Education, Culture and Childhood BA modules

On this page, you can find out about the modules on our Education, Culture and Childhood BA.

The modules listed below are examples from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.

Core modules

You must take the following three 20 credit modules.

Education, Power and Society: Introduction to the Sociology of Education

This module explores the relationship between educational institutions/cultures/systems and social inequalities. We focus on class, gender, ethnicity and disability and look at the ways in which education systems serve to tackle or reproduce patterns of inequality and relations of power. 

Making Sense of Education, Culture and Childhood: Facts, Fiction and Data

This module will equip you with the knowledge to become a discerning data user, you will explore a range of issues in qualitative and quantitative research design, and create a foundation for your future development as a critical researcher.

Child Psychology

On this module you will explore the relationship between psychological theory and educational policy and practice, considering some of the ways in which Education and Local Authority services have been influenced by ideas about children developed in psychological research.


Optional modules

You must also take at least two of the following 20 credit modules.

The Digital University

What is it like to be a University of Sheffield student, without ever setting foot on campus? What can learners in Mumbai, Adelaide, Capetown, and Shanghai learn from each other? And what new possibilities and challenges are digital technologies opening up for higher education? These questions, and more, will be explored in this module about online, distance, and blended learning: all forms of digital learning where students can be based anywhere with an internet connection. An experience of digital learning is part of the module, and participants will both take an active role in and learn from this experience.

Critical Curriculum Study

The curriculum is often taken for granted by those who experience it, such as parents, students and teachers. This module poses questions about curriculum – what is it and who is it for? Different perspectives on curriculum are explored to establish a framework for critical curriculum study. After examining school curriculum reform both in England and in international contexts, the module will focus in-depth on a single case study curriculum in England. This focused study will be carried out from the perspective of curriculum history, policy reform, analysis and implementation through research involving classroom-based curriculum development.

Social and Historical Constructions of Childhood

In this module, students will explore how childhood has been portrayed across different societies and at different times and will examine how childhoods are shaped and influenced by the societies in which children live, learn and are cared for.

Through a series of lectures, group work and individual study tasks, students will think about the ways in which childhood has changed over time and how different views and perspectives on childhood create different expectations of children.

Through the study of historical and social constructions of childhood, students will develop a fuller understanding of how ways of working with children can be shaped by external influences.


You can take modules to the value of 20 credits from other departments in the University.

Core modules

You must take the following three 20 credit modules:

Understanding Education: Research and Researching

This module explores a range of methodologies, methods and styles of re-presentation and reporting that are used in educational research which will equip you with the skills, knowledge and critical awareness needed to conduct research of your own.

Research Project in Education, Culture and Childhood

You will design and manage your own small scale research project, giving you the opportunity to engage with all the stages necessary in the planning and implementation of successful research, from the crafting of an appropriate set of research questions, through ethical review, literature search, data collection, analysis of findings and dissemination of results.

Placement

Students will develop their knowledge and skills in a professional workplace. Support will be provided in selecting an appropriate setting, and the placement can be undertaken any time between the start of the spring semester and the end of the summer vacation. The placement will be undertaken on a voluntary basis and students will be required to produce a detailed learning journal offering a reflective account of their experiences.


Optional modules


You must also take at least two of the following 20 credit modules:

Children and Digital Cultures

Digital technology has transformed the lives of many, impacting on culture and society. Many young people have quickly seen ways of extending and deepening social networks through their uses of technology, and immersed themselves in Virtual Worlds, Facebook etc and enjoyed browsing on shopping sites. This module examines new technologies and associated social practices impacting on children's lives, considering the nature of new digital practices and how these affect identity, society and culture. Educational implications of new technologies is a developing field of research and students will engage critically with debates within the field alongside examining websites and new practices.

Psychology and Learning Communities

This module explores learning as conceptualised by different approaches within the broad umbrella of psychology. It examines how and why these different approaches emerged, how they compare to one another, and how they have come to inform different understandings of what learning is, how it happens and how it might be facilitated. It also explores how these different conceptualisations have come to impact individual learners, and particular learning communities. The module aims to challenge notions of learning as an individual enterprise and to support students in critical reflection upon their own learning experiences in connection to the approaches discussed.

Dimensions of Education Policy

This module looks at key issues in education policy. We will explore the origins and evaluate the success of the comprehensive system; look in detail at the debates surrounding grammar schools, faith schools, academies and free schools; assess a range of policies designed to tackle educational disadvantage; critically explore the politics of teaching and assessment; and reflect more generally on the discourse of choice and diversity that frames current education policy as a whole.

Critical Issues in Teaching

This module introduces you to key issues and roles involved in teaching. It is suitable for those who definitely want to teach and those who have not yet considered teaching as a career. The focus of the module is teaching in England. It covers teaching across the age range, with sessions devoted to early years, primary, secondary and further and higher education. The module also deals with issues such as assessing students’ learning, managing challenging behaviour, working with parents and other professionals. By the end of the module you should have a clear idea of what’s involved in being a teacher.


You can, if you wish, take modules to the value of 20 credits from other departments in the University.


Core modules

You must take the following two modules.

Philosophies of Education

This module will explore the importance of philosophy to the study of education, covering key moments in the history of Western philosophy and focusing on the question of modernity. It will offer a critique of common assumptions in education, provoking questioning about its nature and purposes.

Dissertation

The aim of the dissertation is to enable you to advance your knowledge of education and childhood studies by pursuing an independent research project on a relevant chosen topic


Optional modules

You must also take at least two of the following 20 credit modules.

Psychoanalytic Perspectives of Infancy and Childhood

This module explores the relationship between psychological theory and experience. Students drawn to the study of psychology are presented with a curriculum comprising subjects (memory, perception, language, cognition, development, emotion) they have spent a lifetime experiencing. Hence psychology as a scientific study presents a unique experience for the student, learning what in an experiential sense is already known. The module also explores psychological approaches that illuminate different orientations to childhood experience and the implications for these different approaches for the knowledge generated.

Education@Sheffield

In Education@Sheffield students are invited to explore and evaluate the rich and diverse research taking place within the School of Education. Through a series of seminars presented by active researchers, students are encouraged to critically engage with research—and the researchers themselves—in the fields of educational and childhood studies. 

Participatory Research with Children and Young People (optional module for Spring Semester)

This module explores the methodological and ethical issues involved in engaging children and young people as active participants in the research process. Students will analyse critically a number of case study research projects that have attempted to ensure the active participation of children and young people and will design a group research project that engages children and young people as active participants in the research process.

What is Learning?

What is learning? Everyone does it but how does it happen? How can it be influenced? Current understandings about learning are influenced by perspectives from the European Enlightenment of the 18th century and, perhaps surprisingly, from ancient Greece. But there are recent, more radical and challenging perspectives on learning that this module will also explore – perspectives that challenge the practices of educators and others and even call into question ideas about truth and reality.

Globalising Education

This module considers the extent to which education might be viewed as a global context with a shared meaning. Moving outwards from the dominant concepts, principles and practices which frame `our own´ national, or regional responses to education, the module explores other possible ways of understanding difference. You will examine the implications of globalisation for education and explore the opportunities and obstacles for the social justice agendas within a range of cultural settings.


You can, if you wish, take modules to the value of 20 credits from other departments in the University.


Each level of study is comprised of 120 credits, with each module worth 20 credits each, in total there are 3 levels to complete which will normally take five years on a part-time course. For each of the first two years, you will take 60 credits (three modules).

You will then have completed Level 1. During Levels 2 and 3 you will normally take 80 credits each year.

There is also the possibility of completing within four years, by changing to the full-time programme at the end of your second year.  This depends on your circumstances, and whether you feel in a position to take on a more intensive workload.

Example of the part-time study module structure

Year Module choice
1st Year - 60 credits, 3 modules

Education, Power and Society

Introduction to the Sociology of Education

Social and Historical Constructions of Childhood

Making Sense of Education

Facts, Fiction and Data.

2nd Year - 60 credits, 3 modules

Critical Curriculum Study

Child Psychology

The Digital University

3rd Year - 80 credits, 4 modules

Understanding Education

Research and Researching

Research Project in Education, Culture and Childhood

Dimensions of Education Policy; Placement

4th Year - 80 credits, 4 modules

Education@Sheffield

Globalising Education

and two from the following three:

Children and Digital Cultures

Psychology and Learning Communities

Critical Issues in Teaching

5th Year - 80 credits, 3 modules

Dissertation

Philosophies of Education

and two from the following three:

Psychological Theory and Childhood Experience

What is Learning?

Participatory Research with Children and Young People.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 15 May 2020


Results and Clearing 2020

Results and Clearing 2020

We have places available on some courses for additional high-achieving students through Clearing and Adjustment.