Education Studies and Study of Religions

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How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

Key features of the courses are: 

  • Education Studies at Bath Spa University is rated highly by students, with 91% satisfaction with teaching in the 2010-11 National Student Survey
  • All our awards are very flexible and can be tailored to your personal interests and ambitions
  • You will be able to choose from more than 45 modules which explore a wide range of subjects and issues
  • All modules are taught by experienced and respected staff 
  • You will be able to take a placement in a school or other educational setting in each year of your programme
  • You will have the opportunity to study overseas in each year of your programme
  • You will be able to apply (in year three) to stay with us to take a PGCE primary or secondary : OfSTED has rated our teacher education courses as 'outstanding' in 2011

Education Studies will give you an in-depth understanding of the world of formal and informal education in the UK and around the world. Education depends on an essentially optimistic view: that through learning we can change the world for the better.

Why study Education Studies?

There are a number of options available for studying Education at Bath Spa University.

Single honours awards in Education Studies are ideal for students who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the world of education and education around the world. Four single honours awards are available:

  • Education Studies
  • Early Years Education
  • International Education
  • Youth and Community Studies

It is also possible to combine Education with another subject in our modular programme to achieve a joint honours degree.

  • Education Studies: Combined Awards

See the Course Structure tab for more information.

Please be aware that the above degrees do not lead to a reserved place on a PGCE Primary course, although you may apply for a place on our PGCE in year three.

If you choose to study for the Combined Award, please be aware that there is a separate Student Handbook.

Course structure

Education is a large subject at Bath Spa University so we are able to offer you various study options:

1. Education Studies (Single Honours award) (UCAS Code: X300)

Education Studies will give you an in-depth understanding of formal and informal education.

2. International Education (Single Honours award) (UCAS Code: X392)

These routes allow you to concentrate your study on either Education or International Education, but in your first year you will be able to take two modules from a selection of other modules related to your subject. This gives you a broader outlook on Education and its many related topics.

These routes are for those of you who are interested in the study of education but not yet certain about the professional route you are interested in developing beyond your degree.

If, however, you know at this stage that you would like to study a second subject alongside Education for all three years of your course (perhaps because your goal is to become a secondary teacher of that subject) you should look at Option 5 below – Education as part of a Combined Award.

You can also choose from two courses that are more directly linked to possible employment options;

3. Early Years Education (a specialised award) (UCAS Code: X312)

4. Youth and Community Studies (a specialised award) (UCAS Code: L590)

These awards offer you opportunities to both follow your academic programme and engage directly with professional practice in the relevant field which may give you an additional vocational qualification. You have a wide range of modules to choose from, but your module choices will be directly related to the specialism you have chosen (either Early Years or Youth and Community work) in order to prepare you for careers in these professions. There will be some core modules which you must follow on both these Specialised Awards which will be linked to possible professional occupations in either Early Years or Youth and Community. There will be opportunities to undertake some professional practice in your area of interest and your third year dissertation will be linked to your degree focus. As part of the Early Years Education specialised award, you will have the opportunity to gain a professional accreditation certificate in Childcare, Development and Learning.

5. Education as part of a Combined Award (with a second subject)

This option allows you to choose two subjects for all of your degree by taking two subjects throughout your three years and you can choose from a wide range of modules in both subjects. It is a suitable route for students who may wish to progress to a career as a teacher in a secondary school (for this you would need to apply to start a Secondary PGCE once you have completed your degree).

Whichever route you decide on there’s a wide range of relevant modules for you to choose from, along with some compulsory modules.

In Year 1, core modules introduce key concepts and skills that underpin the subject as well as modules in, for example: learning through life, early years education, adolescence, primary schools and education in Europe.

In Years 2 and 3 you will consider more deeply the current issues in education and how they relate to your particular course. You will think critically about teaching, diversity, inclusion, social and educational policy and explore global and international perspectives in education. There are opportunities to carry out original research and pursue your own interests in these areas.

There are also modules which give you the chance to work in schools and other educational contexts including early years settings and youth and community contexts where you can develop your understanding of the nature of children and young people’s development and teaching and learning.

Modules

Sample modules Include:

  • Education for Change
  • How Young Children Learn
  • Young People's Sub-cultures
  • International Perspectives on Education

Please note that if you know at this stage that you want to be a primary teacher you should apply to our specialised course which offers you a route to a teaching qualification. This is known as our ‘3+1’ course because it is four years in length in total – three years for the undergraduate degree element and one year for the postgraduate PGCE element.

Course assessment

You will be assessed through course work submitted during modules. Course work includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We will provide you with prompt feedback on how well you are doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding. There are no examinations in Education Studies.

Bath Spa is a leading university in the field of Education Studies, and you’ll be taught by a very experienced and well qualified team of more than 50 tutors with different backgrounds as qualified teachers, academics, authors and researchers. At Bath Spa we believe in helping you understand the difficulties experienced by many children and young people for whom access to good formal and informal education is sometimes difficult. You’ll gain the knowledge, critical understanding and skills needed to explore the nature and functions of education in a rapidly changing world, and prepare for a range of professional employment.

As well as offering you an exciting undergraduate programme we also have full-time and part-time higher degrees which build on your undergraduate course and support you in professional development that will equip you to compete more effectively within the labour market. We have a flexible Education Studies Masters programme which allows you to develop further the focus of your undergraduate degree and includes modules such as Social and Education Policy, Education and Globalisation, Early Childhood Education, Work Based Professional Practice and Youth in the Community. From the moment you begin your undergraduate programme we will encourage you to think of yourself as maximising your opportunities by thinking of postgraduate options that will support your particular employment interests.

Whatever route you decide is right for you, we offer you the opportunity to become a committed, caring and creative professional- able to “make a difference”.

Teaching methods

Teaching

Teaching is through a mix of lectures (50 minutes), seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures - they are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates.  In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hrs per week.  All modules are led by experienced and respected university staff.  Many staff are active researchers and authors in the field of education studies - in years two and three they will introduce you to their particular specialisms and research interests through a range of optional modules.  We also have regular visiting speakers - these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

Placements

Placements occur in each year of the programme. In year two there is a compulsory placement in an educational setting or school. Optional modules provide further placement opportunities for you to work with young people both locally and internationally. The School of Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport. 

Teaching quality excellence

22/24 in a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) assessment.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Education Studies will provide the basis for you to work with learners – young people and older people – in different organisations: children’s centres, youth organisations and community organisations. You may choose to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including community organisations, youth clubs, businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, museums, art galleries and libraries.

You will also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a primary teacher you should consider our specialised ‘3+1’ course.

If you think you would like to work in early years’ settings or youth and community organisations you should apply for the specialised awards in these areas. This will ensure you undertake placements relevant to your course and have specialised modules that you must follow to ensure the right experiences and knowledge to help you work in these fields.

As well as going on to study for the PGCE our graduates have been recruited by Notts Trent International College, Explore Learning,  the NHS and many schools and Local Authorities working in Educational roles such as tutors, trainers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

What students say...

Student Profile: Kia Prescott, International Education

“The course has made me question all of my opinions I held before. Studying International Education has given me a better knowledge of geography, countries, cultures, global issues, politics and world history, all of which has given me a wider base and has helped in all my modules. This year there is a study trip to Zambia for students on the international module, and it will be the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience of education abroad.

Although the majority on the course want to be teachers it is understood that there are some who don’t, and this is catered for. I have a great interest in other countries and cultures, and I have not completely decided if I want to teach abroad yet – but Bath Spa are enabling me to keep my options open.”

This course explores a wide range of religious traditions, from Buddhism to Christianity to Paganism, with a focus on living traditions. The approach taken is open and exploratory, with an emphasis on direct first-hand experience of religious communities.

The religious traditions studied are diverse, including major traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, and the less well known such as newer religious movements. Included in the programme are contemporary developments such as Paganism and Goddess spirituality. We range from the local, such as religions in Bath and Glastonbury, to the global, such as Japanese Religions. Crucial to the study of religions is direct encounter and experiential learning, and the course includes visits and a one-week placement in a religious community. There are opportunities to follow up your own interests or career plans in a variety of special projects, employment related placements and a dissertation.

Study of Religions is offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined degree. If you want to combine it with Philosophy and Ethics you should take the Religions, Philosophies and Ethics specialised award.

Why study Study of Religions?

‘My stay at the Buddhist monastery was challenging, yet very rewarding. I learnt a lot about Theravada Buddhism, but about myself too’

Diverse range of traditions

We try to explore as many different traditions as possible, from Buddhism to Christianity to Paganism, with a focus on living religions followed by people you can meet today.

Open and exploratory

We stress that we are studying religions, trying to understand, rather than trying to convert, and we are equally welcoming of those who belong to a religious tradition and those who don’t.

First hand experience and community placement

‘There is no substitute for seeing the architecture, rituals and colours first hand as well as the account of the religion from a believer’

We think it is important to meet people from religious traditions, and the programme includes visit to religious communities, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches. You may visit the Goddess temple in Glastonbury, meet a Druid or have an opportunity to interview a Buddhist monk. In the third year all students have the opportunity to spend a week living with a religious or belief community: such as a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas, the British Humanist Association or the Salvation Army. For further details see www.livingreligion.co.uk

Excellent teaching 

Our external examiners praised us last year for the excellent quality of our feedback to students on their work. Tutors think it is important to make time for individual students.

Appropriate for teaching RE

A popular career destination for our students is teaching RE in primary or secondary schools, or sixth-form colleges. Every year the numbers of pupils taking GCSE and A level Religious Studies is going up.

Chance to study abroad

One semester can be spent abroad, for example, at the University of Helsinki in Finland or the University of Sibiu in Romania.

Course structure

In Year 1 we offer a core module which explores the meaning of religion and spirituality, examines a variety of methods of studying religions and spiritualities, and illustrates these from a variety of contemporary traditions, from Druidry to the Bahá’í faith. There is also a field visit to Glastonbury. An optional module in global religions and philosophies looks at major traditions and movements, and key thinkers. 

The core module in Year 2 focuses on philosophies and religious or non-religious world views in Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include philosophy, religions and the environment; and in depth study of major religious traditions including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

There is also a Special Project in which you can explore topics of your choice, engage in a placement or project relevant to employment, or take part in a summer school in another country such as Korea.

In the third year, as part of a core module on religion in the contemporary world, you will undertake a fieldwork placement with a religious community such as a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas or the Salvation Army. For further details see our website www.livingreligion.co.uk. Optional modules include religion, philosophy and gender; advanced study of pagan, new and alternative religions; and modules studying the Bhagavad Gita, Muslim migration and Islam in Europe, culture and counter-culture, religion and education internationally, Buddhism, and religion, culture and society in Japan. There is also a special Research Project (past students have helped to run a conference for year 12 students or to digitise an archive on contemporary religions), a Dissertation which allows for in-depth concentration on a topic of your choice, or an employment related project.

NOTE: You will need to study another subject to study with Study of Religions.

 

 

Modules

Year 1

  • Beyond Belief: Introduction to the Study of Religions and Spiritualities (core module);

  • Truth and Value: Introduction to Philosophical and Ethical Enquiry (core module);
  • Global Religions and Philosophies;
  • Spirituality, Culture and Civilisation: An Introduction to faith and Belief in Global Perspective
  • Philosophy and Thinking in Schools;
  • Medieval and Renaissance Worlds.

Year 2

  • Darshana, Dharma and Dao: Philosophy in the Indian and Chinese Traditions (core module);Exploring Global Christianity;

  • Exploring Global Christianity
  • Power, Duty and Desire: Life and Liberation in the Hindu Tradition;
  • Special Project;
  • Buddhism: Historical and Doctrinal Developments;
  • Saints and Soldiers: Mysticism, Militancy and Modernity in the Sikh Tradition;
  • Philosophy, Religions and the Environment.

Year 3

  • Studying Religions in the Contemporary World (core module);
  • Dissertation;
  • Employment related placement (alternative to Dissertation);
  • Buddhism in Practice;
  • Religion, Philosophy and Gender;
  • Life and Meaning;
  • Advanced Special Project;
  • The Song of the Lord: Hinduism, Religion, Scripture and the Bhagavad-Gita;
  • Spiritual Revolution: Pagan, New and Alternative Religions in the 21st Century;
  • Religion, Culture and Society in Japan;
  • Muslim Migration and Islam in Europe
  • Without Fear or Favour: National and International Perspectives on Religion, Culture and Education;
  • Culture and Counterculture: from Orientalism to the ‘Hippy Trail’.

Course assessment

Assessment is mainly by coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, on-line discussion board participation, or even the production of a short film, and there are also some timed elements such as critical analyses or examinations.

Learning is encouraged through participation in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and fieldtrips.

We teach with attention to individuals. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Resources include a well-stocked library, on-line materials in our virtual learning platform and our many contacts with faith communities (and ethical associations) locally and nationally.

BACRA (the Bath Archive of Contemporary Religious Affairs) is an archive of ephemera devoted mainly to New Religious Movements and concentrated on the 1980s and 1990s before most movements had their own websites.

 

Teaching methods

Our lectures set out the broad themes and issues, often include visual materials and enable you to participate and raise questions.

Seminars are in smaller groups where you have more opportunities to participate and interact with each other. These might involve you giving short presentations, working in groups, debates and discussions. They help you clarify issues that you find in your readings and raised in lectures; some seminars may include viewing of brief documentaries.

One-to-one tutorials are an important part of our teaching, especially in giving individual feedback on your work.

To give you an experiential understanding of the subjects that you study, we organise educational visits and fieldtrips to religious and pilgrimage centres in Bath, Glastonbury, Bristol, London, etc. We also enable you to take part in a one-week placement in a religious or ethical community to see how religions and philosophies impact on people's daily lives. For examples see www.livingreligion.co.uk.

We encourage you to take part in the study abroad programmes by, for example, participating in the existing Erasmus exchanges in Europe (e.g., University of Helsinki and University of Sibiu).

Application method

Full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

A popular career for our students is teaching Religious Education and/or Citizenship in secondary or primary schools, where there is a shortage of specialists. The combination of studying religions and philosophy is particularly good preparation for this, and one module is specially designed as preparation for a career in education. Others have gone on to further academic study and university teaching.

It is increasingly important for people in a wide range of careers to be able to mix with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, for example past students have had careers in the police, hospital administration, social work, and journalism. Study of Religions comes in useful when working overseas whether in tourism or other businesses.

Since 2010, employers such as Global Xchange. Ethicall, Citizens' Advice Bureau and Birmingham University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Healthcare Assistant, Fundraiser,  Children's Home Activities Coordinator and Assistant to the Communications Director.

What students say...

Student Profile: Alex Hyde, Year 3 Study of Religions

I chose my course because I have always been interested in the world and in people.  I am fascinated by the thoughts, needs, beliefs and knowledge of others who have been brought up outside of Christianity.

I really like the structure of the course because the first year enables you to study in breadth and then in the second year focus more deeply on some of the religions studied in the first year. I was enthralled by the prospect of going on a placement for a week in a religious community as part of the course in second year.  I am soon to find out whether I will be going to live with The Community of the Many Names of God or the Hare Krishnas.

The Department has a friendly ethos, with lecturers who are genuinely willing their students to do well and continually supporting them along the way. It is with thanks to this course that my understanding of people in the world is ever expanding and even when the pressure is on with assignments due, I continue to brim with enthusiasm for the knowledge I gain.