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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

Are you interested in why people learn in different ways? Do you want to find out more about barriers to learning and how learning supports childhood development? Maybe you’d like to know more about the impact of society and social policy on the education experience. 

The BA Education Studies – Sociology is an ideal qualification if you are fascinated by the learning process from a sociological perspective and want to keep your career options open.

From the philosophical foundations of schooling to the political implications of policy, education is a vast field that has multiple avenues to approach a seemingly straightforward subject. Our degree goes far beyond any classroom and considers education, people and their relationship to the ever-changing world. 

The curriculum draws on research carried out in the Department to keep the course content relevant and up to date. The breadth of modules allows you to create your own pathway through the course. As well as the sociology pathway, we offer pathways in psychology and geography, or you can choose to focus purely on education studies

This BA will prepare you for a career in many different areas, both in the education sector and further afield. It can provide the first step towards a career as a teacher or researcher, and supports roles in publishing, policy making, the voluntary and public sectors, as well as many more.

Course structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Historical and Philosophical Ideas of Education will introduce you to some of the major educational theorists and the foundational ideas informing education practice today. This will help you to develop a personal perspective on the longstanding debate about the purpose and value of education.

Contemporary Issues and Evidence in Education examines a range of contemporary issues in education and the nature and scope of the supporting evidence. With a range of guest speakers from across the Department you will gain a grounding in a variety of issues at stake.

Societies in Transition is the study of contemporary societies and aspects of social life and change, focusing on local communities, families and relationships, economies and consumerism, and patterns relating to health, social class, gender race/ethnicity and religion.

Classical Sociological Theory introduces sociological concepts and theorising, using individual thinkers and particular topics to illustrate changing understandings of the relationship between structure and agency in sociological thinking, both across time and in relation to current debates.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Disability and Educational Needs: What’s so ‘Special’ about SEND?
  • International and Comparative Education 
  • Foundations of Psychology in Education

Year 2

Core modules:

Educational Research Methods helps you to understand the purposes and implications of educational research. You will develop a critical appreciation of the different ways in which research can be carried out in education, and how to assess the quality of educational research.

Modern and Contemporary Sociological Theory explores the key theoretical perspectives within sociological inquiry. You will develop the skills to assess and compare different theoretical perspectives in terms of consistency, logic and explanatory power.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Cultural Identity, Interculturality and Education 
  • Learning and Development in Childhood 
  • Higher Education: Issues of Exclusion and Inclusion 
  • Constructing Childhood and Youth 
  • Assessing Education 
  • Disability and Education Needs: Impairment, Empowerment, and Education
  • Self, Identity and Society 
  • Sociology of Education 
  • Violence and Abuse in Society 
  • Communities and Social Justice 
  • Crime, Power and Social Inequalities 
  • Sociology of Health and Medicine

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement or year abroad)

Core module:

Dissertation. For your dissertation you will undertake an extended, independent piece of research with an appropriate educational focus. You will engage critically with the relevant research relating to your chosen topic.

In recent years, optional modules have included:


  • Issues in Criminal Justice (Inside-Out)
  • Youth in Crisis: Young People, Crime and Justice
  • Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
  • Cyberculture and Cybercrime 
  • Race, Racism and Social Justice in Britain
  • Sociology of Work 
  • The Body as Data: Technology, Power and Human Rights
  • Social Theory and the Politics of Knowledge


  • Education in a Global Age 
  • Digital Society Theory and Practice 
  • Science of Learning 
  • Education, Mental Health and Wellbeing 
  • Understanding the Arts in Education 
  • The Social Life of Education 
  • Digital Society Theory and Practice
  • Evidence and Educational Policy 

Additional pathways

Students on the BA Education Studies – Sociology can apply to be transferred onto the ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year. Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


The course is mainly delivered through lectures and seminars. Lectures often present, explain and critically analyse theories and relevant issues, whereas smaller group seminars normally focus upon peer-assisted interaction for debate and discussion.

There may be some opportunity for study visits and/or fieldwork within specific modules.

A large amount of time is spent on independent study and reading around topics, developing your capacity for critical analysis, reflection and evaluation.


We promote diverse and creative forms of assessment so whilst many modules are assessed by essays, other modules may include portfolios, blogs, presentations or posters.

The 12,000-word dissertation is worth one-third of your final-year marks.

Entry requirements

A level offer – AAB.

Contextual offer – BBC.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD.

IB Diploma score – 36 with 665 in higher level subjects.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.
  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information or contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Education, School of

Our students graduate with a broad range of transferable skills which open the door to careers across a wide range of sectors in the education sector and beyond. 

Our BA in Primary Education offers the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status with most graduates progressing directly into teaching. Graduates of the BA in Education Studies degrees move into a diverse range of roles including educational research, publishing, education administration, policy making and management as well as roles in the commercial or public sector. Some students choose further study, progressing to doctoral programmes, while others choose a Masters degree or a PGCE in primary or secondary education.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

  • 92% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 91% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £26,100.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Education, School of

Develop your expertise and deepen your knowledge at one of the UK’s leading Schools of Education. Gain all the knowledge, skills and experience you’ll need to become a first-rate primary teacher or choose a multidisciplinary course that takes a broader look at the role of education in society.

Embark on an Education degree at Durham and join us in a first-class experience which combines innovative teaching and exceptional support with a learning experience informed by the highest quality research. We offer courses for people who want to teach and for those who want to develop a broader background in education. Working together we can shape the education of the future.

Our BA in Primary Education provides the tools and support you need to become an inspiring and outstanding teacher who will make a difference to the lives of pupils, both now and in the future.

We also offer a BA in Education Studies, which includes specialist pathway options in Geography, Psychology or Sociology. These broad, multidisciplinary degrees consider education, people and their function in the world. In addition to education-specific learning you have the option to choose modules from across the wider university to extend the breadth and depth of your experience.

For more information see our department pages.


  • World Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the School of Education pages

Research Excellence Framework

  • 2nd for Outstanding Research in Education (REF 2021).


The School of Education is a diverse, inclusive and vibrant community of almost 100 staff and more than 900 students. Located on the main campus at Lower Mountjoy, we are conveniently located near the main library and lots of other departments and university services.

Central to our teaching qualifications is the partnership between the University and schools in the area. We work with a diverse network of schools covering a wide geographical area, and if you choose a teaching qualification you will spend some of your time based in a school developing your professional skills to inspire the next generation.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



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