Why this course?
Education is essential if you wish to study initial teacher education courses. We offer you the chance to develop knowledge of the education systems of Scotland and beyond, looking at issues including policy, social justice, equity and inclusion.
We're the only university in Scotland to offer a joint honours Education degree
Combining Education with other subjects provides opportunities for those who wish to work in professions associated with education but who do not wish to become teachers. Please note that to enter the teaching profession as a primary school teacher you must study for the Primary Education (BA (Hons)).
Social policy is a theoretical and applied subject which draws on many different disciplines - such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology and politics - to improve our understanding of how different societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas.
This new social policy degree programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and enables you to place these in a broader international and comparative perspective.
It also addresses some of the major questions of our time, such as how should social policy adapt to a changing global, digital, connected and information-rich world? How can we adapt social policies to the needs of a more diverse society? And how should resources be distributed, not only between generations, but also within them?
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you'll study
Education issues explored include the impact of poverty and social class on children and society, the role of culture and community in education, how people learn and the place of policy and politics in education. You'll undertake a placement with children between the ages of 0-14.
In second year, you'll look more closely at how people learn. You'll study how children learn from before they are born to learning in later life. You'll also learn about informal education and have the opportunity to study an education-focused module of your choice.
This year explores the history and philosophy of education as well as looking at adult education. You'll also review how children and childhood are represented in film and literature.
As a fourth year student, you'll have an element of choice in your study modules. You can look at policy and politics in education and/or broader social issues in education.
As part of the first year in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences all students choosing to study education must undertake a placement. This placement involves working with children between the ages of 0-14 for 70 hours across the course of the year and can be in a range of options other than a mainstream primary school setting.
Please read our important information about the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults).
Students enjoy a wide range of professional development opportunities. These might be ones run by students or by organisations that are invited in to speak with students.
Currently, we have leading professional development opportunities like learning British Sign Language, anti-sectarian education, and working with children abroad.
You'll have the opportunity to lead some professional development for staff and students if you have a particular strength or expertise relevant to education. There are also extra-curricular education activities such as a philosophy café and film group.
Within the joint Honours in Education you’ll be able to undertake a dissertation that allows you to do research in an area of particular interest to you.
You'll have access to the Education Resources Centre. The Education Resources Centre is a library dedicated to education materials and is the best resource of its kind in the country.
By completing the BA joint Honours in Education, you'll be in a great position to apply for our Primary Education (PGDE) or Secondary Education (PGDE) courses. You might also be able to continue on to study for your Masters in Education with us here at Strathclyde.
What you'll study
Our Semester 1 class provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security. The Semester 2 class asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’. At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?
You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.
You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you. You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.
You'll take a core class in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.
All honours students will have the opportunity to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake independent research into an issue which is particularly important to you.
It might be based on a detailed analysis of original sources, such as policy documents or statistical records, or you might choose to generate your own data, using interviews or focus groups. The opportunity to undertake original research into an topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.
We have two related MSc programmes:
If you're looking to build on what you learned in your undergraduate degree, this postgraduategradute course for you.
If you're looking to undertake a postgraduate research degree or embark upon a research career, this is the postgraduate course for you.
Understanding Education in the 21st Century
Placement & Curriculum
This class introduces students to a large and rich seam of disciplinary knowledge. It is an introductory class of potential interest to all who want to understand more about Education. Some of the key content to be addressed in the module is around the following:
- the field of study that is education: what it is and how we know that
- the context of education: some contribution of political, historical and economic dimensions to curriculum, schooling, policy, globalisation
- education achievement: some contributions of psychological, sociological and philosophical perspectives to topics such as learning, diversity, gender
In this class, students from different disciplines work together to learn about children and the communities in which they live; children's health and wellbeing; child protection; children's voice; children's play and play places. The notion that the health and wellbeing of children and young people is central to the advancement of society is a seminal theme in this module.
The placement experience has been designed to allow students to undertake a work placement with children and young people from 0 - 14 years. Placements will be provided in a range of settings outwith the mainstream classroom.
Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland
Private Issues & Public Problems
This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy. It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.
This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’. Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.
Learners & Learning
This class provides students with an essential understanding of human learning processes and the needs of learners across the life-course.
This class investigates philosophical and pedagogical interventions beyond the school curriculum in informal settings, with adults in particular. It'll also open up possibilities for informal education techniques and practices to be considered and adopted by a range of professions and to explore potential partnerships between informal education specialists and others.
Scottish Social Policy since 1845
Key Concepts in Social Welfare
This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.
The Making of Social Policy
This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.
This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level. It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas. It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process. These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.
History & Philosophy of Education
Children & Childhood
This class will support students in developing their knowledge and understanding of the roots of some key educational ideas in history. These will be considered from a philosophical perspective.
Social Pedagogy with Adults
This class will focus on children and childhood in contexts other than formal education settings that will be explored elsewhere. It will introduce students to the concepts of child and childhood through a range representations and will draw on children in film, art and literature to explore representations of children and childhood and experiences of childhood.
This class is based on an understanding of the evolution of adult learning and the resultant principles that underline current practice and will illustrate how adult educators work and will also open up possibilities for adult education techniques and practices to be considered. It'll also explore potential partnerships between adult educators and others.
Research Skills in Social Policy
Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context
This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy. It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design. It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.
This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom. To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems? To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues? How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?
The Dissertation in Education is designed to further students’ development of a questioning, self-evaluative and reflective approach in a major in-depth piece of work demanding independent, self-motivated study and the sustained application of professional research and enquiry skills.
The widest possible range of topics, types of project, modes of enquiry and of research techniques is encouraged. What projects have in common is the individual student’s ownership and control of the project and the expectation of high quality work.
Choose from the following:
Policy & Politics in Education
Social Issues in Education
This class will provide students with the opportunity to engage in debate about current issues in education through detailed exploration of the policy and political contexts. It will introduce students to frameworks for understanding how policy comes about and how it is inextricably linked with political issues.
Social Research Methods (10-credit class)
This class will teach students about the responsibility of teachers for the education, health and well-being of all children, in the context of a complex and diverse society. It will also address the needs of those who will work with children, young people and adults in a variety of education-related contexts through its focus on a range of key social issues and the relevant national legislative and policy framework.
This class prepares students for designing and completing a research project. It will equip students with the skills and knowledge required in planning and delivering a research project.
The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective
This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon. It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries. It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.
Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.
In year 1, you're supported in learning about academic reading, writing and referencing - skills that will help you become a successful undergraduate. Peer support encourages students to develop their own assessment skills and learn from each other. During the course, tutorials and presentations will be assessed and feedback will be provided, before you submit work for formal assessment.
You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including not only traditional essays and exams, but also oral presentations, group work and other forms of assessment.
Learning & teaching
You'll take part in workshops for practical aspects of the course, and have access to lab space and specialist teaching space for science and the expressive arts, including physical education. Field trips and the chance to study elective and optional classes are also available to students.
Throughout the degree programme, you'll be invited to lectures by guest speakers that are visiting the School of Education. They'll also be invited to lectures specifically for Education students. As part of the work on professional development, you'll have the opportunity to organise guest speakers from relevant organisations to speak with students. The School of Education aims to be responsive to the interests of its students as well as ensuring that they have access to leading educationists when they visit.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
1st sitting: AAAA
2nd sitting: AAAAB
- Higher English, plus at least one subject from the list below
- National 5 Maths or National 5 Lifeskills Maths at Grade C or above
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however social science subjects should make up the majority of your profile.
Year 1 entry:
Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B OR English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Year 2 entry:
36 (Maths SL5)
HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C/Standard Grade/Intermediate 2 C
Irish Leaving Certificate
Subjects and grades as for Highers
It's important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.
Deferred entry normally not accepted.
Applicants with Highers
Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than BBB at the first sitting of Highers.
Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.
Admission to Honours
All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.
You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
A Joint Honours degree in Education and another subject enables graduates to apply for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, in either primary or secondary education. Many graduates earn employment in areas associated with education, such as law, psychology, the Civil Service and journalism.
The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:
- local & national government policy development and research
- regional & urban development
- business administration & management
- third sector/charity research & policy development
- children’s services
- health & social welfare
- protective services