- UCAS Code: X3L4
Work placement: valuable industrial experience within an educational setting
Study abroad: opportunity to study in Europe & North America
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Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.
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. You'll have the opportunity to put theory into practice in a community placement and enhance your employability.
Combining education with other subjects provides opportunities for those who wish to work in professions associated with education, but who don't wish necessarily to become teachers. Please note that this course doesn't allow you to qualify as a teacher, though joint honours Education graduates will be able to explore postgraduate routes into teaching careers via the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
Social Policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services to meet individual and social needs. Key social policy issues examined include poverty; economic, race, age and gender inequality; social justice health; education; criminal justice and housing. It utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to improve our understanding of how societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas.
This programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and place these in a broader international perspective. It draws on disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology, social anthropology and politics.
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 what education means and how people learn. You’ll study how children learn from before they are born to learning in later life. You’ll also learn about education beyond the classroom as well as having the opportunity to study an education-focused module of your choice
This year, you will explore adult education with an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge within a community placement. You will also engage more deeply in educational research which will set you up for engaging in a research project in your final year.
As a fourth-year student, you will have considerable choice in your study modules. For example, you can look at policy and politics in education in relation to broader social issues such as gender, race, disability, and poverty, or educational representations in film and literature.
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 to 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 Secondary Education Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) courses. You might also be able to continue on to study for your Masters in Education with us here at Strathclyde.
Our semester 1 module 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 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems.
You will begin by deepening your knowledge and understanding of the historical development of social policy in Scotland since 1845. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in social policy, including issues such as human needs, citizenship, and social exclusion, and about how social policy is made nationally and internationally, and the consequences of this for the services people receive.
Students will choose one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but has included welfare reform and criminology. You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final-year dissertation, and a module exploring the differences and similarities in social policies between countries. An optional placement module allowing you to apply your subject knowledge in a relevant workplace will also be available in either this year, or Year 4.
Students will take a core module on the global challenges facing Social Policy, focusing on issues such as inclusive growth; migration and climate change. Students can take further optional specialist classes. The list of available classes changes each year, but has included disability and gender-based violence. The 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 allows you 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 a 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 postgraduate course is 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.
Single & joint Honours information
English, English and Creative Writing, History, Politics and International Relations and Psychology may be studied to Single or Joint Honours level.
Education, French, Spanish, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes. Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Tourism can also be studied alongside a Humanities and Social Sciences subject.
The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you'll be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.
Understanding Education in the 21st Century
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
Placement & Curriculum
On this module, students from across 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
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.
Private Issues & Public Problems
In this module we'll ask why and how certain issues become defined as 'social problems' and what impact this has on the social policy that we make in response.
Why do societies change the way they understand 'social problems' over time, and how does this impact policy change? Can we understand social policy differences between countries in terms of how they conceptualise 'social problems' differently? What role does political ideology and the media have in framing how societies understand the 'social problems' they face and how to resolve them?
Are some groups unfairly targeted as being a source of social problems?
Do the ways that we understand issues around the benefits system, crime, disability, migration, and families and young people really reflect their empirical reality and what can we do to begin tackling these issues differently?
These are some of the key questions this module seeks to ask and to answer.
Culture, Society, Formation
The purpose of Culture, Society, Formation is to introduce students to a sample of foundational texts which have informed and transformed our understanding of culture and society, and to consider the impact that these understandings have had and continue to have on education.
Education & Learning
The overall purpose of this class is to develop your understanding of educational thought and language. Because this class is not organised around a given profession (e.g. teaching in schools) the discussion of education will be quite general and applies to any educational context, from parenting, to school, to college, to lifelong learning and informal education. ‘Education and Learning’ addresses questions that are at the heart of understanding what education is and what learning is. That these terms denote different things is an important starting point.
Scottish Social Policy since 1845
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.
Key Concepts in Social Welfare
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.
The Making of Social Policy
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.
Educational Encounters Past & Present
Who are you, and what do you think about education, and why? Despite everybody being somehow involved in education, those important questions are rarely asked and reflected upon. The best way to engage with such problems is the encounter with the Other in either historical or intercultural perspective. Using a set of questions around fundamental pedagogical notions and concepts (such as ‘educator’, ‘student’, ‘pedagogical relationship’, ‘curriculum’, ‘pedagogical ethics’, ‘Education Studies’, etc.) the module will explore different answers to those questions that either have been given in our own culture in the past, or in other cultures in the past or today (for example, in East/ South East/ South Asia, in the Arabic world, in African societies, in South America, and amongst indigenous tribes and peoples around the globe).
Fundamental problems explored could include:
- what is education perceived to be?
- what is the educator understood to be, what is the student, and how is their pedagogical relationship established, organised, and justified?
- what is/are the purpose/s of education, and how does it/do they get justified?
- what is the relation between individual and social needs and desires within education?
- what ways of educating are preferred, and why?
- how is the reflection on education (i.e. Education Studies) codified and institutionalised; who is reflecting and what counts as an acceptable form of reflection, and why?
Everyone who is interested in looking beyond their own educational horizon to learn about others and oneself is very welcome on this educational journey.
Adult Education with Placement
The purpose of this module is twofold. First, it aims to offer an overview of key considerations (e.g. literacy, multilingualism, new technologies) in the development of educational activities for adult learners through a series of pre-placement seminars. Second, you'll have the opportunity to apply the new knowledge and skills learned during a one-week placement with an organisation that works with adult learners.
Designing Educational Research
This team-taught module will introduce you to the theory and practice of educational research. This includes lectures on the principles of research design and seminars in which you'll collaborate in small group projects, familiarising yourself with qualitative and quantitative methods and their uses for interdisciplinary education studies research. The module will be assessed through a short essay and a research proposal, in preparation for dissertation planning.
Children & Childhood
This module will focus on children and childhood in contexts other than formal education settings that will be explored elsewhere. The aim of this module is to introduce students to the concepts of child and childhood through a range representations. The class will draw on children in film, art and literature to explore representations of children and childhood and experiences of childhood.
Research Methods in Social Policy
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.
Comparative Social Policy: Theories, Methods & Analysis
Why are some societies more unequal than others? Why do many women participate in the labour market in some countries, and less in others? Why do health care, education and housing policies differ across developed societies?
The answers to these questions are all related to the study of Comparative Social Policy.
In this third-year module in the Social Policy programme you'll be introduced to the key theories, methods and data sources employed in comparative and international social policy research.
Interest in comparative analysis continues to grow in the social sciences and this module is designed to give you a deeper understanding of the comparative nature of social policy and the development of different welfare systems. CSP will introduce you to a range of new key concepts and theories, and will help you to understand new methodological and analytical approaches for thinking about social policy comparatively.
Teaching on CSP is research-led and the use of case-studies from the literature will help you to understand how researchers conduct research on welfare systems in the real world, and apply social theory.
Optional specialist modules
You'll choose at least one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but in the past has included welfare reform and criminology. A placement module will also be on offer in either Year 3 or Year 4, which will give you opportunities to use your research skills and subject knowledge in a relevant organisation such as a charity, think tank or government organisation.
Educational Representation in Film & Literature
Educational Representations in Film and Literature provides you with opportunities to reflect on educational questions through popular literary and visual media. The opportunity to interpret and reflect upon education in the context of popular culture allows you to examine theories in practice, albeit fictional contexts of practice. As well as the representations of education, the literature regularly embodies the pedagogical intentions of the author, intentions which will be explored in the module. These and other considerations form the structure and content of this module.
The Dissertation in Education is designed to further your 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 this list
Critical Issues in Education
Education is not uncontested. Its place within society, and the fact that nearly all have experience of education and related institutions means that a plethora of ideas and ideologies of education abound. This module discusses some of the ways in which educational moments are constructed through politics, society, culture and religion. It encourages you to delve deeply into the various forms theories and ideologies take: their formation and maintenance; and then deconstructs these. It locates education as a societal right rather than a personal endeavour so that internationally, nationally and locally agreed and contested matters take centre stage.
Independent Study Module
The purpose of this module is to allow you to engage in independent study on a topic in education of your choosing, and to develop skills in a self-analytical and critical approach to learning. The topic can be negotiated and developed within the context of the Joint Honours Education programme, and in relation to your own individual academic and professional interests. The module is intended to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills required to identify and conceptualise an area of study in education and develop a critical, informed and conceptual understanding of the topic chosen. The distinctive feature of the module is that it aims to provide you with the challenge of becoming independent, self-managing learners and of experiencing and understanding both the satisfaction and the challenges of working autonomously.
Creativity in Education
The ability to be creative is highly valued across society, and has at times been described as one of the key ‘21st Century skills’ in education. Well beyond their school days, learners are going to find situations where they need to use their imagination, and come up with ideas. Businesses need to find creative ways to thrive and serve their customers, teachers need to be creative when designing lesson plans, and citizens need to find creative solutions to their problems. This module will explore the psychology behind creativity, and tackle misconceptions such as the idea that it is the province of only certain fields, or that some people are creative and others are not. It will also provide a toolkit to help participants to develop their own creative strategies.
Second Language Learning
This module introduces students to how individuals learn a second/foreign language across the lifespan. Students will explore the process of acquisition, models of learning, and policies and political contexts that motivate language learning. This module covers language learning in both a Scottish and global context, with specific attention to the global spread of English.
Explorations in Educational Influence
Influences are everywhere. Parents try to influence children, and children try to influence parents. Friends sometimes try to influence each other. Teachers try to influence students, advertisers hope to influence consumers, politicians wish to represent, but also to influence, the public. In this 10-credit module, we will explore certain problems around educational influence. The module is structured around three main questions: what educational influence means, to what extent it is justified, and how it is achieved. The module will explore examples of educational influence drawn from one or more of the following contexts: morality; politics; religion; sexual orientation; psychology; environmentalism; art and aesthetics; technology and social media.
Global Social Policy is all about the global challenges of the 21st Century and about how we can think differently for building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all.
A global perspective encourages you to think critically about the global causes of poverty and inequality and climate change, for example, and the possibilities of global social policy, global social governance and the role of international organisations play in shaping the GSP agenda. Here, you're encouraged to reflect on the meaning and impacts of social policy from a holistic global perspective.
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.
Optional specialist modules
You'll choose at least one optional class based on the specialism of a member of staff. The list of available classes changes each year, but in the past has included disability policy and gender-based violence. A placement module will also be on offer in either Year 3 or Year 4, which will give you opportunities to use your research skills and subject knowledge in a relevant organisation such as a charity, think tank or government organisation.
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
(Higher English, Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)
(Higher English B and Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)
(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent
View the entry requirements for your country.
Not normally accepted
Students are required to register with the Scottish Government’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme.
Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.
Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.
In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.
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.
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.
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.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
Chat to a student ambassador
If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!
Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.Chat to a student ambassador
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.
All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.
Annual revision of fees
Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2023/24, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.
|University preparation programme fees|
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
Students must pay for the PVG Scheme. Students who require a new PVG certificate will pay £59. If you have an existing PVG and need to add Strathclyde, the cost is £18.
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
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
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:
You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
Please note that you only need to apply once for our BA degree programme.
For instance, if you have applied for BA Honours English and are considering your options for a Joint Honours degree, e.g. a BA Joint Honours in English and French you only need to apply for one or the other on UCAS.
If accepted on to the BA programme, you can study one of the many available subject combinations.
Start date: Sep 2023
Education & Social Policy (1 year entry)