BA Hons Education & Social Services

Sign up to hear about upcoming events, news and scholarships related to this programme

Key facts

  • Work placement: gain valuable industry experience within an educational setting

  • Applicant visit day: March each year

Study with us

  • prepare for work in settings which combine education, health and/or social services
  • benefit from work placement opportunities to promote personal and professional development and strengthen your CV
  • develop leadership qualities and the skills required in public and third sector organisations
  • opportunities for overseas placements
  • start your degree in a local college before moving to university for Years 3 and 4
Back to course

Why this course?

This innovative degree is a joint venture between the University of Strathclyde and five further education colleges - Glasgow Kelvin CollegeGlasgow Clyde CollegeNew College LanarkshireSouth Lanarkshire College and City of Glasgow College.

The degree aims to prepare you for working in settings which combine health education and social work/social care. You’ll enter college at a Diploma of Higher Education level, having first studied a relevant HNC. You’ll then go on to Year 3 at Strathclyde to study for the BA.

The Education & Social Services (BA) responds to the Scottish Government’s aspiration for different services to communicate more effectively and to work in a more integrated way to meet the service-user needs of children, young people and adults. A major aim of the degree is to develop the leadership qualities and skills required for this challenge.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

You’ll study six classes, including one option during your year at Strathclyde.

The five main areas of study are:

  • professional & personal development
  • contexts & policy
  • integration of services
  • understanding & meeting needs
  • understanding & developing practice (workplace practice)

Each of the following classes is compulsory in Year 3 and builds on those studied during the Diploma:

  • Management & Leadership in Integrated Services
  • Contexts, Policy & Joint Working
  • Education of Looked After Children
  • Understanding How People Behave
  • Workplace Learning & Practice 2
  • Research Methods

Major projects

Students undertake projects in placements which are designed to enhance the delivery of integrated services. In Year 3, students undertake a six-week project, and in Year 4 they undertake a 12-week project. These projects are valuable in developing skills for future careers in education and social services.

Work placement

We have work placements in Years 2, 3, and 4 of the course across a range of organisations in the fields of education and social services and the placements provide valuable experience. We have established links with agencies in Germany, Spain, and Malawi, creating opportunities for students to engage in international placements and exchanges.

Please note that you may be required to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults). The cost of the PVG scheme will depend on the related work you apply to, please check the fees and funding section for costs.

Postgraduate study

The BA (Hons) provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate study. Current students have been successful in applying for postgraduate study in social work and initial teacher education and have achieved professional qualifications.

Go back

Course content

The broad aims of the course are to: 

  • advance the level of understanding, knowledge and proficiency of those who will work with children, young people and adults within education and social services
  • develop professional attitudes, leadership and management skills, allowing graduates to contribute confidently to evidence based practice, informed by a value base of rights and respect for service users within integrated services

Course structure

In planning the programme, a learning strands approach has been adopted to ensure breadth, depth and balance and consistency across the partner colleges and the University. The learning strands are:

  • Strand 1 - Professional Development
  • Strand 2 - Contexts and Policy
  • Strand 3 - Integration of Services
  • Strand 4 - Understanding and Meeting Needs
  • Strand 5 - Understanding and Developing Practice

Workplace Learning & Practice 1

This module seeks to build upon students' practical knowledge and understanding gained at HNC level in a particular discipline and to extend their understanding of how practice is driven by the need to develop the concept of working collaboratively.  Auditing a range of services/settings will develop an insight and awareness of the complexities of professional practice in collaborative settings. Students will be introduced to the concept of analysing and evaluating material gathered from the audit.

Academic Literacy

This module aims to help students develop their professional and academic communication skills and give them confidence in academic research and writing. It develops professionals in education and social services who understand the knowledge, skills and values required to be successful in academic study and to work collaboratively.

This module is central to the aims of the degree, which seek to assist practitioners in developing best practice in working with users of services and fellow professionals. This module aims to assist students to begin the journey of effective academic reading and writing.

The Societal Context of Professional Working

Students intending to work within community health, education or social services should familiarise themselves with the societal context in which they'll work. The ‘societal context’ refers to social factors that may influence the needs for services, and may also impact on their effective delivery. This awareness envelops the individual’s social responsibilities and the responsibilities of the professional groups involved in service provision.

Students will explore the nature of the 'community,' how it develops and how it is defined. Students will also look at the professional codes that facilitate social interaction, reciprocity and cooperation. Social problems and the roles of professionals are also explored.

This module shall lay the basis for issues that shall be developed further in Level 9: Context, Policy and Joint Working.

How People Develop & Learn

Professionals working with people need to understand the dynamics of human development and learning and the contexts that influence this. In order to enhance the quality of life for people who use Education and Social Services, professionals need to understand how people develop and learn. The aim of the module is to build on earlier study and enhance students' understanding of how learning and development is influenced by social, environmental, biological, cultural and personal factors.

Students in higher education need to understand the processes of learning and development in order to enhance their skills and maximise their own capacity for lifelong learning.

Introduction to Integrated Services

The integration of services through joint planning and delivery of services across health, education, community education, social work and related services has been identified as a key mechanism for supporting families, facilitating learning, protecting children, promoting health and wellbeing and empowering communities socially and economically. There is growing recognition that practitioners need to be competent in working with others in disciplines other than their own. This is, in part, recognition of a history of service failure arising from ineffective collaboration across disciplines.

Developing professionals in educational and social services are required to understand the knowledge, skills and values required to work collaboratively and the challenges to services themselves as they respond to the integrated services agenda.

Being Professional Working Collaboratively

This model provides a structured and supported introduction to quality frameworks and to how quality is evaluated. It is put into context by looking at students' placement experiences as well as exploring national contexts through consideration of policy, literature and e-learning sources.

The module also helps the development of a critical, evidence-based and reflective approach to professional development and professional action.

Contexts Policy & Joint Working

Particular emphasis is placed on students' ability to appreciate the theory of effective inter-agency and collaborative practice, including issues of individual and community empowerment, accountability and leadership.

Students will learn about the relationship of theory of community, family and human development to the development of social policy, with particular emphasis on effective inter-agency and collaborative practice and its implementation within students' practice placement.

Management & Leadership in Integrated Services

This module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of issues affecting the leadership and management of self and others, the change process, management of conflict and a consideration of the skills required to successfully lead and manage in a social services establishment. This module is aimed at all professionals whether or not they hold posts of responsibility.

Understanding How People Behave

Students builds on and use the learning they have gained from the first module of this strand, How People Develop and Learn. A central theme throughout the module is developing understanding and awareness of the operation of discrimination and disadvantage at personal, cultural and structural levels.

Students will also develop their understanding of observation, assessment, recording, analysis and approaches to the management of behaviour as well as ways to support service users.

Research Methods

Students are prepared for undertaking a small-scale research project in this module. Students require a knowledge and understanding of contemporary literature, methods of data gathering and ethical issues related to conducting research.

The knowledge and skills gained will be transferable to further study and/or the workplace as there is increasing demand for enquiry-based practice. The module will support the development of a research proposal and consider the component parts required to write a dissertation. Successful completion of this module will allow students to progress to honours year.

Workplace Learning & Practice 2

Students further develop the professional knowledge, values and skills relevant for integrated practice and for managing a specific development project.

The placement will consolidate the student’s learning from across the course, particularly building on the key theories that have been introduced in the Management and Leadership in Integrated Services module. The module will have two phases: a project planning phase and a project implementation phase.

In order to further develop professional competences students will also continue to engage in the range of activities undertaken in Workplace Learning and Practice 1.

Workplace Learning & Practice 3

This class provides an extended work-based learning experience, which will enable students to apply knowledge and theory to integrated services. It'll offer opportunities for students to consider how integrated services meet the needs of service users, and understand the role of evidence informed practice in the delivery of services.

Specialist Pathway

This class aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of contemporary practice issues in relation to specific service user groups. The class develops knowledge and skills in meeting the needs of people in a range of targeted services across the lifespan.

Personal & Professional Development

The aim of the class is to provide a formal and structured opportunity for consolidation of learning and planning for future learning and employment. Students will formally record and capture their learning and use this knowledge to gain relevant employment following graduation.

Professional Inquiry & Evidence Informed Practice - Dissertation

Students undertake a small-scale project for their honours dissertation in social work. It directly addresses the growing recognition that practitioners in Education and Social Care must be competent in reviewing using and conducting research.

Education of Looked After Children

This module contributes to an understanding of the lived experiences of children who are in alternative care arrangements and critically explores the challenges to integrated and partnership working in meeting the educational needs of looked after children.


Assessment has been designed to provide evidence of personal and professional development. Some assessments require practical application in the workplace. Forms of assessment include:

  • seminar presentation
  • investigative reports
  • case studies
  • preparation of resources
  • reflective diaries
  • profiling essays

You’ll mainly be assessed individually but there will also be group-based assessments. This allows you to benefit from shared experiences.

Learning & teaching

Faculty-based learning is combined with a six-week work placement with private, public or voluntary sector agencies.

We draw on practitioners and policy-makers to inform the curriculum and invite guest lecturers form a diverse range of posts in education and social services. Students also engage directly in the policy-making process with an annual visit to Parliament and an opportunity to meet MSPs and observe committee business.

Back to course

Entry requirements

Application is to a participating college in the first instance. You will enter college at Diploma of Higher Education level, having first studied a relevant HNC such as Early Education and Childcare or Childhood Practice; Health Care or Care and Administrative Practice; Social Care or Social Services; Additional Support Needs or Supporting Learning Needs; Working with Communities.

You will then go on to study Year 3 of the BA and Year 4 of the BA Honours at Strathclyde. You will require two additional supporting documents:

  • Confirmation from the Board of Examiners that you have met the requirements to progress to the final year of the degree
  • A personal statement outlining your commitment to continuing on the course

All enquiries regarding entry to the Higher Education Diploma should be made to the relevant college contact. The Diploma of Higher Education in Education and Social Services runs at the following colleges:

  • Glasgow Kelvin College, Haghill Campus, 0141 630 500,
  • Glasgow Clyde College, Langside Campus, 0141 272 3777,
  • New College Lanarkshire, Cumbernauld Campus, 0300 555 8080,
  • South Lanarkshire College, East Kilbride Campus, 01355 807780,
  • City of Glasgow College, 0141 375 5555,

Contextual Admissions for Widening Access

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.

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

Back to course

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 (or studying standalone modules) 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.

Go back
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £1,820

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 2024/25, 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.

Additional costs

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

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

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?

Go back

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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Go back

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.

Go back

International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Dean's International Excellence Award

This scholarship is for new international students who will begin a full-time undergraduate course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in September 2024. The award is a £5,000 scholarship per year for the duration of their degree (total of £20,000 for a four year course). All offer-holders are eligible for this scholarship.

Dean's International Excellence Award

Two students in library.

Back to course


Our graduates are well-equipped to work within, and eventually lead integrated services across the education, health and social care sector. The degree also gives you eligibility to apply for postgraduate training in areas such as social work, community education, childhood practice and primary teaching.

Where are they now?

Recent job titles include:**

  • Advocacy Worker
  • Deputy Head – Nursery
  • Education Support Worker
  • Facilitation Worker
  • Housing Support Worker
  • Nursery Manager
  • Project Worker
  • Senior Social Care Worker

Recent employers include:

  • Assist
  • Crossreach
  • Quarriers
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health
  • Turning Point

**Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

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
Back to course


Application is to a participating college in the first instance. You'll enter college at Diploma of Higher Education level, having first studied a relevant HNC such as:

  • Early Education and Childcare or Childhood Practice
  • Health Care or Care and Administrative Practice
  • Social Care or Social Services
  • Additional Support Needs or Supporting Learning Needs
  • Occupational Therapy Support
  • Working with Communities

You'll then go on to study Year 3 of the BA and Year 4 of the BA Honours at Strathclyde. You will require two additional supporting documents:

  • confirmation from the Board of Examiners that you have met the requirements to progress to the final years of the degree
  • a personal statement outlining your commitment to continuing on the course

All enquiries regarding entry to the Higher Education Diploma should be made to the relevant college contact. The Diploma of Higher Education in Education and Social Services runs at the following colleges:

Glasgow Kelvin College

0141 630 5000

Glasgow Clyde College, Langside Campus

0141 272 3777

New College Lanarkshire, Cumbernauld Campus

0300 555 8080

South Lanarkshire College, East Kilbride

01355 807780

City of Glasgow College

0141 375 5555
Contact form

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