How to prepare for your course in the School of Education and Social Work

Starting your studies with us soon? We’re looking forward to welcoming you! If you want to get a head start on your studies and get clued up on what’s to come, here’s our list of things you can do to prepare for your course.

Reading and Research

There are numerous things you can look at that are specific to your area of study but we also encourage you to have a look through our blog, which includes the latest staff and student stories, and more.

Teacher training

  • Engage with the Teachers’ Standards and think about how will these impact on your teaching and learning
  • Download the National Curriculum for your area and start to become familiar with it
  • Develop your subject knowledge of all areas of the curriculum by engaging with sites such as BBC Bitesize (remember to look at the Key Stage above the one(s) you’ll be teaching)

Education and Childhood (non-teaching)

Try to improve your 'general knowledge' of Early Childhood Studies by looking at Development Matters 

Become familiar with some useful websites:

Get familiar with curriculum guidelines and download the latest versions of The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Guidance, and Development Matters Guidelines via The National Curriculum. 

It’s also good to have an awareness of and become familiar with relevant legislation relevant to your studies, such as The Equality Act.

Social Work


There are plenty of relevant and insightful videos on our BCU YouTube channel that will give you information about university life and what it’s like to study your course.

It’s also a good idea to keep up with news channels to stay up to date with any developments in your specialist areas. BBC family and education news online is a great place to stay informed.


There are several informative podcasts you can listen to help inform your studies. Some of our favourites include:

Education and Teacher Training

  • The Early Years Edit
  • The Creative Educator
  • The TED Talks Education Podcast

Social Work and Working with Children, Young People and Families:

  • The Children’s Society podcast
  • Let’s Talk Social Work - the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) podcast

Social Media and who to follow

It might be a good idea to set up a professional social media account on LinkedIn and Twitter so that you can network with your peers. Make sure you consider your professional image and identity, as what you say and post influences how you will be portrayed to others.

In terms of accounts to follow, a good place to start is with our own social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Here, you can keep up to date with all important news and events from around the University. Other accounts worth checking out on Twitter are:

Teacher training:

  • Times Education Supplement @tes 
  • Guardian Education @GuardianEdu 
  • Department for Education @educationgovuk.

Education and Childhood (non-teaching):

  • @ChildrenQuarter 
  • @Birmingham LSCP 
  • @ChildrensComm 
  • @earlyed_uk

Social Work:

  • @SCIE_socialcare 
  • @GdnSocialCare 

Education and Social work - hero panel - secondary

Our Blog

Check out our blog page to find out more information on where your degree could take you, tips from our students and more.

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