. Plus, we'll encourage you to think about the ways people are excluded from education and society, and explore possible reasons and alternatives.
  • This degree is unique in the way it focuses on creativity and social justice and inclusion. You'll be able to look at the ways digital media, film, music and visual arts can influence education and society.
  • You'll also look at a broad range of social justice themes and ideas, including gender in the early years, alternatives to schooling, mental health and wellbeing, and institutional racism. 
  • We offer you the opportunity to gain work experience at a range of organisations involving anything from working on literacy with Bengali women to developing educational materials at a city farm or putting together an art exhibition at a pupil referral unit for excluded secondary school students.
  • As well as taking on a work placement, you’ll have the opportunity to study abroad in China or Luxembourg which will give you the chance to explore how education, culture and society can be interpreted in a new context.
  • We offer support for your personal and career development through our personal progress programme, supported by staff in the department and the university, through tutorials and workshops which will help you to reflect on your personal, academic and employment goals and support you in developing your communication skills.
  • If you already work in an education or community setting, we’ll work with you so that you can use this as key information to inform your studies. For their assignments, past students have interviewed young people they have been supporting and have created resources for children with special educational needs from countries where they have connections, such as Ghana and Slovakia.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Kirstin Lewis

What you'll study

Overview

The programme is designed to promote understanding and critical reflection on the role of education in diverse societies and how the system continues to be shaped by social, political and economic factors. There is an emphasis on what counts as knowledge; the interrelationship between education, the individual and society and the tensions that can arise in a system that advocates education for all but mediates against the full participation of some groups. We think this emphasis on inclusion is a unique quality of the degree and a sound preparation for employment in this area. 

We are also proud of the strong creativity strand that permeates the programme and reflects our expertise in visual and performing arts. If you are interested in employment in the creative industries, with a focus on education, this is the degree for you.

Your pathway through the degree is individually designed, offering you the opportunity to create combinations that match your interests and/or intended career route. You take part in seminars, lectures, tutorials, studio practice, performances and personal research.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

In the first year you take four compulsory modules that will introduce you to the interaction between:

  • identity and culture
  • learning and thinking
  • creativity and learning
  • historical and philosophical perspectives on education

These modules introduce you to key concepts in relation to the psychology, sociology, history and philosophy of education and provide the foundation for selecting options offered in the second year. In Year 1 there is also a study skills module that is integrated across the four core units. It is designed to support the development of the skills you need to be a successful student at university level.

Year 1 modules Module title Credits
  Culture and Identity 30 credits
  Learning and Thinking 30 credits
  Creativity and Learning 30 credits
  The Curriculum: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

For the second year you choose a combination of three modules from the options outlined below. These are likely to be informed by both your interests and intended career paths.

In addition all students follow a compulsory unit on research in Education which prepares you both to read and evaluate educational research and to conduct a small research project of your own.

All Level 5 options build upon and further explore the issues raised in Level 4 modules. Please note that options are regularly reviewed and new modules developed.

Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social and Cultural Research 30 credits
  Changing Ethnicities tbc
  Comparative Education tbc
  Culture and the Construction of Identity 30 credits
  Early Childhood Education for a Diverse Society 30 credits
  An Introduction to the Teaching and Learning of English as a Foreign Language tbc
  Knowledge and Power 30 credits
  Language and Literacy in the Early Years 30 credits
  Critical Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Education 30 credits
  New Media Technologies and Learning 30 credits
  Performing Arts in the Community tbc
  Studies in Inclusion and Exclusion 30 credits
  Body, Gender and Culture 30 credits
  Arts Practice in Education, Cultural and Community Settings 30 credits
  Children's Cultures: School and Community Contexts 30 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

At Level 6 you study two further advanced modules and undertake a dissertation. You determine the focus for your dissertation in collaboration with an allocated dissertation tutor. The dissertation offers you the opportunity to work with a leading academic on a one-to-one basis and the possibility of making links with a sector you intend to work within once you've graduated. A short research methods module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to undertake the dissertation confidently.

A distinctive element of the third year is the opportunity to spend time studying abroad. Goldsmiths has close links with a number of universities with which it undertakes student exchanges.

Please note: certain Level 6 options require a specific module-unit to have been taken in Level 5. This will be explained in detail before choices are made. New modules are developed in response to changing contexts.

Year modules Module title Credits
  BA (Hons) Education, Culture & Society Dissertation 30 credits
  Debates in Primary Education 30 credits
  Educational Policy in Europe tbc
  Educational Policy in the UK 15 credits
  Race and Representation in Popular Culture 30 credits
  International Perspectives on Early Childhood 30 credits
  Re-imagining Social Class and Education 30 credits
  Theoretical and Practical Aspects of SEN 30
  Visual Arts: Studio Practice 30 credits
  Study Abroad in China or Luxembourg 30-45 credits
  Policy and Practice in Early Childhood Education 30 credits
  Learning in the Community 30 credits
  Language, Creativity and Education 15 credits
  Race and Representation in Popular Culture 30 credits
  Youth Cultures 30 credits
  Children's Literature and Controversy 15 credits
  Critical Arts Practice 15 credits
  Explorations in Gender, Culture and Schooling 15 credits
  Language, Creativity and Communication 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is taught a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You'll be assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, written assignments, exhibitions, presentations (including multimedia), reports, practice-based assessments and dissertation.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 62% coursework, 20% written exam, 18% practical
  • Year 2 - 92% coursework, 8% practical
  • Year 3 - 95% coursework, 5% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2017/18. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the latest programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBC
BTEC: DMM
International Baccalaureate: 31 points with three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including a number of distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBCC (Higher) or BCC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

We welcome applications from candidates with non-traditional routes.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also have to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.

Careers

Skills

This programme helps you develop:

  • analytical and critical thinking skills
  • the ability to synthesise and distil information and communicate ideas in writing and other media
  • presentation skills
  • interpersonal communicative attributes
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • expertise in carrying out personal research and working to deadlines

Careers

The knowledge, understanding and skills you can develop on this degree are transferable to a range of professions such as:

  • primary school teaching
  • working in the creative industries
  • youth and community work
  • social work
  • educational administration
  • other areas that require a specialist knowledge of education, such as charities and the leisure industries

If you are considering primary teaching, you will need to combine your degree with a one-year PGCE. Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Society guarantees you an interview for Goldsmiths’ highly regarded PGCE Primary programme, provided you meet current government requirements. You can find out more about the career options open to you after you graduate on our Education Studies careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths