module specification

SS4033 - Making Sense of Education (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Making Sense of Education
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Extended essay (5,000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Wednesday Morning
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module provides an introduction to Education Studies.  In doing so it draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of education and the contexts within which it takes place. It also provides an introduction to potential career pathways using Education Studies experiences and qualification.

Module aims

The module aims to
• Introduce students to the subject discipline;
• To provide an overview of some of the major issues and debates in the development of English education and encourage students to critically engage with these;
• Present a range of theoretical perspectives which can be used to describe and analyse the education system;
• Provide a sound foundation for self reflection in relation to career choice and employability
• To offer students a context within which to develop the practices of reading, of dialogue and of reflective writing required in higher education.



The module provides an introduction to Education Studies from its roots in the ‘academic era of teacher education’ (Carr 1997) to current field as outlined by QAA.

In doing so it draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of education and the contexts within which it takes place (QAA). More specifically it:
• Has focus on historical developments of the English education system with particular emphasis on ‘education for all’; and how it has led to current structures and curricular;
• Encourages students to engage with contemporary questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society; 
• Explores some major psychological/ socio-psychological theories that have significantly impacted on pedagogic approaches.
Additionally the module has focus on employability in that it:
• Outlines possible career pathways using experience and qualifications gained on BA Education Studies;
• Provides a framework for critical reflection on skills and knowledges gained or to be developed that will be of use throughout the course.
• Introduction to a careers development portfolio

Learning and teaching

The module will utilise a range of teaching and learning strategies. It will include:

• the use of ‘key note addresses’, given in whole group sessions but also available on-line and supported by additional readings and other texts (photographs, video, podcasts etc), available through the learning platform where feasible;
• Seminar groups, giving students opportunity for small group discussion, collaborative work, supported by a range of ‘workshop activities’ (also available on-line) and student led presentations. Students will be encouraged to collaborate both face-to-face and virtually with discussion rooms available with the VLE;
• Small group tutorials. Students will have opportunity to discuss their learning on the module with tutors and peers.
• Assessment tutorials will be offered to provide additional support with the assignment.
• Students will also be encouraged to form study groups for peer support.
• An online career development portfolio will be introduced and available to all students, offering a format for recording achievement and links to guidance and support.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
• Debate educational policies and practices in the wider social and cultural context
• Demonstrate an informed knowledge of some theoretical perspectives in education
• Communicate their views effectively in dialogue with other students and with tutors
• Evaluate personal strengths and areas for development in relation to employability

Assessment strategy

There will be one summative assessment item: an extended essay.

This will built throughout the module. Students will be given the generic essay title within the first four weeks of the module and there will be a series of planned whole group tutor inputs and regularly scheduled workshops and tutorials.  In addition, tutors at least three formative feedback episodes designed to encourage students to develop different aspects of their essay will be scheduled.

Students will also complete a non-assessed careers development portfolio reflecting on areas of achievement and areas to develop from across their first year of study. Dedicated session time at intervals throughout the module will be planned into the teaching schedule.


Ball, S., (2008), The Education Debate, London: Routledge

Bartlett S. and Burton D., (2011 3rd edition) Introduction to Education Studies. London, Sage

Burr, V., (2003), Social Constructionism, London: Routledge

Curtis, W. and Pettigrew, A., (2009), Learning in Contemporary Culture, Exeter: Learning Matters

Curtis, W. and Pettigrew, A., (2009), Education Studies: a reflective reader, Exeter: Learning Matters

Judge, B., Jones, P. and McCreery, E., (2009),  Critical Thinking Skills for Education Students, Exeter: Learning Matters

Matheson, D., (ed)(2011 3rd edition), An Introduction to the Study of Education, London: David Fulton

Sharp, J., Ward, S. and Hankin, L., (eds.)(2006), Education Studies: an issues-based approach, Exeter: Learning Matters

Ward, S., (ed)(2004), Education Studies: a student’s guide. London: Routledge Falmer