Education Studies with Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (4 years)
September 2018

Are you interested in teaching, education systems, care or research? Our BA (Hons) in Education Studies with a Foundation Year will allow you to explore all aspects of education, and subject areas of most interest to you, so that you graduate with plenty of career options in what you love to do.

Tailor your Children, Childhood and Education Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work. These include:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in either Children, Childhood and Education, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc or BA degree. 

So although you are studying a BA or BSc in a specific course – BA Education Studies – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Childhood, Children and Education, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

Studying in our £41 million City South Campus, you will explore concepts such as education and society, equality, diversity, values and policies of the UK education system, as well as educational systems around the world. You will also have lots of opportunities to delve deeper into subjects that matter and are of interest to you too.

You will learn through interactive and engaging lectures, seminars and workshops with guest speakers often stopping by to share their knowledge, combined with our experienced course staff who will be supporting and guiding you every step of the way.

Throughout the course we arrange visits to and welcome guest speakers from organisations including, The Thinktank, Historic England, CBSO, The Newman Brother’s Museum in the Jewellery Quarter. You will also have the opportunity to carry out work placement during year 2 to enhance your skills and experience.

The placement module is a crucial aspect and allows you to merge theory with practice.  You will be encouraged to experience and consider different educational settings though enhancement activities such as volunteering, Careers Week and presentations from external speakers. 

This course is designed to promote independence so that you become more a confident, autonomous, creative lifelong learner and will challenge you to push the boundaries and discover your full potential.

Why Choose Us?

  • Learn in our £41 million City South Campus
  • Expert staff team 
  • Strong industry relationships
  • Study abroad 
  • Excellent placement opportunities 
  • Unique course 
  • Access to guest speakers 

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25th November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language and mathematics.

If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.

72 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level 72 UCAS tariff points = DDD
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with minimum 18 credits with Merits or distinctions, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in a relevant subject
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 72 UCAS points.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Negotiated Study
Birmingham’s Children and Society
Policy and Politics

Year Two

Introduction to Education Studies

This module will encourage you to ask questions about your education.  We all think we know about schools and education but how much do we really know; how far is our knowledge affected by our personal experiences?  There will be an emphasis on developing the study skills needed in higher education. 

Key Educational Thinkers and the Philosophy of Education

This module provides a historical overview of key influential educational thinkers and the philosophic traditions that they draw on.  You will be introduced to a range of philosophical thinking, reading and writing.  For the summative assignment you will relate your understanding of educational theory to your own ideas and opinions.

Creativity, Teaching and Learning Education and Society

Here you will think deeply and critically about creativity and its relationship to educational issues.  You will enquire into a range of educational concepts, such as, ‘deep learning’, ‘critical thinking’ and ‘creative learning’ and gain knowledge of creative learning programmes found in schools/ educational settings in the UK and globally. 

Introduction to International Education

Globalisation will be treated as a theoretical framework through which to examine how educational themes arise within and across national boundaries.  The course examines cross-national issues, such as language and bilingualism, national identity in the curriculum, and international structures.  We will consider the ERASMUS exchange programme opportunities for the second year.

Perspectives on Learning and Development

We will explore theories about human development and learning across a range of biological and psychological perspectives drawn from a variety of disciplines.  Key theories about learning and development such as Behaviourism, Constructivism, Social Constructivism will be discussed, with the focus on how they have been studied and observed in practice.

Year Three

Preparing for Research in Education

This module will prepare you for your final research project at level 6.  Coverage will include: an introduction to research methods; consideration of ethical issues for carrying out research within educational settings; planning and identifying appropriate literature.  You will also be supported to identify an appropriate area for research. 

Professional Practice Placement

Placement will be a context in which to examine educational practices.  Your placement could involve anything from working on literacy with Bengali women in a community centre, supporting SEN pupils at a primary school or supporting an art exhibition at a pupil referral unit for excluded secondary school students. 

Investigating and Developing Curriculum

The module will encourage you to explore curriculum development, including content, objectives, processes and assessment.  You will consider alternative educational approaches such as Steiner or Montessori. You will focus on developing your ability to 'read' and produce curriculum materials, practices and policies in the light of the principles and perspectives that inform them.  

Cultures of Schooling

This module is designed to develop your understanding of the education system and its structures in England.  It has as its central theme the changing relationship between the state, compulsory education and its users through the relationship between the UK political system and the UK education system. 

Globalisation, Education and Inequality

This module will explore models, concepts and themes relating to the globalisation of education across different sectors and countries including human rights, citizenship and the role of education.  There is also an emphasis on global diversity.  Students to focus on case studies of education and schooling that highlight the diversity of provision.

Inclusion, Diversity and Special Educational Needs

This module offers a critical and challenging introduction to special educational needs in the context of contemporary understandings of inclusion and diversity in education.  It will cover topics such as: historical perspectives on inclusive education; social models of disability, and developing inclusive practices in education.  

Year Four

Individual Practice-based Research

The practice-based research module builds on the research and academic skills acquired at Levels 4 and 5.  The format for your research will depend on the study selected.  Most often it will be a small-scale practice-led enquiry based on your placement experiences. It could also be a desk-based analysis of a contemporary issue. 

Critical Pedagogies

This module extends your understanding of the function and effects of education through the study of a range of perspectives such as critical theory, structuralism, post-structuralism, Critical Race Theory and feminism.  You will examine the relationship between teaching and learning by applying the theoretical perspectives studied.

Educational Policies and Professional Practice

This module will help you to critically evaluate how and why different education practices and policies develop in the ways they do.  Education is highly political and through this module we will examine the politics of decision-making around educational policies and government initiatives.

Educational Innovations in 21st Century

This module seeks to stimulate debate about the changing nature of society as it is currently and as might be predicted in the future.  During the module you will have the opportunity to use a variety of hardware and evaluate their contributions to learning through reference to analytical and pedagogical frameworks in your written assessment.

Issues of Identity in Education

From a broad interdisciplinary perspective, this module will explore the ways in which intersecting power relations and changing identity formations around demographic categories impact on and inform educational settings.  Demographic categories include gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, class, profession and nationality. 

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Education and Social Work (Exc Social Work) upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Course Structure

We will begin the year with an in-depth induction process. During this time you be introduced to key members of staff, resources and procedures. We will consider what it means to study at undergraduate and time will also be dedicated to team building activities. During the first year you will be introduced to key education philosophy and theorists. Additionally, we will consider a range of perspectives on local and international education. Throughout the year students will take part in seminars, lectures and workshops with the dedicated team and selected guest speakers. Students will be offered theoretical and practice led perspectives to analyse and evaluate. Students will be asked to reflect on their own educational experiences and values.

Birmingham City University has an impressive portfolio of partner organisations and the key event in the second year of study will be your placement. Students will be supported in identifying a placement with one of our partners that is developmental, stimulating and that offers preparation for future career paths.

Students will also consider inclusivity, diversity and cultures of schooling. Students will now have a confident and in depth understanding of a range of educational issues. They will now begin to plan their final year research project. Students will be support to understand research methodologies and the importance of ethical considerations.

Throughout the year students will take part in seminars, lectures and workshops with the dedicated team and selected guest speakers. Students will be offered theoretical and practice led perspectives to analyse and evaluate. Students will be asked to reflect on their own educational experiences and values.

The key aspect of year three is the individual and independent research project. Using their planning and preparation from year two, students will undertake research into an area of their choice. Tutorials and on-going support with be provided to support successful and ethically secure research.

We will also explore how identities are shaped and re-shaped through educational experiences and structures. Additionally we will consider how education is changing and key innovations that impact on educational organisations.

Throughout the year students will take part in seminars, lectures and workshops with the dedicated team and selected guest speakers. Students will be offered theoretical and practice led perspectives to analyse and evaluate. Students will be asked to reflect on their own educational experiences and values.

Examples of classroom activities

Each module uses a variety of teaching and learning approaches including:

  • workshops
  • conferences
  • lectures
  • seminars
  • guest speakers
  • visits to schools and other educational settings
  • digital technologies

Overseas Opportunities

The programme hosts students on the Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes from a number of partner Universities from around the world who will study alongside you and facilitate debate about different approaches education. You also have the opportunity of studying in a number of European countries through the partnerships the School of Education & Social Work has already established.

Further studies

Further studies could include PGCE Primary, Post-compulsory Education Training (for work in further education) or an MA in Education.

Enhancing employment skills

This course enables you to become a reflective and innovative education academic and practitioner, including the ability to be flexible, to respond to and initiate change and manage a life/ work balance creatively.

Education Studies will provide an excellent preparation for you to work with learners of all ages within the education sector. The commercial and industrial worlds are also very interested in people with knowledge about education and training.

You'll have the knowledge and skills to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations included businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.


In the second year of study all students will take a placement of at least eight weeks. This could be in a wide range of educational settings: museums, volunteer schemes, schools, pupil referral units, adult learning centres, hospitals or with educational advisors. 

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

At the end of this course students will go on to a range of careers, a sample would be: youth work, teaching, learning mentor, counselling or education advisors.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.


In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Elaine Matchett

Programme Leader for Education Studies

Elaine's first degree is in English and Education Studies, she completed a PGCE at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and taught for 12 years in a variety of schools across the West Midlands. Elaine also holds an MA in Social and Cultural Theory and she is currently studying for a PhD looking at the educational experiences of children in care.

Elaine joined BCU in 2010 as a Senior Lecturer in Primary English. She is now fortunate enough to be leading the new Education Studies degree at BCU. Elaine is passionate about Education Studies as a discipline; it affords students the opportunity to fully evaluate the enormous and transformative potential of education.  

Amanda French

Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise

Amanda has worked in higher, further, adult education and the voluntary sector for 30 years as a lecturer, writing developer and researcher and is currently employed as Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise in the School of Education.

Her PhD in Education: ‘Through a glass darkly”: Lecturers perceptions of Academic Writing’:  was about lecturers’ perceptions of academic writing and writing development practices in higher education. 

Her other research interests include academic writing, learner development in higher education , participatory research with children, transition experiences in education, employment literacies, widening participation and social justice, radical methodologies, critical pedagogies, postgraduate teaching and learning. I have presented on published on these areas nationally and internationally.


Elizabeth Nassem

Dr Elizabeth Nassem


Elizabeth joined Birmingham City University in May 2016. She is a Research Assistant in the Centre for the Study and Practice of Education. She has a Doctorate in Education which she examined where bullying exists in children’s everyday experiences of school.  

Elizabeth has worked in further and higher education as a lecturer and research developer. She has taught subjects such as qualitative research methods, developmental psychology and learning disability. She has also taught in secondary and primary schools. Elizabeth has been a project worker where she supported individuals with learning disabilities and mental health problems to enhance their wellbeing and participate more fully in their community. Elizabeth has developed pupil-led anti-bullying campaigns and counselling to pupils who persistently engage in bullying to refrain from bullying and enhance their well-being.