BA (Hons) Education, Culture & Society

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBC
    IB: 31 points with three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time or up to 9 years part-time
  • Department
    Educational Studies

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.

You'll gain an in depth understanding about the role of education in diverse societies in the UK and beyond. Plus, you'll be thinking critically about the ways people are excluded from education and society, and explore possible reasons and alternatives.

This degree is the unique in the way it focuses on creativity and social justice and inclusion. You'll be able to look at the ways digital media and film, music and visual arts can influence education and society. And you'll also be looking 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. 

Why study BA Education, Culture & Society at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer you the opportunity to take up accredited placements 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. Through these placements we help you both develop your own future career and make a positive impact on your local community.
  • Do you already work in an education or community setting? We 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.
  • You'll be taught by staff who are experts in their field
  • You'll have the chance to study abroad for one term in China or Luxembourg
  • We offer support for your personal and career development through our personal progress programme, supported by staff in the department and the College, 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
  • We encourage discussion, debate and critical reflection, and will help you relate theory to real-life experiences


Contact the department

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

Modules & structure


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.

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.

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

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.

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social and Cultural Research 30 credits
  Changing Ethnicities tbc
  Comparative Education tbc
  Culture and the Construction of Identity 30
  Early Childhood in a Diverse Society 30
  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
  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

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.

Module title Credits
  BA (Hons) Education, Culture & Society Dissertation 30 credits
  Debates in Primary Education 30
  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


The Department of Educational Studies acknowledges that we learn in different ways and that assessments need to reflect this, so you'll be assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, written assignments, exhibitions, presentations (including multimedia), reports, practice-based assessments and dissertation.

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 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

A-level: BBC
International Baccalaureate: 31 points with three HL subjects at 655

We welcome applications from candidates with non-traditional routes.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

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

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Education at Goldsmiths is ranked 8th in the UK for the quality of our research*

Educational Studies

As a department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times. And what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups.

We see education as a window through which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live.

That’s why our research delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

Find out more about the Department of Educational Studies.

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers


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


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

Student profiles


"The creative and questioning attitude which runs through the veins of Goldsmiths has helped me with everything."

"After graduating I worked as a teacher in various nursery schools in London and Sheffield, and as an Early Years Specialist in Barnsley. I am currently home educating my children, and run a business as a Zumba Instructor. I wanted to say thank you Goldsmiths, you have shaped who I am, and also, most importantly, who I am to become. The creative and questioning attitude which runs through the veins of Goldsmiths has helped me with everything. That, and I got a great degree, amazing friends, husband and awesome career from it. Thank you, thank you, thank you."


Now she's graduated, Aysel is going to study here at Goldsmiths

"I really enjoyed the diversity of the people on my course, and the fact I got a First! My advice to people thinking of studying would be don't be afraid to ask for help. The three words I would use to describe Goldsmiths are diverse, fun and professional"


"I recommend the Educational Studies course to those who are unhappy with the present system of education."

"Although my choice of degree was quite a practical, career-focussed one, Goldsmiths has also encouraged me to engage with my more creative side – research and essays are necessary and also enjoyable in their own way, but to have a studio space available to me has been invaluable to my enjoyment of the course.

The degree is exhilarating and subversive, and I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in education and who thinks that the present system of education in the UK isn't quite as it should be. The modules are carefully linked together, allowing for the subject matter to become wonderfully textured and stimulating, and I know that all the other students would agree with me.

Being a first year I'm keeping my options open, but my aim is to work in education policy – saying that though, there's also a chance I might end up becoming an artist. Either way, I'll probably spend the second and third year bugging the careers service about it.  

I found out about the Access Scholarship by scouring the Goldsmiths website for further information about the course, which I would definitely recommend given that the course you choose will be one of the most important choices you'll ever make. If you apply, be honest about what you want from Goldsmiths. Whatever you're interested in, mention that you might like to get involved in that capacity, whether it's writing for the magazine or newspaper, the LGBT society, the debating society, sports. I would also recommend that you don't sit on your laurels if you've already gained the entry requirements, instead go for distinctions between now and the end of the course, think about obtaining some of the books from your chosen BA's reading list, and try to avoid typos!"

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

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.

Related content links

University statistics for this course