BA (Hons) Education

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 11th for Education in the 2022 Guardian University Guide
  • 91% overall satisfaction score in the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Develop employability skills through work-based learning

Do you want to make a difference? 

You’re fascinated by education and its potential to improve lives. You may be undecided about becoming a teacher, but you know you want that door left open. If, when you graduate, you decide teaching is for you, you can study a 1-year Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). In fact, this degree is a springboard to so many different careers. Education is all around us. 

Join us as we study the impact of education in a wide range of settings, including schools, community projects, workplaces, museums, and hospitals. Take part in a unique opportunity to enrich a community of your choice. The Capstone Project in your final year is an exciting initiative, where you’ll receive £250 to invest in your own education project. You’ll become an effective communicator and inspire others. You believe that education has the power to transform lives, everywhere. So do we. This is your time to learn. To reflect. To experiment. To discover exactly what you want your contribution to be.   

Combine academic study with practical experience

This degree provides important multidisciplinary tools for studying education. It selectively draws from fields such as history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics aiming to promote critical understandings of such things as teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment. Importantly, it considers the moral, social and political issues which intertwine with these, such as inclusion, access and equity.

Whatever your career goal, a key focus of the degree is work-based learning. With assessments being 100% coursework/practical-based, all students will undertake fieldwork in order to provide a context for enquiry and to develop employability skills. You will learn first-hand about our communities and how you can usefully contribute to their needs and possibilities.

Learn from experts 

You’ll learn from lecturers who have worked in educational roles and carried out research for many years, including within schools, universities, local authorities, museums, and outdoor education centres, not just within the UK but all around the world. With so much experience to learn from, you’ll gain a unique and valuable insight into your chosen career. Our expert teaching team are committed to delivering an innovative education experience. Sounds good, right?

In the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS), 93% of students agreed staff are good at explaining things. 91% agreed that they recieved timely feedback on their work, that they have been able to access course specific resources when needed and that the course has provided opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics.

Join a diverse and supportive community

On this course you will explore issues such as social justice, decolonising the curriculum, disability, and neurodiversity. Everyone’s individual personal experience is vital to developing the knowledge and understanding related to these. We are committed to valuing diversity and will provide personalised provision for anyone that needs extra time or support through our personal tutoring system. We welcome students with lived experience related to these issues, and all students are encouraged to have their voices heard. Learning from each other and developing special bonds in and out of the classroom is an important and exciting part of being a university student.

Find your direction

You’re eager to immerse yourself in the study of education. You want to be an outstanding communicator. You may not know yet exactly where your passion is guiding you and that’s ok. This is a journey of discovery and we’ll be with you every step of the way. When you graduate, you’ll know what you want to do. You’ll feel empowered. Plus, you’ll have the expertise to empower others.   

What's the course about?

In the first year, you’ll reflect on your own learning. You’ll explore the current issues affecting education across the world. You’ll develop an inquisitive mind. Why does the 21st century need education? Question everything. Make no assumptions. You’ll approach education from a philosophical viewpoint. You’ll study issues of social mobility, unconscious bias, identity, culture and class. You’ll examine how government policies impact education. We’ll teach you theoretical concepts around disability and inclusion. Together, we’ll bring educational theory to life. We’ll inspire you through work-based learning activities. You’ll start to analyse digital communication. Unlock the power of language. What will you create? You’ll have a unique chance to put your learning into practice when you join a department at the University of Hertfordshire. Observe the relationship between education and communication as we share our methods of delivering key messaging. This year, you’ll join a dynamic learning community. You’ll collaborate. You’ll enrich your life and that of others. You’ll feel part of something special because you are. 

In the second year, you’ll further explore special educational needs and disabilities. You’ll discuss stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudice. You’ll examine the human experience and its relationship with education. You’ll reflect upon your values and skills. We’ll teach you the evolution of education through the lens of history and culture. You’ll analyse classroom behaviour and expectations.  Can tradition inform innovation? We’ll teach you education psychology. You’ll explore ideas and theories. You’ll focus your research on critical thinkers who inspire you. We’ll share our knowledge of curriculum and assessment. We’ll challenge you to distinguish between schooling and education. You’ll spend time in a work setting, which could be a SEND school, charity shop or museum.  You’ll examine their communication styles and the role education plays. This is a chance to view education in a whole new light. Be curious. By the end of this year, you’ll have a good understanding of your own educational mission. You’ll feel energised by the impact you could make.   

In the third year, you’ll specialise in your chosen area of education. You’ll choose from: SEND, teaching and learning, language, digital education, sociology and psychology or outdoor education. You’ll immerse yourself in policy, educational frameworks and concepts. Be a critical thinker. You’ll engage and educate audiences with your research.  You’ll delve into different community projects. Gain valuable insights into the delivery of education. The pinnacle of your degree is the Capstone Project where you’ll collaborate with peers to engage and educate a community. This is your chance to fulfil an educational remit that matters to you.  Where will your imagination take you? You could create an event to strengthen relationships in the community. Or a programme of educational activities. You could design a stimulating ‘pop up’ learning environment. We’ll even give you £250 to invest in your initiative. Make a difference. Empower. Communicate. Celebrate and showcase your work in our graduate event. By the end of this year, you’ll have a deep understanding of your educational philosophy. You’ll have a vision of how you can make a meaningful contribution. Create your own path. Your future career is waiting.   

Your main campus is de Havilland 

You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.    

I feel like the course is broad and gives me a good overall understanding of education. The lecturers are all very supportive. Student support services are great.

BA (Hons) Education student

Student Blogs

Fran - What I love about my course

The University of Hertfordshire has given me one of the best experiences and opportunities of my life.

I never thought I would be able to do a degree, as a disabled mature person, and student parent. I joined the BA (Hons) Education programme in my second year, and I have never looked back. The support from my lecturers has made a huge difference to my success on the course. Adaptions for my disabilities have always been considered and my needs met. Allowing for flexibility around my home life has also been invaluable and being able to join virtually as well as in person has helped maintain my attendance.

The BA (Hons) Education course has given me insight into the theories, issues, and backgrounds of our education system; it has been nothing short of fascinating. As a qualified Early Years Educator, it has provided me with a new take on Education, and as a parent has made me approach it differently with my own children.

I have found nothing but support and acceptance from the Education team here at the University of Hertfordshire. I feel very lucky to be part of the School of Education and feel as if I have a sense of belonging within.

Student Blogs

Katie - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

My week as a third-year student always started with ensuring that I had prepped for the week ahead for example sorting travel to and from university as a disabled student this had to be done in advance as much as possible so that I could get the right assistance and deal with any issues that a rose on the day.  I would recommend you check your timetable every day for any room changes. Once I had established the days when I was in university, I had a routine and it was easier to manage my anxiety.

Lectures are more intense as there is a lot of information to take in either one or two hours so make sure you have different notebooks for each module this will help you keep organised and have everything in one place and when you come to writing your assignment, this will be a god send trust me!! Also, listen to the tutors, they are there to help you. As a disabled student I had a study needs agreement which meant that I was able to have lecture slides a few days before the lecture so that I could read and make notes; I had scribe to help me. During my time at university, I couldn’t lip read and make notes at the same time, so this was essential to my journey at university as this made access a little easier.

Once I had logged on to Studynet and got the information, I needed for the week I printed everything I needed and put them in the folder for the specific module with notebook. I would always have sub sections in my folder like ‘My Notes’ with dates and headings so I could refer to them and I had a copy of the module guide to refer back to so that I can link my notes to sections in my folder.

Seminars follow on from lectures, but they are in smaller groups so you’re able to work with fellow classmates and discuss the topic in more detail with the tutor. I would make sure you have your notebook ready as the seminars you will attend have more information to help with your assignments. This is the time to ask questions about the module or topic that is being discussed that week.

After the seminar I would have an hour break to have food etc this is where I would recommend you switch off either listen to music or just chat with your friends before the next seminar otherwise you will struggle in the last seminar of the day. Drink something with sugar or eat chocolate to help you will the last bit of energy. I also used any spare time I had whilst in university to see the student engagement team in the School of Education to help with my academic writing. This service is brilliant, and they are lovely team!

On Fridays I tend to be more tired so just take your time and make sure you have prepped, and this will help with any work given to do at home. Time keeping is essential because I needed at least the evenings off during the week when I was at university. The days when I was at home not going to university I would do extra readings from the reading list then the other days I had days off I did my work as a governor at a special needs school and then spent time with family and friends.

Student Blogs

Katie - Why I love education

What I love most about my course

I loved my course because we learnt Psychology, History of Education, Contemporary Ideas and Philosophy-what is education. In my First Year, to give you a different view what education is about and then you were able to decide if you wanted to general overview of education or be more specific and I chose special education needs as I wanted to understand in more detail about special education needs what it meant in a different context.

In my Second Year, I learnt more about special education needs and what is inclusion  I was able to explain what cerebral palsy is to my fellow classmates and we had real-life experiences from other people who had different disabilities talk to us which gave me the opportunity to see it through their eyes and I became to see things differently not everything is as straight forwarded as I first thought.

We were given the chance to have work experience within our modules and I really enjoyed this part of the course as I was able to go back to my old school and do my work experience there as I was able to go to two schools: Lonsdale and Nobel and it were nice to see how much they have changed for the better and I was able to improve their access as they asked my opinion and they have used some of my suggestions that I put forward.

Working with my teacher again was one of the highlights as he said I’m still the same person; passionate about people seeing passed the wheelchair and I have had other students with disabilities come up to me asking who I am and they want to be as confident as I am! This gave me a different idea of what I wanted to do within education, which I will discuss further on.

With the new knowledge that I had gained helped me with my work as a governor as I was able to articulate my views very well and some of my ideas that I have suggested have been used at the school. We were also the opportunity to learn about research and all the terminology, so we had the skills ready for our final year.

Final Year

They say Final Year is the hardest and I totally agree it is but that is the challenge as learning is not always meant to be easy. We only had one lecture a week for the research project in semester A, the rest were seminars to do with Research and Special Educational needs.  Research Project was split into two sections: a proposal of our research project and presenting it as a presentation. This gave the tutors insight about how we thought through our question as it had to be a small example due to the time restrictions so that we focused on the question we wanted to answer.

I was grateful for this as I was able to use the proposed plan as my main structure for the writing part in part two which saved me so much time and effort. I would suggest that you use part one of the research as your layout in part two.

On a personal level, my time at Herts has been amazing even with the challenges that I had to face within the university and school of education are an amazing team to be a part of as they supported me to voice my ideas and express them to the relevant people.

As said previously I was passionate about people seeing passed the wheelchair and because of my personal challenges at university. I then realised I wanted to start my own business as a disability awareness coordinator as I feel that I can educate people on how to how to communicate with people with different disabilities. I have my Canine Partner still waiting for my partnership and I will have him work alongside me in this new journey. So, I have new experiences happening in my life after university which is exciting.

Unibuddy icon

Student Blogs

Annabelle - Unibuddy

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Jake Garwood

Meet Jake Garwood who discovered his passion for teaching and education while studying. He currently works as a Year 4 teacher in a junior school near the University.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleYear 4 teacher
Year of graduation2016 / 2017
Course of studyBA (Hons) Education
PGCE in Primary Education

Sparking a passion

Jake decided to go to the University of Hertfordshire based on our 'excellent reputation for teaching training.' His time as a student did not disappoint as his course sparked his passion for education and he says the 'engaging modules at the University and inspiring tutors played a key part in making me the teacher I am today.'

The variety of modules on both of my degrees, from contemporary issues in education to educational technology, from philosophy of education to equality and inclusion, put me in the best possible position to begin my teaching career.'

Aspirations for the future

Jake finds teaching an extremely rewarding career, therefore he does not intend to leave the profession. He says, 'I think it is one of the most rewarding profession available and if you care about the future, then teaching the next generation is one of the best things you can do.'

However, he adds that his ultimate goal is to work towards a Masters in Education, followed by a PhD in the same field. He'd like to keep his options open as to future career paths.'

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Elise Martin-De-La-Torre

Meet Elise. Elise used her own personal experiences to make student life at Herts better for her peers.

Read more stories Education
Current job roleProject Coordinator for Healthwatch Suffolk
Year of graduation2021, 2022
Course of studyBA (Hons) Education Studies with Special Education, MA SEND and Inclusion
Picture of Elise

Taking the plunge

Elise had experience as a Voluntary Teaching Assistant in schools and Herts was close to home, which is why the BA (Hons) Education Studies course appealed to her. She was also a professional para-swimmer and felt that the University, with its strong sporting pedigree, would be supportive in helping her balance studying with competing. She says, ‘Herts was far enough from home that I was able to be independent but still see my family easily. The campus often felt like a home away from home as I was able to build a tight-knit group of friends and the atmosphere was always friendly.’

A passion for helping others

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her social life at Herts, but Elise was keen to not miss out on too much of the on-campus experience. That’s one reason why she decided to study her master’s at Herts too and as a disabled person, strong relationships with staff were vital to help her settle and thrive. She says, ‘The Student Success and Engagement Team are fantastic. Not only did they support me academically, but they also supported me with my mental health and boosted my confidence.’

Both of Elise’s dissertations focused on disability, identity and activism for the disabled community. It is her passion for helping others with similar experiences that led to her being appointed the School of Education’s first Disabled Student Champion, something that she is incredibly proud of.

Elise also worked closely with Hertfordshire Students’ Union as their Disabled Student Network Lead, where she held talks, built connections with the University’s senior leadership team, and improved the experiences of disabled people at Herts. She says, ‘I believe I wouldn’t have had these opportunities at a different university. The support I’ve had from everyone at Herts has been amazing – it has had an instrumental impact on the person I have become.’

Building on her experience at Herts

Elise says that working with disabled people will forever be a passion of hers. She is taking a break from education for now, but in the future, she is hoping to complete another master’s course or PhD.

Her advice to current and future Herts students is to have fun. She says, ‘I know this can be hard at times, especially when you’re facing deadlines, but you will miss your time at Herts. Make the most of it when you’re there.’