module specification

SS4033 - Making Sense of Education (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Making Sense of Education
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
54 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Draft essay
Coursework 70%   Built essay
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) 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.

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 with regard to social justice in education;
• 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: LO1,LO2,LO3
• 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. LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is taught in 3 hour weekly blocks with each session normally divided into lecture, seminar and tutorials. Writing workshops to support academic literacy are also built into the module

Learning outcomes

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

Assessment strategy

Assessment 1 - Draft essay (1000 words) 30%
Assessment 2 - Built essay (3000 words) 70%
Student select a theme of social justice in education to discuss the theoretical context in relation to one of the following options: social class, ethnicity, bilingualism, special education needs, gender, or another as agreed by tutors.


Text book:
Matheson D (ed) (2014) An Introduction to the Study of Education. London, David Fulton

Core text:
Bartlett, S. and Burton, D. (2016) Introduction to Education Studies. London, Sage

Additional texts:

Alexander, R. (2000) Culture and Pedagogy: international comparisons in primary education Oxford, Basil Blackwell.

Aldrich R (2002) A Century of Education. London, Routledge

Arnot M et al (1999) Closing the gender gap: post-war education and social change. Cambridge, Polity Press

Baker, C. (4th ed) (2006) Foundations of Bilingual Education, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters

Barker, C. (2000) Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London, Sage.

Chitty C (2002) Understanding Schools and Schooling, London, RoutledgeFalmer

Cole, M. (ed.) (2000) Education, Equality and Human Rights London, Routledge

Coulby, D., Gundara, J., Jones, C. (eds.) (1997) Intercultural Education (World Yearbook of Education, 1997) London, Kogan Page.

Datta, M. (2007) Bilinguality and Literacy, London: Continuum

Epstein, D., Elwood, J., Hey, V. and Maw, J. (1998) Failing Boys? Issues in Gender and Achievement. Buckingham, Open University Press.

Gaine C and George R (1999) Gender, 'race' and class in schooling: a new introduction. London, Falmer

Jones K (2003) Education in Britain 1944 to the present. Cambridge, Polity

McKenzie J (2001) Changing Education: a Sociology of Education since 1944. Harlow, Pearson

Richardson R and Wood A (1999) Inclusive Schools, Inclusive Society. Stoke on Trent, Trentham

Tubbs, N. & Grimes, J. (2001) 'What is Education Studies?' Educational Studies, Vol.27, No.1, 2001


Essentially political websites reflecting the current government’s views and policy. Department for Education (DfE):
Information on educational legislation, policy, reform and statistics. 
Includes information on further and higher education and the government’s social mobility agenda.
Office for National Statistics (ONS):
Statistical information on a wide range of areas.
Access to survey findings and case studies.
WATCHDOGS Children’s Commissioner:
Set up by government but acts as an independent watchdog to safeguard the interests of children.
PROFESSIONAL  Achievement for All:
Information about an initiative that aims to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children.
Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE):
This organisation is committed to improving mainstream schools to enable inclusive education.
National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC):
NALDIC’s mission is to promote the effective teaching and learning of EAL and bilingual pupils in UK schools.  The section on research and statistics is a rich source of information.
INTERNATIONAL United Nations human rights agenda:
Information on international human rights.
ACADEMIC RESEARCH Teaching and Learning Research
Downloadable publications and research digests on pedagogy.

Journal articles and policy documents
Francis, B and Wong, B (2013) “What is preventing social mobility?  A review of the evidence”, , King’s College London, March 2013, available from:
HMSO (2017) “Statistical First Release” (SFR), available from:

Children’s Commissioner “They Go The Extra Mile – Reducing inequality in school exclusion”, the, March 2013, available from: