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Education is one of the most powerful cultural currents of change and growth in the modern world. If you’re interested in the psychology, politics or social and cultural contexts of education and learning, you can study it on our Education course.
Education at Cambridge
The course at Cambridge is a rigorous and rewarding interdisciplinary degree. You follow one of three tracks, combining in-depth study of a particular field of interest with an examination of wider educational and social issues.
- The Education, Psychology and Learning track focuses on education from a psychological perspective; exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments.
- In Education, Policy and International Development you consider historical and contemporary discussions concerning these areas, and education’s role in economic and social change.
- Education, English, Drama and the Arts combines the study of drama and/or English literature with key issues in education, such as debates around creativity, learning and culture.
Facilities and resources
The Faculty of Education has excellent resources and state-of-the-art research facilities, including a psychology observation laboratory and a library that houses one of the UK’s best education collections. Active research forms the foundation of our teaching. You’re taught by academics who are at the forefront of their fields and who specialise in cutting-edge educational research.
Further study and professional qualifications
Our course provides excellent preparation for a wide range of Masters and doctoral research programmes, both at Cambridge – each track has close links to related MPhil programmes within the Faculty – and elsewhere.
Alternatively, for those intending to teach, the course provides a foundation from which to proceed to some initial teacher training courses (eg a PGCE).
Additional course costs
- Strongly recommended: Books (available in libraries) - Estimated cost £50
- Optional – Education, English, Drama and the Arts: contribution to theatre trips - Estimated cost c£5-10 per trip
- Optional: Dissertation travel/DBS costs (depending on topic)
The career options for an Education graduate are extremely varied and they find employment in a wide range of occupations and fields in the UK and abroad. Many have gone into academic research, educational psychology and neuroscience, publishing, teaching and the Civil Service, along with those now working in government policy and administration, journalism and the wider media, theatre, community arts, heritage and museum education, management and HR, business and consultancy, charities and NGOs, and international development. Many graduates also pursue careers associated with their combination subject.
In your Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) you should indicate which track you’re interested in studying.
You attend four to six lectures and seminars, and one or two hours of supervision per week in the first year.
You’re assessed at the end of each year. Depending on the papers studied, this will be through coursework, written examination, or a combination of both. In the third year, all students also submit a dissertation.
Year 1 (Part IA)
You take four papers, including two compulsory Education papers:
- Critical Debates in Education – introducing major themes in education and Faculty research
- Language, Communication and Literacies – exploring the social, psychological and material context within which spoken language and literacy are developed
Your two remaining papers are determined by the track you’re following:
- Education, Psychology and Learning – Learning and Human Development, and Introduction to Psychology
- Education, Policy and International Development – Education, Global Inequalities and Social Justice; and a paper from choices in the Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) and Geography courses
- Education, English, Drama and the Arts – Poetics, Aesthetics and Criticism; and either Drama Production or Literature and Culture
Year 2 (Part IB)
In Year 2, you take five papers. Two are compulsory – Designing Educational Research (a project in research design), and The Emergence of Educational Thinking and Systems (covering historical and philosophical perspectives on key aspects of education) – and you choose your third from several other education topics.
Your other two papers are track dependent:
- Education, Psychology and Learning – Formal and Informal Contexts of Learning, and a psychology paper
- Education, Policy and International Development – International Issues in Inclusion and Diversity in Education, and a paper from the HSPS course
- Education, English, Drama and the Arts – two of International Literatures, Arts and Cultures; Theatre Practice and Production; one paper from a range offered in the English course
Year 3 (Part II)
You take five papers in the final year. All students take at least two papers on particular issues in education and write a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words. For the fourth, you can take another issue in education paper, submit a second dissertation, or choose a paper from options in other relevant courses.
Your final paper is track specific:
- Education, Psychology and Learning – Education, Neuroscience and Society
- Education, Policy and International Development – Critical Debates in Education, Policy and International Development
- Education, English, Drama and the Arts – either Children’s Literature, or Performance, Education and Society
- All applicants to the University of Cambridge must submit an application to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) by the relevant deadline.
- The Attestat o (polnom) Srednem Obshchem Obrazovanii (Certificate of Secondary Education) is not considered to be suitable preparation for a competitive application to the University of Cambridge. We strongly recommend that you undertake further study if you wish to apply for an undergraduate degree. Examples of the qualifications that would be considered suitable for admission to Cambridge are A Levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB), five or more Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or possibly the first year of an undergraduate degree at a university outside the UK. We recommend that you contact the College that you wish to apply to directly for further advice and guidance.
- IELTS – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element.
- Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B.
- Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C.
- You do not need to register or be registered in advance for the assessment at interview – the Colleges provide details of arrangements in the letters inviting applicants to interview.
- Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust
Your living expenses may be higher than for a Home student (eg if you stay in Cambridge/the UK during vacations). The minimum resources needed in Cambridge for the year (excluding tuition and College fees) are estimated to be approximately £10,080 in 2017-18 and £10,310 in 2018-19, depending on lifestyle (you should allow for increases in future years).