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Education, Culture and Childhood BA

School of Education

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    You are viewing this course for 2023-24 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

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    Our course is one of only a few in the country to combine education and childhood studies. You'll investigate different perspectives - philosophical, psychological, sociological, historical - to get a 360-degree view on educational theory, policy and practice.

    You'll discover some of the key issues surrounding child development and child psychology, and explore the themes that shape current educational policy and practice. The Employability Skills Development module in the second year will help to develop your knowledge and skills in the professional environment through a work placement or work-based project.

    In the first year, you'll take modules in child psychology and the sociology of education. You'll develop practical skills in discerning data to help you become a critical researcher. You'll also have the opportunity to study histories of education, explore the curriculum and look at how childhood has been portrayed in different societies at different times.

    In the second and third years, you choose from a list of subjects. Topics cover areas such as educational psychology, learning theory, globalising education, children and digital cultures, philosophies of education and education policy. We'll also train you in educational research methods. There's a small-scale research project in the second year and an extended dissertation in the third year.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Education, Culture and Childhood BA course structure
    UCAS code: X300
    Years: 2022, 2023

    Core 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. The module also evaluates different policy frameworks and goals. For example, whether the focus of education policy should be placed on nurturing active citizenship (and what this would look like) or whether the main priority should be to serve the needs of the economy (and how this might be achieved).

    20 credits
    Making Sense of Education: Facts, Fiction and Data

    Politics, practices and media discourses related to Education, frequently invoke 'evidence' or statistical reasoning in an attempt to persuade. These approaches can be deliberately misused or accidentally misleading. This module will equip you with the knowledge you need to become a discerning data user and critic through a mix of active learning, seminars and computer workshops. You will develop practical skills to support your engagement with 'evidence' throughout your studies, explore a range of issues in qualitative and quantitative research design, and create a foundation for your future development as a critical researcher.

    20 credits
    Child Psychology

    This module explores 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. Some of the core concepts of Psychology are introduced such as cognitive psychology (intelligence, language and learning), behaviourism (including modification techniques), social and emotional development (including family and attachment, trauma) as well as the study of individual differences (with reference to psychopathologies such as autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

    20 credits

    Optional modules - two from:

    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.

    20 credits
    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.

    20 credits
    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.

    20 credits
    Histories of Education

    This unit introduces students to a range of historical perspectives on education. It takes a critical historical approach to understanding the development of educational ideas, systems and practices by drawing attention to different cultural and historical contexts. In helping students question and challenge dominant ideas about education and its purposes, it will engage with and critique the philosophy of history to explore possible links between historical investigation and present day understandings of education. Topics include: the nature of history, early conceptions of education, education in pre-modern and modern contexts, development of mass schooling, histories of education, social justice and meritocracy.

    20 credits

    Plus one or two other optional modules.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    There will be a small number of students in your year group, so you will get to know each other and your tutors well. There will be some lectures but much of the teaching is through seminars, either as a year group, or in smaller groups. This creates a supportive learning environment where you can explore a topic in detail and exchange ideas.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    You'll be taught by academic staff who are internationally recognised for research in their specialist areas. Many of them have won awards for their teaching while others are practitioners in fields such as educational psychology.

    Assessment

    We assess your learning through written coursework, presentations, and exams. Feedback is swift, personalised, and is part of an ongoing dialogue to support your future development.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    If you have non-standard entry qualifications you may be able to do the foundation year option and then progress onto the main course.

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ (relevant research topics include politics, sociology, childhood studies, and psychology)

    International Baccalaureate 33

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level

    T Level Distinction in the CACHE Education and Childcare T Level, including Distinction in the occupational specialism and grade A in the core component

    Scottish Highers AAABB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • CACHE Extended Diploma in a relevant subject is also accepted at grade A

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ (relevant research topics include politics, sociology, childhood studies, and psychology)

    International Baccalaureate 32

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level

    T Level Distinction in the CACHE Education and Childcare T Level, including Distinction in the occupational specialism and grade A in the core component

    Scottish Highers AABBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • CACHE Extended Diploma in a relevant subject is also accepted at grade A

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    School of Education

    We're proud to welcome a vibrant and diverse community, with students based locally, nationally and internationally. Our research has a direct impact on educational theory, policy and practice; we're supporting the development of children, families, schools and learning communities.

    The BA Education, Culture and Childhood combines two academic subject areas: Education Studies and Childhood Studies. This allows you to gain a detailed understanding of the themes underpinning current educational policy and practice as well as critically engage with issues surrounding child development and the meaning of childhood. You'll make links with psychology, sociology, history, cultural studies, politics and philosophy, too - to gain a truly 360-degree perspective on your subject.

    Our seminars are interactive and everyone is encouraged to take part. The course director knows every student personally, and you will get a lot of individual support across all of your modules.

    Our team of tutors at the School of Education comprise of experts in early childhood education, policy and practice, psychological theory of education, and languages and education. Many of our academic staff are internationally recognised in their specialist areas.

    Our placement module is an excellent way to gain valuable work experience, enhancing your skills and influencing your career path. We offer quality work placements that also provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in a professional environment. We will support you in selecting an appropriate placement setting, whether you want to focus on teaching or alternatives to teaching.

    We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus. Many of the University buildings are close together so it’s easy to walk between them and it’s a good way to get to know the city.

    School of Education

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of Education

    No 1 education department in the UK for research impact

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    12th for education in the UK

    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022


    Graduate careers

    School of Education

    Our graduates go into educational leadership and management, educational journalism and publishing, educational research, community education and development, early years services, youth, charity and educational welfare work.

    The degree is a sound basis for further training in social work and educational psychology. If you're interested in teaching, you could progress onto a primary PGCE. Or you may decide to stay on for a masters or PhD so you can specialise in an area that interests you.

    Explore your career options on the School of Education website

    Photograph of Chloe Jameson

    I hope that BA ECC will continue to be a springboard for others as it was for me

    Chloe Jameson BA Education, Culture and Childhood

    Speech and Language therapist, Chloe, was certain that she wanted to work with children, but wasn’t ready to commit to a specific pathway like teaching, the flexibility of this course let her focus on areas relevant to the postgraduate pathways she was considering.

    Profile photo of Sarah Winstanley

    I was able to tailor the degree to my own interests

    Sarah Winstanley BA Education, Childhood and Culture

    Sarah's expectations of the BA Education, Culture and Childhood were thoroughly exceeded. The knowledge she gained has supported her in several ways as she embarks on a teaching career.

    Profile photo of Anna Woof

    Studying at Sheffield helped me get my dream job

    Anna Woof BA Education, Childhood and Culture

    For Anna, the BA Education, Childhood and Culture was a personal degree experience that developed her skills, confidence and helped open the doors to her dream career.

    Work placement

    Work placements are provided, where possible (according to external circumstances), so you can develop your 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 you will be required to produce a detailed learning journal offering a reflective account of your experiences.

    In the past, placements have been taken in a variety of organisations including primary schools, nurseries, special educational needs schools, CAMHS Services, Sheffield City Council Young People Services, educational theatre groups and educational trusts such as farms and museums. We will support you in finding the right placement for you career goals.

    If you go on a work placement, you might first need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is funded by the School of Education. Non-UK clearance is necessary if you've spent three consecutive months or more in any other country in the past five years. It is often easier to obtain the clearance while in residence in the relevant country. The clearing will become invalid if you return to that country for a period of three consecutive months or more prior to the placement.

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Visit us

    University open days

    There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Taster days

    At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Applicant days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Book your place on a campus tour

    Apply for this course

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2023-2024